Monica's Gang

Monica's Gang
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Created by Mauricio de Sousa
Publication information
Formats Comic strip
Comic book
Publication date 1959 – present
Main character(s) Monica
Jimmy Five
Smudge
Maggy
Creative team
Creator(s) Mauricio de Sousa

Monica's Gang (originally titled Turma da Mônica in Portuguese) is a popular Brazilian comic book series. The series was created by Mauricio de Sousa, who signs his work as "Mauricio". Plots are centered on the adventures of a group of seven-year-old friends in the fictional neighborhood of "Limoeiro" in São Paulo. The neighborhood was inspired by the neighborhood of Cambuí, in Campinas and the city of Mogi das Cruzes, where de Sousa lived his childhood.[1]

Contents

Publication history

Mauricio began his comic universe in 1959 with a newspaper comic strip titled Bidu, printed on Folha da Manhã, the newspaper where Mauricio worked as police reporter.[2] Cebolinha followed in 1960. The character Mônica first saw the light of day in 1963. Comic books featuring the characters started appearing: "Bidu" (1960 - cancelled after a few editions),Mônica (1970), Cebolinha (1972), and many more. The stories have been translated to several languages and sold in dozens of countries. The series has been running steadily for over forty years, and generated uncountable spin-offs in the realms of merchandising, animated cartoons, video games, theme parks, and more. Mauricio employs a large staff on his company Estúdios Mauricio de Sousa to execute these projects.

The characters are drawn in a simple cartoon style and the stories often finish with a happy ending. In the end of each comic book, there are three panels with a quick joke, such as newspaper strips. Compared with the Peanuts characters, Monica's gang is less reflective and a bit more fantastic, less psychological and more active.

Characters often break the fourth wall, acknowledging they are performing or even talking to the writers from inside the papersheet. In some stories, they go "behind the sets", as if they were filming a TV show or a movie. The main characters also make fun of other characters for being secondaries (Sunny, a yellow-haired boy is the one that is most mocked for being a secondary character). Another is a recently returned character called Manezinho (diminutive form of "Manuel" in Brazilian Portuguese), who is referred by Smudge as "the new secondary character".

Also, to avoid any copyright problems, when referring to any person, company or band, Mauricio writes something that sounds similar, resulting in word plays, mostly puns and phonetic transcription of foreign terms. Examples: Coca-Cola = Tota-Toia; Michael Jackson = Maicou Jeca; Titãs = Tantãs; Banda Calypso = Apocalypso; Star Wars = Tauó; and so on.

Nowadays the comics are sold in 40 countries in 14 languages.

Characters

Main characters

The four main characters of Monica's Gang are:

  • Monica (Mônica)
  • Jimmy Five (Cebolinha)
  • Smudge (Cascão)
  • Maggy (Magali)

