Pierre Culliford, better known as Peyo, is famous as the creator of The Smurfs, but Papercutz shows that he had more than just those little blue gnomes to offer in The Smurfs & Friends. The book is a compilation of some of Peyo’s other work, better known in Europe, featuring Johan, a young hero of medieval times, and Benny Breakiron, a French boy who possesses superpowers but is susceptible to ability-robbing colds. These non-Smurf tales make up over half of the book, but for pure Smurfophiles, there’s “The Flute Smurfers,” written by Peyo’s son for the fiftieth anniversary of the well-known story “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.” “The Flute Smurfers” serves as a prequel to the earlier tale, and features Johan and Peewit, Johan’s sidekick. Also included is a smattering of Smurf newspaper comic strips to round out the collection. While some Smurf fans may not be interested in the non-Smurf material, completists and those interested in Peyo’s other efforts will enjoy both the works themselves and Matt Murray’s detailed historical notes.
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