Maurício de Sousa: other worlds

One day, around 1970, a kid was going out with his grandmother to the tobacco shop in Cruzeiro, in Estoril, taking a magazine to the squares with unknown characters. On the cover, a good-natured green elephant served as a Christmas tree, while some children, more or less his age, had fun putting colorful hacks around the pachyderm. It was a Monica, with a circumflex accent, and inside, different universes, although apparently less fanciful than a Patópolis or the Bedrock of the Flintstones. The paging started, the boy emigrated safely from the annoyances of the adult universe, and stayed there.

Maurício de Sousa (Santa Isabel, SP, 1935) has been a creator of worlds, since his debut in São Paulo in 1959, Folha da Manhã, and the cover of the magazine, which the kid kept, represented a kind of crossover between two of Mauritius’ habitats. : Monica’s Gang, the girl who owns the street, with protruding incisors, a red dress and an eternal stuffed rabbit with which she put ko the boys who challenged her – Chives, five strands of hair, exchanging the erres for them; Cascão, allergic to water, gluttonous Magali, Franjinha, a little older, owner of Bidu, a blue dog, Zé Luís, a box of glasses and gadgets, among others – and Jotalhão, the protagonist of Turma da Mata, together with Raposão, Coelho One-eyed (118 children), Tarugo, myopic tortoise in a convertible shell, Rita, the ant in love with Jotalhão, King Leonino, in a fabled environment that will not be forgotten. In addition, Chico Bento, a country boy, a benign and infantile version of the unforgettable Jeca Tatu, by Monteiro Lobato; the hippies of the moment, Rolo and Tina; Horace, a small meditating tyrannosaurus; Piteco and Tuga, a prehistoric couple; and Astronauta, a lonely traveler through the Cosmos, another of his great creations, were the basis for Maurício to become a kind of Brazilian Walt Disney, with its merchandising, its amusement parks, its series production.

From the initial list, mention must be made of Turma do Penadinho, the star of today’s book. Created in 1963, opposite Cebolinha, and then called Fantasminha, Maurício changes its name and setting: a place for characters from another world is the cemetery, and with it other beings, not of terror, but of “terrating”, such as notice on the back cover: Cranícola, a real skull, Muminho, a specimen from Ancient Egypt, Dona Morte, with a compassionate air and scythe on her shoulder, the inevitable Zé Vampir, Lobi and Frank, among others. The Best Tiras do Penadinho collects small recent stories, in which, among many specifically Brazilian references, from folklore (the headless mule), the episodic occurrence of a spiritist vocabulary or a violent daily life that we all know, we play with what else serious and frightening hangs over children: death. Making them smile in such a dramatic and traumatizing matter is undoubtedly a feat.

The Best Strips of Penadinho, vol. 1

Author Mauritius de Sousa

Edition Maurício de Sousa Editora and Panini Books, São Paulo, 2008


Alix, Senator. For more than 60 years, between 1948 and 2009, alone or, at the end, accompanied, Jacques Martin (1921-2010) signed, to the delight of present and future historians, and also for the uninitiated, the adventures of Alix Graccus, a young Welsh slave made the adopted son of Honorus Galla, friend of Julius Caesar. Alix will have a son, Tito, with Lídia Octávia, Augusto’s sister. The motto is set for the continuation of the series, now Alix with another age, 50 years old, and on another level, that of senator. In As Águias de Sangue, the first volume, with the pax tomana established, the strange and violent murder of Agrippa, the emperor’s son-in-law, disturbs the optimism that was lived in the eternal city. The script is by Valérie Mangin, also a historian, and drawings by Thierry Démarez. Gradiva Edition, Lisbon, 2021.

Beethoven, the Unyielding. Régis Penet shows us a 36-year-old Ludwig, sure of his genius and valor. We are in 1806, the year in which the Eroica symphony ended and composed the piano concerto #4. The French occupy Austria, and Prince Lichnowsky, their host, wants to receive the Napoleonic officership with pomp, showing them what an Austrian aristocrat he is made of, and asks the composer to play at dinner. The latter not only refuses the request of his friend and protector, but also addresses the occupants, asking them to tell the French that there is still a free man in Austria, without carrying any title with him. La Boite à Bulles edition, 2021.

Source: Jornal i by

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