Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Latter-Day Bruno Bianchi Sketches of Inspector Gadget

This is a bit above my price class for a single sketch, but I'm sure it will find a buyer. Here's an Inspector Gadget sketch from 2000 drawn by Bruno Bianchi himself, currently up on with a starting bid of 150 (!) euros.  [UPDATE (August 25): Well, whaddaya know... it didn't find a buyer. Guess it was a bit above everyone's price class.]

This may be the oldest Bianchi sketch I've seen of Gadget (that is, of sketches and model sheets not related to the original series' production). I'm guessing Bruno did a lot of these for French fans at various conventions and festivals. Since I have a number of other sketches collected on my harddrive, I thought I'd use this occasion to share them, too.

The first few sketches here were done for a celebration of Inspector Gadget in France. On November 4, 2008, Gadget's 25th anniversary was marked by Fanny's Party at the Hard Rock Café in Paris, France. Probably the biggest sensation of it was, Bruno Bianchi actually attended this party and spent hours chatting with fans, being interviewed and, of course, drawing sketches. Here are three of the drawings he turned out that evening...

Note that Gadget is sporting what I've nicknamed the "Gadgetinis chin" here, reflecting the redesign Bianchi 
gave him for the 2002 spinoff. I personally much prefer the original-series chin (even if I like this drawing!).
Via iRonfle.

Edited from a photo where the lucky fan in question, Anne-Laure, is holding her drawing.
See the full photo, as well as tons of other photos from Fanny's Party.

The above sketch from Fanny's Party, coupled with the next one from I-don't remember-where, are by far the most off-model Gadget drawings I've seen by Bianchi. Still, I like the ink lines and the expression in the below one.

This one was up on the Italian Ebay a few years ago, for a more
reasonable price than the one currently at
Missed it by very little.

To end, how about a picture or two of Bruno himself? Turns out he attended the French Cartoonist animation festival in 2002 - and so did Shingo Araki (to the right), the famous Japanese cartoon veteran who, as it happens, animation-directed a handful of Season One Inspector Gadget episodes...

And here's Bruno in the middle of drawing Gadget at the festival:

Caption from Hello Japan: "Bruno Bianchi dessine son personnage fétiche : Inspecteur Gadget!"
(Bruno Bianchi draws his favorite character: Inspector Gadget!)

Man, how I wish I owned the drawing he's working on here... it looks FANTASTIC! Some of the sketches above are quite off-model and were obviously drawn quickly and spontaneously, but not this one. Gadget almost looks like he could have stepped out of a vintage episode. Seeing this makes me wish all the more that Bruno was still with us.


  1. Hello there!! I'm a huge Italian fan of the good bionic inspector, and I've already bookmarked your blog!