Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / Curious about Tintin? (Non-album specific) /

Characters inspired by real people?

Page  Page 2 of 2:  « Previous  1  2 

jock123
Moderator
#11 · Posted: 17 Apr 2020 14:26
MatthijsBats:
could any of this be true?

It could be - but it's highly unlikely!
Hergé wasn't secretive about the sources he used, and spoke on more than one occasion about his father and uncle as the basis for the Detectives.
As he was Catholic, and in Brussels, it seems very unlikely that he was influenced by the members of a small protestant Plymouth Brethren congregation in Paris, especially if that was their notability (had they been famous for something else, or were notable in some other way, then that obviously increases, even slightly the case for them).
It would seem more likely that someone drew the comparison between the Detectives and the members of the church, in a teasing or joking fashion, and the legend grew from that.
MatthijsBats
Member
#12 · Posted: 17 Apr 2020 15:27
jock123
Hi Jock,

Thanx for your repsonse, maybe I wasn't clear (English is not my native language). I already discovered that the story about the two detectives was false most likely. Indeed, Herge was quite clear about his inspiration for them. But what struck me was that my friend came up with more or less the same story, but than about some (I don't know which ones exactly) other famous Tintin characters. But when I understand you correctly, it's in general most unlikely that something like this happened? As you mentioned, Herge was a catholic from Brussel, but that doesn't mean he could be inspired by some of that church visitors in Paris, don't you think? Just to make clear: a don't doubt your knowledge of the life of Herge of course, but I just like to be sure for as many percent possible. Has Herge even lived in Paris or stayed in Paris for quite some time?

Thanx in advance for bothering answering me ;)
Shivam302001
Member
#13 · Posted: 18 Apr 2020 16:42
MatthijsBats:
Has Herge even lived in Paris or stayed in Paris for quite some time?

I think that Herge did go to Paris and some other places in France during the second world war, when Belgium fell under German occupation. And as the War years saw a particularly brilliant run of Tintin's adventures, it could very well mean that he could have been influenced to a certain degree by the French. Of course, this is just mere speculation but the fact is he did go to Paris and he stayed there for some time during the war.
MatthijsBats
Member
#14 · Posted: 19 Apr 2020 11:07
Shivam302001
The original story was told me when I was a little kid by my father. Yesterday I spoke on the phone to the source of this story, a woman I called 'Aunt Betty'. She often visited the plymouth brethren church in case, in Paris. She told me that somewhat 30 years ago she visited the church and after the sermon talked to a lady. This Aunt Betty pointed to one 'brother' with a typical hat and mustache and said 'look, that man looks al lot like 'Dupont et Dupont'. This woman replied: 'That's correct, because Herge had his workshop in this neighborhood and based several characters from Tintin on members of our church from the past.'

I thinked this story is easily to check by some of you guys on this forum. For instance: did Herge even had a workshop (a place where he worked en made his sketches for tintin) in Paris at some time in his career?
jock123
Moderator
#15 · Posted: 19 Apr 2020 11:45 · Edited by: jock123
Shivam302001:
this is just mere speculation but the fact is he did go to Paris and he stayed there for some time during the war.

I'm not certain I follow your logic - if it is just speculation, it's not actually a fact is it?
According to what I can find in Benoît Peeters's biography Hergé: Son of Tintin, the closest I can find is a very brief stop in Paris, possibly a day and a night, as he and his family headed south from Belgium.
It was spent in the Latin Quarter and at the home of Marie-France Sebileau, who worked at Les Cœurs Valliants, and who managed to arrange for Abbot Courtois, the publisher, to pay his some royalties he was due.
They then headed off to the country villages around Issoire, near Lyons.
There was certainly no long period spent working in Paris, and nothing about going to Plymouth Brethren congregations.

But the main thing that can rule out this line of enquiry?
It is that the Detectives first appeared in 1933 - long before Hergé's trip, and while he was firmly living in Brussels and working at Le Petit Vingtième.

MatthijsBats:
I thinked this story is easily to check by some of you guys on this forum.

With respect, I thought that's what I did.
What you seem to want is for it still to be possible to rule out the massive amount evidence for it having been his father and uncle, in favour of someone else, and I'm just not certain that it will be possible to come up with something else that would convince you, because it is effectively trying to prove a negative.
No, Hergé didn't live work, or have a studio in Paris for any length of time.
It might be that his publishers, Casterman, were somewhere in the area of your church.
It might be that Hergé's business, Les Studios Hergé, operated an office, or had at least a representative in Paris or an accommodation address there, for the purposes of gaining commercial work in France, but he himself wasn't there.
Shivam302001
Member
#16 · Posted: 19 Apr 2020 12:47
jock123:
I'm not certain I follow your logic - if it is just speculation, it's not actually a fact is it?

