Tintin, the famous Hergé’s comics character, celebrated this week his birthday. It was 89 years ago that Tintin appeared for the first time in the supplement of a Brussels daily paper – Le Petit Vingtième.
10 January 2018: Tintin celebrates his birthday. It was 89 years ago that Tintin appeared for the first time in the supplement of a Brussels daily paper – Le Petit Vingtième. The reporter's adventures were published in black and white, and aimed at young readers. Inspired by the nascent film industry, Hergé created stories that referenced the twentieth century.
Publié par Tintin sur mercredi 10 Janvier 2018
Belgium and comics have undeniable a long and solid love story. There is no secret about that. Tintin is one of the most famous comic strip heroes in the French-speaking literature.
The reporter firstly appeared back in January, 10 1929 in Le Petit Vingtième, a weekly supplement of the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle. Hergé – his real name was George Remi – firstly drew and wrote Tintin’s adventures in the pays des Soviets.
Tintin is a kind and smart reporter who travels the World to solve investigations. He is always accompanied by his loyal dog, Milou, as well as Capitaine Haddock and, later on, Professeur Tournesol. We can’t forget the brothers Dupont and Dupond.
His first adventure was in the USSR – Tintin in the land of Soviets – followed by many others destinations such as Congo (former Belgian colony), USA, India, China and also….the moon with his mates.
Tintin’s adventures are also an interesting way to analyse the World’s geopolitics back in the 20th century and, ultimately, Hergé’s perception on politics and foreign countries. In Tintin in the land of Soviets, the author indeed aims to describe how the Soviet Union actually was. And in Tintin in Congo, how Congo was under the domination of Belgium until 1960.
Tintin in Congo remains until today a very controversial episode as Hergé was accused several times of racism. As an example, since 2007, the congolese Congolese campaigner Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo has been seeking a ban on the book claiming the portrayal of Africans was “a justification of white supremacy”.
Tintin’s adventures survived the last 89 years and remains in 2018 a very successful Belgian brand. Proof is that more than 240 millions albums were sold over the last 89 years in more than 80 countries and even Steven Spielberg adapted Tintin’s story to the cinema.
Tintin also inspired urban art in Brussels. As an example, the Stockel metro station is dedicated to Tintin’s adventures. The Hergé’s aficionados, should consider visiting the Hergé’s museum in Louvain-la-Neuve.