Twenty years after THE SMURFS cartoon was canceled by NBC, the Smurfs are making a major comeback. Part of that comeback is the collection of the original 27 Smurfs comics being published in English. THE SMURF KING is the 3rd book in the series and features two separate stories, “The Smurf King” and “The Smurfony”.
In “The Smurf King”, Papa Smurf leaves the village for a few weeks to gather some Euphorbia leaves. Without any leader, the village soon breaks out in a series of arguments and fights. They decide to have an election to vote who should be their leader. An unnamed Smurf makes a series of promises and uses some political tactics to ensure he gets almost all of the votes. He is elected their leader. However, instead of Papa Smurf’s paternal wisdom and leadership, the elected Smurf dons gold garb and proclaims that he must be addressed as the Smurf King. The Smurf King makes enemies and those who resist are either imprisoned or sneak into the forest to join the resistance. The conflict soon leads to an all-out war.
In “The Smurfony”, Harmony Smurf is rejected from the Smurf orchestra because he plays so badly. Harmony is saddened because he longs to be a part of the orchestra. While pondering his fate in the woods, he meets a fairy who gives him an instrument “she” promises will make him play well. The fairy is actually Gargamel in disguise and the instrument he gives Harmony is a turlusiphon which puts all the other Smurfs into s deep sleep. Harmony realizes what has happened and sneaks into Gargamel’s lab to look for a cure.
THE SMURF KING is easy to read. It’s fun and entertaining. I vaguely remember “The Smurfs” episode based upon THE SMURF KING, but instead of an unknown Smurf who is elected Smurf King, the cartoon featured Brainy Smurf as the King. The strips in the book are full of bright color and a person can almost understand the whole story without reading any of the dialogue. Adults who grew up in 1980s watching THE SMURFS will probably enjoy THE SMURF KING, but it’s also a good book for kids who enjoy comics or as a way to introduce children to The Smurfs.