The Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs, Dutch: De Smurfen) is a Belgian comic franchise centered on a fictional colony of small, blue, humanoid creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest. The Smurfs was first created and introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian comics artist Peyo (the pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958, wherein they were known as Les Schtroumpfs. There are more than 100 Smurf characters, and their names are based on adjectives that emphasise their characteristics, such as 'Jokey Smurf', who likes to play practical jokes on his fellow smurfs. 'Smurfette' was the first female Smurf to be introduced in the series. The Smurfs wear Phrygian caps, which came to represent freedom during the modern era. The word smurf is the original Dutch translation of the French 'schtroumpf', which, according to Peyo, is a word he invented during a meal with fellow cartoonist Andr Franquin when he could not remember the word salt. The Smurfs franchise began as a comic and expanded into advertising, films, TV series, ice capades, video games, theme parks, and dolls. Origin At the time he came up with the idea for the Smurfs, Peyo was the creator, artist, and writer of the Franco-Belgian comics series titled Johan et Pirlouit (translated to English as Johan and Peewit), set in Europe during the Middle Ages and including elements of sword-and-sorcery. Johan serves as a brave young page to the king, and Pirlouit (pronounced Peer-loo-ee) functions as his faithful, if boastful and cheating, midget sidekick. In 1958, Spirou magazine started to publish the Johan et Pirlouit story La Flte six trous ('The Flute with Six Holes'). The adventure involved them recovering a magic flute, which required some sorcery by the wizard Homnibus.