He’s 60 this year, he’s stripey, he’s cute – but what exactly is he?

Marsupilami is a bande désinée (comic book) character invented by Franquin and was first published in 1952 in Spirou. In 1987 he got his own series of BDs, which our Ruadhri loves. There’s now a further spinoff series called Marsu Kids, and on 4 April this year, a Marsupilami film will hit the screens. Marsupilami been translated into at least a dozen different languages and has sold millions of books.

Franquin came up with his creation after reading about okapis, which for a long while were thought to be imaginary animals, like unicorns or the Loch Ness Monster. Franquin wanted an animal with strength, agility and courage, and which looked handsome. He came up with a sort of monkey-leopard cross, a yellow animal with black spots and an incredibly long tail which comes in handy during his many and various adventures.

The name Marsupilami comes from the combination marsupial, Pilou-Pilou (a cartoon animal created by the guy who came up with Popeye) and ami (friend). He lives in a fictitious South American country called Palombia. This country has its own website!  It’s a great one since it’s encouraging kids to think about the world’s dwindling resources and rainforests in particular. Marsupilami eats fleas (off tapirs mainly), nuts and fruit. He says ‘houba’ a lot. He has a laid-back attitude and is up for most challenges with his gorilla chum Mo. Generally I think he’s pretty cool. Check him out for yourself.

There are some Marsupilami colouring pages here for any youngsters in your family.

Talking about families, Eldest Son has come home for a few days, mainly to get his washing done and have sugar in tea again. Oh, and apparently to raid us for toilet rolls. Never mind that he lives five minutes from a supermarket! Caiti has turned into a redhead, so I’m not the only one in the family any more. She looks terrific. It’s a shame she dropped her phone in Carrefour while we were out so we have to go back some time this week to retrieve it. And at long last we got to Gueret bibliotheque again so Rors got his hands on some decent books – all BDs of course. He got four out, including a Marsupilami adventure, and I think he’s read them all already. We Daggs devour books.