The adventures of the most famous Belgian reporter and the first man on the moon, Tintin began in the cold winter of January 1929. Almost a hundred years since his first journey to the land of Soviets, this loveable plump-cheeked boy continues to be one of the most popular comic characters ever created. The adventures of Tintin have been translated into more than seventy languages and have sold over 230 million copies.
However, the creator of Tintin, Georges Remi, better known as Hergé, has often been eclipsed by his bequiffed hero and his faithful canine buddy, Snowy (and many other of his characters, from Captain Haddock to Thompson and Thompson). Now, the Grand Palais, Paris attempts to rectify this gap with a brand new exhibition, Hergé that opens to the public today.
With an intelligent structuring, the exhibition revolves around the life and personality of the pioneer of ligne claire style, his possessions and obsessions, his various sources of inspiration and friendships. There are beautiful illustrations on the wall, original sketches from his archives, the first Tintin strips that appeared in Le Petit Vingtième, Hergé’s work at Le Soir during the German occupation of Belgium, and the pencil-drawn notes of Tintin and Alph-Art left unfinished at the time of Hergé’s death.
And then there is the moon rocket scale model that Hergé commissioned and used to realistically represent what a moon rocket would look like in the future. An impressively detailed section is also dedicated to Hergé’s collaboration and friendship with Chinese artist, Zhang Chongren that resulted in The Blue Moon, widely acclaimed as his first masterpiece.
The other inviting parts of the exhibition are an introduction to Hergé’s lesser-known works, including Quick and Flupke and the Jo & Zette series, and the beautiful poster advertisements and cover illustrations that he created while at Studios Hergé.
Needless to say, this exhibition is a must visit for anyone who is or has ever been a fan of Tintin. We promise that you will come out smiling. It is pure nostalgic pleasure packed across two floors of a gorgeous art noveau building. But more than that it is a very special opportunity to learn about the fabulous life and work of the Belgian master who did not just create a ‘comic’ hero but an inimitable art of storytelling that continues to fascinate the world.