Masyanya from St.Petersburg is more popular than the President

She is a girl who wins the affection of thousands of women, men, and children each day. She is a personage who has been waited for by all RuNet users. Let's get acquainted with a citizen of St.Petersburg with an unusual name: Masyanya.

This lively girl, a creation of Flash-animation and the creator’s rich imagination “was born” on October 22, 2001 in the ordinary apartment of St.Petersburg web-designer Oleg Kuvayev. The designer hardly understood then what a wonderful creature he had been making. The creator of the creature still denies the fact that he had produced a wonder. Therefore, Masyanya is a cartoon hero with a Russian character, and she lives in a real world and nothing from our everyday life is alien to her, neither the money problems nor smiling through tears.

The author says that the cartoon plots are based on real events that happened to him or his friends. “It is not a sweet fairy tale. I draw every new series from the life of my friends,” says Oleg Kuvayev.

Masyanya is said to have no prototype as such, but the author says the hero reminds him of his ex-girl-friend. However, to tell the truth, Masyanya is a compilation of characters of the people known to the author or that he met occasionally; it is a collective personage. Occasional sayings of the friends or relatives are usually inserted in the cartoon. Some people do not like such citing very much. By the way, the parents of the creator found out about the existence of the son’s creature from the press recently.

Oleg’s personal site http://sams.spb.ruwas the place where Masyanya was born. However, when the number of visits of the site had considerably increased, the girl was urgently removed to a new site. This is the story how http://www.mult.ruappeared. This turned out to be not a long stay for the girl, and very soon, she will settle on

Oleg’s monthly payment for the site makes up $1,500. More personalities were planned to be placed on the site besides Masyanya, but the girl surpassed the rest of them. Recently, Oleg attempted to create a cartoon with a new personage, but one of his acquaintances said that he should keep working on Masyanya only.

Before Masyanya and afterwards:

"In fact, my life was very much the same before Masyanya appeared. However, I had not to work till 6 a.m. I was occupied with lots of things besides web-design before Masyanya’s appearance, but now I work on her only,” says Oleg. The cartoon hero seems to have stolen the free time of the web-designer. She is his only love nowadays.

On the other hand, Oleg is happy that he can not completely control his heroine. Now, she is an absolutely people’s creation. There are lots of ideas and propositions on Форум as for further life of Masyanya. Peopleoffer to create new series on various subjects that are so much true to life. For example, these are series named “Masyanya meets hedgehog," “Masyanya kills a fly," “Masyanya looks for a job,” and so on. However, the author prefers to use ideas of his own. It takes more and more time for Oleg to create one cartoon. As the heroine is very popular, the work cannot be carelessly done. The very first cartoons were even created within two hours sometimes.

Oleg Kuvayev told us about the secret of Flash-cartoon’s popularity. It turned out that the zest and style of the whole of the cartoon lies in only one sound. In the “Sweet Dreams” movie, there is a sample from the popular film about John Lennon and Yoko Ono, where they are running and calling each other, the music from “The Land of Sannikov” film accompanies the sample. In “Taking Off,” there is a popular tune by Charlie Chaplin, to which the girl walks with her arm linked through a cat’s arm.

In addition, there is one more secret: Masyanya’s charming voice, which is Oleg’s voice made very high by means of a computer. The author of the Flash-cartoon says that it is really very important to chose the right intonation and words for the people to catch the idea. It is very important to make an Internet cartoon as short as possible. The author does not have a favorite cartoon, as his preferences change every day.

The project is not commercial so far, but the problem of financing becomes more pressing every day. Oleg says that he will not sell the heroine, but the cartoon heroine needs proper advertising. After such great success on RuNet, Masyanya plans to appear on TV. However, it is going to be a rather hard task, as it is difficult to combine regular video and Flash-animation; it will take a lot of time to bring Masyanya to TV. Many suggestions for bringing the cartoon to TV have been already submitted; at the same time, several regional TV channels broadcast the cartoon illegally now. Oleg Kuvayev’s managers in Moscow are negotiating to make the maximum use of the project.

Now, Oleg and Co. are working on the studio development. New animators and programmers are to be engaged in the project. Some citizens of St.Petersburg doubt whether the heroine is to exist now. However, Masyanya’s popularity confirms that the heroine is really in demand now. The cartoon heroine may serve a source of ideas for implementation in life as an example of an optimistic person. Sound irony, a bit of cynicism, a slightly overstated self-appraisal – these make the cartoon heroine look like contemporary young people.

Anna Radygina Marina Mayakova

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian:

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