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Did Hergé Place Enough Emphasis on Tintin?

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#11 · Posted: 26 Feb 2008 21:26
It's better if Tintin didn't get so much emphasis because then he'll be like a James Bond characters with the amount of human emotion there is, and it would just be boring.

p.s. A friend has tried comparing Tintin to James Bond in the most useless way, and came out with Tintin as a homosexual and that Bond is cooler because of all the gadgets... what the heck?
#12 · Posted: 27 Feb 2008 12:01
I don't think James Bond is cooler than Tintin. Gadgets-wise, Bond has plenty of them, but mostly unrealistic, only products of vivid imagination. The more gadgets possessed, the lesser challenge to make an adventure. Tintin's gadgets are possibly come in handy. And the storyline of the Tintin series is basing on the practical side of life which are not too exaggerating, unlike Bond's which are usually fantasy. Tintin is less violent, too, in fact, the best educational show if children would like to discover how the world really goes 'round. Its plots can serve as guidelines as well as precautions in facing their next stages of life.
#13 · Posted: 27 Feb 2008 18:41
To be honest if you read the early James Bonds there's not much emphasis on the gadgets, it's more about his own phsical endurance.
cigars of the beeper
#14 · Posted: 27 Feb 2008 21:22
You know, I don't think that many people know anymore that James Bond was originally a book character, and not a movie character. Oh, the injustice! Poor Ian Fleming!
#15 · Posted: 11 Apr 2008 01:31
I think the point of Tintin is that he has little to no personality so he can appeal to any reader at any time in any place, the members of the supporting cast you can either like or dislike. I, like John Sewell prefer Tintins more sarchastic Picaros incarnation
Little Mijarka
#16 · Posted: 17 May 2008 20:07
I think Herge sort of tricked us. In the first few albums, Tintin is the main character.
Gradually, other characters interact with him, and it seems that after he meets Captain Haddock, adventure doesn't find him - he finds adventure, not necessarily a bad thing.
Towards the end, I think Hergé began to use Tintin as a way to bring attention to more global things, such as the corrupt military governments of South America in "Picaros" and the mania of New Age in "Alph-Art."
In "Picaros," Tintin didn't even want to go!
Was anyone else disturbed by that?
#17 · Posted: 19 May 2008 03:23
Not realy, I just thought that it was a sign that Tintin was growing up, he was intellectualizeing it more than he previously had and I think he like any normal person who heard that thought that there was probably nothing he could do to change it, of course he's Tintin so he can, but the point remaines that he has become much more cynical
#18 · Posted: 1 Oct 2008 20:14
I've always felt that Tintin's "bland" character is actually quite an interesting character. He really feels like someone that you'd meet on the street. I think the reason he's such a popular character is because he's just a regular person that goes on adventures.
#19 · Posted: 10 Jan 2009 22:01
The same syndrome can be seen with Spirou. When trying to build a universal "hero" with the most possible qualities and zero flaws, you tend to build a hero with little dimension or personality, and he gets eaten away by the secondary characters that you are free to flesh out with flaws and personality (Franquin disliked Spirou a bit for the lack of creative freedom that such a flawless character gives : no mistakes, no anger bursts, no impertinence, etc). There's a western series by Tibet and Duchateau, called "Chick Bill", where the very clean hero has become completely secondary to his supporting characters, the hot-tempered Dog Bull and the mentally challenged Kid Ordinn (yet the albums are still called "the adventures of chick bill"). People relate and get attached easier to flawed and "real" characters, after the possible bait of a perfect -but much too abstract- one. Especially as the readers grow up, cease to believe in heroism, and learn to distrust purity.

There's a reason why there's more comics about donald duck than mickey mouse, why holmes is a drug-addicted sociopath, and why star wars is boring without han solo. Colorfoul > white. Memorable Tintin quotes seldom came from Tintin himself - as well as memorable actions : Wolff's sacrifice, or Haddock's attempted suicide in Tibet (when his weight was about to pull Tintin down with him) impress me much more than "normal tintin heroics", precisely because they come from flawed characters, and don't stem from a simple perfection premise. They're heroic acts from people instead of heroic acts from an abstract ideal of a person.

So, to sum up : in my opinion, Tintin works well just because, around him, the world is extremely colourful - Tintin is merely the measure of it, the neutral "prototype metre", the auguste clown). In other words, the success of Tintin comes from his world, not himself, even though he plays a huge role in putting this world in perspective. Even more so towards the end, where Tintin's world ceases to be black and white, and thus Tintin painfully ceases to fit in it (the grey vs grey and the betrayal aspects of the Picaros plot - remember how Tintin can't believe Pablo's treason). Tintin ceases to be a part of the story going on around him. He's just there as a spectator, or a metric scale. His last active role needed him to travel to Tibet, far from people, to a world where he can face an abstract simplicity similar to the badguys/goodguys universe of his youth. That is, like in his past (and the naively imagined Congo, America, etc), far from the real world and the human ambiguities that an older Herge doesn't manage to ignore or masquerade anymore.

So yes, I think that as Herge grew older, he and his universe evolved towards more complexity and maturity, while the too "pure" Tintin character couldn't. Hence a possible shift of attention and identification, from Tintin to his environment.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into that. :/

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