The Tintin series is amongst Belgium’s most successful exports, attracting an ardent fan-base throughout the globe over the last 50 years. It has been translated into more than 80 languages and has sold over 350 million copies worldwide; a measure of the immersive success of these comics is that Tintin fans often maintain their love of the hero well into adulthood.
The character, and his famous sidekick Snowy, were created by Belgium cartoonist Georges Prosper Remi, otherwise known as Hergé, in the late 1920s. He drew regular instalments of Tintin’s adventures until his death in the 1980s. The series was a reflection of Hergé’s internationally curious character, as Tintin flew from country to country, often as a response to contemporary political changes. The success of the series can be attributed at least partly to this broad global canvas, as well as to the distinctive ‘ligne claire’ style of drawing which Hergé employed. However, the series also reflected some of Herge’s racial prejudices as is perhaps most evident from the famously racist Tintin in the Congo, which depicted Africans through various negative stereotypes. Despite this, Hergé has remained a national hero in Belgium, and the Hergé Museum is a monument to his achievement in creating the character.
Whilst the critical reception of the Spielberg adaptation, which is based on three of Tintin’s adventures, has been mixed, the popularity of the comic has ensured that the film is a commercial success and, in turn, the film will create a whole new generation of fans that will love Hergé’s works.
Watch a trailer for Spielberg’s adaptation of Tintin below:
By Ilaria Mallozzi