The Resurgence of an Old Friend
I have been a fan of Tintin, a Belgian comic character, for ages; precisely since I was 5 years old and couldn't still read. I had some Tintin albums in Persian, published by the authorised publisher of the books in Iran, Universal Publishing, and some of them I got from my sister and my cousin. I used to look at the pictures and guess the stories every night. When I learnt to read at the age of six, Tintin in Congo was the very first book I read, continued by the reset of the series. Love of Tintin drove me to other comics, including Asterix and Lucky Luke, and now I am a complete fan of all kinds of comics, other than the American style "action" comics (Marvel and such). Mostly those done by famous European artists like Hergé, Uderzo, Franquin, Morris, and such. I also like American daily funnies.
When I first came to the US, it was amazing for me that in the US people seldom know Tintin. Tintin books are among cult items here, and worst is the case for Asterix and Lucky Luke. Less famous ones like Iznogoud are absolutely impossible to find!
So, naturally, since my efforts in finding like minded Tintin fans in the US were met with laughs and disbelief for those who thought "O my gossssssssssh! A grown man who reads comics!", I looked into the Internet. There are a lot of resources in the Internet, and the best one of them was a web site called "The Cult of Tintin". Sadly, the smell of money has driven Moulinsart, the Foundation that controls all of Hergé's creations after his death, to shut down all Tintin fan pages, including "The Cult of Tintin", accusing them of plagiarism. Nonetheless, fans still can find many sources for information on Tintin and places to discuss this wonderful comic character.
Now, I see many Iranians in the US are talking about their love of Tintin, including Pedram Moallemian. It is also interesting to see that after 25 years of banning Tintin as an agent of "Western" decadence, now Iranian government is letting publishers (and unauthorized ones for that) to publish the Tintin adventures, albeit with ridiculous changes such as changing Captain Haddock's Whiskey to juice and putting stockings on Bianca Castafiore (as if anyone could be seduced by that woman with a monstrous voice!!!:)).
Text © Khodadad Rezakhani. Used by permission.
Editor's note: The Cult of Tintin came back online in early 2004, with a new domain name: Tintinologist.org.