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Mauricio Araujo de Sousa (Portuguese pronunciation: [mawˈɾisju dʒi ˈsowzɐ] born October 27, 1935) is a Brazilian cartoonist who has created over 200 characters for his popular series of children's comic books.

At 17 years of age, he worked for a daily newspaper called Folha da Manhã as a crime reporter. In 1959, Sousa quit that job and began his comic book career, and created Monica's Gang. Sousa's characters were inspired by children he knew from his childhood and by his own children.

Biography Edit

Mauricio Araujo de Sousa was born in Santa Isabel on October 27, 1935. His father, Antonio Mauricio de Sousa, was a poet, and his mother, Petronilha Araújo de Sousa, also delved into poetry. Mauricio developed an interest in cartooning at a young age, and began to draw posters and illustrations for periodicals.[4] At 17 years of age, he worked for a daily newspaper called Folha da Manhã as a crime reporter.[5][4] In 1959, Sousa quit that job and began his comic book career, and created Monica's Gang[6]

The comics of Mauricio de Sousa have gained international fame, been featured on licensed merchandise, and have even been adapted for movies, television, video games, and even a São Paulo amusement park, the Parque da Mônica ("Monica's Park"). Two other Parque da Mônica facilities were also located in Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, but they both closed in 2000 and 2005, respectively. From 1970 to 1986, Mauricio's comic books had been published by Editora Abril, until Globo took over in January 1987. His work has been published in many magazines and newspapers since 1959. Since January 2007, the comic book series is published by Panini Comics.

In 1997, the cartoonist founded the Mauricio de Sousa Cultural Institute, whose mandate is to develop social action campaigns that translate serious subjects into a comic book format to appeal to both young and adult readers.

Mauricio started publishing Turma da Mônica Jovem ("Monica Teen") in 2008, an offshoot series from "Monica's Gang", featuring Monica and her friends now as teenagers, adopting black-and-white pages, as well as art style heavily influenced from manga. Issue #34 of the "Monica Teen" comic book, presenting the first real kiss between Monica and Jimmy (they had already kissed in two previous occasions, but in a different context) had 500,000 sales.[7]

In 2012, Mauricio published a two-issue story arc in the Monica Teencomic book featuring some of Osamu Tezuka's main characters, such as Astro, Sapphire and Kimba, joining Monica and her friends in an adventure in the Amazon rainforest against a smuggling organization chopping down hundreds of trees in the jungles of the Amazon. This is the first time that Tezuka Productions has allowed overseas animators to use Tezuka's characters.[8] Rock Holmes, another character created by Tezuka, has featured as a villain in the story arc.

Artistic works Edit

Some of Mauricio's creations include:

  • Monica's Gang – Mauricio's long-running signature series.
  • Monica Teen – Offshoot series from Monica's Gang, featuring Monica and her friends as teenagers in a manga-style publication. First published in 2008.
  • Chuck Billy 'n' Folks
  • The Cavern Clan
  • Pelézinho's Team – A tribute to Pelé that centered around young Pelézinho ("Little Pelé") and his football playing friends. Published between 70s and 1986.
  • Tina's Pals – A series about a group of teenage friends, aimed at the adolescent audience.
  • Blu – Anthropomorphizeddomestic animals (dogs, cats, etc.). Blu regularly exchanged dialogue with the "Tracer" of the comic.
  • Lionel's Kingdom – Group of wild animals (both African and Brazilian) who lived under the reign of a lion king.
  • Bug-a-Booo – Comic horror stories featuring a ghost (the title character, called Penadinho in the original version), a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy, and a grim reaper (Dona Morte – Lady MacDeath in the English version), all of whom lived in a cemetery.
  • The Funnies – A Brazilian space adventurer who pilotes a round ship (called "Astronauta" in the original version). First published in 1963.
  • Horacio's World – An orphaned and ethical dinosaur; a tyrannosaurus who happened to be a vegetarian and also has his own gang, like most of Sousa's creations. First published in 1963.
  • The Tribe – a Native Brazilianchild (Curumim in Tupi language) and his friends, who live in an Amazonian taba (village).
  • Nicodemon – A sarcastic and evil boy, one of few main characters in Mauricio's comics to have a negative personality. Debuted in 1966.
  • Ronaldinho Gaucho – Along the lines of Pelezinho's Team, this strip centers around another pint-sized football-playing youngster, this time modeled after and possessing the skills of Ronaldinho (Ronaldo de Assis Moreira). This comic premiered on December 28, 2005, and the real-life Ronaldinho was even the guest of honor at the launch party in his hometown of Porto Alegre. 

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