|Over Eader The world according to Hergé|
man who would become famous for being the creator of Tintin, started publishing
cartoons in the early twenties of the twentieth century. These first comic
cartoons were drawn for a boy scout magazine, highly pedagogical and - according
to the beliefs of that time in that milieu - politically correct. The author
signed these cartoons with his real name, George Remi, before using his
initials G. R. in the reverse order, pronounced in French as Hergé.
His first comic strip character was named Totor. He was a sturdy boy scout and Tintin is modelled after him. The young reporter Tintin made his first appearance on the 10th of January 1929 in Tintin in the Soviet Union, published on a weekly base in a supplement of a catholic newspaper, specially devoted to young children. In 1932 the publishing company Casterman began publishing the series in book form. This would continue even after Hergé's death in 1983, with the publishing of the unfinished Tintin and the Alpha Art.
Hergé situated Tintin in several different countries, from Belgium to China and America, and in different situations, under different circumstances, with a wide range of friends and enemies. In a lifetime of 54 years Tintin reflects the attitudes and expectations of people in a changing world. From colonialism through anti-imperialism and the second world war to the introduction of new media - like the radio and the television - to the New Age and telepathy. Tintin is both a reflection of his creator and an era, two things that cannot easily be separated from each other. He lives in his own world.
I would like to invite you on a journey through his world. First I will give a description of Tintin, what he is or what he is not, and then I will explore his world, the characters in the comic strips, the media used, the stereotypes and the language. Finally I will try to give an explanation of Tintin and his world by looking at the ideologies that lay beneath this typology.
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