The finding inspiration part was the speculation, not the staying in Paris part.
jock123:
It is that the Detectives first appeared in 1933 - long before Hergé's trip, and while he was firmly living in Brussels and working at Le Petit Vingtième.

Of course I didn't mean the detectives. I agree that the war time was not particularly a great time to worry about finding inspiration. But you can get so easily influenced by observing new things and having new experiences and Herge could very well have incorporated some of them in his works, whether it be consciously or subconsciously. Of course, as I said before, this is mere speculation on my part and I have no concrete proof to support my view in any way whatsoever.
MatthijsBats:
'That's correct, because Herge had his workshop in this neighborhood and based several characters from Tintin on members of our church from the past.'

I don't know of any such incident as far as the main characters in the series go, sorry.
MatthijsBats
Member
#17 · Posted: 19 Apr 2020 15:30
jock123
Hi Jock, thanx for your chrystal clear answer. It's now clear to me that this story is an urban legend. As I said before, I already discovered myself that the story about the detectives couldn't be true. Now you pointed out that Herge never worked in Paris or had a studio there I think that's evidence enough that he didn't get inspiration for some of his characters from the plymouth brethren in Paris neither. I just wanted to rule out the possibilities, cause it was such a great story from my childhood that I want it to be true, you understand? Thanx again for the help!
jock123
Moderator
#18 · Posted: 19 Apr 2020 16:06 · Edited by: jock123
Shivam302001:
The finding inspiration part was the speculation, not the staying in Paris part.

Ah - I now can see what you mean; thanks for the clarification! :-)

Just a little update, because I knew there was a reference about Hergé and Paris in wartime that I couldn't put my finger on this morning, but I have now tracked it down.

In Tintin et Moi: Entretiens avec Hergé, the Numa Sadoul book of interviews, Hergé himself talks about his journey to Issoire.

He was a reserve officer in the Belgian Army - he wryly comments on the efficiency of the military machine when he says that they really made use of his "skills" by placing him, a French speaker, as a trainer in charge of a Flemish-speaking machine-gun company!

It was, he says, on the 10th of May, 1940 that the order came to withdraw to France, as the Germans had entered Belgium. At that time, since the 10th of the previous month, he had been on three months sick-leave, but he and his relatives set off.
"(On) the 15th we were in Paris, and the 22nd I found myself, with my wife, sister-in-law, niece and my Siamese cat, in Saint-Germain-Lembron, near Issoire, at the home of artist Marijac, who was at that time at the front."

So we now have the exact window of opportunity for Hergé's passage through Paris in 1940 - even allowing that he may have got there before the 15th, and left after, it can't really be more than four or five days maximum, to allow for the travel from Brussels and onwards towards Issoire.

Marijac was the pen-name of Jacques Dumas, who fortunately survived the war, and died at the age of 85 in 1994. He drew the cowboy cartoon Jim Boum for Cœurs Valliants,so presumably Hergé was either already in contact with him, or he was directed there by Marie-France Sebileau, Abbot Courtois, or their colleagues during the stop-over in Paris.

It was while at Marijac's house that Hergé either left for safe-keeping, mislaid or lost the original art for King Ottokar's Sceptre; he didn't have it upon his return to Brussels several weeks later, after the surrender of the Belgian Army and the King's call on his subjects to go back to work.

It never returned to him, and somewhere around 1979 it found its way into the hands of dealers, who sold it on at ridiculous prices!

MatthijsBats:
I think that's evidence enough that he didn't get inspiration for some of his characters from the plymouth brethren in Paris neither.

Ah - that's really a different matter! :-)
We can't eliminate the possibilty that Hergé knew and used a member of the congregation in a completely different context!
All we can say is that Hergé didn't work in Paris, and didn't base the Detectives on anyone he knew or met there.
We cannot rule out that someone who was or became a member of the Plymouth Brethren congregation in Paris knew Hergé in Brussels, or worked with him there. There's nothing to say that someone already identified as one of the real-life figures wasn't in the Brethren, and from Paris.
However, it's an absolutely up hill struggle to work at the identification from that direction, as there are just so many figures in the books, any one of whom Hergé might have based on faces he knew.

I wasn't trying to put you off, just to point out that there was no quick solution to the question; until you can source a name of the model or models, a time-frame, or even an album in which they might appear, we won't be able to start drawing the net in and getting closer to an identification.

Page  Page 2 of 2:  « Previous  1  2 

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.

Reply

 ?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!