Cartoon Book Review: The Smurfette

I write regular book reviews for the Cartoonists' Club Of Great Britain's website. The latest one is reproduced below, or you can see the real thing by clicking here:

 

By Yvan Delporte & Peyo
Publisher: Papercutz
ISBN: 978-1-59707-236-6


In fairness, this was created decades ago, but I don't think you'd get away with this sort of stereotyping these days. This is the story of how the first female Smurf comes to the village. She is created by the evil sorcerer Gargamel to sow discord and outright conflict amongst the Smurfs, but, in the end, is taken under their collective wing to become one them. In an age where strong female lead characters are becoming the norm, this story sits rather uncomfortably with its attitudes towards beauty and women in general. If Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaimen were writing this it would be a very different story indeed, but they're not, and it's historical context has to be taken into consideration. 

Those criticisms aside, it's still a fun cartoon book, with plenty of the regular Smurf gags mixed in with puns and general silliness, and all masterfully illustrated. The stolen cake mix-up is a clever little farcical moment, and the court scene will make you smile too.

There's a second story at the back of the book entitled The Hungry Smurfs where the Smurfs lose their winter store of food to a fire shortly after the snows arrive. Out of desperation they end up having to abandon the village and trek across the frozen wilderness in search of sustenance, eventually coming across what looks like an abandoned castle. 

And if you liked that: Book 5 is on its way

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