Minor characters

  • Angel (Anjinho) – As the name suggests, he is the guardian angel of Monica’s Gang. From the clouds high up above (presumably heaven), he will listen to any scream for help, and will descend to save the day, just like a superhero. He also works like an advice-giver to the gang. The problem is that is impossible to him to protect all the kids from the confusions they always get involved in. Sometimes he eventually gets himself involved in these confusions. His most recurring gag is the many different ways that the gang will use to call him down (most usually Monica), which often gets Angel injured or scared.
  • Bloguinho (literally Little Blog) – This recently introduced character is a bright, smart child. His speech balloons are written with internet slangs and emoticons, and he is addicted to computer and chatting on the net. Because of this, he was introduced as Teveluisão's little brother. In addition, his hair is a simple "@".
  • Blu (Bidu)
  • Bucky (Titi) – Bucky is as toothy as Monica, but his friends hardly make fun of that. Bucky dates Isabel, but hangs around with any girls he sees, just like Curly. He sometimes ends up alone and hated by his ex-girlfriends, because he dates so many girls that it becomes impossible for him to hide one from the others.
  • Doreen (Dorinha) – Another recently introduced character, a blind girl. As she is blind since birth, she doesn't know the shape of things, so she often just imagines. Her remaining senses are very precise, though.
  • Dustine (Cascuda) – Smudge's girlfriend. Although she was created only to be Smudge's lover, he sometimes chases other girls. Unlike Smudge, she does take the odd shower, (much to Smudge's despair) just not often.
  • Franklin(Franjinha)- The brainy one of the group, this budding young scientist and inventor concocts all sorts of things in his home laboratory, not always with success. He's in love with Marina, and later wins her hear in the offshoot series Monica Teen. Blu is his pet.
  • Hummer (Humberto) – Hummer suffers from muteness, so all he can do to communicate is to murmur “hmm-hmm”. In some strips, it is stated that he is also deaf, and that he reads people’s lips to understand what they are saying.
  • Isabel (Aninha) – Bucky’s main girlfriend. She sometimes discovers his many betrayals, but in the end, she forgives her non-loyal boyfriend. She is very jealous of him, but Bucky still manages to date other girls while Isabel’s not watching over him.
  • Jeremiah (Jeremias) – One of Bucky’s best friends, and one of Mauricio's few Afro-Brazilian characters. At first, he was drawn in a strong black color, but nowadays, his color is a softer brown.
  • Junior (Dudu) - One of those little kids who’s fussy about food and almost never wants to eat what’s put on the table. He and Maggy make perfect pals because she always helps him finish eating the food his mom makes for him with such dedication.
  • Lord Big Rabbit (Lorde Coelhão) – One of the gang’s most famous (and harmless) enemies. First appeared on the movie A Princesa e o Robô (The Princess and the Robot). He is based on Darth Vader, and hails from the planet Cenourando (a joke with the Portuguese word for carrot, "cenoura"). He commands a great army of "coelhoides" (a portmanteau from the Portuguese words "Coelho" (rabbit) and "Androide" (Android). His main assistant is "Zoiudo" (a Brazilian slang for "big-eyed"), a flying being who does nothing but repeat the orders given by his master. But he’s also a good spy.
  • Luca – Also called "Da Roda" (of the wheel, due to his wheel chair), this recently introduced character is paralytic. He is very active, though. He plays basketball, and performs tricks on his chair, just like a skateboarder. The girls find him a very cute boy, especially Monica (much to Jimmy's annoyance).
  • Marina – One of the few characters whose English and Portuguese names are equal. She was based on one of Mauricio daughters, also called Marina.[3] Both Marinas are addicted to painting and drawing. Marina caught Franklin’s eyes, who fell in love with her. Still, she’s not interested in dating him nor anyone else (although she does so in the offshoot series Monica Teen).
  • Nick Nope (Do Contra) – "Agreed", "equal" and its derivates are words missing in Nick’s vocabulary. He likes to do everything his way, or in other words, in reverse of the normal way. He likes to eat strange foods, like salty ice creams, rice with pieces of water melon, and anything that may show up in his mind. He is Nimbus' brother. Like Marina, he is based on one of Mauricio’s sons (also called Mauricio).[4]
  • Nimbus – Another of Mauricio’s few characters whose name remains the same in both Portuguese and English versions. He is very interested in meteorology, and fears thunders and storms, just like Smudge. The only difference is that he still likes water. He is also a magician, and all girls find him cute. He is Nick Nope's brother.[5] Like Marina and Nick Nope, he was also based on one of Mauricio’s sons (Mauro). .[5][6]
  • Ronaldinho Gaúcho
  • Mr. Juca (Seu Juca) – This character appears doing a different job every strip. He changes jobs so frequently because Monica and her friends always try to help him with his work, but Juca tries to stop them, and this generates a great confusion, which always leads to Juca’s loss of his job, and also to his insanity, so that his second home is the psychiatric hospital.
  • Keika The female Japanese Brazilian character in the comics. She entered in the comics with her brother Tikara, in May 2008's Monica comic as the commemorative mascot for the 100 year aniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil.
  • Professor Spada/Doctor Spam (Professor Spada (an Italian-descent surname meaning sword)/Doutor Spam) – The newest enemy of Monica's gang, he is the only character who owns two double personalities. When Professor Spada, he is a gentle, happy computer technician. But if eventually he is hit by a short circuit, he becomes the evil Doctor Spam, who can travel through the internet, which means he can be in any part of the globe in within some seconds, to disseminate computer viruses.
  • Specs (Zé Luís) – The oldest of the gang. When Monica first appeared, she was said to be his little sister, but as she gained more notability among the gang, she earned her own family. Specs likes reading and studying, but also finds time to hang with his friends and girls.
  • Sunny (Xaveco) – The main characteristic of this boy is not having any characteristic, at all. He is always referred to as “the secondary character”, and the main characters always make fun of his apparent “uselessness”. He constantly attempts to "elevate" his rank to that of a main character, a trait which he transfers to his teen vervion in the offshoot series Monica Teen. He is also the only of the gang to have divorced parents.[7]
  • Teveluisão (a portmanteau of the Portuguese words "Televisão" (Television), "Luís", and "Luisão" (Big Luís)) – As his name suggests, he is addicted to television, and spends all day in front of it. His friend Specs always tells him that this is not healthy, and forces him to the outdoors. He is Bloguinho’s older brother.
  • Tikara (Brazilian way of saying "Chikara" (力), Japanese word that means power, strength) - This Japanese Brazilian character was created by Mauricio to be the mascot of the "Comemoração do Centenário da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil" (Celebration of the Centenary of the Japanese immigration to Brazil). He is expected to appear at Monica's strips in May and June 2008.[8]
  • Toddy (Quinzinho) - He's from Portugal, son of the owner of a local bakery. He's in love with Maggy, and makes everything for her: bread, cake and other food, even though she eats everything without paying.

