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Tintin & Asterix: One, the other, or both?

number1fan
Member
#1 · Posted: 30 Oct 2009 10:37
Ever since I can remember these two have been compared.
I realise that it’s always been in people’s childhoods. Sure the comparisons are.

Asterix-Tintin, Obelix-Captain Haddock, Getafix-Professor Calculus.

As they could also be compared to Holmes and Watson.

I know it hasn't been exposed to the majority of people who kind of didn't realise, but why is there never any comparison between Tintin and Blake and Mortimer. Mortimer has the grumpy Captain Haddock attitude after all.

Comparing Asterix and Tintin is like comparing Ben Hur to 2001: A Space Odyssey – they are both films with totally different subject.

Tintin has never realy been compared to Marvel comics there both comics so why are they never compared. Its always Asterix and Tintin.

Do you compare Tintin and Asterix as the same thing ?
mct16
Member
#2 · Posted: 30 Oct 2009 18:31 · Edited by: mct16
number1fan:
Do you compare Tintin and Asterix as the same thing ?

There is this lovely TV interview which includes Herge and the creators of Asterix during which Goscinny remarks that Tintin is about adventure with humour, whereas Asterix is about humour with adventure. So in that respect I suppose that they are rather like chalk and cheese.

number1fan:
why is there never any comparison between Tintin and Blake and Mortimer.mortimer has the grumpy Captain Haddock attitude after all.

I wouldn't quite compare an old sea dog to a man of advanced science. Mortimer may display frustration at times but he's hardly the sort who loses his temper at the drop of a hat and yells abuse using the strangest terms that one can come up with.

Jacobs' stories are far more serious and, I think, have a darker side to them compared to Herge, who was more inclined to be humourus about his subjects.

Haddock and Tintin have very different personalities: brawn and brains; middle-age and youth; one drinks and smokes heavily, the other does not; Haddock can be narrow-minded, while Tintin is more open in his views.

Blake and Mortimer on the other hand have many similarities: they are of the same age; both smoke pipes and enjoy a good whisky and sherry; and are highly intelligent and leading figures in their fields, be it science or espionage.

number1fan:
Tintin has never realy been compared to Marvel comics there both comics so why are they never compared.

One thing I like about Tintin is that it is straightforward adventure. Each book can be read on its own merit. One thing I don't like about modern comics is that they are ongoing soap operas in which you have to read future issues in order to find out about the characters' past. There's this manga for example which features two characters living together under strange circumstances but after half-a-dozen issues it is still not clear how these circumstances came about. Good for sales I suppose, but very frustrating.

Whereas a Tintin adventure could be said to be a one-off movie, Marvel and DC are more like never-ending soap-operas.

I recently read on the net that Spider-Man's 20-year marriage to Mary-Jane has been totally wiped out of the continuity due to some kind of time warp as if it never happened in the first place. A similar time warp has even brought Batman's late protege Jason Todd (aka Robin II) back to life after being dead for 15 years. I can't stand that sort of thing. If Haddock was killed and brought back to life then it would be in the course of a single adventure and there would be a logical explanation, not a time warp which meant that all the previous storylines were now null and void.

Let's face it. Tintin is unique and has a charm that other series will find hard to match (least of all Batman and X-Men).
number1fan
Member
#3 · Posted: 30 Oct 2009 19:23
mct16:
Each book can be read on its own merit. One thing I don't like about modern comics is that they are ongoing soap operas in which you have to read future issues in order to find out about the characters' past.

Yeah, I hate the way it’s like a soap opera. Fans of Marvel never regard Tintin as a great comic, but to be honest one page of Tintin is better than the entire catalogue of Marvel comics (my opinion).
douglas33
Member
#4 · Posted: 8 Dec 2009 15:10
I agree with number1fan. Even as a child I wondered why they were always marketed together on the same stand in shops and libraries. I suppose on a superficial level you can see why they were lumped together;

1) Both aimed at approximately the same age group
2) Both mix humour and adventure
3) Both comics from continental Europe

But if you actually read them they are not really similar at all. Although I could see the appeal of Asterix I was never really a fan myself, I preferred the old-style adventuring of Tintin.

I suppose it's like asking why Spiderman and Batman are marketed together, to the majority of people they appear very similar, but ask a die-hard fan of either series and they could spend many hours describing why they're completely different!
Fawn_Kadett
Member
#5 · Posted: 5 Mar 2012 22:28
Possibly an old age argument, but I was wondering what your thoughts where about the two characters. In the UK, there seems to be a division between the 2 comics - the fact that thousands of centuries divide the characters seems to be irrelevant to most people. I was lucky enough to be given French copies of both comics when I was young, as well as other characters such as Michael Valliant and Lucky Luke, but as far as I know only Tintin and Asterix where translated.

