The Funnies (Monica's Gang)
The Funnies ("Turma do Astronauta"), also known as Bubbly the Astronaut is a Brazilian comic strip series, created in 1963 and part of the Monica's Gang comic strips. It centers around, Bubbly, an astronaut, whose parents and ex-girlfriend Rita appear very rarely, making him the only recurring character. The comic strip can be defined as a science fiction adventure strip.
In order to draw the outer space scenarios that normally serve as background for the strips, inkers for The Funnies normally use fountain and dip pens, with white, gray and black as colors. Séergio Graciano, one of the inkers, says he reads scientific publications so his work is as loyal to real space as possible.
- Bubbly (Astronauta) – Bubbly is the main and virtually only character of The Funnies. He is an astronaut and works for the fictional BRASA (Brasileiros Astronautas – Brazilian Astronauts, a pun on the acronym of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). His space ship and home is an orange metallic ball. Basically, he spends his time traveling through the Universe, visiting new planets and contacting extraterrestrials (or eventually fighting them). His missions usually involve fighting intergalactic criminals or collecting information about new planets. His English name was given after his round-like space suit.
- Computer – The board computer of Bubbly’s space ship. He is able to talk, and his monitor features a face when not displaying anything. The computer gives Bubbly information about any planet, zone, or galaxy ahead of the ship, and also makes him company by playing games (most frequently videogames or chess) or striking conversations in order to fend off Bubbly's lonely feelings.
- Rita (Ritinha) – Bubbly's lover. She was his girlfriend once, but as Bubbly spent years in space without coming back, Rita left him and married another guy, which made Bubbly deeply depressed.
- Barba Laser (Laser Beard) - Bubbly's occasional antagonist, he acts as a space pirate and is often seen with his not so intelligent helper Matraca (whose name may be translated as Ratchet).
- "Turma do Mauricio". Superinteressante (in Portuguese). Editora Abril. February 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Rich Johnston (October 23, 2012)Mauricio De Sousa’s First Graphic Novel Bleeding Cool
- de Sousa, Mauricio (1998). "A Volta do Barba Laser". Mônica (in Portuguese) (145 ed.). São Paulo: Editora Globo. pp. 59–64.
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