The Cultural Significance of Tintin in the Old World
There are few within the old world — that of Europe, Asia, and Africa — who have not heard of the name “Tintin.” From its home in Belgium, to Asia and Africa, the stories are ones that have been told and retold, read and reread. Even more so, they have served as an influence, not just for comics, but for stories and art of all kinds.
Hergé invented and pioneered ligne claire, the art style used in the series (read more about ligne claire here). Characterized by strong colors and lines, a lack of hatching, and a dynamic of cartoonish characters with realistic backgrounds, it became a staple for many comics and not all of them French-Belgian. Famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein have also referenced Hergé as one of their influences.
The art style was not the only thing that Hergé inspired. The story of Tintin, that of a young adventurer traveling the world with his companions, delving into ancient ruins, and facing modern foes is a story that is not uncommon. It can be most easily seen in the Indiana Jones series, and whether consciously or not, it’s probable that George Lucas was inspired by the French-Belgian comic strip.
The nexus for Tintin is, without a doubt, Belgium. It is a cultural phenomenon there, with countless forms of merchandise and even conventions. Recently the 90th anniversary of the series was celebrated there. We at Sausalito Ferry Company are proud to share our extensive collection of Tintin merchandise with you. We’ve imported top-of-the-line goods from around the world so we can share in our passion for Tintin with you! We invite you to check out our collection at www.sausalitoferry.com/collections/tintin.
In truth, the number of styles, series, and stories that Tintin has inspired are countless. One important thing to note, however, is that the vast majority of these stories exist in the old world. Where the name “Tintin” is one in the minds of most people in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the new world — that of the Americas — it is one that very few recognize and even fewer know the origin of.
(Cover Image Source: CGTN)