a man creates a fictional society of enchanted beings for a one-time shot in a short comic series he draws (Johan and Peewit) and the characters are so popular that they span an entertainment and merchandising empire that still goes strong today.
I've always been fascinated by the Smurfs. Why? first of all, I was enchanted by the little guys when I was a kid. The tiny houses, the sword and sorcery aspect and their inherent goodness at a time when I was realizing just how much badness there is in the world.
Now, as a creator, I am even more entranced. A simple idea, a fun idea and one that had to be a blast to create. I can only imagine how much fun the creator (Belgian cartoonist Peyo) of Smurfs had when returning to this world he has created.
What a great story. He didn't think "What do people want?". No, he created Smurfs because they struck his fancy. Apparently they struck a chord with everyone else as well. Henry Ford said, "If I'd given the people what they wanted, I would have made a faster horse."
So maybe you've got an idea that seems great to you, but you may be hesitating in getting it in front of people. They may not like it. They may smurfing hate it! You'll never know till you do it.
So let's get smurfing.