Thursday, August 21, 2008

My European Trip 6 -- The Smurfs


Sketching at the Comics Museum

Have you heard about the Smurfs?

They are my childhood's happy memory. And after twenty years I saw them again at smurfs' home, Brussls' Comics Museum.

The Smurfs, Blue Imps, Loc Pitufos, As-Sanafir, die Schlumpfe, Smerfy, 蓝精灵, Smrkci, ... Whatever you call those little blue dwarfs, les Schroumpfs were invented by the Belgian comic artist Peyo in 1958. And NOT by some French guy like everybody seems to think.


This year 2008 is the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Smurfs. The Comics Museum in Brussels holds a special exhibition to celebrate it. I was lucky to be there and I wish this article could bring you childlike smiles.


"It's true. The characters that I've created are not tough guys at the outset. The strength they express isn't spontaneous. Peewit [Jennie's note, pronounced Peer-loo-ee], for instance, is resourceful. As for the Smurfs, they are constantly in danger. They became strong together by being united."
---- Peyo


The Smurfette (蓝妹妹) was created from a magical potion by the wizard Gargamel. Do you know what ingredients Gargamel used to make her in the laboratory? Is that a definition of "Woman"? I found the answer is interesting. The list of ingredients includes "Sugar and spice but nothing nice...A dram of crocodile tears...A peck of bird brain...The tip of an adder's tongue...Half a pack of lies, white, of course...The slyness of a cat...The vanity of a peacock...The chatter of a magpie...The guile of a vixen and the disposition of a shrew...And of course the hardest stone for her heart..."

Fortunately, that definition is turned around by Papa Smurf. After a successful operation of "plastic smurfery", Papa Smurf transformed the ugly (and unhappy) brunette Smurfette into the blond bombshell as she is today.


As I remembered, these little blue creatures (three apple tall) always win the powerful wizard. Perhaps the reason is like what Peyo summarized, they became strong by being united. Smurf for all, all for smurf!


In the comics museum, I also met another famous figure, Tintin.


I always wonder why so many people love Tintin. His
face is made up of a few very simple features. It's almost expressionless. Probably, the fact that Tintin is nobody and his face is neutral makes him the ideal recipient for the emotions felt and projected by readers.

Finally, enjoy the Smurfs theme from YouTube!

Next Stop: Paris


Note: Before my Paris stories, I will recall those in Germany, my first few stops in Frankfurt, Bonn and Cologne. After Cologne I started my Holland visit.


Willy Feng said...
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Willy Feng said...

I never realized that the Smurfette was born in the laboratory. Interesting. But it seems that she was made by nothing good. Does that mean women are bad for man?

JENNIE BAI said...

Yes, it's true. Smurfette was initially made by nothing good, which is also the wizard's purpose to use her to destroy the world of Smurfs (all male!). However, Papa Smurf successfully transformed her, though I couldn't find the recipe except "a plastic smurfery." Does it suggest that first, there is no definition for a good woman; second, plastic surgery -- as it is so popular in East Asia -- can be a magical potion? Today is Friday, Just have fun!