Tintin

IMG_20150207_163332Tintin, another favourite of mine

 Drawn by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé (Georges Remi). First published in a youth supplement to a newspaper in 1929. Hergé continued to draw the series until his death in 1983.

The series’ hero is Tintin, a young Belgian reporter. His co-actors include the brask captain Haddock, the highly intelligent but hearing-impaired professor Calculus (Tournesol in French), the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson (Dupond and Dupont) and the opera diva Bianca Castafiore. And first of all his fox terrier, Snowy (Milou)! Snowy is his most loyal companion, even if he can be distracted by a bone. He’s also very fond of Scotch whisky, and his occasional bouts of drinking tend to get him into trouble. Snowy frequently speaks to the readers, often displaying a wry sence of humour, which is not heard by the human characters in the story.

Hergé did thorough research before every album. The adventures take place in different countries, some real, some invented. They are a mixture of genres – swashbuckling adventure, fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, detective stories and science fiction. The stories feature slapstick humour, but there are also sophisticated satire and political or cultural commentary. The drawings are very detailed, there’s a lot going on in a single frame. Hergé was admired for his clean, expressive drawings in his “ligne claire” (clear line) style. But later he was criticised for displaying racial stereotypes and colonialist views. Hergé’s comment to this was: “I was fed the prejudices of the bourgeois society that surrounded me”.

Hergé didn’t want anyone else to continue to draw Tintin after his death, so the last album Tintin and Alph-Art was never finished. It was published posthumously as a set of sketches and notes in 1986.

But there has been one movie made after Hergé’s death, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, directed by Steven Spielberg. For some obscure reason, I missed that film. So I have nothing to say more than that it got a positive reception.

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