« In the big wrinkled world,
it would be like looking for
a straw in a needle stack… »
Based upon, but with savvy improvements, Peter Sellers‘ Inspecteur Jacques Clouseau from the popular series of films launched with 1963’s “The Pink Panther“, the animated Inspector and the titular feline (who first appeared in the opening credits of the film) were spun off into a pair of successful series of animated shorts. Produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, these series have earned their place as highlights of 1960s animation, though the competition was pretty toothless, compared to prior decades.
As for funnybooks, Gold Key’s “The Pink Panther and the Inspector” title was a solid success, lasting 84 issues (73 under the GK imprint, then 11 more under Whitman, 1971-1984), leading to a solo spinoff for The Inspector (19 issues, 1974-78). This is surprisingly witty stuff, written and drawn with assurance and verve. Comic strip great Warren Tufts (creator of Casey Ruggles) was reportedly involved, though when it comes to Gold Key and Dell, credits are at best sketchy.
Oh, and here’s the Panthère rose‘s entry into the celluloid world: