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|Gyro's Little Helper|
|Official Name||Little Helper|
|Aliases||Little Bulb, Helper, Gyro's Helper|
|List of Appearances||Category:Little Helper|
As an always important but still subtle presence in comic book stories featuring the madcap but well-intentioned Gyro Gearloose, the Little Helper literally shines as both a loyal companion and resourceful assistant to the eccentric and often absent-minded inventor. So intentionally nondescript in nature was this character that it never was given a name in any official capacity. In its lifetime of just over five decades, it has been alternately referred to as Helper, Little Helper, Gyro's Helper and Little Bulb.
The little micro-robot sprang from the pencil of legendary comics creator Carl Barks in 1956. Introduced as a pint-sized sidekick to Gyro Gearloose in the story "The Cat Box", Barks provided no explanation or background for the character. It was a simple comic device that acted as the inventor's common sense counterpart. In a 1991 article, Barks scholar Geoffrey Blum shed light on Little Helper's origins:
No sooner had Barks created a Four-page slot for Gyro stories at the back of his Uncle Scrooge comic, than he began to realize how empty the panels were. "I invented the little lightbulb character one time to take the bareness out of the Gyro stories," he explained, "It looked a little thin, just one character sitting there, talking to himself all the time." Barks attacked the problem graphically, filling in the background with sight gags involving a little wire man, but his language suggests that he was filling an emotional hole, providing a distraction for Gyro as much as for the reader. The inventor needed a companion.