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Hergé Interviewed by Pierrette Rosset

#1 · Posted: 27 Nov 2005 17:23
I bought a Turkish magazine (Güldiken with a date of 1995), because it re-printed the following interview, and an essay on the chronology of Tintin in Turkey.
There isn’t a sentence mentioning the name of the newspaper for which the interview originally took place. As for the date, it says Rosset is visiting Herge because of the 50th anniversary of Tintin, so then it must be 1979.

The interview is in Turkish in the magazine, but I want to translate some of it to English if tintinologists are interested.
If anyone has got whole text in English and send it to site, everyone can read. And if somebody knows the newspaper’s name and date can he inform?

(Any faults in translation belongs to me!)

Who are you, Mr. Hergé?

Pierrette Rosset- There are a lot of men in Tintin’s adventures but few women, sometimes we never see them.
Are you really a misogynist (one who hates women)?
[What a bad question, especially for the beginning!]

Herge- This criticism is made to me very often. It is not easy to draw women in comics, nevertheless there are a few…
For instance, General Alcazar’s wife. I saw her once on TV. She was an American, and a member of the Ku Klux Klan!

R- And we musn’t forget Castafiore!

H- Castafiore is a great singer, she is quite amusing. But she is generous and courageous. I wish I could tell her prison life much longer in Picaros. I try to guess what else she will do to the guards.

R- Tintin doesn’t show much interest in women?

H- No. But Calculus does, he is sensual. My father inspired him to me. The women were always very tiny, touchy and selender for him. Always he was speaking to them with ‘Pretty little ladies’. Because of love and tenderness, Calculus would almost melt in front of Alcazar’s wife.

R- How old is Tintin? He didn’t get older but did he changed in 50 years?

H- If to say absolutely (Here Rosset says in parenthesis that Herge adores certainity!), Tintin became 3 years older in 50 years. It is not to much, of course. At the beginning he was 14, now he is 17...

R- In Picaros Tintin left his plus fours and wore jeans. Returning to back, to Soviets.
Soviets was first published in 16 January 1929 in a Catholic magazine with a very strictly right wing opinion… For years it wasn’t published.
Last year we discovered it again in Archives Hergé, published by Casterman. Some people thought you a reactionary man.

H- I was 22 and was parallel to my newspaper’s opinions. Tintin changed in time and me, too.


R- Hasn’t Tintin an Œdipus complex which should be analyzed?

H- No. His indepence can ruin an adult’s pleasure, not children’s. Before the War the editor of Coeur Vaillant wanted me to draw comic characters who have family. Then Jo and Zette were born. Their parents were crying after them.

R- You and Tintin resemble each other, but you haven’t got the same ethics?

H- My brother was more like Tintin. Captain Haddock describes me better. For example, I can be dangerously angry like him. But I don’t drink.

R- Who is your favorite comics artist?

H- I like Claire Bretecher, and I can say Manara is very interesting.


R- I think it must be great to be a successful artist.

H- It doesn’t cause basic changes in you. The difficult thing is to be accepted.
Harrock n roll
#2 · Posted: 30 Nov 2005 12:43
Thanks for the translation celalli, some interesting short answers from Hergé there. I particularly like his assertion that Tintin became 3 years older over 50 years “At the beginning he was 14, now he is 17...” They say a week is a long time in politics, I suppose you could say 50 years is a short time in comic strip.

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