Blistering Barnacles it's Tintin

The world of the Bande dessinée.

FILMS , MUSIC, DRAMA AND ART

Joan

8/24/20233 min read

If you ask people what is meant by a bande dessinée they will almost certainly mention one of the famous Franco Belgian comics such as the Adventures of Tintin by Hergé , or Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny and Underzo. I know that the characters from these books formed a large part of our lives when our boys were growing up and indeed, thanks to our eldest son, we seem to have unwittingly acquired a comprehensive selection of the 24 Tintin books, all in French , from the very earliest adventure entitled 'In the Land of the Soviets,' first published in 1930, to Tintin and Alph-Art which he never completed . This was published posthumously in 1986. Hergé was the pen name for the Belgian illustrator Georges Remi.

The very first book
The very first book
Books 13-24
Books 13-24
Books 1-12
Books 1-12
Always lots of action!
Always lots of action!

We think it's about time that we found out what has long attracted our son to these books. He even won a bookshop quiz based on Tintin's adventures. Alas his prize, a Tintin T shirt, dwarfed him as it was expected that an adult would win it. We now plan to read one or two ourselves in French. Here is his advice. "I think in some ways the best ones are the early ones, after Tintin au Congo and up to Le Crabe aux Pinces d'or where Tintin meets Captain Haddock, and then it becomes a little more silly with all the supporting characters and slightly less believable adventures, but they're all fun."

Not all of Hergé's work was well received , such as Book 1, 'Tintin in the Land of the Soviets,' with its anti-communist agenda, and 'Tintin in the Congo' which was accused (rightly) of racism. It has to be said that Hergé merely reflected the ideas of the time and he later cooperated in adapting some of his work. When we visited Belgium's Africa Museum in Brussels which contained many artefacts from the Congo, we were surprised by the colonial attitudes that were still on display, even in the late eighties. However I believe that the museum has since undertaken a five year rehabilitation. That said, the whole series of Tintin adventures have been translated into 70 different languages, and continue to be popular throughout the world.

A Controversial story
A Controversial story
Africa Museum, Brussels
Africa Museum, Brussels

The Asterix stories were written by the French writer René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Underzo. The first one entitled Asterix the Gaul was published in 1959. There