An Exceptional Series

The Adventures of Tintin (Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of comic strips created by the Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907 - 1983), who wrote under the pen name of Herge.


Tintin is a young Belgian reporter who becomes involved in dangerous cases in which he takes heroic action to save the day. Almost every adventure features Tintin getting caught up in some misadventure. He is a young man of more or less neutral attitudes. He is less colourful than his supporting cast. In this respect, he represents the everyman.


The comic strip series has long been admired for its clean, expressive drawings in Herge's signature ligne claire style. Engaging, well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories within the Tintin series always feature slapstick humour, accompanied in later albums by sophisticated satire, and political and cultural commentary.


Two animated television series have been made, both adaptations of the comic strips rather than original stories. The first was Herge's Adventures of Tintin, produced by Belvision. The series aired from 1958 to 1962 - 104 five-minute episodes were produced. It was adapted by Charles Shows and then translated into French by Greg (Michel Regnier), then editor-in-chief of Tintin magazine. This series has been criticized for straying too far from the original books and for its poor animation.


The second series was The Adventures of Tintin, featuring twenty-one of the stories. It ran for three seasons (from 1991 to 1992), was co-directed by Stephane Bernasconi and Peter Hudecki. This series was produced by Ellipse (France), and Nelvana (Canada), on behalf of La Fondation Hergé. Traditional animation techniques were used on the series, adhering closely to the books to such an extent that some frames from the original albums were transposed directly to screen. The series was commercially successful and has aired in over fifty countries. It was released on DVD and I have enjoyed viewing this second series many times, most recently with my daughter.

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