The Adventures of Tintin, is a series of 24 Franco-Belgian comics created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tintin is the titular protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy. By 2007, a century after Hergé’s birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and had been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.
The Adventures of Tintin were a veritable initiation into geography for entire generations. At a time when television didn’t exist, the international expeditions undertaken by the young reporter opened young people’s eyes to countries, cultures, landscapes and natural phenomena which were still relatively unheard of. From the sands of the Sahara to the glaciers of the Himalayas, from the Amazon rainforests to the Scottish highlands, Hergé’s pictures overflow with details revealing a world full of wonder, danger and excitement – a passionate introduction to Planet Earth.
Unlike more colourful characters that he encounters, Tintin’s personality is neutral, which allows the reader not merely to follow the adventures but assume Tintin’s position within the story. Combined with Hergé’s signature ligne claire (“clear line”) style, this helps the reader “safely enter a sensually stimulating world”.
Tintin’s creator died in 1983, yet his creation remains a popular literary figure, even featured in a 2011 Hollywood film, directed by Steven Spielberg.
The series first appeared in French on 10 January 1929, in Le Petit Vingtième (The Little Twentieth), a youth supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle (The Twentieth Century). The success of the series saw the serialised strips published in Belgium’s leading newspaper Le Soir (The Evening) and spun into a successful Tintin magazine. In 1950, Hergé created Studios Hergé, which produced the canonical versions of eleven Tintin albums.
The series is set during a largely realistic 20th century. Its hero is Tintin, a courageous young Belgian reporter and adventurer. He is aided by his faithful dog Snowy (Milou in the original French edition). Other protagonists include the brash and cynical Captain Haddock and the intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus, as well as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson and the opera diva Bianca Castafiore.
The series has been admired for its clean, expressive drawings in Hergé’s signature ligne claire (“clear line”) style. Its well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy, action, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories feature slapstick humour, offset by dashes of sophisticated satire and political or cultural commentary.