Saturday, April 13, 2013
Smurfs and Berets
The Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) is a Belgian comic and television franchise centered on a group of small blue fictional creatures called Smurfs, created and first introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian comics artist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958. There are more than one hundred Smurfs, whose names are based on adjectives that emphasize their characteristics, e.g. 'Jokey Smurf', 'Clumsy Smurf', and 'Smurfette' -- the first female Smurf to be introduced in the series.
In 1998, writer Marc Schmidt wrote a parody article citing the Smurfs as an example of the impact of socialism in continental European culture. French sociologist Antoine Buéno described them in a 2011 book as a totalitarian and racist utopia. Studio Peyo head Thierry Culliford, the son of Peyo, dismissed Buéno's accusations as "grotesque and frivolous." In 2011 Marc Schmidt's essay was scrutinized in a response essay by Kate Krake who examined the nature of cultural theory built on textual observation and warned against creating false allegories out of texts like The Smurfs.
Still, the red-capped Papa Smurf does have a strong resemblance to Karl Marx, the mean wizard Gargamel looks identical to the portrayal of 'the Wandering Jew' by the Nazi's and, the aggressive mean Smurfs are obviously black...
Despite the Smurfs liking for a barettina like hat, I did find a few pictures of berets on the little blue beasts too.