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Mandel Karlsson, also known as 91:an Karlsson or simply 91:an, is a cartoon character, the hero of the popular Swedish comic strip 91:an (Eng: № 91), created in 1932 by Rudolf Petersson. The strip is now published in its own bi-weekly comic book, 91:an, and also as a single strip in the popular weekly women's magazine Året Runt.
Mandel Karlsson is based on two people Rudolf Petersson met during his national service at I16. During his service he met a blond and ill tempered Smålandian who turned soft by accordion music and a friendly, short haired person. Some of the attributes were switched and the result was 91:an and 87:an Axelsson. Mandel Karlsson has always been a likeable and sympathetic character: willing to get up to all sorts of youthful mischief, but clearly a kind soul at heart. During the first three decades Mandel was very fond of fighting, but a less aggressive, gentler character was developed during the highly successful period of Nils Egerbrandt's work, starting in the 1960s.
Mandel Karlsson is a young man, aged perhaps 20 or 21, doing conscribed military service in the Swedish Army, based at the fictional Klackamo Regiment. His number is "91", thus he is widely known in Sweden as "91:an Karlsson", although in the comic strip itself he is almost always referred to as Mandel (Eng: Almond, an extremely unusual first name), or simply 91:an.
The son of Mandolina and Johan Karlsson, Mandel comes from a working-class rural background. He often uses non-standard dialect expressions and vocabulary, has a wonderful rapport with animals, and is a competent accordionist. Formerly a frequent smoker, he has now kicked the habit.
He is very keen on his girlfriend Elvira Olsson, although they have regular fall-outs, but he is far from "forward" sexually: indeed Elvira often has to take the initiative in matters romantic. He has been known to express a lively interest in other young ladies who meet his acquaintance, although less so than some of his fellow conscripts at the Klackamo Regiment. His sidekick, Lars Fjodor Axelsson, is a brasher, naughtier character, and has frequently tried to rival Mandel for the attentions of Elvira.
Mandel is well liked by the senior officers at the regiment and is soon forgiven his frequent transgression of the rules. He often does chores for Överste Gyllenskalp at home, for example walking his Great Dane, Caesar.
- 91:an (comic strip)
- 91:an (comic book)
- The Good Soldier Švejk
- The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
- Maurice Horn (1983). The World encyclopedia of comics, Volume 4. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 0-87754-323-2. pp. 519–521.
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