Johan and Peewit (French: Johan et Pirlouit) is a Belgian comics series created by Peyo. Since its initial appearance in 1947 it has been published in 13 albums that appeared before the death of Peyo in 1992. Thereafter, a team of comic book creators from Studio Peyo continued to publish the stories. The series is set in Medieval Europe and includes elements of sword-and-sorcery. Johan et Pirlouit provided the framework for the first appearances of The Smurfs.
Set in the Middle Ages in an unnamed European kingdom, the series follows the adventures of Johan, a brave young page to the King, and Peewit, his faithful, if boastful and cheating, midget sidekick. Johan rides off in search of adventure with his trusty horse, while Peewit gallops sporadically, and grudgingly, behind on his goat, Biquette. The pair are driven by duty to their King and the courage to defend the underpowered. Struggles for power between deposed lords and usurping villains form the basis of many of the plots which also contain elements of detective fiction as the pair hunt down traitors and outlaws, as well as fantasy, with witches and sorcerers, giants, ghosts and, above all, the Smurfs.
The first few adventures did not feature Peewit. From his first appearance in 1947, Johan had a number of solo adventures and met Peewit in 1954, thus, in line with many other comic series of the time, giving Johan’s earnest hero a comic relief sidekick similar to Tintin’s Captain Haddock, Spirou’s Fantasio or Gil Jourdan’s Libellule.
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