Related works

Most other works made by Sousa are related to Monica's Gang. They are usually separated stories at all from Monica's gang, but sometimes some cross-overs are presented. Just Chuck Billy (Chico Bento), which actually came in the same year (1963) as Monica itself, has a separate comic book, but once in a while there are stories from one into another book.

Quoting the official website, about Chuck Billy:

Silly country bumpkins who are comical yet so very wise in their ways. They'll love you; you'll love them. In Chuck Billy's world - a small country village complete with church square, bandshell and schoolhouse surrounded by farmland and rolling countryside - everybody knows everybody and life is full of wit and creativity.

Films

  • Mônica e Cebolinha – No Mundo de Romeu e Julieta (1979, live-action, made-for-tv) - (Monica and Jimmy Five: In the World of Romeo & Juliet)
  • As Aventuras da Turma da Mônica (1982) - (The Adventures of Monica's Gang)
  • A Princesa e o Robô (1983) - (The Princess and the Robot)
  • As Novas Aventuras da Turma da Mônica (1986) - (The New Adventures of Monica's Gang)
  • Mônica e a Sereia do Rio (1986) - (Monica and the River Mermaid)
  • O Bicho-Papão (1987) - (The Boogeyman)
  • A Estrelinha Mágica (1988) - (The Magic Star)
  • A Rádio do Chico Bento (1989, live-action, direct-to-video) (The Chuck Billy Radio Station)
  • Chico Bento, Óia a Onça! (1990) - (Chuck Billy, Watch Out for the Jaguar!)
  • Videogibi: O Mônico (1997, direct-to-video) - (The He-Monica)
  • Videogibi: O Plano Sangrento (1997, direct-to-video) - (The Bloody Plan)
  • Videogibi: O Estranho Soro do Dr. X (1998, direct-to-video) - (VideoComic: Dr. X's Strange Serum)
  • Cine Gibi - O Filme (2004) - MovieComic: The Movie)
  • Cine Gibi 2 (2005, direct-to-video) - MovieComic 2)
  • Uma Aventura no Tempo (2007) - (An Adventure in Time)
  • Cine Gibi 3: Planos Infalíveis (2008, direct-to-video) - (Movie Comic 3: Infallible Plans)
  • Cine Gibi 4: Meninos e Meninas (2009, direct-to-video) - (MovieComic 4: Boys and Girls)
  • Cine Gibi 5: Luzes, Cêmara, Ação! (2010, direct-to-video) - (MovieComic 5: Lights, Camera, Action!)

Cartoon

Animated cartoons are broadcasted on Brazilian Cartoon Network on Sunday, at 9:30 AM; from Monday to Friday, 6:00 AM and 8:30 AM. The series has 85 episodes, consisting of shorts originally from the feature films and direct-to-video productions.

Video games

In the 1990s, three Monica video games were released by Tectoy for Sega consoles, consisting of romhacks of Wonder Boy games, with translated text and sprites replaced with characters from the comic.

