Blu (Monica's Gang)
Blu (Bidu) is a character in the Brazilian comic strip, Monica's Gang, created in 1959. He was the first character created by Mauricio de Sousa, along with his owner Franklin (Franjinha). This blue dog appears in the logo of Mauricio de Sousa Produções, the company founded by Mauricio to release his works. Mauricio says he based both Blu and Franklin on himself and Cuíca, the dog he had when he was a child. Blu doesn't have his own printed comics, but when he completed 40 years of existence, a special print was released for him, and titled "Bidu – Especial 40 Anos" (Blu – 40 Years Special).
Blu is the only character who appears in two different kinds of stories. In one, he is a normal dog, owned by Franklin, who fears taking baths (but is invariably forced to take them by Franklin), does anything in exchange for a bone, and plays around with the other dogs from the neighborhood. In the other type of stories, he is a director/actor of his own stories, is highly personified (walking by two feet behind the sets, and walking like a normal dog when acting.) and is famous for the strips in which he talks to objects, specially the rock called Mrs. Stone.
- Franklin (Franjinha) – Blu's owner and the brains of the gang. The only character who is closely related both to Blu and to Monica and her friends, apart from Duke. He keeps a personal laboratory attached to his house. In there, he concocts all sorts of things, including complex machines such as time machines, teleporters, robots, etc., not always with success. He is in love with Marina, the artist of the gang, even though she has no interest in him.
- Duke (Duque) – Blu's best friend, appears mostly on the stories in which Blu is a normal dog.
- Glu (Bugu) – Glu is not an enemy, but usually annoys Blu by doing almost everything to take part of his strips. Blu never accepts, so Glu sees himself forced to perform his famous "imitations", even against Blu's wills. However, in the end he is always kicked off the strip (literally). He always says "Alô, mamãe!" (Hello, mommy!) when he enters the strip, and "Tchau, mamãe!" (Bye, mommy!), when he is kicked off. He has also appeared as Mister B (a reference to the magician Mr. M), a great magician who everybody thought to be Blu.
- Manfred (Manfredo) - Blu's main assistant, appears almost exclusively on the strips in which Blu is a director/actor. He is a secretary, producer, and arranger and is always carrying a clipboard.
- Mrs. Stone (Dona Pedra) – The most famous object that talks to Blu. A single grey stone, which cannot move. She mostly engages in philosophical conversations with Blu, or just talk about daily issues.
- Zé Esquecido – As his Portuguese name suggests (roughly translated as Forgetful Joe), this character was introduced in 2003 and suffers from amnesia, affecting his Short-term memory.
- Blu at Turma da Mônica’s official website
- Mauricio escreve... Bidu primeiro e único
- Mauricio escreve... Perguntas e Respostas. (1)
- de Sousa, Mauricio (2005). "Presentes". Almanacão da Turma da Mônica (in Portuguese) (22 ed.). São Paulo: Editora Globo. pp. 153–161.
- de Sousa, Mauricio (2004). "SubMarina". Almanacão da Turma da Mônica (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Editora Globo.
- Blu presenting...Mister B
- de Sousa, Mauricio (2003). "Zé Esquecido no Parque". Revista Parque da Mônica (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Editora Globo. pp. 4–17.
- Blu's page at Monica's Gang official website
- Franklin's page at Monica's Gang official website
- Duke's page at Monica's Gang official website
- Glu's page at Monica's Gang official website
- Manfred's page at Monica's Gang official website