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Hergé as an artist

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MoonRocket
Member
#1 · Posted: 6 Dec 2004 00:25
I am currently doing a report in my art class and I am wondering if there are any good links out there that detail Hergé's artwork (style, methods of art, etc.). Any reliable info/links are greatly appreciated, as my art teacher wants me to convince her why comic strip artists are indeed artists! Thanks!

-marjorie
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 6 Dec 2004 08:19 · Edited by: jock123
Well I don’t have any links to offer off the top of my head, but here in the message board archives you will find all sorts of discussions on the art of Hergé, so why not do some searches?

If you want to come up with your own ideas, but are just looking for a place to start, then I’d say that you look on the early work, prior to “Blue Lotus” as “cartooning” by a gifted amateur. After that point he was heavily influenced by oriental art, and he blossomed into a fully-fledged artist, working in the “clear line” style, which he didn’t invent as such, but which he took to a high level.

Look at the wood-block prints of Hiroshige, Hokusai and other Japanese “ukiyo-e” artists, and you will see the art which influenced Hergé, and should be able to draw comparisons between them.

You could also put him into a more contemporary set of artists too, some of whom acknowledge his influence on them . The two most obvious are Warhol (who painted Hergé’s portrait), and Lichtenstein (who did a picture of Tintin); use this to establish Hergé in the “pop-art” tradition.

Hope this helps.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 6 Dec 2004 15:56
Better still why not splash out on a copy of Tintin: The Complete Companion by Michael Farr. It republishes some of the source material which he used for his painstaking research and is the best (and only) book in English on the subject - Michael Farr had free access to the archives. Your teacher will be proud... :)
jock123
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 6 Dec 2004 17:19
I’d not thought of the Companion! Much as I see it as an indespensible repository of Hergéian study, I didn’t come away from it feeling I knew how Hergé did it, as an artist.

I still would like there to be an artist’s perspective on Hergé, from technique to critique. I mean the real nuts and bolts - the board he used, the nibs (did he dip?), how was his work area set out? etc. etc. Geeky I know, but that’s the obsessive in me, I’m afraid.
thmthm
Member
#5 · Posted: 6 Dec 2004 17:26 · Edited by: thmthm
You might want to mention Honore Daumier and to a lesser extend Heinrich Kley as far as their importance in the social/political cartoon genre - (not comic strip though) and draw parallels through that...
As far as legitimacy of comic strips - I think a couple have already won Pulitzer prizes - I think "MAUS" was one
As far as tintin books as sources:
D'hebuts d'Herge
Herge and tintin reporters
World of Herge- probably the easiest of these books to get a hold of other than the already mention "companion" book

as far as the nuts and bolts of herge's working method- if you have the musee imaginaire book which is on ebay right now - theres a whole section by herge on how he works which might help ...or not.. its in french so I have to sit down and have someone help me through it.
Richard
UK Correspondent
#6 · Posted: 6 Dec 2004 20:04 · Edited by: Richard
Regarding the "real nuts and bolts", according to "L'Atelier de la bande dessinée avec Hergé", he used a Sergeant Major nib, which is seemingly the most popular. There's also a photograph in that book of Hergé's desk; a cropped version of that photo can be seen here.

There's also the book "Cinquante ans de travaux fort gais", which documents Hergé's creative process. There's also some footage of Hergé drawing a rough page of "Tintin and the Picaros" in the documentary "Tintin et Moi" - you can gauge the speed he drew at (very quickly for the rough pages).
MoonRocket
Member
#7 · Posted: 7 Dec 2004 03:04
World of Herge- probably the easiest of these books to get a hold of other than the already mention "companion" book

I got that book a few years back -- it's packed with a lot of valuable information! I especially like how it details Hergé's other artwork. The best part of this report that I'm doing is that I have to do some artwork in a similar style of the selected artist. FInding information has actually been a lot easier than I originally thought -- this site is absolutely PACKED with it! Thanks!
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#8 · Posted: 7 Dec 2004 14:21 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
jock123 said: I’d not thought of the Companion! Much as I see it as an indespensible repository of Hergéian study, I didn’t come away from it feeling I knew how Hergé did it, as an artist.

You're right of course. Although I think what set him apart from other comic-book artists was the sheer amount of research he did beforehand and that book covers some if it well.

With reference to the nibs Hergé liked to use; I think I read somewhere (H. Thompson?) that when the company which produced them was going out of business he bought the entire remaining stock which lasted to the end of his life!

--CORRECTION--
Apologies - I've just discovered It was in fact Peanuts artist Schulz and not Hergé. To anyone interested Schulz used a 914 Radio nib ...
mattnpegg
Member
#9 · Posted: 4 Jan 2005 10:50
Jock 123 said "Look at the wood-block prints of Hiroshige, Hokusai and other Japanese “ukiyo-e” artists, and you will see the art which influenced Hergé, and should be able to draw comparisons between them."

I'm trying to compile some details about the influences on Herge's art. Does anyone have any details about the influence of Japanese art on Herge? E.g. when and where did he see Japanese woodblock prints? I'd be grateful for any pointers towards the sources for this. I've got the Farr and Peters books but it doesn't seem to be mentioned there unless I've missed something.
jock123
Moderator
#10 · Posted: 11 Feb 2005 16:20
Sorry, mattnpeg, I only just caught your request. I believe it was Tchang Tchong-Yen who drew Hergé’s attention to the “ukiyo-e” and taught him about the Oriental arts tradition, which gives a date circa the creation of Blue Lotus, but he may have already had an interest, as he was an avid art lover. I can’t give any specific sources, I’m afraid. Good luck with your research! If you come up with anything concrete, do let us know.

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