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Rivalry between Goscinny-Uderzo and Hergé?

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#1 · Posted: 27 Mar 2004 04:46 · Edited by: Moderator
This is a rather off-topic question, but would any know if there was some rivalry (hopefullly friendly) between the Tintin and Asterix authors?
Even though I used to read Asterix before, and still respect it today, I stopped reading them after the last 15 titles or so after the storylines got tired and bland. Either way, I knew inside that Tintin was more elaborate and intelligent than recycled plotlines about 'eating wild boar' and 'beating up Roman legionnaires'.
But back to my question: was there anything ugly between the two authours' careers? Just wondering...
#2 · Posted: 27 Mar 2004 06:18
I'm not sure, but there might be some rivalry between them, I don't know. They are both Belgian and very popular but I think I read somewhere that Herge and the Asterix guys were on friendly terms.
Tintin books are far more intellegent than Asterix, but don't forget Asterix is pop era character for humour purposes and telling history in an alternate way. I enjoyed Asterix books, but have enjoyed Tintin books a lot more!
Here in Australia Asterix is far more popular than Tintin, probably because humour comics are the only sort that sell really well here! I've asked people why the don't like Tintin and they say it doesn't have any humour like Asterix, but I disagree. There is humor in Herge's books, its just a more clever humor and that is probably too much for most Australian's to handle! (Ha, ha)
Um.. yes.
#3 · Posted: 27 Mar 2004 12:29
I agree with you, Asterix is more slapstick (though Tintin has its wonderful moments of that too), and I would say that Asterix may be more popular than Tintin in the UK as well, maybe because the humour is a bit more obvious. I do like a bit of Asterix myself (got all the books!), and think the storylines are good, though the puns do get a little irksome after a while. I never tire of Tintin.

The Asterix authors and books, by the way, were French, not Belgian. I get the feeling they had a healthy respect for each other. Hergé was the senior comics creator - both the Asterix creators were born just a couple of years before Tintin made his debut.

The Thompson Twins make an amusing appearance in Asterix in Belgium, and Asterix can be seen in Tintin and the Picaros, as you probably know.
UK Correspondent
#4 · Posted: 28 Mar 2004 01:28 · Edited by: Richard
I don't think there was much rivalry between the two (well, three) - their work is too different. If Jacobs, for example, hadn't worked with Hergé, and just launched Blake & Mortimer separately, then there could have been some rivalry then, due to the tone of the stories, the artwork etc. being closer to Hergé's work than Goscinny-Uderzo's was.

The Astérix albums cater for a different audience (or a fan's different tastes) - Astérix is ultimately variations on a theme, whereas Tintin, whilst starting out by adhering to the 'adventure' formula that Hergé created, quickly changed and became more complex - for example, 'The Blue Lotus' onwards. I would say Tintin is definitely a more mature creation - the artwork (I can't remember who pointed this out, possibly Harry Thompson) is an accurate line-drawing of a figure, simply with a cartoon-style face. Everything else - vehicles, landscapes, machinery etc. are all perfect depictions of their subjects.

Astérix, also, is always able to resort to the magic potion to get him out of a spot of bother. Tintin cannot do this, and has to rely on his wits. This is an advantage that Tintin has over the 'superhero comic books' - he has no super powers, and can't overcome anyone by using any such powers. This demonstrates Hergé's deeper plot construction than the US superhero comic books. It also explains the output of the authors - US comic book authors often have a huge output - sometimes a hundred collections of strips or more - whereas Hergé produced only twenty-four (twenty-three and 'Alph-Art') over a period of fifty-four years. There may only be twenty-four, but they are twenty-four perfectly crafted works of genius, and show Hergé's mastery of the format.

Whoah, a little off-topic there, but never mind !
Moderator Emeritus
#5 · Posted: 28 Mar 2004 09:19
I agree, Herge's work does seem much more refined than the US comic strips, and the plots are definately more complicated and interesting ! The books hardly have any repetition, either, as you have explained above.

Asterix does always rely on Getafix's potion, as you also explained above, whereas Tintin has to think and use his wits.

Well done !
#6 · Posted: 19 Apr 2004 10:33
And sometimes Tintin relies on his trustworthy pet, Snowy.............
UK Correspondent
#7 · Posted: 19 Apr 2004 21:50
I came across this quote, originally in 'Tintin et Moi'; it shows the respect that Hergé had for, in this case, André Franquin (creator of Gaston Lagaffe).

'When I see a Franquin [drawing], for example, I say to myself "But how can we be compared ? He is a great artist, next to which I am nothing but a mediocre draughtsman."'
Moderator Emeritus
#8 · Posted: 20 Apr 2004 06:47
Didn't Franquin also create Spirou & Fantasio?

They were very Tintinesque in style (the early ones, anyway...the later ones were pretty worthless).

UK Correspondent
#9 · Posted: 20 Apr 2004 13:28
Spirou was originally by Rob Vel, then Jijé took over the series (and introduced Fantasio), and Franquin continued the series after that. The style of artwork changed quite noticeably over the course of the series. Peronally, I am quite fond of the artwork by Franquin; I've never read any of the Spirou albums, but I have a number of Gaston albums, and I think it's fantastic work. Nothing like Tintin, of course !
the Yeti
#10 · Posted: 6 Mar 2006 09:48
Everyone here has failed to realize that Obelix has a little white dog (Dogmatix). It seems obvious that the creators of Asterix (Goscinny-Uderzo) were inspired by Herge and were Tintin fans and put the little white dog in there as an homage to Snowy.

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