Good Readin’ #3 – Cucumber Quest

Gigi Digi’s Cucumber Quest is a strange byproduct of a childhood’s worth of videogames, fantasy novels, and distinctly Japanese comic books and their corresponding Saturday morning cartoons. What with its rampant anthropomorphism, hapless heroes, less-than-intimidating villains, magical orbs, and profusion of characters and locations named after foodstuffs, Cucumber Quest is rife with none-too-subtle winks and nods to Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, as well as to the 8- and 16-bit efforts of Square, Enix, Sega, and Nintendo. (Which are all excellent choices as far as fonts of inspiration go.)

Even then, Cucumber Quest’s readily-apparent clichés are more a matter of innocent parody and insightful homage than shameless stylistic theft or mean-spirited piss-taking. For one thing, Gigi Digi’s painterly artwork, candy-coloured palette, confectionary details, and expressive characters are more than able to stand on their own delightful merits. For another, the wide-eyed innocence of Cucumber and his compatriots leaves one hard-pressed to find even a scintilla of cynicism anywhere in the mix (Cabbage’s absentee parenting and “tough love” attitude notwithstanding).

All told, ‘tis a grand entry into the digital canon of long-form illustrated narratives, and an addictive one at that.

Fan Art: But recently, would-be-wizard and reticent world-saver Cucumber entered the Gumdrop Forest in search of a rare sort of sugar, at which point he ran into the legendary (and cantankerous) forest-keeper, Grizzlygum. There… there was some confusion at first.


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