Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And now for something completely different: a Swiss kids' comic book

I found this comic book aimed for children of say 5-10 years in a book shop in the small town of Savonlinna last summer. I'd never heard of it, so I bought it without a blink of an eye. When I got back home (okay, I did it already in the car with my phone), I checked from the web what this was all about. Jopi, globally known as Globi, was a creation of Swiss comic artist Robert Lips, for whom there's a Wikipedia article in German and an entry in in English. There are three other Jopi books published in Finnish and I've never seen any of them (unless as a kid and completely forgotten them). This one, called "Globi Travels All Over the World", was published by the now defunct Weilin + Göös in 1982. There were three others: Eläköön Jopi, lasten ystävä! ("Long Live Globi, the Friend of Children!"), Jopi sirkuksessa ("Globi in Circus") and Jopi maanviljelijänä ("Globi the Farmer"). I showed this to a friend of mine, who's a writer and critic specializing in the comic book history, and he'd never seen any of these.

This is funny stuff, with naïve and heart-warming humour, with a touch of absurd on the side. Jopi reminds me a lot of my all-time favourite, Rasmus Nalle (aka Rasmus Klump, as he's known in his origin country, Denmark). Oh, here's another site about Rasmus in English.

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