Tintin RIP

December 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized

tintin model

I just heard that the guy who was possibly the model for Tintin died recently, at age 98. I didn’t know Tintin was based on a real person. Well…I guess it’s an open question. Apparently Hergé was “not forthcoming” on the subject. Here’s an article in the Times.

But in 1928, Palle Huld was a 15 year old Danish boy scout who circumnavigated the globe using only steamships and trains, no airplanes. He won some kinda contest.

33 Responses to “Tintin RIP”

  1. Andi says:

    Cooool post Alison! I’ve always loved Tintin.

    Hey, since you’re blogging again, does this mean you’re not writing? Hmmmm?

    Kidding. Hope the book is going really well and you got that bike going at last. Never know when the power will go out again!

  2. Dr. Empirical says:

    As a lifelong comic book geek, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’d never read any Tintin.

    Last Week I read Tintin in America, in which Tintin tangles with gangsters and American Indians. It was an interesting glimpse of the European view of America; dead-on in some places, wildly exaggerated in others.

    It’s easy to see why Herge’ is so admired as a storyteller. I prefer Eisner, but I can definitely see the charm or Herge’.

    And Tintin.

  3. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    Same here, Dr Empirical. Read comics most of my life, and have yet to read a Tin Tin comic. My mother used to read them when she was younger and was a fan.

    I always knew I’d get around to checking them out, but this bit of history behind the comic, that Tin Tin might have been based on this guy, and that Herge was “not forthcoming” adds a dimension that peaks my interest beyond knowing it is a comic loved by many.

    On a different but book related subject:

    Does anyone know if “The Indelible Alison Bechdel” is no longer being published?

    I asked for it at my local bookstore (in Toronto) and they didn’t have a copy in store nor could they find one after doing an online search for it.

    The library no longer has any copies ( they’re missing) and when I asked them to re-order the title, they couldn’t find one to purchase.

    If it’s not being published, does anyone know why?

  4. I prefer to read the lesbian-feminist remade version, CopperCopper.

  5. Kat says:

    Oh wow, what an interesting life!

    Have you seen pictures of the Hergé museum in Belgium? It’s really incredible to me how the architect captured the essence of the art:

  6. NLC says:

    Lurk-A-Lot#3: Concerning “The Indelible Alison Bechdel”

    Interesting. I did a little poking around the net as well.
    – The on-line bookstores that I checked (e.g. Powells) didn’t have it listed.
    – Amazon lists it, but only as being sold by their “associate sellers”, both for “new” and “used” copies (i.e. Amazon doesn’t sell it themselves; OTOH Barnes and Nobles lists it as “in stock”).
    – Even the publisher (Firebrand Books) doesn’t seem to list it on their website.

    I know that Firebrand –which published this as well as the first publications of most of the D2WO4 books– went through a bad patch. (I thought they were out of business, but judging from their website, they’re still kicking.)

    Perhaps “Indelible” got lost in the shuffle, and no one else has picked it up yet. That would be sad, if true, since it’s the only realistic source for much of its content.

    (I guess I’d better put my copy in a safer place…)

  7. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    @ NLC #6

    Thanks for your help, NLC. I will have to get it from Amazon. Never bought anything online before, so this will be a first for me.

    With AB’s current popularity, I’m surprised this book is out of print.

    I guess when her new graphic novel comes out, publishers will consider re-printing some of her older work.

    Can’t wait for the new book! No pressure.

  8. Kate L says:

    I heard about the death of Tintin’s inspiration, too, but I didn’t want to be the one to tell A.B.

    Tonight is the first reading by the Smallville city commission for amending the local human rights ordinance to include LGBT. Overall, the proposed ordinance protects sexual orientation in a good, progressive way, but those of us in the local human rights group that I serve as secretary have a question about the definition of gender. The amended ordinance as now proposed says something about “biological sex’ determing who can use what facilities. What exactly does that mean for a transsexual? We intend to ask, and I’ve already e-mailed the Smallville mayor about it (no reply, as yet). Overall, I think that my human rights group and so many other local LGBT’s and allies have done great work in leading up to this point. If I weren’t so butch, I could just cry! 🙂 We expect the anti-LGBT forces to turn out in force tonight for Public Comments before the city commission votes, but that’s ok. We’ll be there, too.

  9. Butches who cry are extremely hot.

  10. grrljock says:

    We grew up reading Tintin, as well as the other series, like Lucky Luke. My fave character in Tintin is Captain Haddock, of course. And that brought up another memory of the dirty version of Tintin that was circulated by some kids when I was in high school. Gah, I only saw one page, and that was enough to turn me gay!

  11. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Lurk-A-Lot (#7)

    Don’t touch that mouse until you’ve hit a few of Toronto’s terrific used/antiquarian bookshops.

    My first stop in Toronto is always Atticus Books.


    There are some good used bookshops on Queen and around the University. A quick Google references Acadia Art & Rare Books on Queen St. Also try Circus Books & Music.

    Don’t remember the others I used to haunt, but you should be able to find them in your local yellow pages under ‘Books – Used’ and ‘Books – Antiquarian’.

