Hergé, Son of Tintin
Tintinology [tin-tin-ol-uh-jee] noun — The study of the works of comic creator Hergé and the cultural impact of Tintin, his best-known and most influential character.
The adventures of Tintin and his dog, Snowy, have captivated people worldwide since they first appeared as an insert in the Belgian Catholic newspaper Le Vintième Siècle in 1929. Available for the first time in English, this insightful biography delves deep into the psyche of Tintin creator Georges Remi and his public persona Hergé.
Author of the critically acclaimed Tintin and the World of Hergé and the last person to interview Remi, Benoît Peeters tells the complete story behind Hergé’s origins and shows how and why the nom de plume grew into a larger-than-Remi personality as Tintin’s popularity exploded. Drawing on interviews and using recently uncovered primary sources for the first time, Peeters reveals Remi as a neurotic man who sought to escape the troubles of his past by allowing Hergé’s identity to subsume his own. As Tintin adventured, Hergé lived out a romanticized version of life for Remi.
Millions have traveled alongside Tintin and Snowy through books, animated television series, theatrical performances, exhibitions, documentaries, and movies, including Steven Spielberg’s fall 2011 The Adventures of Tintin. Now Tintinologists have the opportunity to better understand the complex and sometimes dark personality of Tintin’s creator and his carefully crafted public persona.
About the Authors
Comics writer, novelist, and critic, Benoît Peeters is one of the most highly regarded Tintinologists in the world. His most recent book is Derrida, a biography of Jacques Derrida.
In this enthralling, deeply considered synthesis, brimming with anecdotes and perceptions, [Peeters] has enhanced our understanding and appreciation of the creator, the creation, and above all, the man.
Model of economy and grace, mixing meticulous detail and stylized tableaux in perfect proportion so that the story is neither generic nor bogged down by excessive rendering.
Verdict: Carefully researched (there are extensive endnotes) and well written and translated, this fine study is most appropriate for sophisticated readers or dedicated Tintin fans.
Hergé is a granular biography that pingpongs back and forth between the artist and his art, looking to build bridges of epiphany and exposition between the ideas expressed and the life lived.
Well, Blistering Barnacles!, as Captain Haddock would say. The great merit of Hergé, Son of Tintin is that Georges Remi is allowed to emerge in three dimensions as what he in fact was: not an intellectual, not an activist, not a saint, but an ordinary man of his times.
A 'must' for any TinTin or Herge fan.
Why should readers consider another book on Georges Remi (Hergé), the creator of Tintin? Because this one was written by a comics writer himself, a man who knows the medium from both its theory and practice, who interviewed Hergé and those close to him, and who had access to a trove of vital letters, papers, and notebooks.
|Johns Hopkins University Press|
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