Are you saying he was doing it as a tribute to celebrating life?
Not per se
. However, the murals do show Tintin & Cº hale, hearty, and not dead. They were a project that Hergé was involved in up until his death, and are a better indication, I think, of his feelings towards the character at that time, than a rough, unfinished doodle made several years before, and which may not even have been the last thing he did for Alph-Art
Either way, it still doesn't give us a definite "Yes, Tintin lives" answer.
No, but every probability
says that he does: nothing
in the notes or ideas for the book even hints
at the outcome you are suggesting, with its lists of possible indignities to be heaped upon the Captain, its skewering of the pompous jet-set and their search for meaning in empty cults, and would rob the narrative of the crucial resolution of who was behind the plot.
Hergé was also still accumulating material for possible future adventures - if anything, that task far outstripped the work of actually producing a new book, as it gave him his reason for going into the office so that he could personally maintain his research.
He still had ambitions to set a story in Australia (the largest area of unused material in the files relates to that continent, according to Michael Farr), and the possibility was that Tintin would return to America so that Hergé could provide a more thoughtful view of the lot of the Native American peoples.
Maybe Herge was just ready to do different work
Perhaps, but again, there is nothing to show that this was the case - all his preparations show that, were he to actually apply himself to work again, it would have been to Tintin that he turned.
I also think that, although I don't think for an instant that Hergé would have considered that killing Tintin was appropriate for a children's comic-book, any more that I imagine that Walt Disney would have killed Mickey Mouse in a cartoon, or that the Coyote would get to eat the Road Runner, he was too much the pragmatist to rock the boat with an audience which loved his work.
He, personally, was not universally loved, as there was a section of society which held lingering resentment against anyone they deemed to be a wartime collaborator; however Tintin
was, and it was Tintin to whom he owed his reputation as a graphic artist, and with it a very comfortable living.
Being the executioner of the goose which laid his golden egg would have risked also facing the wrath of his public, and I'm sure that that was not to be the case for a man already sensitive to how he was viewed.
Hergé was never necessarily good with children personally (he was a cold and distant figure to his niece and nephew, for example), but he cared immensely about them as a group, his audience, and was the first to worry that he might let them down. For example, against the advice of others, who suggested that the yeti would be a more impressive, more mysterious creature if it were never actually depicted in Tintin in Tibet
, he insisted on showing it as to do otherwise would have been to disappoint the children.
Would a man who felt this way on something which had only a tangential impact on the series, and which was at most an artistic decision, be preparing to short-change the child reader by dispatching the boy hero in such a nihilistic way?I think not...
From that video I surmised that Tchang left an impression on Herge that lasted a lifetime which brings both of their lives to a full circle as far as Herge is concerned.
Again, I'm not so sure.
The search for Tchang was a search for better days which never really existed; when Hergé was unhappy he believed that life had been more enjoyable in the past.
But, as is often the case, the golden age was in his mind: yes, he and Tchang had been friends, but he'd obviously made a lot more of it in his mind than had actually been the case.
When he did finally meet Tchang again it left him somewhat deflated: it didn't leave him feeling over-joyed, as they were now just two old men who really didn't know each other after more or less a lifetime apart, or prove to be his ticket back to some mythical golden age.
It also robbed him of the dream itself, which had at least allowed him to think that re-connecting with Tchang and his youth would dispel his demons, and that was probably the greater problem.