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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Oct 17 02:05 AM

October 17th, 2015: Tintin & Snowy

Tintin & dog Snowy are a big deal in Europe, and the far flung corners of the world. Created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. Starting as a comic strip, then a magazine, finally a series of 23 albums(books), each showing Tintin & Snowy having adventures in a different country. Before TV these adventures taught kids(and parents) about different cultures and customs.


Experts claim Hergé hit his stride in the 5th book, The Blue Lotus, and it’s a masterpiece. This is the original art panel for the third of five single-page drawings included as color plates, the first color elements in a Tintin book, in the first edition of The Blue Lotus, published in 1936 by Casterman. Guess that’s why it sold for $1.23 million. It’s not a record though, the original cover art of Tintin in America sold or $1.6 million, and a double page of Tintin and Snowy vignettes sold for $3,434,908.


Carruthers  Tuesday Oct 20 06:40 AM

As a child, I never did 'get' Tintin. All the characters just seemed completely alien to me and from a bygone age.

I knew of no kid who wore 'Plus Fours' or who had such a ridiculous name.

Thomson and Thompson, the two detectives, were portrayed as bowler hatted English twits and generally nothing seemed to 'fit'.

Of course, the stories and characters had been heavily manipulated to cater for an English speaking audience and the net result was a pretty clumsy effort.

Popeye? Now you're talking!

DanaC  Tuesday Oct 20 06:47 AM

Oh, I so totally agree! I never got Tintin. I'll add to the point about the characters being alien, that the artwork seemed cold and impersonal to me as well.

I think the only other continental comics/cartoon characters I recall reading, were the translated Asterix the Gaul comics. Now those I liked. The humour was accessible and the characters were generally endearing.

Most of the comics / cartoons I liked were British or American. Though there are stylistic differences, they seem cut from similar cloth. Mainland European styles seemed very different to me.

Popeye was awesome. I still love spinach and I still prefer it tinned and gloopy.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 20 07:19 AM

On the rare occasions I saw Tintin it was never in English, I thought it was French, but may have been Dutch. Either way, the look wasn't compelling enough to investigate further. But apparently he has a large fan base. Of course that can come from warm and fuzzy memories of being read to as a child, rather than what was being read.

DanaC  Tuesday Oct 20 07:24 AM

I don't think it was as big in the UK as it was in mainland europe.

I think in most cultural output, whether it is tv or comics or movies, british art is more like american art than it is like european art. There are some aspects of british art that are more european, but overall it leans closer to american, I think. Visually, certainly, but also tonally a lot of the time.

I always found american cartoons and comics more accessible than translated european cartoons and comics. Even with the language difference removed, the visual style of european comics always felt less comfortable and foreign to me.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 20 07:40 AM

Yeah, but you Brits a psuedo-europeans. Like the cousin that's a little different, and makes family gatherings awkward, with your funny money and history of beating up other Europeans when they travel to new exotic lands.

DanaC  Tuesday Oct 20 07:45 AM

hehehehehe. Yeah, there's that.

It's so nice to see our american cultural offspring continung in those grand traditions.

Carruthers  Tuesday Oct 20 08:06 AM

We also had peculiar short films of Mediaeval fairy tales from Central Europe.
The stories usually revolved around a princess, a castle and a cathedral.
I recall Krakow and Prague being popular locations for the stories.
They were largely incomprehensible, poorly acted and atrociously dubbed.
Apart from the principal roles, most of the cast appeared as odd peasants of dimunitive stature, usually hunch backed and always wearing strange woolly hats.
I think that the stories were screened as part of a Cold War cultural exchange program.
I often wonder what we sent Poland and Czechoslovakia in return.

Sundae  Tuesday Oct 20 10:12 AM

I read Asterix in the original French. Which meant I missed many jokes and cultural references that I have read about since.
Never read Tintin. I thought that was the name of the dog for years until someone corrected me.

Anyone remember Storybook International (TV series)? Now that was pan-European.
And so weird some of my memories of it may have been fever dreams from when I was off school sick.

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