This short lived character created by Edeger Gonzales, had, in spite of the rather stiff drawing style, a promising potential.
The story is set in the future 2076. Mankind has solved most of its problems but not that of individual freedom. There are two distinct zones, one is the city “Nova III” and the other the rural world outside it. “Joe” is a “Gypsy”, a “dissenter” who lives in the outside world, basically a wilderness, exiled from the city and refused access to it. We meet him and his two companions, a dog “Spike” and a falcon “Arrow” in the opening story. It is is an account of his encounter with city security for intruding into a restricted zone around it. He escapes them then meets and rescues “Alice Wren” from an aircraft crash. It turns out she is a city citizen who likes to venture outside of Nova III. He helps her return to the city. He is left returning to his “family” and “village” both of which would probably have been explored in the future episodes if they had been cartooned.
The second story begins with “Gypsy Joe” encountering a mutant bear. He is saved by what he thinks is a laser blast from someone else although there is no one there. He relates the encounter to his friend “White Owl” who informs him that his mind has created a force field around him that protects him. “Joe” then visits “Alice” in “Nova III” and of course is caught. In order to get his freedom and to protect “Alice” from losing her citizenship “Joe” agrees to fight a computer called the “Illucomp”. In the encounter the computer uses “Joe’s” memory of his encounter with the bear against him and “Joe” uses his new psychic power to disable the computer. The episode – and the serial – end with “Joe” being made a citizen of the city.
In these two episodes, Edeger appears to have been following an ecological theme presenting the advantages of the rural over the urban. Unfortunately, the serial was not pursued long enough to explore this theme further.
BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY: Published by Potlatch Publications. Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach.
Content serial graphic:
Canadian Children’s Annual, 1977. 1976: “Gypsy Joe”: 118-125..
Canadian Children’s Annual, 1978. 1977: “Gypsy Joe in Revelation”: 141-148
Canadian Children’s Annual 1977 “Gypsy Joe’s World”. Potlatch Publications, 1976.