Console Original Wonder Boy game Original release Monica's Gang version Release
Master System Wonder Boy in Monster Land 1987 Mônica no Castelo do Dragão 1991
Master System Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap 1989 Turma da Mônica em O Resgate 1993
Mega Drive Wonder Boy in Monster World 1991 Turma da Mônica na Terra dos Monstros 1994

In the 1990s, MSP released three CD-ROMs with short stories complemented by minigames: Mônica Dentuça (1995), Cebolinha e Floquinho (1996) e A Roça do Chico Bento (1998). Two CDs for creating comic books with both Monica and Chuck Billy were also released.

On September 2010, in a conference about Tec Toy's videogame console Zeebo, Mônica de Sousa, Mauricio's daughter, announced the studio had partnered with Tec Toy to release eight Monica's Gang games for the platform, starting with Turma da Mônica - Vamos Brincar Nº1, which has no release date.[9]

Mônica Park

An amusement park themed with Mauricio de Souza's characters, located at the Eldorado Shopping in São Paulo. It was opened in January 1993, and features a number of attractions, like the "Carrossel do Horácio" (Horacio's merry-go-round, a carousel featuring dinosaurs instead of horses), the 3-D cinema, and many more. The Parque da Mônica of Curitiba and of Rio de Janeiro were also created, in 1998 and 2001, respectively, but both were closed, in 2000 and 2005, respectively. Until the end of 2006, it had its own comic book, featuring adventures of Monica's gang at the park. When Panini Comics started to publish Mauricio's works, this magazine was replaced by Turma da Mônica.

The park was removed from ElDorado Shopping Center on early 2010, when the space occupied by it was asked back by the shopping administrators.[10] Mauricio de Sousa had already announced that the shopping had requested the area back on July 2009.[10] The administration of the Shopping says that the place is seeking more up to date alternatives, which fall under the consumers expectation.[10]

Publications

Monica’s Gang and its related works are released in a number of different books. Firstly, they were published by Editora Abril, from 1970 to 1986, then Editora Globo, from 1987 to 2006. From 2007 on, Panini Comics was chosen to keep the publications.

Comic books (released monthly)

Monica's Gang titles are usually published in digest size.[11]

  • Mônica
    • Ed. Abril (1970–1986): 1-200
    • Ed. Globo (1987–2006): 1-246
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-
  • Cebolinha
    • Ed. Abril (1973–1986): 1-168
    • Ed. Globo (1987–2006): 1-246
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-
  • Cascão
    • Ed. Abril (1982–1986): 1-114
    • Ed. Globo (1987–2006): 1-467
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-
  • Chico Bento
    • Ed. Abril (1982–1986): 1-114
    • Ed. Globo (1987–2006): 1-467
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-
  • Magali
    • Ed. Globo (1989–2006): 1-403
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-
  • Turma da Mônica

It features mainly adventures at the Parque da Mônica, which were formerly published at the defunct “Revista Parque da Mônica”.

    • Ed. Globo (1993–2006): 1-168 (as "Revista Parque da Mônica")
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-
  • Ronaldinho Gaúcho

Adventures of Ronaldinho Gaúcho, interacting or not with the rest of the gang.

    • Ed. Globo (2006): 1-3
    • Ed. Panini (2007-): 1-

Almanacs

The "Almanaques da Turma da Mônica" (Monica's Gang Almanacs) bring republications of the best stories.

Bi-monthly publications

  • Almanaque da Mônica (Monica's Almanac)
  • Almanaque do Cebolinha (Jimmy Five's Almanac)
  • Almanaque do Cascão (Smudge's Almanac)
  • Almanaque do Chico Bento (Chuck Billy's Almanac)
  • Almanaque da Magali (Maggy's Almanac)

Quarterly publications

  • Almanaque Temático (Thematic Almanac, with several stories featuring several different characters, but with the same theme, formerly named "Coleção Um Tema Só" (One Single Theme Collection))

Biannual publications

  • Almanaque Turma do Penadinho (Bug-a-Booo's Almanac)
  • Almanaque Turma da Tina (Tina's Pals' Almanac)
  • Almanaque Turma do Astronauta (The Funnies' Almanac)
  • Grande Almanaque de Férias (Great Holidays Almanac, released during Brazil school holidays, former "Almanacão de Férias" (Holidays' Big Almanac))
  • Grande Almanaque Turma da Mônica (Great Monica's Gang Almanac, a big-sized Almanac, former "Almanacão Turma da Mônica" (Monica's Gang Big Almanac))
  • Almanaque Historinhas de Uma Página (Single-page strories Almanac, featuring only stories that occupies only one page at a comic book)
  • Clássicos do Cinema Turma da Mônica (Monica's Gang Classics of the Cinema): parodies of movies, with republications of the Gibizão stories and sequels of them, as well as original stories ("Cascão Porker", an adaptation of the first Harry Potter film).

