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Would Hergé reconsider his view?

rodney
Member
#1 · Posted: 28 Feb 2012 05:42
Hi,

Have a totally speculative question which has been bugging me off the back of the movie's success of late.

I'm reading into the opinion of some critics is that Herge never believed Tintin would be such a continuing success after his death.
He thought the series would lose their appeal to a degree.
On the face of it, it makes sense: how does Tintin still appeal to readers in the 21st century, with no mobile, no computer/Internet and no iPad?

Was perhaps Herge so strict and definite in his views that Tintin die with him and no further adventures be created as he thought (mistakenly) that the adventures would lose interest?
I remember a quote he gave in that 'After I die, there will be no more Tintin - he's my sweat, my guts' or similar?

I think Herge would understandably be surprised/thrilled/amazed at how successful Tintin still is in society today.
I know it's hypothetical but I can't help wondering if his views may have changed due to to continuing success of present day.

As said, the answer we'll never really know, but I just keep thinking he thought Tintin wouldn't be a such a success after he died, hence his staunch viewpoint..

What do others think?
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 28 Feb 2012 08:44
You’ll really have to specify what view it was that he would be reconsidering, as I’m not certain I have your drift. A few examples of the critics you speak of would help.

If he said/ thought that Tintin would be less popular today than before he died, that’s probably true: BD sales are down, generally, since those days; there is no weekly comic magazine any more, due to the circualtion falling; and his target audience have many more things to compete for their attention than they ever did back then – computers and computer games, multi-channel TV, the proliferation of Manga in the west, etc.

Few authors achieve greater success after they die than before, and generally for specific reasons, such as Stieg Larsson dieing before his books were published. Once nothing new is being published, they may continue to sell, but the numbers usually drop.

If you are getting at would the possbility that popularity would fall post mortem have changed his mind about new Tintin stories by other hands, I can’t see it would have changed his mind one jot.

His request wasn’t driven by thoughts of whether the character would be less successful when he died, he just didn’t think it would be the same, and he didn’t want his work being held up against another person’s version – he was quick to conceed that someone else might do it better than he did, in which case the series could have been even more popular.

Although relatively less popular now, Hergé is in any sense still a highly successful, highly regarded author. He’s still in print, still opening up new markets for translations, and still a name which people recognize.
rodney
Member
#3 · Posted: 28 Feb 2012 22:23 · Edited by: rodney
jock123:
A few examples of the critics you speak of would help.

I'll come back to you on this one, just at work with no access to source material..

jock123:
his target audience have many more things to compete for their attention than they ever did back then

My point being doesn't initiatives like the recent film spark a whole new wave of interest from both newbies and old fans who may want to revisit the series? It's the greater access to technology and the like which gives us easier access to appreciate Tintin. Certainly these forums have given me a greater appreciation of the adventures and has encouraged me to debate and discuss so many aspects of Tintin. It's been thoroughly enjoyable!

jock123:
His request wasn't driven by thoughts of whether the character would be less successful when he died, he just didn't think it would be the same, and he didn't want his work being held up against another person's version

Good point, which probably answered my question..
Harry Hayfield
Member
#4 · Posted: 28 Feb 2012 23:21
You say the same about Jules Verne. How many people actually go into a physical bookstore and buy a copy of one his books versus how many people download a version for their mobile device?
tintinsgf
Member
#5 · Posted: 1 Mar 2012 04:28
If Herge thought that Tintin will die after him gradually, perhaps he is right. But if he thought Tintin will die immediately after his death, then he's wrong. Tintin will stay popular for a while (although we don't know how long that a while will be), and perhaps he'll either fade gradually and fell into obscurity, or he'll fade while entering the realm of legendary comics history (which will emboss Tintin's name even deeper to the eternity, I think).

jock123:
If you are getting at would the possbility that popularity would fall post mortem have changed his mind about new Tintin stories by other hands, I can’t see it would have changed his mind one jot.

As for this, I'd rather think that the answer is : I don't know. His view might be able to change, although the possibility is highly unlikely (but still, there's a possibility).
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 1 Mar 2012 23:15
rodney:
I'm reading into the opinion of some critics is that Herge never believed Tintin would be such a continuing success after his death. He thought the series would lose their appeal to a degree.

I must say I've not come across this before as one of Hergé's views. I'm not sure what his views on Tintin's continuing popularity were. It's a known fact he felt that only he could "breathe life into Tintin", and he was adamant nobody continue to draw Tintin after his death. Was he right in that? Well, the attempts by others to make produce Tinin material in his own lifetime weren't a massive success, most of them lacking Hergé's essence (perhaps with the exception of 'Golden Fleece', but then Hergé had quite a bit of input in that).

Having created and developed the character for over 50 years he must have felt very protective of it, and towards the end of his life he probably saw that were no other artists in the field who could have carried it on to his standards. Let's be fair, Bob de Moor, E.P. Jacobs, Roger Leloup, and the rest of the team of artists he worked with, they're all very capable, but none of their individual work matches Hergé's, in my opinion.

I'm also of the opinion that Tintin needs to be singular vision, that if it were created by committee it would get watered down. If they were to create new adventures today they would most probably have to be done by a team, so it would end up being disparate and therefore rather crass. They wouldn't trust an artist to be in complete control like Hergé was, or to be allowed to take the risks Hergé took. So as much as I'd love to read more Tintin adventures like Hergé's, I'm not holding out!
rodney
Member
#7 · Posted: 2 Mar 2012 01:13
Harrock n roll:
if it were created by committee it would get watered down. If they were to create new adventures today they would most probably have to be done by a team, so it would end up being disparate and therefore rather crass.

With fairness, I don't agree with this at all.
A point to note is the esteemed Carl Barks, regarded by many a pure genius.
To be fair he didn't create Donald Duck, this was already established by Walt Disney Studios but he did create some of the most memorable characters being Uncle Scrooge, Gyro Gearloose and the town of Duckburg which spawned a whole dimension of character involvement and adventures.
Scrooge in particular often eclipsed the Disney characters as a whole, his adventures and tales were rich, memorable and lasting due to his colourful background.
A further case to note is Don Rosa, who established Scrooge further creating a decisive background history to Scrooge.

Carl Barks took to initiative to further develop the Disney characters (to be fair his focus was the ducks primarily) his work is brilliance, universally admired by critics and fans worldwide.
He breathed new life, a fresh outlook to Donald and company and we are more the richer for this.
Had Barks not been allowed to broaden the series we would have all missed out..

The argument here is that Barks began creating new stories whilst Walt Disney was alive and hence had approval.

I dare to suggest that had a suitable understudy been available for Herge, perhaps he may have approved, had it been in the spirit of the adventures.
Harrock n roll:
Let's be fair, Bob de Moor, E.P. Jacobs, Roger Leloup, and the rest of the team of artists he worked with, they're all very capable, but none of their individual work matches Hergé's, in my opinion.

Very good point, all capable but none had the magic. de Moor was apparently a very good illustrator but I've heard as a story writer he was average.

Herge/Barks were both skilled in both forms as well as structuring and pacing a story which is half the battle!

I guess quality comes few and far between!...
rodney
Member
#8 · Posted: 2 Mar 2012 02:38
rodney:
Herge never believed Tintin would be such a continuing success after his death.

Harrock n roll:
I must say I've not come across this before as one of Hergé's views

I'm souring this view point from the recent Alain Baran interview in which Mr Baran stated that 'Right until his last days, Herge had thought Tintin would die with him'

Harrock, I was surprised to read this as like you, I had not heard this viewpoint before..

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