Georges Rémi (famous as Hergé) was a Belgian cartoonist: creator of “The  Adventures of Tintin and Snowy”. He was born in Etterbeek a central suburb of Brussels. His Walloon father, Alexis Remi, worked in a confectionery factory, his mother Elisabeth Dufour was Flemish.

“THE ADVENTURES OF TOTOR” – 1926

During his military service, Hergé developed his first comic strip “The Adventures of Totor” for “Le Boy-Scout Belge” (The Belgian Boy Scout) in 1926.

“TINTIN” – 1929

tintin in the soviet union
Tintin returns from the Soviet Union

The creation of “The Adventures of Tintin” started in 1929 first by publishing in the newspaper “Le Vingtième Siècle”, later as comic strip books. The editor of “Le Vingtième Siècle” was a Catholic priest  Abbé Norbert Wallez, with strong sympathies for Mussolini. Upon his directions was “Tintin in the Land of the Soviets” designed as a paragon of conservative propaganda.

ZHANG CHONGREN – 1934

The Influence of his Chinese friend Zhang Chongren resulted in Rémi’s enhanced research for historic, architectonic and topographic details for his stories, for the first time manifested in the realism of “The Blue Lotus”.

Rémi and Zhang Chongren

SECOND WORLD WAR

During the war, Rémi continued his comic series in “Le Soir” a popular newspaper (with a 600.000 edition) but under control of the German administration. After the Allied liberation in 1944, the staff of “Le Soir” and Hergé were accused of having been collaborators. The newspaper “La Patrie” launched even a satirical strip titled “The Adventures of Tintin in the Land of the Nazis”.

The public prosecutor plaided lenience stating that “I am inclined to close the case. I believe it would bring ridicule on the judicial system to go after an inoffensive children’s book author and illustrator. On the other hand, Hergé worked for Le Soir during the war, and his illustrations are what made people buy the newspaper.”  Although no judicial charges were brought out against him Hergé was blacklisted.

CASTERMAN

Unable to publish in newspapers Hergé began to prepare by re-drawing and colouring the older Adventures of Tintin for publication in book form by Casterman. He started also on “King Ottokar’s Sceptre and produced “Tintin in Tibet” his personal favourite comic book.

Among his favourite comic strip artists figured Winsor McCay’s (“Gertie the Dinosaur”), George McManus’ “Bringing Up Father”, George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” and Rudolph Dirks’s “The Katzenjammer Kids”. He sketched scenes from daily life along the edges of his school books. His primary school years coincided with the First World War.

Hergé developed Tintin with his fox terrier Snowy (“Milou” in the original French) basing him in large part on his earlier character of Totor and also on his own brother.

In 1932 Hergé announced a new adventure of Tintin this time in the Orient. It would later get the name of “The Cigars of the Pharao”. In it were for the first time introduced the Thompson and Thompson personages together with the character of Rastapopoulos.

The cigars of the Pharao

TINTIN MAGAZINE – 1946 – STUDIOS HERGÉ – 1950

In 1946 Hergé established this magazine and in 1950 the “Studios Hergé” until 1983. In 1986 the Hergé Foundation was erected.

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