Tintin and Milu: 90 years of journalistic adventures

'Tintin in the Land of the Soviets' was the first Tintin adveture drawn by Hergé in 1929. (@ Hergé-Moulinsart)

The character created by Hergé turns 90 years old with dozens of comic titles, series and films

On January 10, 1929 ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, a comic strip starring a young reporter named Tintin and his dog Snowy, was published for the first time. Together, they travel the world investigating journalistic cases that combine suspense, science fiction and humour.

Tintin’s universe was created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (1907-1983), better known by the nickname Hergé, which is how his initials (“G” and “R”) are pronounced in French.

The first vignettes appeared in Le Petit Vingtième, the children’s section of the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle. The stories of Tintin were published every week in this paper until May 9, 1940, when German troops invaded Belgium during World War II (1940-1945).

The first Tintin stories were published in black and white. With advances in printing techniques, Hergé began to draw his stories in colour and coloured all of the old albums except the first one: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.

There are 24 Tintin comics, although Hergé died before he could finish the last one: Tintin and Alph-Art, a story that begins with the murder of an art gallery owner and used the world of modern art as its thread. 

 

Mystery, intrigue and humour 

The Adventures of Tintin always follow a very similar script. The protagonist investigates mysterious cases guided by his nose for journalism: the theft of a very valuable object, the disappearance of a person, an ancient treasure map…

As a correspondent journalist who travels the world chasing the news, the action takes place in different countries and continents, from Asia to America, across Africa and even the Moon.

In addition, the stories depict some of the major current issues of the time, like the Russian Revolution of 1918, the conflicts that led to World War II and the competition to lead the space race.

Tintin is always accompanied by Snowy, a white fox terrier, and has the help of his friends: Captain Haddock, detectives Thomson and Thompson, and Professor Calculus, who add the comic element to each story.

 

Tintin-mania around the world

Over time, Tintin has become a very popular character. Ninety years after his first appearance, the stories of Tintin and Snowy have been translated into a hundred languages ​​and have been made into television series and films.

In addition, the characters Hergé created have become true collector’s items, including the books as well as figurines, calendars, key chains, watches, t-shirts …

The stories of Tintin have been translated into a hundred languages. (Wikipedia)

Tintin is a very beloved character in Belgium, the country of his creator. Many of the scenes in the comics are inspired by real places in Brussels, where Hergé lived and worked for a large part of his life: the Royal Palace, the antique market at Place du Jeu de Balle, La Monnaie theatre…

Throughout the Belgian capital there are murals on the facades of buildings that portray some of the most iconic vignettes, as well as statues of Tintin and Snowy in public places.

In fact, many of the great European cartoon artists are of Belgian origin, such as Maurice de Bevere (Morris), the author of Lucky Luke; Pierre Culliford (Peyo), creator of The Smurfs; and André Franquin, who continued the Spirou and Fantasio series created by Frenchman Robert Velter (Rob-Vel).

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