Getting Smurfed in the Smurf
It’s rare that a misunderstanding over the word ‘salt’ can lead to a globally dominating multimedia entertainment conglomerate. But that is exactly what happened when Belgian comic artist Peyo mistakenly asked his friend to pass the ‘schtroumpf’ and they started to spend the whole weekend referring to everything as ‘schtroumpf’ (which must have been fun). This inspired the great man to add a race of tiny blue schtroumpfing people to his popular comic strip Johan et Pirlouit and so The Smurfs (as they were translated) were born, first appearing on this day in 1958.At only three apples high, wearing Phrygian caps (and with only one female in their universe, apparently) The Smurfs went on to become wildly popular and spawned their own comic strip followed by TV shows, books, films, video games, cereal, ice shows and figurines. A 1959 story entitled ‘The Black Smurf’ involved brain-dead Smurfs biting their companions to spread the disease and is thought by some to be one of the earliest examples of zombie fiction. Smurfs really can do anything!