Who hasn’t heard of the Tintin comics, one of the most popular European comic books of all time? The adventures of Tintin or Tintin books were created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi. Hergé was his artistic name. It was published over a long period, from 1929 to 1976, in Belgium.
Hergé started working as an illustrator in a conservative Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle (The 20th century), in his hometown, Brussels.
His first comic book was about a boy scout patrol leader called Totor. There are rumors about a great similarity between Totor and Tintin in their physical appearance. Later Hergé implied Totor was Tintin’s older brother.
The Tintin comics
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets
Hergé’s original idea was to set Tintin’s Adventures in the United States since he was fascinated by American comic books. But the newspaper editor insisted on setting them in the Soviet Union, so it sent an antisocialist message to young generations.
The idea of the second story, Tintin in the Congo, was to bring the colonist spirit up. Later it received a lot of criticism for the same reason.
Tintin in America
With the third adventure, Tintin in America, Hergé finally got a chance to make his idea come true. Up to this point, the comic books were printed in French, but soon enough, there was interest from Swiss and Portuguese newspapers.
Tintin and the Crab with the Golden Claws
World War II left Hergé unemployed. Later he found a job as an editor of a children’s section in the newspaper Soir, where he could continue with the Adventures of Tintin. This time Tintin was strictly an explorer with no political agenda.
In a new adventure Tintin and his dog Snowy travel to Morocco and discover the Crab with the golden claws. One of the most emblematic characters, Captain Haddock, appears for the first time in this story.
Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn
In this comic book, the reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, and Captain Haddock find a secret riddle. This story was a huge success, and, it was published as a children’s book. Together with the Shooting Star, it left a great mark on the comics tradition in Belgium.
Tintin and the Red Sea Sharks
This was the 19th volume, and Hergé marked it as his favorite adventure until the appearance of Tintin in Tibet. It was well received by the public, too and adapted for animated series. In this one, the team meets General Alcazar and many other characters.
Tintin and the Cigars of the Pharaoh
This volume of Tintin comics belongs to the earliest ones that Hergé wrote for Le Vingtième Siècle’s children addition called Le Petit Vingtième. Reporter Tintin and Snowy are headed to Egypt only to discover a pharaoh’s tomb filled with cigars and dead Egyptologists. It was a huge success.
This story continued in the Blue Lotus. Both became key for the Franco-Belgian comic book tradition.
Tintin and the Broken Ear
This piece, later published in English as The Broken Ear had a great reaction from the audience when it came out.
In this story, Tintin and Snowy look for a fetish with a broken ear, but the problem is several thieves are looking for it too. Tintin and Snowy end up on a remote island and meet an unknown tribe. What an adventure. The next one Hergé made was The Black Island.
The Adventures of TinTin
The Adventures of Tintin left a global mark on comic books. Besides making a world-famous comic, Hergé introduced another novelty into the world of the graphic novel. That was ligne claire, or the clear line that Hergé used in his drawings.
The typical features of ligne claire were strong lines of different widths, no hatching, and almost no contrast. Hergé used rather strong colors on his characters, and the background looked very realistic, so the characters were easily spotted.
The plot in the adventures would usually take Tintin to different destinations where he would have to fight criminals, in all adventures but one – The Castafiore Emerald. This story evolves around the same place, Marlinspike Hall, where someone steals the emerald of the opera singer Bianca Castafiore.
Tintin was a young man, and, among other things, he was famous for his quiff. Besides his dog Snowy and Captain Haddock, another important character is Professor Calculus. He is a half-deaf scientist, a bit sensitive and absent-minded. Also, he is the mastermind behind the inventions used in the series.
Professor Calculus is a part of Tintin’s adventures almost from the beginning, from Red Rackham’s Treasure, then Land of Black Gold, Destination Moon, The Seven Crystal Balls, and Flight 714 to Sydney. In The Calculus Affair and Prisoners of the Sun, Tintin had to cross the entire world to save him.
Two characters you can’t miss are Thomson and Thompson or the Thom(p)sons – not very skilled policemen. These two are not brothers, as the spelling of their names suggests, but are quite similar. The only way to know the difference between them is the shape of their mustache.
Many of Tintin’s adventures happen in Syldavia, a fictional monarchy located in the Balkans. You will notice Syldavia in King Ottokar’s Sceptre, Explorers on the Moon, Tintin and the Picaros, and others.
In 2011, Tintin’s adventures were taken into a movie screen thanks to Steven Spielberg.
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What ethnicity is Tintin?
The creator of Tintin, Hergé, made him a young blonde Belgian born in Brussels. Same as the author.
Does Tintin have a girlfriend?
His first girlfriend’s name is Milou, and there are a lot of speculations about Tintin and Martine, a character from the last series Tintin and Alph-Art that Hergé, unfortunately, didn’t manage to finish before death.
What age is Tintin supposed to be?
The author created Tintin as a young boy, somewhere between 14 and 18 years old.
Did Tintin ever die?
In the last series, Tintin and Alph-Art, Tintin is taken out of his cell to be killed, but the Hergé never got to finish the story. Nevertheless, the fans consider it wouldn’t finish with Tintin’s death.
What are some of Tintin’s favorite activities?
Tintin likes spending time with his dog Snowy and seeking adventures.
What does Tintin’s name mean?
Tintin’s name doesn’t mean anything. The author Hergé said it is not a name nor a surname. It is a unique word.
What is Tintin’s last name?
Tintin doesn’t have a last name.