Tuesday, March 25, 2003

revisting herge

I've always loved Tintin, and thanks to this quarter's issue of The Comics Journal, I learned a lot more about the man who created him. It is just so sad that no more adventures will be created by this genius of words and art.

I first encountered Tintin when I was a young boy. A friend of mine had several oversized albums featuring this non-superhero character with a dog. The illustrations were clean but surprisingly complex, and the stories were a jaunt into a world of clearcut morality, all lovingly presented. I begged him to give or sell me even one, but he refused (this object of my envy also had some Asterix volumes).

I promised myself that when I grew older I would find the entire set and complete my collection (mind you, this was way before the internet, and when bookstores didn't have a wide selection in Manila).

When I lived in Hong Kong, I rediscovered Tintin and faithfully purchased every album (except for the Soviets, which slipped past). Reading and rereading them drew me back into Herge's vision of the world: where friends stayed true, villains were defeated and comedy was an intrinsic part of existence.

My favorite albums (as an adult cloaking a child's sensibilities) are:

King Ottokar's Sceptre - I'd give it an Oscar for Art Direction if it were possible

Tintin in Tibet - Wherein love for a friend moves mountains

The Seven Crystal Balls & Prisoners of the Sun - Fantastic development and exotic adventure

Destination Moon & Explorers on the Moon - Way before the astronauts went to La Luna, Herge envisioned it all

If I, in my lifetime, could achieve even a fraction of what this has created, then I'll pass on a happy man.


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