Monday, January 19, 2009

Karma Police: Tintin

Lately I have been reading in different places about the Belgian cartoon figure Tintin. It started with a notice I read about an american claming in the Time Magazine that Tintin had to be gay (cute little dog, living with another man etc.), then I accidently popped into the Tintin movie description on There, many discussed which relevance Tintin has in America, and why an American should'nt make the movies about him (a triology has been planed and is to be directed by Steven Spielberg).

Classic picture of Tintin and his dog "Snowy"

I'm not gonna debate if Tintin is gay or not - the article is written by a man who lives in a country where all the superheroes are wearing tiny pastel colored tricots and live by themselves in caves - beacuse the argument is quite stupid, I will rather become a bit nostalgic because all this talking of Tintin makes me remember my childhood and how much I loved watching Tintin on saturdays and reading the comics.

Tintin was, and is still for me, a very European hero. Where his American (or Japanese) colleagues have the power to completly destroy their enemies and the wickeds offer total annihilation of the good, Tintin is more a down-to-earth type of guy (like Superman he is a journalist). His solutions and experiences are more realistic, he himself is more realistic. For example when Tintin goes to Shangai, he is not able, nor never tries, to toss out the occupation power (the Japanese) because it is simple impossible for him to do that on his own. But of course, he still has some "super powers". He does not carry a gun, but he shoots like an ace, he does not care about money (unlike his creator "Hergé") and in many of the albums the author shows capitalism in a bad light, like in the 1931 album "Tintin in America" where buisnessmen steals land from the indians because of an oil source on the land.

The Law that is mentioned on the left here was pushed trough by a very odd alliance consisting of jobless French cartoonists, Catholics and Communists. Their aim was to make the cartoons a bit more "nationalistic", but also to block comics from America.

Even though there has been alot of critism against both the political life and opinions of Hergé during the WW2, his coop with the German influenced Belgian newspaper Le Soir and his agendas during that period, there is no doubt that the work of Hergé on Tintin is of high quality. The drawings are very neet, there is a tence pacing of the plots and the cartoons are intellegent and witty. Alot of the albums has influenced for example Hitchcock movies, dark cities, smoking killers and a world of tapped hotel phones are all things that can be recognized.

And for those who are afraid of an american directing the Tintin triolgy, Hergé himself said before just days before he died: "This Tintin will doubtless be different, but it will be a good Tintin". So we can only trust that Spielberg will do a good job on our hero.


Therese said...

Tintin er kul.

Jeg bare kommenterte tilbake til deg;)

Thor Haakon Bakke said...

Gidd å være litt mer saklig når du kommenterer da :

Therese said...

Så hva er forskjellen på 2008 og "siste 12 måneder"? I mine beregninger vil det være presist det samme. Og å begynne å skrive "mine flyreiser siste 16 måneder", bare for å få med litt mer, blir iværtfall teit, synes jeg!

Og at Tintin var kul er det eneste jeg husker fra han. også husker jeg Poirot og Poirot eller noe sånt? To fyrer med hatt.
Jeg er ikke så saklig av meg, så gidder ikke prøve heller.

Thor Haakon Bakke said...

dette blir for mye tenking for meg. er trøtt.