Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Adventures of Tintin Series: Before Nathan Drake, Lara Croft, and Even Indian Jones, There Was Tintin!

A Review By: Amelia
One of many comic covers
Tintin is a huge part of comic history so it’s always a shock to me when people have no idea who he is! I mean, it’s Tintin! He’s got red hair and a little white dog named Snowy. He’s had comics, and radio shows, and a cartoon, and a Steven Spielberg movie! He’s iconic and highly entertaining. Recently I read every single Tintin comic there is so I’m here to review it today and convince the rest of you to go and read every single Tintin comic there is!

Now, I’ve known about Tintin since I was a kid as I watched the cartoon series that YTV aired during the day in the 1990s, but if you’re not privy to the knowledge of who the little red-headed, dot-eyed guy is, allow me to fill you in.

Tintin is the ultimate adventurer. The character is an ambitious, young, globetrotting reporter who is always ends up as part of the story he’s attempting to cover. He’s surrounded by a cast of flamboyant, colorful characters—most notably his faithful dog Snowy—who join him on his many adventures as he tears across the globe fighting corrupt gangsters to smugglers to kidnappers to even ending up on the Moon in a couple of issues!

Georges Prosper Remi, known more commonly by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian cartoonist best known for The Adventures of Tintin series, which are considered one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century! He also wrote Quick & Flupke and Jo, Zette and Jocko. His works have been widely acclaimed but have also been criticised for instances of anti-Semitism and racism (Tintin’s creation dates back to 1929). Despite this though, Hergé remains a strong influence on the comic medium, particularly in Europe.

Aside from Tintin, there’s five other main characters. There’s the bumbling Thompson and Thomson detectives that rush in and end up hurt in ever ridiculous slapstick comedy kind of ways. There’s Professor Calculus who invents things and is mostly deaf and gets into trouble for both those reasons. There’s Captain Haddock who’s a crusty old sailor full of ridiculous insults and the finest whiskey (provided he hasn’t gotten hurt and dropped it); and, of course, my favourite character: Snowy the dog. He’s a small, white dog that loyally follows Tintin everywhere the adventure takes him and occasionally has a few hilarious inner monologue moments! Honestly, the funniest bits throughout the whole series were when Snowy got drunk because Haddock sloshed his booze on the ground!

The art style all through Tintin (excluding the very first one) is the distinct and consistently adorable style that Hergé created: the ligne claire style. It’s colourful, it’s simple, everyone has dot eyes and they see stars when they get hit! What’s not to love about all that? Hergé was also a master of making his comics emulate movie scenes by implying camera movement. He also went big or went home (so to speak) by making each panel a full body shot of the characters and showing action as it played out. As a whole, the art style is simplistic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not also amazingly thought out! The ligne claire style is emulated by artists all over the world because of Hergé!

My one criticism with the series is that some of the drawings are offensive. Tintin is the product of a gone-by era and it’s obvious in Tintin in the Congo and Tintin in America. There might be others but those two immediately come to mind as the most racist as far as the portrayal of people of colour goes. But, taken in stride, it’s still highly enjoyable. I think, much like reading Gone With the Wind, you have to realize it was written in a different time and adjust your mind set to that. Of course if you’d prefer to skip right over those issues there’s still a tonne to choose from.

My final thoughts on The Adventures of Tintin are that they are a very entertaining reads and I highly suggest them! It’s colourful and fun to look at, the characters are as flamboyant and colourful as the art, and each comic’s frantic pace is sure to please those looking for a thrilling story that’s also filled to the brim with slapstick comedy.
By far my favourite moment!

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