Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gadget To The Rescue!

I've come to realize that, for the past year or more, pretty much all the posts here have been news updates of some kind - about the new TV series currently in production, the French book about DiC's history, the upcoming soundtrack CD etc. Of course it's great that so much is happening with Gadget right now, but I've always wanted this blog to be more than just news-related, especially considering that the history of the Inspector Gadget franchise dates back 30 years. So to break with the recent mold, I thought I'd finally get around to sharing one of the curiosities from my personal collection: A Spanish picture book from 1987 titled "¡Gadget al rescate!" ('Gadget to the rescue'), written by Eduard José and illustrated by Ángel Segura.

This 12-page book is the 4th volume (of 6) in a series released by Multilibro, which published quite a lot of licenced Inspector Gadget books in Spain back in the 80s. It's a simple little story, but charmingly drawn. Not to mention on-model: Gadget looks far better in this picture book for small children than he does in many other licenced adaptations I've seen... including Viper Comics' 2011 comic book. The only detail differing slightly from the original design is perhaps Ángel Segura's version of Gadget's legs, which seem a bit thinner and more rubbery than in the cartoon series. This sort of reminds me of one of the few Spanish comic strips I've read, Francisco Ibáñez' Mort & Phil (Mortadelo y Filemón), where many of the characters have the same kind of thin, bendy legs. Is this a common way of drawing cartoon legs in Spain? I have no idea, but I thought the detail noteworhty enough to at least mention.

Anyhow, let's start reading the book, shall we? First, the credits/copyright page...

...and now for the story! I'm including English-language translations of the Spanish captions underneath each page. (Note, though, that I don't speak Spanish - I simply typed the Spanish text into Google Translate and then rewrote parts of the English translation to make the grammar sound better. If Spanish-language readers spot any mistakes in the translation, please let me know.)

Someone calls:
the chief needs help.

It's time for Gadget
to come to the rescue!

The mission promises to be dangerous.

But every effort should be made
to save the chief.

This is nothing.
The chief must have it worse.

Surely, MAD
must have captured him.

Gadget finally reaches 
Quimby's home.

Don't worry, chief!
I'm here!

Fantastic! Can you help me 
uncork this bottle?

The fearless Inspector Gadget 
presents his adventures in the form of 
fantastic stories, packed with intrigue, 
action and humor.


  1. Heh, that was pretty funny!
    I do also have the Little Golden Book "Inspector Gadget in Africa" from 1984. The artwork does look a tad different from the show, but it's still pretty cool and has the feel of a first-season TV episode. One fun bit is when Chief Quimby gets blown up by the message, he says "I have got to get a new agent!"
    I even picture Don Adams's Gadget voice, Cree Summer as Penny, Dan Hennessey as Chief Quimby, Frank Welker as Brain and Dr. Claw, and even the Don Francks and Greg Duffel incidental voices, along with Shuki Levy's music (particularly the "African Jungle" track, given the book's location.)

    1. Yeah, it actually IS kinda funny, even though that has to be one of the oldest punchlines ever. ;) But I guess the charm and details of the drawings help. I'm considering buying more of these books, if I can find them at reasonable prices. (That will probably have to happen one book at the time, though -- the only complete collection I've been able to find so far (on costs 48 euros, which is a bit above my price range for a few 12-page picture books.)

      Funny coincidence - I have the "Inspector Gadget in Africa" Golden book too! :) I purchased it recently with plans to get it scanned for a blog post sometimes in the future (haven't had the time to scan it yet though). I think the artwork looks a little odd and I don't find it perfect, but at the same time, it's not TOO bad. I did like that line that you mentioned, plus a later line from Penny to Brain: "It's time for your jungle monkey disguise." I think the story does have the feel of a first-season episode to an extent, though it felt a bit too short to me... like it doesn't have the time to build to a proper climax. But the writing did have some nice touches, and I agree the characters feel very much "in-character". (I pictured the voices myself when reading it.)

    2. By the way, checking the book just now, I noticed that Quimby's exact line is, "Why don't I get a new secret agent?" I can REALLY hear Dan Hennessey saying it. ;)