Johan, right, and Peewit, left.Johan and Peewit
(Johan et Pirlouit
in French) is a Belgian comic book created in 1952 by Pierre Culliford a.k.a. Peyo. It was originally a reworking of a short-lived newspaper strip.
Openly inspired by Hollywood classic chivalry movies
and comic books such as Prince Valiant
, it's the humorous stories of a young page and his dwarf friend in a undefined European medieval country with touches of magic
. Remembered for introducing to the world certain blue skinned miniature humanoids
The last 4 albums have been published after Peyo's demise
, one of them signed by his son Thierry Culliford and two others by Yvan Delporte, to whom we owe the best Smurfs stories.
Johan and Peewit provides examples of:
- Animated Adaptation: The Smurfs cartoon show featured separate episodes of Johan and Peewit's adventures during Season 2, after which the characters became guest stars within the cartoon show's main episodes. They were also the main characters in the animated movie version of The Smurfs And The Magic Flute, released in Belgium in 1976, the United Kingdom in 1979, and in North America in 1983.
- Antiquated Linguistics: Partly. "Good language" (we're talking about a European 50's comic book for children) is mixed with supposed-medieval mild profanities such as "Morbleu!" or "Vertubleu!". And Peewit "sings" in real Old French.
- Art Evolution: The smurfs had five fingers and stiffer hats on their first appearance. Their houses were also different types and sized of mushrooms.
- Ascended Extra: Peewit appeared in the third album and became Johan's Sidekick.
- Baleful Polymorph: The handsome Thierry of Plennevaux is turned into a dog by his rival the Baron of Maltrochu. Peewit also volunteers as a guinea pig for the transforming potion in order for an antidote to be found.
- Beauty Equals Goodness
- Beard of Evil: Guillaume (Basenhaut's evil advisor), Monulf (Fafnir's master), Maltrochu the evil baron.
- Black Bead Eyes: Johan, mostly in the comic books and in The Smurfs And The Magic Flute.
- Breakout Character: The Smurfs got their own comic series that quickly eclipsed "Johan and Peewit" in popularity.
- Chekhov's Gun: The water magic stick.
- Dreadful Musician: Peewit.
- Early Installment Weirdness : Peewit does'nt appear until the third albums! For the first two albums the series was titled only Johan.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The King is simply referred to as "the King". His name is never disclosed.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Anne. Counts as a straight Damsel in Distress.
- Flying Broomstick: Sarah the witch has one.
- Good For Bad: In The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, Peewit tries and fails to swap out one of the magic flutes for a fake.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Johan is asexual as most of the comic book heroes of his time, while Peewit can be troubled by beautiful women.
- Hollywood Tone Deaf: Peewit. Played straight in his animated adventures, implied in the comics.
- Horny Vikings
- Long Runner
- Magic Music: The Smurfs and the Magic Flute featured a flute that made people dance to its tune.
- The Middle Ages
- No Export for You: Only two albums have been officially translated, and one of those was only because it introduced The Smurfs.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Peewit's name in the English language books and cartoon episodes is usually pronounced Pee-Wee.*
- Our Dragons Are Different: With a little magic trick, Fafnir ends up throwing water.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: Their episodes in Season 2 of The Smurfs cartoon show.
- Prince and Pauper: The episode "The Prince And The Peewit".
- Robe and Wizard Hat: Homnibus the enchanter, who also sports the requisite Wizard Beard.
- Set Swords to Stun
- Ye Olde Butcherede Frenche: Averted when Peewit is singing. Ear-grating though his songs are, he at least sings them in genuine medieval French. "Ge sui juglères de vièle, Si sai de muse et de frestele (...) De l'salteire et en la rote, Sai je bien chanter une note."