    (… goes back to the memories of her bookbuying expeditions …)

  12. Pam I. says:

    @ Lurkalot – Amazon UK is listing four copies of Indelible, two in UK two in USA. I like buying secondhand through Amazon, even though they get a cut of the sale, it seems better than going for new. Still doesn’t help my local bookshop though.

    And Amazon is listing Love Life as available for pre-order for September 2011. How’s that for pressure?

  13. NLC says:

    Pam I.#12:

    Thanks for pointing this out (Love Life on amazon.uk).

    Curious that it’s not listed on the US site.

  14. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Pam, LaL

    One of the problems with buying used vs. new is that the author receives no royalties from the resale of the used copy. That’s why I usually restrict my used bookbuying to items that are out of print, or that are way beyond my price range new (e.g. if I stumbled upon a reasonably-priced used set of the OED I would haul it all home without a second thought). I do have a definite weakness for the used bookseller tables on Broadway outside Zabar’s, so I’m not doctrinaire about this.

    But wouldn’t it be far better for AB and the universe if we pestered the publisher to reissue Indelible and any other of AB’s works that are currently out of print? After all, book publishers are not charities, and they have to see that there may be some money to be made before reissuing a title.

    Just my two cents.

  15. Kate L says:

    Maggie (#9) Maggie, Maggie, it’s always been you, Maggie! Tell me you love me, too! 🙂

    Gotta go to the city commission meeting, now. One anti- commissioner actually sent out an e-mail today to a woman who supports adding LGBT to the city human rights amendment, telling her that he “only” has been hearing from women who support the amendment, and that he needed to hear from “some men”. This commissioner also asked her if she were majoring in Women’s Studies at (Moo U), and if there were “some effort there” to encurage support for the human right ordinance amendment tonight. Yeah. All us Moo U wimmin are wild-eyed radicals! To the barricades! Smallville will join the 20th century tonight! (irony intended).

  16. I wonder if that commissioner is equally concerned if all he hears from about a given ordinance is men — I bet not, since males are default human and nobody counts their numbers looking for conspiracy. Even when it is there.

    Kate L, you can cry on my shoulder any time, honey.

    RIP Elizabeth Edwards now as well.

  17. Andi says:

    Hey Cartoon and/or Dog Lovers,

    Someone sent me this link and I laughed so hard I could hardly breathe. Considering the state of my life right now, something has to be REALLY FUNNY to make me laugh like that.

    Anway, enjoy!


    (Still wiping away the tears of laughter…”eeeeee…”)

  18. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    HoH #11 &14, Pam I #12, Andi #17

    HoH & Pam I, Thank you both, for your suggestions.

    @ HoH, I completely forgot to try used bookstores (Circus books is in my neighbourhood). This is probably because I haven’t bought a used book for a while. I get most of my books from the library, purchasing books only when I receive a gift card to a bookstore.

    Sometime back, I decided to only buy books that I will read over and over again (which means I’d have to read it before deciding on it) and reference books.

    Of course this rule does not apply to graphic novels, comics and the like or books related to graphic novels etc, such as The Indelible A.B.

    I realize how this decision would affect authors if it caught on and more people did this, so I set about thinking of a way that authors can benefit from the use of their books at the library.

    Here’s my proposal:

    Each person pays a borrowing fee or about .30 each time they borrow a book!

    Now I realize that there are more than a few problems with this idea, but it’s 2:30am and I’m dull wittedd.

    Also, HoH, I think that your idea to let the publisher (Firebrand, is it?) know of our interest in A.B.’s older titles is fabulous, and I will email them as soon as I have time.

    @ Pam I
    I can’t believe Amazon is listing for pre-order, a book that isn’t even completed as yet!

    @ Andi
    I LOVE the site! I can tell that I will be spending a lot of time over there. My internet
    connection is dial-up, so it takes forever for graphics to load.

  19. freyakat says:


    The link is MAGNIFICENT! Thank you so very much
    for posting it.

  20. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    I have always wondered if AB drew her characters based on acquaintances and if she used models. From posts here I think she does, but I don’t know if Harriet, for example, is based on a woman AB knows. Toulouse Lautrec always used models for his drawings and paintings. I”ve seen pictures of Japanese women using contact lenses to make their eyes look like manga drawings. It’s a fine line.

  21. Marj says:

    Lurk-a-lot #18: In Britain, authors borrowed from libraries benefit from Public Lending Right http://www.plrinternational.com/index.htm. I was astonished to find the USA doesn’t participate.

  22. Kate L says:

    (#20 Therry and St. Jerome) I always used to wonder if Mo was based on some aspect of A.B.’s personality, but once I saw A.B.’s self-sketches, I realized that Mo was Mo, A.B. is A.B. And, there’s a little Mo in all of our personalities!

    I joined a pro-LGBT demonstration outside Smallville City Hall in the cold after sunset at 6 pm Central Standard Time yesterday evening, before heading into the august city commission chamber* a little before the 6:30 pm end of the demonstration because I just had to warm up.

