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Thomson and Thompson: What is their relationship, if any?

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#61 · Posted: 5 Nov 2013 16:13 · Edited by: mct16
Isn't it strange that Herge, while being rather on the conservative side, reserved the full strength of his ridicule for that bastion of order, the police?

That was not unusual, especially at the time they first appeared in the 1930s. Hollywood film series which relied a lot on humour had bungling police detectives who paled compared to the gifted amateur. These included "Sherlock Holmes" with Basil Rathbone, "The Falcon" with Tom Conway or "The Thin Man" with William Powell.

What is surprising is that French comic book censors took a very hard view of comics which ridiculed the police and would even use those grounds to block some Belgian comics from being sold in France, especially in the post-war years. Maurice Tillieux's "Gil Jourdan" is one such example: in the early adventures Inspector Crouton was an accident-prone officer, very much in the Thompson mould, but became a lot more reliable in later stories.

I suppose that Tintin's established popularity meant that Herge could get away with it.
#62 · Posted: 19 Nov 2013 04:13
Ok I knew someone would throw this subject up eventually, but I'm just going to say that for argument, decency, censorship, and reputation, Herge made all characters "Asexual". No one is offended one way or the other. Of course we can all speculate :)

(Just Opinion)
I think both Detectives are definitely gay, but this is just how I see them. Two men who dress like each other, live with each other, and to me have mannerisms in the story that even for those times--but of course gay people existed then too. A couple of closet cases keeping their life private while over-focusing on their job.

So let me say again, this is just how I see them.
#63 · Posted: 3 Sep 2016 17:07
Thomson and Thompson have been referred to on many occasions as 'the Thom(p)son twins', so I see them as twin brothers. But different interpretations should always be allowed. Homosexuality was a big taboo and illegal during the time the comics were published, so if Herge had created LGBT+ characters, he would've been sent to prison.
#64 · Posted: 4 Sep 2016 16:31
if Herge had created LGBT+ characters, he would've been sent to prison.

I'm not sure that that is true; it's not that writing about characters being homosexual was itself illegal, as far as I know - I mean, that would have to include people writing to condemn homosexuality, and they have certainly done that.
So, unless you have details which would have shown that there was some law in force in Belgium while Hergé was writing the books, then I can't see that that is an argument in the current discussion, I'm afraid.
#65 · Posted: 4 Sep 2016 20:14 · Edited by: mct16
It actually seems that same-sex sexual activity was legalized in Belgium in 1795 when it was part of France and has been the case ever since. Generally speaking, the French-speaking world has been more liberal towards homosexuals than the English-speaking one.

However, depicting sexual matters in publications aimed at children, be it straight or gay, was certainly frowned upon. Even a scene of Tintin in bed with a girl would certainly have been censored and, if published, may have resulted in prosecution for offending public morals and maybe a fine, but not necessarily prison.
#66 · Posted: 8 Sep 2016 09:34
To me I find them as brothers or related to each other. They not twins as Hergé said, but I really think they are related (or just in my imagination, maybe).
#67 · Posted: 14 Feb 2017 20:12 · Edited by: Moderator
No one has really touched on this topic yet (I think) but here goes-

Are the Thom(p)sons brothers or not?

When I watched the 1964 cartoon The Calculus Case, Thomson says to Thompson (or maybe vice versa) "Listen to this dear brother," which indicates they are related. However: if they were related, their last names wouldn't be spelled differently.

Is this a serious argument or do you think Hergé didn't really want us to think this hard? Thanks!

Moderator Note: The topic of the nature of the relationship, if any, of the Detectives, is covered somewhat broadly in this thread, so your post has been moved here.
There is a related thread which looks at where the designation "Thompson Twins" arose from.

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