Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to head over to Savage Critics and read Jog’s lengthy essay on Peyo and Delport’s original Smurf comics of the 1960s (and the later inspiration for the Saturday morning cartoon show), focusing on the King Smurf comic in particular. It’s the best thing you’ll read on the Internet this week, cross my smurf and smurf to God. It’s full of fascinating tidbits like this:
Take, for example, 1973’s Smurf Vs. Smurf; I haven’t read it (since it’s never been translated to English), but Wikipedia’s summary suggests that it’s a fairly pointed lampoon of the strife between the Dutch-speaking northern region of Belgium (Flanders) and the French-speaking South (Wallonia), as translated to an ongoing Smurf Village argument between the verb-dominant Smurfs (ex: I wanna smurf you like an animal) and their noun-dominant brothers (I wanna fuck you like a smurf). All-out war in the streets soon erupts, leaving Papa to restore peace via the conclusion of the hit comic book and motion picture Watchmen.
I’m serious; the story ends in almost exactly the same general manner as the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic, with Papa fabricating a threat by villain and gourmand Gargamel so as to pretty much scare the warring Smurfs into a state of peace. I sure hope Wikipedia isn’t pulling my leg, since there’s even apparently an ambiguous ending suggesting that the harmony may be short-lived! No word on whether Grouchy Smurf narrates from a journal kept of the story’s events, or if any right-wing publications discover it in the end.