Week 7 Blog Post

  1. In what specific ways is Tintin a forerunner of late 20th – 21st century transmedia storytelling franchises?

Decades before Speilberg’s well known The Adventures of Tintin, the franchise was already a large force to be reckoned with. The comics grew to be translated into over fifty languages, and worldwide book sales grossed close to 350 million (Farr, 2001). With a wide range of high priced merchandise – from crockery to stationary, two radio series, two television shows, eight films (the first of the new media being produced in 1961) and five video games (Wikipedia, n.d.), Tintin has been a forerunner of today’s transmedia franchises long before the latest transmediation.

  1. What is the alleged connection between Hergé’s early comics and propaganda?

Beginning in 1925, Hergé worked for a right wing Catholic newspaper in Brussels known as Le Vingtième Siècle (Goddin, 2007). It wasn’t until the late 1920’s when he became Editor in Chief of a new comic for the magazine known as Tintin in the land of the Soviets. It was an eight page youth supplement that came out weekly. Then in 1931, Hergé released a second album of comics known as Tintin in the Congo. Both of these Tintin albums are identified as right wing propaganda and were later seen as extremely controversial (Cendrowicz, 2010)

  1. What issues do his albums raise in terms of representation of ‘race’, and particularly ethnic and cultural stereotyping?

In Tintin in the Congo, Herge is said to have depicted the Congolese as “good at heart but backwards and lazy, in need of European mastery,” (McCarthy, 2006, p. 37). From 2007 onwards, the book was removed from bookshops – or hidden –  around the world due to several complaints regarding the obvious racism toward the Congolese people who are drawn to “look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles”, (Bunyan, 2011, para 17).

 

Bunyan, N. (2011, Nov 3). Tintin banned from children’s shelves over ‘racism’ fears. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Cendrowicz, L. (2010, May 4). Tintin: Heroic Boy Reporter or Sinister Racist? Time. Retrieved from: https://time.com/

Farr, M. 2001. Tintin: The Complete Companion. London: John Murray

Goddin, P. (2007). Hergé: Lines of Life. Belgium: Editions Moulinsart

McCarthy, T. (2006). Tintin and the Secret of Literature. London, England: Granta

Wikipedia. (n.d.). List of Tintin Media. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Tintin_media

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