The Tintinophile

As a child I spent some unforgettable summers in Switzerland, at the lake of Geneva and in the Rhône valley. My parents’ friends in Lausanne, at the lake, had children the same age as me and my brothers and one of them was an avid comics fan.
Comics for children/young adults were not commonly known in Sweden in the early 70’s, but in French speaking countries they were already a huge success. Our friend Patrick owned the whole collection of the Adventures of Tintin – an unbelievable treasure! I had already started studying French at school so I devoured these exciting, funny and instructive adventures – and became a Tintinophile for life.
Later I bought the books myself, mainly in Swedish but also in some other of the languages I know. Alas, in English Tintin’s charming fox terrier Milou (my favourite dog ever!) has been re-baptised to Snowy, but even worse is that Tintin himself is called Tim in German and Kuifje in Dutch. As a Tintinophile I strongly object to any other names than
the original ones!
The adventures of Tintin are real classics and I always enjoy reading them over and over again. Not only are they fun and interesting, but also such a pleasure for the eye – I just love Hergé’s simple, yet detailed drawing style. The young journalist Tintin might sometimes seem like a know-it-all, but he is in fact very knowledgeable. He is a sensitive young man, following his feelings and intuitions and he has a big heart (in Tintin in Tibet the Buddhist Monks even gave him the name “Great Heart“). Tintin’s faithful companion Milou follows and supports his master for better and for worse and he has an incredible inner life – Hergé must have been a big dog-lover ☺ Other surprising and stunning characters in these adventures are for example the hot-blooded captain Haddock, the zealous but not very clever detectives Thompson and Thomson (Dupond and Dupont in French), the crazy genius, professor Calculus (Professor Tournesol) and the stupefying opera singer Bianca Castafiore. Of course, there are no real adventures without crooks and villains, and Tintin has to confront malefactors like the evil general Tapioca of the banana republic San Theodoros (there is a good one, too!) and the demonic film industry tycoon Roberto Rastapopoulos, just to name two.
If you wonder what I‘m so enthusiastic about and don’t like reading even rather short stories, you can watch either the two Tintin movies from the 60’s (“Tintin et les oranges bleues” an “Tintin et le Toison d’Or”, with real actors), the animated film from the 90’s or Spielberg’s “The Secret of the Unicorn” from 2011 – even if my heroes don’t really look the way I’m used to there. Once a Tintinophile, always a Tintinophile 😉

From the adventure “Red Rackham’s Treasure”

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