Foreign Friday: The Adventures of Tintin

“Great snakes!” – Tintin

This week’s Foreign Friday is segueing from the usual Japanse manga to one that originated in Belguim, The Adventures of Tintin by Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Herge.

The Story

Belgian reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy explore the world, fighting crime, solving mysteries, and making friends in the early 20th century.

The Characters

Young, smart, and driven, Tintin is the classic hero. Since this series was written in the early 20th century, there really isn’t much more to be said. His friends span the comedic board from a drunken sea captain to a genius/crazy professor, to two idiot detectives with identical faces and nearly identical names.

What I Thought

This series is one of my childhood favorites. The plots throughout the series of mostly stand-alone books (about 60 pages in length) are fairly simple, but executed with wit and humor that can still get me chuckling. In what other story can you read of Al Capone being captured within five pages? Of course, I always found it curious that Tintin was called a reporter, when all he did was go around solving mysteries, capturing bad guys and generally having a series of great adventures. Most of all, when I recall the series, I simply remember them being fun, and full of bright colored illustrations (something that manga lacks for the most part.) Needless to say, all 21 volumes have been translated into English for quite some time now.

Tintin was made into a cartoon series in the fifties, and some of may remember them as reruns (and some of you may remember them actually airing for the first time…) These generally followed the comics in terms of plot and character design. Of more serious interest in the present moment, a full-fledged The Adventures of Tintin movie will being coming to theaters this December, from such people as Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Blistering barnacles!

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