I originally had something else planned for today’s Friday Funny Pages, but I was flipping through my comics from Free Comic Book Day and came across an issue that contained some Smurfs pages and decided to use some of the panels found there instead. As a kid I really enjoyed the Smurfs. As far as old cartoons go the Smurfs was pretty adventurous, while at the same time sticking to a lot of the cartoon conventions of the day. The Smurfs made use of several typical cartoon elements such as making use of the ever determined recurring villain who is hell-bent on ruining the day for the main characters; as well as character names that were not only short but were also descriptive, giving you all the insight you needed into the character’s back story. These elements were found in countless cartoons of this time from the Care Bears to G.I. Joe. The Smurfs however put their spin on this mix by including bits and pieces from folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy expanding the Smurf world well beyond the several small mushrooms of Smurf Village. Witches, wizards, trolls, knights, and elemental beings such as Father Time and Mother Nature were regulars in the Smurf’s cartoon. The Smurfs was a fantasy epic for children which was a solid influence for me as a kid and which I am proud to say was part of my cartoon repertoire growing up.
With that in mind, let me say that I am not looking forward to that CGI Smurf’s movie that is coming out. At first it sounded interesting but from the previews I’ve seen it seems to be complete garbage. The Smurf’s took place long ago, in medieval times. The Smurf’s didn’t travel to New York City and have whirlwind adventures atop taxi cabs through the streets of the big city. But alas, I digress. I never really read much of the Smurfs comic strip source material by Peyo (Pierre Culliford) but from my experience with the cartoon I don’t recall the Smurfs using the word “Smurf” to replace any word in a sentence, as we see in the panels above. From what I recall the Smurfs would generally drop the word Smurf into a sentence as an adjective, as in “Have a smurfy day!” or “Don’t you look smurfy!” Perhaps occasionally they would use it as a verb, “Quit smurfing around!” Also on occasion there would be familiar words that would be rebuilt around the word Smurf, for example “Smurftastic!”
Regardless in any case when they spoke in the show there would usually only be one “smurf” per sentence, not every other word! How the hell are you supposed to know what they are talking about? And what’s worse is when you leave so many words as a mystery the natural inclination is to replace all the “smurfs” in the sentence with expletives during the translation process. But perhaps that’s just me, it makes it more entertaining at any rate. I mean honestly though “I’ll help you smurf another smurf that smurfs under the water” how am I supposed to restrain myself from interpreting that inappropriately? In the second panel Papa Smurf tells that other smurf “I don’t want you smurfing the village anymore!” after he crashes through one of the village buildings. You don’t want him fucking the village anymore, is that what you’re saying Papa? Just come out and say it!
Anyway let’s just put it this way, I don’t remember the Smurfs cartoon being a riddle of language codes that needed to be unjumbled every week and that maybe these new comics are going a little overboard with the excessive dropping of the Smurf bomb. Whatever the case may be have fun decoding these panels any way you wish and perhaps subtly try to work Smurf into your daily conversations and see if anyone notices. I leave you with one final panel referring to one of my favorite Golden Age super heroes who has somehow been Smurfified. (Not really)
That is all!