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The Cavern Clan ("Turma do Piteco") is a Brazilian comic strip, created in 1961 by Mauricio de Sousa and part of the Monica's Gang series. It centers around a prehistoric tribe in the Stone Age, but also anachronistically depicts them living in the presence of dinosaurs. Most of the stories feature Piteco hunting dinosaurs, running away from Tooga, or even he and his friends fighting against other village’s people. Ironically, the characters would always refer to things which did not exist at that time yet, for example, if a character needs to walk a long distance, he or she would say “Too bad they didn’t invent the car yet, ‘cause otherwise I would go faster”. Mauricio de Sousa was inspired by the American comic strip Alley Oop strips and named the village of Piteco is Lem (which in Alley Oop refer to Lemuria).
Pitheco (Piteco) – his whole name is Pithecanthropus Erectus da Silva, and he lives at the fictional Lem Village. He is mostly portrayed as a hunter who goes after dinosaurs and fish to eat. In some stories he is also shown as a genius inventor able to create tools, furniture and accessories used by the contemporary man. He also has to deal with Tooga, who is always attempting to marry him against his will. In most of the early stories, Piteco found Horacio (another character, a small philosophical T-rex) in his egg, but he troubled Lem and was forced to leave;
Tooga (Thuga) – Tooga has a strong crush on Pitheco. Her biggest dream is to marry him. However, Pitheco disapproves her idea. Tooga sometimes uses brute force to marry him (like capturing him and taking him to the "church"), but Pitheco always manages to escape;
Hank (Bolota) – Pitheco's best friend. He is the one to give advice to Pitheco, when he finds himself in a difficult situation.;
Loony Lou (Beleléu) - Pitheco's cousin. A weird physicist of that village. However useful they may seem their inventions, the citizens consider him a madman;
Zoom & Boom (Zum e Bum) – identical twin thieves. They are homeless, but spend several nights at the local police prison. Their stories mostly feature them trying to escape from prison or attempting to steal valuable objects;
Uncle Glunc (Tio Glunc) - Tooga's 50-years-old uncle. A greedy, petty and selfish old man, just want to learn to become rich and make easy money at the expense of others. He is arrogant, hates poor people and wants distance from them. Does not support Pitheco and tries at all costs to marry his niece with a rich husband and good party, so he can be sustained by both;
Ogra - Tooga's best friend. A huge, brute and ugly woman, that as her friend is single and looking for a boyfriend.
Juiz da Paz - The judge from Lem Village, responsible for maintaining order in the clan and also organize weddings.
Horacio - a young dinosaur that was the pet to Pitheco in the first strips. Until 1963 he followed Pitheco in the stories, until to get his own spin-off series.
The Cavern Clan Wikipedia
In 1965 Pitheco had a picture book released by publisher FTD, who was part of a series of books inspired the Mauricio de Sousa's characters. In 1971 a song to Pitheco was composed for the album "A Bandinha da Turma da Mônica". The series also had two special comic books in the '90s by Editora Globo, and also an almanac with classic stories that was published by Panini Comics between 2009 and 2014, the latter starring alongside Horacio's World. The characters are also featured in the Monica's Gang's 2007 animated film: Uma Aventura no Tempo.
In November 2013, it was published the first graphic novel starring Pitheco, Piteco - Ingá, produced by comic artist Shiko, the title refers to the inscriptions of the Ingá Stone, located in Paraíba, the author, Shiko is originating from Paraíba.
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