Monthly publications

  • Turma da Mônica Jovem

Annual publications

  • Mônica Especial de Natal (Mônica’s Christmas Special, featuring Christmas-related strories only, former "Mônica Edição Especial de Natal" (Monica’s Special Christmas Edition))

Defunct publications

  • Pelezinho
    • Editora Abril (1977–1982): 1-60
  • Almanaque do Pelezinho (Pelezinho’s Almanac)
    • Editora Abril (1977–1986)
  • As melhores piadas (The Best Jokes)
    • Editora Abril (1976–1978)(1986)
  • Tiras Especial
    • Editora Abril (1974–1975)
  • Bidu (Blu)
    • Editora Continental (1960)
  • Gibizinho da Mônica (Monica’s Little Comic, pocket comic book)
    • Editora Globo (1991–1998): 1-84
  • Almanaque do Gibizinho (Little Comic’s Almanac)
    • Editora Globo (1997–2001): 1-46 ; 2ª série: (2003–2006): 1-40

Gibizão

This huge-sized comic book (even bigger than the Almanacão) by Editora Globo had only nine editions.

  • Batmenino Eternamente (Batboy Forever)- parody of Batman Forever, with Jimmy Five as Batman, Smudge as Robin, Bucky as Alfred and Monica playing Dr. Chase Meridian. The villains are "Frankler" (Franklin as Riddler) and "Nimbus Nope" (a version of Two-Face where Nimbus and Nick Nope are fused together).[12]
  • Horacic Park - parody of Jurassic Park.[13] The sequels were later spoofed in the "Clássicos do Cinema": O Imundo Perdido: Horacic Park (The Lost World: Jurassic Park; the title is a pun turning mundo, "world", into Imundo, "dirty") and Horacic Park III (Jurassic Park III).
  • Os Doze Trabalhos da Mônica (The Twelve Labors of Monica) – Parody of the Labors of Hercules, slightly modified (for example, the Erymanthian Boar becomes Thunder).[14]
  • Romeu e Julieta (Romeo & Juliet) – adaptation of a movie of the gang. It transforms the William Shakespeare's story, providing a less tragic end to "Romeo Montague Five" and "Juliet Monicapulet".[15]
  • Comandante Gancho (Captain Hook) – parody of Hook.[16]
  • Mônica e os Bárbaros (Monica and the Barbarians) - republication. Monica travels on a time machine created by Franklin and helps a warrior on a fictional Hyborian Age land, with elements of Conan the Barbarian.[17]
  • Superparque (Superpark) – Some superheroes are on vacation and go to the Parque da Mônica.[18]
  • Coelhada nas Estrelas (Star Warp) - parody of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.[19] The rest of the original Star Wars trilogy was spoofed in the "Clássicos do Cinema" line, with the sequels O Feio Contra Ataca ("The Ugly Strikes Back", parody of The Empire Strikes Back) and O Retorno de Jedito ("Return of the Jedito", parody of Return of the Jedi).
  • A Volta ao mundo em 80 Garfadas (Around the World in Eighty Meals) – Parody of Around the World in Eighty Days.

Monica outside Brazil

Monica's Gang and related works have all been translated and published in other countries.

Italy

La banda di Monica Characters: Monica, Cipollino (Jimmy Five), Patacca (Smudge), Magalì (Maggy), Tito (Bucky), Frangetta (Franklin), Nimbus, Gaio (Sunny), Maria Cipollino (Mary Angela), Vic Vampiro (Vic Vampire), Fantasmino (Bug-a-Booo), Osti Nato (Nick Nope), Piteco and many others.

Indonesia

Monika dan kawan kawan Comics are published there since 1997: Monika, Jimmi Lima (Jimmy Five) and Ciko Bento (Chuck Billy).

References

External links


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