I have to say I am a fan of them both, they're incomparable - Tintin sedate, but often witty, clever and detailed pace compares with Asterix's clever word play, slightly more sexual and adult themes, with fantasy potions and improbable plots both have a place in my life. Am I alone in have complete sets of both comics sharing the same space on my bookshelf?
mct16
Member
#6 · Posted: 5 Mar 2012 23:25 · Edited by: mct16
Fawn_Kadett:
Am I alone in have complete sets of both comics sharing the same space on my bookshelf?

Certainly not. There's me for a start and, I imagine, almost half of French children as well. My collections are a bit of a mixture: half my Tintins are in English, the other half are in French, ditto with Asterix.

Mind you, I've tended not to buy the post-Goscinny books. Uderzo does not seem to be able to handle it without Rene. A potion which gives superhuman strength is one thing, but having things like flying carpets, Atlantis and aliens is making it more and more sword-and-sorcery and science-fiction, which I don't think works here.

If you want to know the essential differences between the two, how about going straight to the source: a TV interview with Herge, Uderzo and Goscinny together?. It's in French, but here are some details.

BTW, Lucky Luke is becoming available in English, courtesy of Cinebooks as are many other French-language comics.
polytope4d
Member
#7 · Posted: 12 Sep 2013 19:00 · Edited by: Moderator
Read all Tintins except: Tintin the Congo, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin and Alph-Art.
Never read a single Asterix (only the first page of Asterix and the Goths (???) in my childhood, did not like it).

Tintins liked: The Seven Crystal Balls, Prisoners of the Sun, Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Blue Lotus, King Ottokar's Sceptre, The Broken Ear, The Secret of The Unicorn, Red Rackham's Treasure, Tintin in Tibet, The Calculus Affair, The Crab with the Golden Claws, Land of Black Gold, Tintin in America, Tintin and the Lake of Sharks
Neutral: The Shooting Star, Red Sea Sharks, The Black Island
Tintins not liked: The Castafiore Emerald, Tintin and the Picaros, Flight 714
Moderator Note: Thanks for posting - however, a couple of things: 1) you listed the Tintin books under a series of initials; it really is much easier for everyone if you refer to the books by name, clearly, so that anyone reading the thread doesn't have to decipher them (it's just how we do things here, is part of our "write clearly" policy, and it works). The titles have been filled out for clarity. 2) This thread is for a discussion of the relative merits (or not) of Tintin and Asterix; even though you preface the post with a remark about never having read an Asterix book, the bulk of it is about your ranking of the Tintin books - which is fine, in itself, but isn't what the thread is for, and could take it off track, which we'd rather avoid.

The Tidy Tintinologist Team
Cedric
Member
#8 · Posted: 19 Jul 2017 03:28
Spirou is a lot like Tintin and a lot more like Tintin then Asterix is! Spirou/Tintin
Fantasio/Haddock
Snowy :)/ Spip
Calculus/Count of Champignac
Zorglub/Roberto Rastapopoulos!

Moderator Note: The thread isn't actually about whether Asterix and Tintin are alike - it's about if you can be a fan of both; it's entirely possible that you think Spirou is more like Tintin than Asterix, but it doesn't answer the first poster's question.
Be careful not to try and turn all threads into something about Spirou!

The Tintinologist Team
mct16
Member
#9 · Posted: 20 Jul 2017 23:21 · Edited by: mct16
Just one quick point in answer to Cedric's post: when comparing characters I'd say that Fantasio's criminal cousin Zantafio is more in the Rastapopoulos mould than Zorglub who is more of pesky nuisance like Jolyon Wagg (alias Seraphin Lampion).

If we are going to make comparison tables then how about this:

Asterix / Tintin
Obelix / Haddock
Dogmatix / Snowy
Getafix / Professor Calculus
Julius Caesar / Roberto Rastapopoulos
Rei002
Member
#10 · Posted: 28 Jul 2017 00:06 · Edited by: Moderator
number1fan
Well, both worlds are totally different if we see them in a superficial way: time, place, character design, topics, reasons for an adventure, humour style, storylines, and the way the main characters solve the problems.

Now, if we saw more deeper, both Tintin and Asterix adventures share the next things: the storylines don't have the same formula like the last one, both are ageless, that means that no matter who, when, and how old the reader is, the stories are brilliant and if someone reads them again, they still have the same awe and magic.
Both worlds are perceived as wide and vast, there are no limits for the imagination. In both are moments of action, humour, allusions and culture facts.

And besides of being translated in many languages, both are easily spot worldwide as part of the Franco-Belgian comic group. Like Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz in music, both trascended and other comics followed their example. In Tintin, it was the ligne claire, in Asterix, the humour and the play on words.

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