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Did Hergé Place Enough Emphasis on Tintin?

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SakuraT5
Member
#1 · Posted: 22 Aug 2007 06:31
I have read many Tintin books and I love the way how Hergé portrays his central as well as supporting characters but I feel that Hergé has given less emphasis to the character of Tintin compared to many other novelists and graphic artists who have given high priority to their central characters.

I understand that Tintin's role is merely restricted to that of a narrator and an investigative reporter but Hergé should have also realised the need to broaden the character of Tintin and to induct different types of emotions like frustration, love and anger in him.

I know this book is mainly meant for children but hey, even Harry Potter is meant for kids but J.K Rowling has given high emphasis to the character of Harry Potter.

In fact I think Hergé has given too much emphasis on the character of Captain Haddock, which I feel he shouldn't have done for Captain Haddock is merely a supporting character.
harishankar
Member
#2 · Posted: 22 Aug 2007 11:39
Nahh... Captain Haddock is a main character, not a support character. And accordingly he shows all the range of emotions involved.

Tintin was fine as he is. The unique character of Tintin is that he has no distinguishing character. :-p Except in a few albums like "Tintin in Tibet" (for instance) he shows really no emotion.
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 22 Aug 2007 12:16
harishankar
The unique character of Tintin is that he has no distinguishing character.
I think that the idea of Tintin having no character is often said, but not really supported by the evience: Tintin has lots of character - he's honest, true, resourceful, inquisitive, versatile etc. This is why people respond to him, because they aspire to his level of "goodness", not because he is some blank faceless empty shell.
And I don't think this is unique: to take a leaf from another thread, Asterix is much the same. Tintin is an indomitable Belgian, as much as Asterix is for the Gauls.
This may lead to the idea that he doesn't get as much emphasis as other characters, but then that is because he largely doesn't get the show-boating slap-stick sequences that the Thom(p)sons and Haddock have.
harishankar
Member
#4 · Posted: 22 Aug 2007 16:46 · Edited by: harishankar
Jock, I agree. What I meant was that it looks like he has no character because his character is not accentuated unlike these modern "characters".

My response was tongue-in-cheek/sarcastic in nature (unfortunately smilies aren't rendered on this forum and my :-p was missed) because I think that "characterization" is very stereotypical these days and that's what people have come to expect from writers/cartoonists.

Why the hell Tintin should be characterized like Harry Potter I will never understand.
pokemon
Member
#5 · Posted: 22 Aug 2007 18:44
i like things the way they are
SmartTintin
Member
#6 · Posted: 22 Aug 2007 21:14 · Edited by: SmartTintin
SakuraT5:

Tintin's success is mainly because he is not shown having emotions such as love and anger. Hergé wanted his readers to relate to Tintin, and specifically young readers. So, he had to portray Tintin as a dynamic reporter determined to follow his instincts having great traits like truth, honesty, courage and unconditional trust in friends. These are the true characteristics of a hero, an idol for young generation.
SakuraT5
Member
#7 · Posted: 31 Aug 2007 12:09
Although I really respect and give a hats-off to Herge for his unique genre, terrific research method and very good background structure but I would also sharply criticize him for his lack of perception of the character of Tintin. The basic rule for any storywriter/novelist/cartoonist is to be able to revolve the story around the central character. But Herge has viewed and perceived Tintin's character in a very narrow perspective. Tintin's character thruout the series remains very predictible and obvious, something that Herge realised towards the end of the series.I know that Tintin is the protagonist of the story but Herge should'nt have made his character so predictible. Besides he has given too much importance 2 the character of Captain Haddock who is merely a supporting character. I know dat harishanker has stated that Captain Haddock is one of the main characters but HELLO has anyone ever read the title of the story? It reads:THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN. When the title itself tells us that the story revolves around Tintin how can u say that Captain Haddock is the main character is Captain Haddock. Although I do admire Herge's last completed Tintin story: Tintin and the picaros becoz for once Tintin 's character is not so [Expletive Deleted] predictble and instead of the typical Tintin all-enthsiastic n goody-goody character, we see a completely different side of Tintin where he gets bored of adventures. noe dats nice!

Moderator Warning: It is completely unaceptable to use profanity when posting; please do not do so again. Also in future please use only standard English punctuation and spelling as per the posting guidelines and forum rules.
The Tintinologist Team
harishankar
Member
#8 · Posted: 31 Aug 2007 12:47
Look, in the Sherlock Holmes novels, Dr. Watson plays sometimes a more crucial and important part than Holmes himself, but that doesn't change things. Holmes is still the main character.

Same with Tintin and Captain Haddock. Holmes can survive without Watson and Tintin without Haddock, but both are poorer characters without these supporting characters.
SmartTintin
Member
#9 · Posted: 31 Aug 2007 12:55
The basic rule for any storywriter/novelist/cartoonist is to be able to revolve the story around the central character.

SakuraT5:
Rules are broken for a change, a revolution! Hergé was successful with these changes, and the credit goes entirely to him. So, it doesn't really matter whether he has given emphasis on Tintin or not, it worked anyway...
John Sewell
Member
#10 · Posted: 26 Feb 2008 18:56
One of the things I really like about the series is the way it evolved over the years, from tales of one boy and his dog into a more fully formed ensemble piece. I'll cheerfully admit to finding Haddock's characterisation more interesting than Tintin's as the books progress; from the early drunk of Crab who was a downright liability at times, to a wannabe landed gentleman, to a famous figure in his own right (in Picaros, the press and General Tapioca both name him as the major figure in the faked conspiracy ahead of Tintin.)

That's no bad reflection on Tintin - that he hasn't got much in the way of immediate character bits other than his essential good-eggness, loyalty to his friends and sense of righteous indignation, IMO makes him the ideal reader identification figure. It was easy for me as a kid to aspire to his exciting lifestyle and try to imagine myself having adventures all over the World. I don't think that would have happened if Herge had given him a more narrow characterisation. I never wanted to be Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker in the same way I wanted to be Tintin, if that makes any sense! (now Dick from the Famous Five or the Leopard from Lime Street are another matter!)

Back to Picaros, and after a run of expanding the supporting cast, I think we can see Herge having some fun; for the first time we actually get a tiny glimpse of Tintin's pastimes (Yoga!), his politics (the peace sign on his motorbike helmet), and a new, more cautious and cynical attitude. As well as the much-remarked-upon weariness at the end, and his initial unwillingness to go to Tapiocopolis, I love the cheeky way he manipulates Alcazar on page 44; "Hmm... Not easy to mount a successful revolution with that bunch of boozers, is it, General?" with a knowing smirk on his face. There's a little more to him in this adventure once the obvious changes of flared jeans and sideburns are looked past! It would have been interesting to see where Herge would have gone with this "new" Tintin had Alph-Art and any subsequent stories been completed.

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