    *In the wood-paneled city commission chamber, the commissioners sit on a dias behind a judicial-like desk, while we citizens sit on folding chair set up on the floor below them. It used to be that the Smallville city commission would meet around a card table set up on the municipal basket court floor and interested citizens could sit in the bleachers.

    The commission meeting began at 7 pm, and proceded with a detailed reading of the amendment to add LGBT to the Smallville human rights ordinance and discussion among the commissioners as to what it meant or should mean. Then came several hours of public comment. A lawyer for the local Catholic diocese informed us that the Church believes homosexuality is a sin, and an evengelical protestant minister gave the commission what he said was documentation of the “Gay Agenda”. A local business owner told us adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance was not needed because she already hired “drunks, criminals and homosexuals”. And, we were warned by other speakers that people from out of town and out of state would be shocked, shocked to learn that we would tolerate gays, lesbians and the transgendered. They also said that no large business would want to relocate to Smallville if LGBT folk became a protected class in the city. An anti-amendment commissioner said that there was no need for adding LGBT to the ordinance because there was no evidence that LGBT folk were ever discriminated against. Several anti-amendment speakers claimed a religious freedom right to discriminate against LGBT folk in their everyday lives, and not just by what church denomination they belonged to.

    A pro-LGBT speaker pointed out that the state agency charged with monitoring human rights abuses refuses to even keep a list of the human rights complaints they receive from LGBT folk because their is currently no state law that prevents discrimination against them. A member of the original Smallville human relations board in the early 1960’s told us that the fight then to end racial discrimination had met with many of the same arguements that had just been heard in opposition to the amendment now being considered by the commission. Many of the other speakers talked about the amendment as being not a matter of limiting the freedom of the religious right, but a matter of extending civil rights to all. The director of the local university counseling center spoke about the distortions that the opposition had been circulating about the transgendered, and that, no, the American Psychological Association did not consider the transgendered to have a “serious mental illness”, as the commissioner who had earlier complained about hearing from too many woman had said (and would say again before the end of the meeting). Another speaker mentioned the fact that 34% of the populatiopn of the United States already live in jurisdictions where LGBT rights are upheld by law. By the time that midnight rolled around, there had been more speakers in favor of adding LGBT to the ordinance than in opposition.

    I left at that point, because my 54-pound-harrier hound at home needed to be liberated after being cooped up for all those hours (she was fine). I did tune in to local cable access to watch the rest of the commission meeting. At 1:25 am Central Daylight Time (2:25 am New York time, and 6:25 am Croydon Mean Time), the first reading of adding LGBT to the Smallville human rights ordinance passed on a 3-to-2 vote. Before the next reading (and likely passage), the mayor had several matters for the city staff to research, most especially considering the use of the term “biological sex” in respect to the transgendered using public restrooms, locker rooms, etc. It was the mayor’s sense that a majority of the commission wanted to take the word “biological” out of the amendment to insure that no one interpreted it to mean something like gender recorded at birth or chromosome make-up of a transgendered person.

    So, that’s the news from Smallville, where the women are strong and good-looking. Maggie, after all of that I could have used a shoulder to rest of my head on!

  23. cd in Madison says:

    Kat #5: the Herge Museum in Belgium looks fantastic. European architects are way more interesting than most. But I went to all the links and couldn’t find the city it is in. Do you know?

  24. Kate L — I searched the news for mention of an apocalyptic cloud of some midwestern city but apparently g*d forgot to smite y’all for advancing human rights. She was probably watching a rerun of The Good Wife like me.

    Congratulations out the wazoo!

  25. Acilius says:

    Brilliant link Andi, thanks very much.

  26. Marj says:

    Yay for Kate L and Smallville!

  27. EastBay K says:

    I love hyperbole and a half, a lot!

    I never read Tintin either, except for a great anarchist spin-off called Breaking Free.

  28. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Andi (#17)

    I loved the simple dog who could magically make more food by barfing. I really laughed at that.

    Some dogs have odd ideas about what constitutes yummy. I used to pet-sit for a dog who was a world-class coprophagist. Not his own poop, the cat poop. He would raid the litterbox for “treats” before the cats ever made it out of the bathroom.

    That was one dog that I wouldn’t let go near my face. Yuck.

    Lucky you, sweet Nellie is so well-mannered.

    (… goes back to her metaphoric poop-scooping existence, while singing “Sixteen Tons” …)

  29. Kat says:

    Google tells me that the Hergé museum is in Louvain-la-Neuve, southeast of Brussels. I had the same problem with the website…..you’d think they’d want people to be able to find it!

    Yay for Kate and yay for Smallville!

  30. Alex K says:

    @ Andi: Thank you.

  31. angela says:

    Although I loved Tintin more than life itself as a child, as an adult in post-colonial South Africa I’m looking at him a little differently. Anton Kannemeyer, a local artist, has done a series of cartoons exploring this – http://www.michaelstevenson.com/contemporary/artists/marais_essay.htm.

  32. MS says:

    Very cool…didn’t know about the Spielberg movie.

  33. little gator says:

    mmm…kitty roca….