Friday, July 9, 2010

The Smurfs, Vol. 2, No. 1

I'm not really much of a Smurfs fan. Of course I watched the cartoons as a kid and remember liking them, but I haven't really thought about them in years. I was aware that the characters originated in comics, created by Belgian cartoonist, Peyo, but I had no idea if these comics were supposed to be any good or not, nor did I have any real knowledge of their publishing history. I went into this $1 preview comic for the upcoming series of Papercutz graphic novels pretty fresh; optimistically curious.

The twenty page comic book reprints the first appearance of Smurfs nemesis Gargamel, who captures one of the little blue guys with the intention of using him as a key ingredient in the creation of a philosopher's stone. Most of the story takes place after the Smurf is captured, and Papa Smurf leads a group of Smurfs in a rescue operation. The tone is one of light adventure/comedy, smartly written and appealingly drawn, with many pages broken into several small panels which serve to pack in a lot of story even while keeping the pace brisk and the action flowing. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The Smurfs themselves don't really seem to have distinct personalities, or even names, except for Papa Smurf. Just a bunch of funny looking little blue guys bouncing around the page, trying not to get eaten by Gargamel's cat, Azrael, and rescue their friend from the evil alchemist. There's not really enough here for me to make up my mind as to whether or not Peyo's Smurfs is a great comic, but I enjoyed reading this story and now intend to pick up the first of the Smurfs graphic novels. So, for this preview effort, mission accomplished.


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