August 25, 2010

Review: The Smurfs Graphic Novel

It all started with these comics! The Smurfs – the beloved cartoon characters, that shot to fame in North America in the '80s, return in this new graphic novel series from Papercutz. The Publisher of the popular BIONICLE, CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED, DISNEY FAIRIES, GERONIMO STILTON, HARDY BOYS, NANCY DREW, and TALES FROM THE CRYPT graphic novels – Papercutz will publish the first two of a new series of SMURF graphic novels in September 2010. A special low-priced $1.00 SMURFS comicbook will be released in July, to promote the graphic novels.

"Not many people realize that the Smurfs originally appeared in comics, specifically in 'La Flute a six SCHTROUMPFS," a Johan et Pirlouit graphic novel series by Peyo in 1958," explains Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. They quickly became so popular that after several more guest appearances in Johan et Pirlouit, the Smurfs were awarded their own graphic novel series by Peyo. After an animated movie in 1976, the Smurfs starred in their own Saturday morning TV series on NBC starting in 1981. The series was a blockbuster hit, spawning Smurf-mania and lasting nine seasons. Those shows still run on Cartoon Network's Boomerang channel, and are now available on DVD.

An all-new Smurfs movie, combining live-action and computer-animated Smurfs, is now in production, and set for release in 2011. The Sony/Columbia film stars Neil Patrick Harris, Paul Reubens, Michael Cera, Sofia Vergara, Hank Azaria, Alan Cumming, Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, and George Lopez.

But it was Peyo's wonderful graphic novels that started it all, and Papercutz is bringing these acclaimed comics back into print after much too-long an absence. "I grew up with these comics, they truly are classics. It's a shame that these books, which have been in print forever everywhere else on Earth, have been out-of-print for so long in America," says Nantier.

"Papercutz is dedicated to publishing the very best comics and graphic novels for audiences of all-ages, so we're thrilled to be publishing one of the best-loved series of graphic novels for all-ages ever created," exclaimed Papercutz Editor-in-Chief Jim Salicrup.

In July, a specially priced $1.00 comicbook will be distributed to comic stores to promote the forthcoming SMURFS graphic novels. It features the classic "Smurfnapper" story by Peyo that introduced the Smurfs' arch foe, the villainous sorcerer Gargamel and his cat, Azrael.

6 1/2x10, 24pp., full color, $1

When I was young, I was a Smurf fan and I also loved comic books.  I tried to read this to my nephew but he kept taking it out of my hands to get a better look at the drawings.  I finally gave up and ended up just reading it for myself.  I was taken back to the good-ole-days when my biggest concern was how much ketchup to use.  Needless to say, I enjoyed reading it and remembering what it was like to be a kid.

Disclosure: I received a graphic novel for free from Ascot Media Group, Inc. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

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