If we talk about comic books and don’t talk about “Turma da Mônica” with all certainty that would be a crime – here in Brazil. That’s why my post today is dedicated to one of Brazilian’s phenomena that every Brazilian person was already addicted to when a child.
Turma da Mônica is a Brazilian series of comic stories created by illustrator and businessman Maurício de Sousa.
- It was created in 1959 on newspaper comics, on which two of the main characters were Bidu and Franjinha;
- From 1960 and beyond, the series started to gain its identity, with the creation of Mônica and Cebolinha, between 1960 and 1963, which turned into the main characters.
Although the biggest part of the stories are around the adventures of Mônica, Cebolinha and their friends of the Limoeiro district, the term of the title also refers to the families of characters created by Maurício de Sousa, from other series, as the Turma do Chico Bento – which is one of my favourites – Turma da Tina, Turma da Mata, Turma do Penadinho, among others.
- In 2008, was created a spin-off based on Japanese comics, titled Turma da Mônica Jovem, with the characters on their teenage years;
In 2015, the line went through a reform; Panini restarts the numbers of the magazines and started to credit authors in some stories (something that happened only in special publications), besides, each edition has a QR Code that allows access to exclusive contents in digital platforms.
- In 2019, it’s released the Manga seal MSP, with the release of Turma da Mônica – Geração 12, bringing a teen version of characters, with stories by Petra Leão and drawings by Roberta Pares.
- In October, the Mônica magazine achieved 600 editions, with the editions from editors Abril, Globo and Panini.
A Turma da Mônica has comics and other products licensed in 40 countries and in 14 languages, being that it was expanded to other medias along the years, in products like books, toys, discs, CD-ROMs, electronic games, among others.
Maurício de Sousa, analyst of the newspaper Folha da Manhã, created and got into the comic area on 1959 with his first characters, Bidu and Franjinha. Both were based on his own childhood, being Bidu inspired on his own dog, Cuíca.
On the following year, the characters gained space through the children’s magazine Zaz Traz, by Editora Outubro. Later, a comic titled “Bidu” was released by Editora Continental, being cancelled on the same year. Still at that time, new characters were created, among them the one that got most attention was Cebolinha as Franjinha’s side character.
The characters followed on the newspaper comics, where they developed their personalities. Cebolinha became the main character, replacing Bidu and more characters ended up on the spotlight with their own stories, like Piteco, Astronauta, Horácio, Penadinho, Zezinho and Hiroshi (right now, on the universe of Turma do Chico Bento) and Raposão (on the universe Turma da Mata).
Even with all those characters, Maurício received complaints about the lack of women on his comics, and that’s how Mônica was created in 1963, as a secondary character on Cebolinha’s comics.
Based on his real daughter Mônica Sousa, the success, revolt and charisma of the character made her the main character of the comics, turning Cebolinha on her side character by the end of 1960.
Maurício won again a magazine for his creations in 1970, by Editora Abril. At first, with the title “Mônica e Sua Turma”, many of the characters already created by him on the newspaper started to appear in the magazines, forming what we today call Turma da Mônica. Competing with the famous Donald Duck, Zé Carioca and Luluzinha, his comics remained strong on the comic stores and gained a second title, Cebolinha, in 1973.
A contract with the soccer player Pelé allowed the release of a character based on him. Pelezinho, released on 1977, was a phenomena among children back then, getting into the history of national comics.
The Studios Maurício de Sousa were created from the need of a team of writers to maintain the monthly production of complete stories for magazines and newspapers, stopping the concentration of production on Maurício’s hands.
New projects could then be conducted, as animated drawings, licensing of characters and comic books sells to the exterior.
I remember when I woke on saturday mornings and watched the DVD I had of Turma da Mônica to have fun. If you let me, I’ll remember every episode, of so many times I watched.
During the years, other characters won their own magazines, such as:
- Cascão (1982),
- Chico Bento (1982)
- Magali (1989).
During the years, Turma da Mônica has been used to sell many types of products, from hygiene to pet’s food, going through foods – many people had the apple toothpaste and other products from them. I grew up with those things and remembering when writing this post certainly brings a nostalgic feeling.
The most successful case is the tomato extract from Cica Elefante, with Jotalhão.
On the years 1970 and 1980, the TV ad for this tomato extract was starred by Mônica and Jotalhão and became very famous, specially by the musical theme: “Ô Mônica, abrace o elefante…”.
Its repercussion helped the studios to invest on animation and licensing of characters, making Turma da Mônica a 100% Brazilian giant of entretainment.
- In 2008, a second line of comics was started from Turma da Mônica Jovem, a publication directed to teens and starred by older versions of the characters.
Turma da Mônica has comics and other licensed products in 40 countries and in 14 different languages. Some magazines are published in other countries since 1980’s, Monica’s Gang or Monica and Friends on English speaking countries, Fratz & Freunde on Germany, La Banda di Monica on Italy, Monika dan Kawan Kawan on Indonesia, Mónica y su Pandilla or Mónica y sus Amigos on Spanish speaking countries, among others.
The Turma da Mônica series has as main characters: Mônica, Cebolinha, Cascão, Magali and Chico Bento, being that each one has their own edition of comic books.
Other characters from other series created by Maurício de Sousa are also included on Turma da Mônica, making citations of one another in the series.
The main scenery for the stories is the fictional district called Limoeiro, in a Brazilian city.
The stories with Mônica and Cebolinha are around their eternal feud.
Cebolinha is always getting into trouble around and, besides that, he pretends he is always brave and always tries to steal Mônica’s plush bunny – the famous Sansão – in general always finding a way to get the “big tooth” girl angry. Always with Cascão as an ally – but Mônica always gets back at them, hitting each one with her bunny.
The stories about Cascão usually concentrate on his dirtiness and fear of water – even if he never took a shower in his life – apart from having his own adventures, always being threatned by villains of a secret organization called S.U.J.O.C.A or by his friends to take a shower.
On Magali’s stories, they usually concentrate on her neverending hunger, with an abnormal capacity to eat and never get fat – all I ever wanted in my life.
Other works associated to Maurício de Sousa Studios that appear frequently on the magazines, and that occasionally relate with Turma da Mônica, be it in special aparitions or in crossover series are:
- Turma do Chico Bento – focusing on the daily life of Chico Bento, a hillbilly boy and his friends that live in a farm on Brazilian countryside where he steals guavas all the time from his neighbour. It’s the one who has most contact with Turma da Mônica – and also got a manga spin-off in 2013, called Chico Bento Moço.
- Turma do Penadinho
- Turma da Tina
- Turma do Astronauta
- Turma da Mata
- Turma do Piteco
- Turma do Horácio
- Turma do Papa-Capim
- Turma do Bidu
A Turma da Monica, On Media:
Apart from the products, Turma da Mônica also has many attractions on entretainment as an amusement park, movies, TV series, games, videogames and even songs.
A huge attractive to the country of creation to all ages. After all, we can say it isn’t true, but all ages are still interested on them.
Turma da Mônica and all its other characters from this world created by Maurício de Sousa still has many fans, not only in Brazil, but around the world.
On the Sisterhood of the Moon, we love Mônica and all her friends – and that includes Sansão, her best mate of all time – and you? Have you ever heard of it?
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