Do you ever dream about stumbling upon a childhood interest and finding that this character/movie/idea grew up too? Thundercats, Voltron, or Rainbow Brite made darker, grittier for your now more mature state. For Michael Rutig, Andrew Armelim, Alfonso Pinedo, and Kendall Goode, it appears that Inspector Gadget was one such show that they never wanted to let go of. This creative team is currently working on a mature Inspector Gadget reboot, G.A.D.G.E.T. Information can be found at their Facebook page, which unfortunately says the project is being held up by licensing. We got with Andrew Armelim yesterday and asked him some questions about the project.
Tim: Andrew, where did the idea for this project come from? What was the inspiration? Obviously a love of Inspector Gadget was involved, but what made you all say, “We need to do Inspector Gadget for adults?”
Andrew: Well, the idea had been lingering in my head for some time; as far back as 2011, I would say. I loved Inspector Gadget growing up; it was probably my favorite cartoon apart from Batman. One day it just came to me, “What the hell happened to Inspector Gadget?” There were a couple spin-offs and movies that didn’t do so well, so I thought, “What would Gadget be like for adults?” And why not do it as a comic? The comic book industry had grown significantly into main stream media in the last couple years.
Tim: Was it always Inspector Gadget that you wanted to remake, or were there a pool of other shows you narrowed down to Gadget?
Andrew: There were other properties I had thought about in the back of my head, like Zelda for example, but Gadget was definitely the most challenging. How do you take a very campy, formulaic cartoon and turn it into something more mature and abstract (I think is the word?).
Tim: You are doing pencil and letters for this project. I believe this is your first foray into comics, correct? Or have you worked on a project like this before?
Andrew: This is definitely my first run on comics, and I think I’m hitting the ground running (haha). I love comics and always wanted to break into the industry. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Other than comics, I’ve done graphic and game design.
Tim: You’ve done previous work for the indie film “Dark Fist.” What was it like creating the promotional work for the film? Also, who came up with the phrase, “Don’t fight crime… fist it!”?
Andrew: Dark Fist was a lot of fun. I remember mentioning how eagerly I wanted to start working on posters during pre-production, and both Andy Warski (Director) and Chris Warski (Producer) turned to me and said, “Andrew, calm down! We’ll get there.” (haha) It was great, because, since it was a hero movie, I got to do a poster with all the characters in a comic book style, which those illustrations made it into the opening credits. I believe Andy Warski came up with both tag lines for the film.
Tim: Have any of the other contributors to this project been involved in comics before?
Andrew: Alfonso Pinedo, who does the inking, has done occasional work for Marvel, but in the end I look for talent not a track record. Kendall Goode, who does colors, is in the same boat as me, trying to break into the industry. He’s incredibly talented! I think he killed it on what we have so far. It really brings the pages alive! As for our writer Michael Rutig, he loves to write. He co-wrote Dark Fist. Every time we’re together, he’s always quoting something from a new screenplay he had written.
Tim: Obviously the story will take inspiration from the TV show. Are there story arcs already planned, and how much of the comic has already been written/drawn/etc.?
Andrew: The basics are there. We have a cybernetic cop who tries to take down this terrorist organization known as M.A.D. It obviously gets more complicated than simply stopping a big heist. We know where we want the story to go, and the first issue has been written. The 5 pages that you see are what we have so far. We did it as a pitch to show not only DHX Media, who currently owns the rights, but to the fans as well.
Tim: Five pages from the project were shared on reddit. One of the characters from the show, other than Gadget, is introduced in these initial pages, but he isn’t in the same form as we know him from the show. So, I guess two questions come from this: Can we expect to see other characters from the show, and will they also be reimagined?
Andrew: All the main characters are there. Some will be tweaked a little and some a lot. We have to analyze each character and see how he or she fits into our vision.
Tim: Your Facebook page says work is in progress regarding licensing for G.A.D.G.E.T. Can you share how far along you are in the process?
Andrew: We are currently in the process of acquiring the license. We pitched the idea to DHX media and are currently awaiting a response. It’s been a month now, but it’s a big issue, so it could take some time. I’m sure one thing they are considering is “Is this a good move for the company?”
Tim: The plan was to take the project to Indiegogo. What was the fundraising goal going to be, and what was the money going to be used for? I know the Facebook page said “production, printing, perks & rewards and licensing fee and etc,” but could you elaborate?
Andrew: Well, all we can say is that from Indiegogo we hope to raise money to cover the licensing fee, production of the first 5 issues, which is a lot of work, so I would like to compensate my creative team, and printing the perks and rewards for those who donate on Indiegogo.
Tim: Andrew, thanks so much for taking the time to talk about this. We really hope the best for you guys on this. Is there anything else you about the project people should know about? Maybe a way for them to show their support or something?
Andrew: All we can do now is hope for the best. They could very well say no, and if that is the case, we have a couple back up plans. We appreciate support in every way, shape or form, and we thank those who have done so. We will be updating our fans on our Facebook page as it becomes available.
Here is the promo poster and first five pages that were posted on reddit Tuesday. I, for one, hope that they can get the licensing sorted out to make this title a reality. If you like what you see, let them know!