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Parody vs tribute: the difference?

#1 · Posted: 31 Jul 2004 20:58
Uh, I hate to sound stupid, but ... What's the difference between a tribute and a real parody? ... And I plan to have Hector Alembick's twin brother in it. About Castafiore and Haddock ... I don't think either of them really care for each other. Captain Haddock is always annoyed with her, and Castafiore doesn't seem interested, plus I don't think Herge would have done that. Oh, and about Tintin being related to Jolyon Wagg, I think that would be quite a nice & funny spin to the tale, but I'm just not sure. And as Herge said, "From time to time, someone of general aesthetic interest passes by, like that, but he or she does not play a significant role: There are others who do play a significant role, of course. But since they play a role, - automatically - are caricatured and thus they are not " pretty girls "! Perhaps others succeed in drawing a pretty woman who is at the same time a caricature. This is beyond me...if it is a character that is there only for one episode of the series, yes; but if it is a significant character, like Castafiore for example, I do not do such a thing." So I'm not sure, I think I might have her come along on the adventure, but ... well, we'll see! ... Thanks for all your comments, and please tell me more if you have any ...

#2 · Posted: 2 Aug 2004 09:00
Don't you see a difference between Rodiers alph-art, and Captain Haddock running around naked in Tintin in Switzerland? I think the difference between a parody and a tribute is in a parody the characters are actually made to look stupid. In a tribute you keep as close to the actual characters Herge, or any other author, meant them to be like... I see your point about Haddock and Castafiore but I always felt there was this sparkle between them that both of them denied, but finally would come out (love conquers all!).

UK Correspondent
#3 · Posted: 2 Aug 2004 09:25
That's right - essentially, a parody makes a mockery of the original work, ridiculing the source material, and generally turning the whole concept on its head. A tribute attempts to be as close to the original work as possible, and to carry on in its vein.

Incidentally, a parody (within reason - say, a newspaper cartoon) is permissable by law, whilst a tribute - at least in the case of the adventures of Tintin - is not.
#4 · Posted: 2 Aug 2004 12:00
I always assumed that was why they called them parodies and not tributes, because of the Belgium law allowing parodies.

Moderator Emeritus
#5 · Posted: 2 Aug 2004 22:48
To confuse matters: a parody can also be a tribute -- ala my half-begun story Tintin in the Land of the Serviettes. I was making fun of the cliches and quintessential Tintin happenings, while it was done out of admiration for Herge's work rather than intent to ridicule.

Go figure. :/

#6 · Posted: 16 Oct 2011 00:29
I don't think a tribute has to be an entire story. For example, pick your favorite detective character (from books or TV) and have him or her interviewed by a Belgian reporter who looked like he was still in his teens.

As for writing your own stories, if you make the characters similar to Tintin's cast without being identical, you'd be writing a tribute.

Take a boy adventurer and his dog. This premise has been done many times, take a look at Lassie & Timmy, Buster Brown and his dog Tighe, Rin-tin-tin & Rusty. (Rinty, by the way, was born in 1918. The radio show named after him started in 1930.)

I wouldn't recommend you recreate the entire cast and just changing their names. I'm sure Moulinsart would view that as stealing. However, creating original fic "in the style of Herge" gives you more leeway.

Cherry pick the characters you like, Tintin and Snowy, for example and change them significantly. A young adventurer (Timbuktu) plus a faithful canine sidekick (K9).

Leave out the characters you don't like. Set their home in whatever place you like. (Your home town, perhaps.)

In Tintin in America, Snowy actually talked to Tintin. In most of the other books I've read, Snowy only talks to the readers. In your original fiction, you could have all animals able to talk, or have only K9 able to talk to humans, or maybe K9 is only able to talk to Timbuktu, or maybe Timbuktu is able to talk to all animals...

You could throw in a girlfriend. (Or make Timbuktu a female ala Dorothy Gale and Toto.)

Anyway, my point is that if you think you can write a Tintin story, then you could write a "Tintin-esque" story and show your admiration for Herge legally. The best part is that characters would belong to you.

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