Gadget Meets New Kids on the Block in a Fan Comic by CA’s Laura Hudson, Age 9
When I was little, I used to draw little stories on Post Its and staple them together -- sort of proto-comics, if you will. Most of the time they revolved around heroes and My Little Ponies and adventures, but the last time I visited my parents, I found something... special.
A New Kids on the Block comic that I made circa 1990 when I was 9 years old. No, no. Let me be more specific. A self-insertion New Kids on the Block comic that also starred Gadget from the Rescue Rangers. The staff of ComicsAlliance found this embarrassing artifact to be so hilarious that they have insisted I post it. I have done so, along with commentary from Chris Sims, who apparently laughed so hard while reading it that he cried.
I apologize in advance.
Laura Says: Although it may not be readily apparent, this is a concert, from the point of view of the stage. Note the wildly irregular "L"-shaped protuberances. I... I think they're microphones for the performers? The dialogue bubble looping up from the left is issuing from on stage, presumably from one of the New Kids who spots Gadget in the crowd and says, "A mouse? A fan?" I guess a mouse being proportionately the same size as a human isn't as notable as a mouse appreciating the music of NKOTB.
Chris Says: I have to admit that before Laura pointed out what they were supposed to be, I was completely perplexed by those things. I didn't even consider that they were microphones; I'd narrowed it down to two other possibilities. One, that they were a seated audience with heads at the end of long, armless neck-torsos, which would explain why they had gathered to worship a group of floating disembodied heads. Two, that they were Laura's way of cleverly suggesting that this concert took place in England by showing that the group was raking in the £ signs.
"I wonder if the mouse is still there."
Laura Says: Enter Joe McIntyre, the youngest New Kid, who looks more like Sloth from The Goonies here. He is inexplicably fixated on the gigantic mouse-woman he saw during the concert.
Chris Says: "Inexplicably?" Oh come on, Laura, if I had seen a gigantic talking mouse wearing goggles bum rush the stage, I'd be freaked out too. Maybe even so freaked out that I'd spontaneously grow a torso and foothands, and my head would turn into a fuzzy trapezoid decorated by hypnotic cat-eyes. Then again, given his smile and his dilated pupils, maybe a giant talking mouse was something he fully expected.
Laura Says: I guess he thinks the answer is his dressing room? Sketchy.
Chris Says: The excesses of the New Kids On The Block are well documented -- who could forget that time Donnie set a hotel room on fire? Nobody reading MAD Magazine in 1992, that's for sure -- so I'm not surprised that you subconsciously picked up on Joey's practice of getting roadies to pick out the sexiest anthropomorphic rodents out of the crowd for post-show "autograph sessions."
Laura Says: Fat Cat, from what I remember, was the smarmy, mustachioed villain of the Rescue Rangers who wore a suit and smoked a cigar. Instead, I just drew a cat. Badly.
Chris Says: I myself was a huge Rescue Rangers fan in my youth (I may have had an airbrushed t-shirt with Chip on it), but there are a few things that I never understood about the show. Chief among them was where these animals found fedoras, turtlenecks and three-piece suits that could fit tiny animals, but I also wondered why Fat Cat was so much bigger than the Rescue Rangers. I mean, cats -- even cigar-smoking crime-boss cats -- are not that much bigger than chipmunks. In this respect, your comic is actually more accurate than the source material.
Chris Says: It's been a while since I've watched it, but I think I missed the episode where Gadget gained the ability to turn into a cylinder and float to escape danger. Is that in the Disney Adventures strips? I don't think those are canon.
Laura Says: IT'S THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK. This picture is kind of amazing.
Chris Says: I don't know what impresses me more about this: That you were able to do surprisingly accurate recreations of the New Kids' hairstyles in a medium as tricky as ballpoint, or that Joe McIntyre's head is somehow even more hilarious than it was four panels ago.
"JOE... Oh my (faint)" "You ok?"
Laura Says: Guess which New Kid I had a crush on when I was 9. Go ahead.
Chris Says: The fact that Gadget wears the same placid smile when she's interrupting a concert in front of a packed house of £-sign microphones, escaping from certain death at the hands of Average Cat is starting to freak me out.
"Where do you live? In RI?"
"Yes. [My childhood address.]"
Laura Says: Joe intuits with astonishing prescience that Gadget is from Rhode Island, where I lived.
Chris Says: Joe McIntyre is the world's greatest detective.
Laura Says: Wow, so Gadget is mouse sized again, except that she's almost half as tall as a human, and Joe's arms are three-quarters the length of his body. I'm not even going to pretend I know what's going on with the roof.
Chris Says: You realize you're basically reinforcing the fact that everything I know about New England comes from H.P. Lovecraft novels, right? Was it weird for you to grow up in a house built on non-euclidean geometry? Are there other comics that detail how the cast of Saved By The Bell helped you confront eldritch horrors and Elder Things?
Laura Says: Yeah, that enormous neckless dress monster is supposed to be me. NKOTB MAGIC SUMMER TOUR!
Chris Says: "Rectangular little Laura Hudson. She grew up. She filled out."
"Here's your mouse."
Laura Says: I look more like a normal person here, but Joe is now a disembodied floating head.
Chris Says: Joe McIntyre has become Sinistar. Run, coward!
Laura Says: Aaaaand the wish fulfillment is complete.
Chris Says: Lauradorable.
Laura Says: My veil makes me look like a waterfall with arms and legs sticking out of it and Joe is stuck in the pose of a gingerbread man, and I think we're being married by a mouse? This is truly a dream wedding.
Chris Says: Either you have webbed duck-feet and are in mid-leap in order to hold onto your New Fiancee On The Block's horrifying Popeye arm, or that's meant to be the skirt of your wedding dress. Either way, I've been on the Internet for almost fifteen years, and that means that despite my best efforts, I have seen a lot of fan-comics about Gadget from the Rescue Rangers. In an effort to keep my job, I have to say that this is far and away the least disturbing outcome I've seen in any of them.