The new “little man” of “Télérama” is now a woman

Symbolic revolution in the pages of Telerama : The little drawn man who smiles or grimaces to illustrate the magazine’s film reviews is replaced by a female character after 72 years of reign.

This emblematic mascot, Ulysses, appeared in 1950 and gives way to Pénélope, created by the designer Pénélope Bagieu, from the issue of Wednesday, March 23.

“72 is the retirement age! We are in a time when the place of women is confirmed and such an emblem becomes feminine, we liked it “explains the president of AFP TeleramaCatherine Sueur.

To take the plunge, the weekly magazine “immediately thought” to Pénélope Bagieu, creator of successful comics who shows her feminist commitment.

A fringe and a bun

Readers of Telerama They’ll be on familiar ground, though: Penelope and her simple design have a family resemblance to Ulysses, whose famous lock has been replaced with bangs and a bun.

“He continuity and an expressive character is needed”emphasizes Catherine Sueur. “Few people know that his name is Ulysses, most of the time we just say ‘The little guy from Télérama’!”

This character is indeed an institution. Created by designer Omer Boucqueyhe started his career in 1950 in the pages of Radio-Cinéma, the ancestor of Telerama† Since then, he has changed his mind several times.

In 2011, a very stylized and minimalist version provoked public outcry. It was quickly replaced by the newest, signed by another big name in comics, Riad Sattouf

A custom rating system

The replacement of Ulysses with Penelope is part of a broader context of changing the scale of criticism to Teleramaof which the average total circulation in 2021 was 470,576 copies per issue.

The scale returns to five rating levels instead of four, to be exact. For TV, radio, books and shows, the best number now corresponds to four “T”s instead of three.

“Criticism is the DNA of Teleramaremembers Catherine Sueur, according to who keeps the weekly “an essential place” despite the proliferation of cultural chronicles on the Internet.

“The rise of social networks and influencers shows that people need criticism”she analyzes. †Our readers and professionals recognize the value of our reviews: a good rating in Telerama has an impact on sales or admissions”she assures.


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