Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №10/2000

What? Where? Why?


Real heroes are only human. They live and die like the rest of us. But fictional heroes are different. They began life many years ago and they will live on in fiction in the future. Here are some favourite twentieth-century fictional heroes.

1. Spy 007 has been working for the British Secret Service since 1953 when Ian Fleming first wrote about him in Casino Royale. Fleming is now dead, but the spy still lives on. The first film was Dr No in 1962 and since then he’s appeared in over twenty films. The Cold War has finished and Bond’s enemies are not the Russians now, but there are still plenty of bad people out there! Columbia, the film’s producer, has recently finished filming his latest adventure.

2. He first saved the Gotham City from evil, with the help of Robin, in a comic book in 1939 and has been fighting crime for over fifty years. The team has made three TV series, as well as films and novels. The most popular TV series was in 1960s, and our hero has recently appeared in films. He will live on as long as there are criminals like the Penguin, Catwoman and the Joker in Gotham City.

3. This character has been living with his pet dog Snoopy in a small American town since 1950, when he first appeared in the strip cartoon Peanuts. Over forty years later, he still experiences all the happiness and frustration of a typical boy, playing baseball with his friends and going to school. His first appearance in a TV film was in 1965 and so far he has made three cinema films. His appeal is as strong as ever.

4. The talking rabbit first asked ‘What’s Up Doc?’ in 1937 and has been eating carrots in public ever since. He has appeared in comic books, newspaper strips and above all, hundred of cartoon films. He will be popular for as long as people laugh at rabbits.

5. The green frog has been singing and dancing on TV since 1957, although it was only in 1967 that he became famous with the Muppets. Since then, 235 million people in 100 countries have seen hundreds of Muppet shows. There have also been three films. Success has not changed him; he remains exactly the same colour.

Answers: 1. James Bond, 2. Batman; 3. Charlie Brown; 4. Bugs Bunny; 5. Kermit.


You know that between the way something started years ago, and the way it is today, there may be quite a difference! There is no better example of this than the cartoon.

The word “cartoon” was originally used by painters during the period of the Italian Renaissance. And in fact, it is still used today by artists. What they are referring to, however, is the first sketch in actual size of any work of art, which covers a large area, such as a mural, a tapestry, or a stained-glass window.

When newspapers and magazines began to use drawings to illustrate news and editorial opinion and to provide amusement, these drawings also came to be called “cartoons”!

In the days before newspapers, famous caricaturists like Hogarth, Goya, Daumier, and Rowlandson made series of drawings on a single theme. These drawings often pictured the adventures of one character. They were the ancestors of present-day cartoons and comic strips.

In the 19th and early 20th century there were a number of magazines, which specialised in cartoons – Charivari in Paris, Punch in London, and Life and Judge in the United States. When most newspapers and magazines in the United States began to include cartoon as regular features, the humorous magazines lost their appeal and many of them stopped appearing.

The first comic strips appeared in the early 1900s. Richard Outcault, the artist who created Buster Brown, published this comic strip in1902. It was so popular that children all over the country wanted to dress in “Buster Brown” clothes.

Another of the early comic strips was Bringing Up Father. This came out in 1912. It has since been translated into 27 different languages, and published in 71 countries!



1. The passage consists of two texts about two well-known cartoon characters. The texts have been mixed up. Look quickly at the passage and decide who the two characters are.

2. Read the passage and separate the two texts by underlining the sentences, which belong to the same text. The sentences are in the right order.

3. Are you familiar with these characters? Have you read the cartoon books or seen any of the films?

Herge, the Belgian cartoonist, died in 1983 but Tintin, his creation, lives on. Asterix the Gaul has conquered most of the world. The brave warrior and his big friend Obelix have been delighting millions of comic-reading children and adults from all over the world for more than 30 years. The brave young reporter made his first big trip on January 10th 1929 to the USSR. Only the Americans have so far resisted their charms and the latest film, appropriately called ‘Asterix Conquers America’, is hoping to do just that. His next trip was to the Congo in 1931 and then to the US in 1932. Since he started his career as a journalist, he has visited more than 30 countries all over the world and has even landed on the moon. 162 million people have seen the six cartoon films, set in Roman times, that have been made to date. He has been solving mysteries and getting out of sticky situations with his faithful dog Snowy for over 60 years.

The cartoon books, set in Roman times, were written and drawn by the French duo of Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny and were first published in the 1960s. He has even appeared in a number of films. The first full-length cartoon of his adventures in Egypt was made in1969. Since then they have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and have appeared in over 20 different languages. Since then children and adults from all over the world and speaking over 30 different languages have been following the fantastic adventures of this brave young man.