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Boniface

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Cousin Boniface is an Brazillian creation and cousin to Clarabelle Cow. He appeared in a few stories from 1985 through 1986 (such as TL #1637, Mickey Mouse: "Topolino e i numeri del Lotto" TL #1676, Mickey Mouse: "Topolino e il passaggio in auto", TL #1682, Mickey Mouse: "Topolino e gli ossicini della fortuna", and TL #1703, Bonifacio e la sorte che non demorde").

History

Boniface appears to be a grown-up version of Bertie, although rather than playing mean-spirited pranks, he seems to be a simple, but good-natured man, sort of a Goofy-esque character whose neivete unfortunately leads to havoc. His main Brazillian artist was probably Roberto Fukue. There must have been some major influence from Bertie in Boniface's creation, perhaps even a borrowing of Bertie's nick name "The Jinx" and applying it litterally to the character of Boniface. On the surface Boniface appears to be an unnecessary duplication of effort, and the writers must have intended to use him in "Bertie-like" scenarios, but must have felt Bertie, himself, was too young for their plans. It is easy to see Bertie & Bonifacio as possibly being brothers (sharing a common genetic trait), though it would appear that while Boniface's *bad luck* is a naturally occurring phenomenon, Bertie's are intentionally inflicted. From the few stories I've seen, Boniface appears very genial, but by contrast, Bertie is a mean-spirited little brat, complete with angelic facade. Bertie calculates his michief, and enjoys seeing the harm he causes. On the other hand, Boniface seems too simple minded to have planned any of the *natural disasters* that occur when he is around. In fact Boniface seems to be just as much of a victim as others. Apparently he is, along with everyone else, fully aware of his being a naturally occurring bad luck charm. It would seem the writers intended for Boniface to be an oxymonronic character... even his name, Boniface, can be understood as meaning "congenial," even while he unwittingly brings a barrage of misfortune where ever he goes. Should a writer become inspired, posing a tale with both Bonifacio and Gladstone Gander together would be interesting. While Gladstone's Good Luck only relates to himself, could it possibly be countered by Bonifacio's Bad Luck which apparently is projected out onto others?

Clarabelle does have at least two other relatives worth mentioning. First there is a rather hyperactive niece who appears in WDC&S #346 in "AM&J: Triple-Sitter Trouble" named Betsy or rather "Itsy-Betsy" who proves to be too much for April May & June to baby-sit so they end up trading chores with Huey, Dewey & Louie who take advantage of the hyper-active Betsy (she pulls them around as an ox-and-cart) not a very politically correct portrayal of a 4 y/o little cow-girl. The other is Clarabelle's sister, Sarabelle Cow, who has appeared in the quarterly children's activity book, "Mickey Mouse Magazine." Sarabelle looks exactly like Clarabelle, except she is also depicted as wearing a blonde wig. She may have also been represented as the Clarabelle look-alike from the animation in the original "Mickey Mouse Club" introduction theme. Whether any of these characters will return is unknown, though it would seem that Bertie and Miss Bovina are the better candidates. One nice result of this data is that it proves that Clarabelle's character is actually far better developed than is usually assumed.

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