Monica (Monica's Gang)

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Monica's Gang character
First appearance Removable Newspaper strips of 1963
Created by Maurício de Sousa
Gender Female
Family Mrs. Luísa (Mother)
Mr. Souza (Father)
Ditto (pet dog)

Monica (Mônica) is the main protagonist and title character Monica's Gang (Turma da Mônica) franchise. She was created in 1963 by Mauricio de Sousa based the character on his own daughter, who is also named Monica.[1][2] The character made her first appearance in the Jimmy Five comic strips as a support character, but with her popularity she eventually became the main character years later. Since her introduction the character has appeared in numerous comics published since 1970, as well animated shows, film, and several forms of merchandise.

In 2007, Monica became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.[3]

Concept and creation[edit]

Concept art of Monica is based on the daughter of Mauricio de Sousa

Monica was based on Mauricio de Sousa's daughter in childhood.[4] The reason for her creation was due to a complaint of the lack of female characters in Mauricio comics.[5] At that time, newspaper strips of Blu and Jimmy Five were produced. When Monica made his first appearance was in a strip of Jimmy Five in 1963, first as a secondary rival of main character.[6] However Monica went on to appear with ever more emphasis over the years later taking the main character position of Jimmy Five.

In the first strips, Monica was a younger and little girl, she had an angry face and her hair was different, but Mauricio improved his visual over the years giving to Monica a cute and friendly appearance.[7] Since 1970 she has been considered the main character among all comics created by Mauricio de Sousa, hence the title, "Monica's Gang".[8] Monica's hair is influenced by a haircut his older daughter Mariângela gave her once when she was a kid.[9]

The real life Monica graduated in industrial design at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in São Paulo and works as executive director at her father's company.[10]


Monica is a 7-year-old, strong and decisive girl, who does not tolerate impertinence, but at the same time, has her moments of femininity. She lives with her parents, has a little dog called Ditto (Monicão), and does not let go of her blue stuffed rabbit called Samson (Sansão). This rabbit, which she loves so dearly, is also a weapon against boys. Especially Jimmy Five (Cebolinha) and Smudge (Cascão), who are always teasing her and calling her roly-poly, toothy, and shorty. She is described as possessing powerful (usually even superhuman) strength, which she uses to beat up boys who tease her or to defend herself and her friends. She is known by the other characters as the "ruler of the street". She is often at odds with Jimmy Five (Cebolinha), but backs him up whenever he gets into trouble. Monica's best friend is Maggy (Magali). Monica's also very shy to date boys, and she often causes trouble when she tries to talk or impress them.[11] Her buckteeth (more precisely the maxillary central incisor) are her trademark, but also the main reason for people to call her toothy.

Relatives and friends[edit]

  • Dona Luísa (Mrs. Luísa) – Monica's mother. Works as a designer for pieces of furniture.
  • Seu Souza (Mr. Souza) – Monica's father. He is based on Mauricio de Sousa himself, although the surnames are slightly different (Souza and Sousa). He works in a business company.
  • Samson (Sansão) – Monica's blue rabbit toy. Initially, he didn't have a name, "Samson" was suggested by Roberta Carpi, in 1983. Samson is not only Monica's favorite toy but also the "weapon" that she uses on whoever calls her by names she doesn't like. Samson is a constant victim of Jimmy Five, Smudge or other boys who love to tie his ears in knots.
  • Ditto (Monicão – a portmanteau of "Mônica" and "cão", dog in Portuguese, which can also mean Big Mônica)) – Ditto is Monica's pet. He was a gift from Jimmy and Smudge, who didn't remember to bring one to Monica's party. Ditto looks so much like her (including the Banana-like hair and the prominent teeth) that the boys decided to buy it with the initial purpose of mocking her as soon as they saw the pooch on a pet shop window. However, their plan backfired, as both Ditto and Monica got along immediately and now stick together. Among the pets of Monica's Gang, Ditto is the most active.[12] He is sometimes portrayed as having super strength, which often leads him or Monica to get into troublesome situations.

Other appearances[edit]

Monica Teen[edit]

Monica is one of the main protagonists of the spin-off Monica Teen, published since 2008 by MSP and Panini Comics.[13] In this Japanese-style comic-manga Monica and her friends are now 15 years old and go to school at Limoeiro High (Lemon Tree High?). The very first edition shows a drastic change in Monica and her friends since childhood when they were 7 years old. Monica is brave and no longer tormented by the boys in Limoeiro even though she is still strong and temperamental. On the other hand, her buckteeth and hair stay the same. She develops a passion for Jimmy Five that ends up with them dating over the comics with many fights and jealousy in high-comedy misadventures. Despite having changed in some ways, she still has an adventurous spirit and continues to use her super strength to stop the enemies that appear.

Later on, she joins her friends in a crossover with characters by Osamu Tezuka such as Princess Sapphire, Astro Boy and Kimba.[14]

Video games[edit]

Monica starred in a series of games for Master System and Sega Genesis developed by TecToy. The games were based on the Wonder Boy franchise, and their adaptations were exclusive to Brazil. In the adaptations of these games, Monica and her friends replace the protagonists.

In 2014, Monica was added by publisher Nurigo Games as a playable character in the Brazilian edition of Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) race game Tales Runner.


  1. ^ "Personagens da Turma da Mônica inspirados nos filhos de Mauricio de Sousa". O Globo (in Portuguese). Grupo Globo. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  2. ^ BRAZZIL - News from Brazil - Monica, Cascao, Cebolinha - Mauricio de Sousa's Comics
  3. ^ Beloved cartoon character Mônica is the newest National Ambassador for UNICEF Brazil
  4. ^ "Quem inspirou os personagens da Turma da Mônica?". Mundo Estranho (in Portuguese). Editora Abril. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Turma da Mônica não tinha mulheres
  6. ^ Crie invente
  7. ^ "A Evolução do Traço da Turma da Mônica" (in Portuguese). Uol Crianças. 
  8. ^ "Os 50 anos em que a Turma do Mauricio se tornou a Turma da Mônica" (in Portuguese). PlanetaGibi. 4 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Mônica 30 Anos- Edição Comemorativa- Ed. Globo, 1993 (Portuguese)
  10. ^ Sousa, Mônica Spada e (2015). "Liberdade do tamanho de um elefante". pt:Pensadores da Liberdade [Thinkers of Liberty] (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Instituto Palavra Aberta. p. 123 of 170. ISBN 978-85-67989-01-3. 
  11. ^ de Sousa, Mauricio (2011). "Por Que Todo Mundo Vai Embora?". Mônica - Amigos Especiais (in Portuguese) (20 ed.). São Paulo: Panini Comics. pp. 4–30. 
  12. ^ de Sousa, Mauricio (2011). "Sente Só os Bichinhos". Mônica - Amigos Especiais (in Portuguese) (48-49 ed.). São Paulo: Panini Comics. pp. 35–38. 
  13. ^ "Personagens da Turma da Mônica 'crescem' e viram mangá". O Estado de S. Paulo. 2008-07-30. 
  14. ^

External links[edit]