Who does not know this legendary animal with a long tail and black dots on its yellow fur? Marsupilami has been an integral part of the German comedy scene for decades. There is a movie adaptation, an animated series, and it only came out last year Marsupilami: Hoobadventure It has released a current video game on the Nintendo Switch. In addition to Gaston Lagavi, The Office Boy, Spiro and Fantasio, the painter Andre Franquin is also considered Marsupellamy’s father. The albums in the series are still released to this day, although Franquin is no longer with us. Marsupilami isn’t just experiencing new adventures in the Palumbia jungle with friends and family. Aside from the popular sitcom, the reinterpretation of the story around the discovery of Marsupilami made a lasting impression on the comic scene last year. Through “The Beast,” artists Zidrou and Frank Pé created a graphic novel that introduced readers to an entirely new approach and also emerged as a more mature one.
Another interpretation and tribute to Marsupilami was recently published, but this time by a German artist and author. With Spirou in Berlin, Flix was the first German artist to present a Spirou album four years earlier. Now this year Marsupilami has been on Flix (The Lucky Kid). I wasn’t overly excited about Spirou at the time, but I really enjoyed “Das Humboldt-Tier” from Flix. But what is the relationship of the Martian to the researcher Alexander Humboldt? The official summary reads as follows:
Out of the box from Palobia to Berlin!
© Carlsen Verlag
Alexander von Humboldt discovered a new type of animal on his journey to South America at the beginning of the nineteenth century and stored it in his chests. Nearly 130 years later, the Berlin Museum of Natural History still hasn’t unpacked all the boxes, and suddenly Marsupilami stands on the streets of Berlin, enveloped in magical scents. With the help of his new girlfriend Mimi, he experiences a fast-paced adventure in winter 1930s Berlin. In search of her three sons, she leaves much chaos behind and defies any danger with her power. Funny, authentic, sexy and touching.”
At first we accompany Alexander von Humboldt on one of his excursions into the forest, where he and his companion Bonnebland not only encountered new species of plants, but also came to a direct blow with Marsupilami regarding the animals. In addition to many other finds, this unusual animal ends up in one of the chests with the newly discovered plants, and therefore ends up in Berlin. Flix portrays Humboldt as a bit clumsy, but he’s blessed with great curiosity.
A few pages later, events then jump to 1931, where we see the girl Mimi with her mother in Berlin. Mimmi Löwenstein is a very bright and curious girl who is incredibly interested in flora and fauna and her favorite place is the Natural History Museum. But, again, her mother has to do her work at the airport, where Mimi is not allowed to go. A family acquaintance named Otto has just accepted a new job as an embalmerist at the Natural History Museum. In short, he takes Mimi to the museum, where they finally find Humboldt’s chests, which are still sealed and stored there for decades. It doesn’t take long before Mimmi meets Marsupilami and the adventure begins.
Although Humboldt’s animal is not part of the regular Marsupilami albums series, I think it fits nicely into being a mythical animal, as far as I can judge it as a new reader. In the context of the story, it comes to the fact that it is clear that Marsupilami cannot survive in cold and snowy Berlin, but how can you return such an animal to the forest in Palumbia? Otto has his own motives, and he tries to enrich himself on Marsupilami and use it to his advantage. Of course Mimi and her mom can’t allow that.
The Humboldt Animal – A Marsupilami Adventure from Flix has the heart in the right place. After the introduction with Alexander von Humboldt, Flix successfully turns it into a warm story by focusing on the girl Mimmi and her single mother. Mimi takes the long-tailed animal straight to her heart and with her mother and the mythical animal she goes against the authorities and other enemies. But it’s not just about the marsupialami alone, the mythical creature’s eggs have to find their way home as well.
Using small references, author and illustrator Flix manages to remind the reader that we are in Berlin. Whether it is the dialect spoken by the caretaker or a few buildings and attractions in the capital. Seeing Marsupilami and Mimmi sitting on the snow-covered Victory Column is simply a beautiful picture. Time and time again, Flix manages to create wonderful paintings that work without any dialogue, but tell the reader a lot about the relationship between Mimmi and Marsupilami. Nice.
The Humboldt Animal – A Marsupilami Adventure Published by Carlsen, ISBN: 978-3-551-78168-0, 72 pages, album format, hardcover, €16.00
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Our online magazine ntower is a member of the affiliate networks Amazon PartnerNet, Awin, Webgains, Media Markt E-Business GmbH and Saturn online GmbH. If you order via one of our affiliate links, we receive a variable commission from the respective store operator. There are no additional costs for end customers.
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