Blistering barnacles! Museum honors Tintin creator

Mon May 25, 2009 4:40pm EDT
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By Antonia van de Velde

BRUSSELS (Reuters Life!) - Comic art fans, rejoice!

A new museum dedicated to one of Belgium's biggest export products brings the work of the cartoonist who created Tintin out of storage and puts it in a futuristic setting.

Georges Remi, better known by the pen name Herge, is first and foremost the creator of the bright-eyed Belgian cub reporter with the trademark quiff.

"But it is important to show that Herge did more than just Tintin," Charles Dierick of the Studios Herge, which guards the rights to Herge's work, told Reuters at an event marking the museum's opening on Monday.

"The fact that he worked in advertising has a certain effect on the way he makes his comics. The clarity of the visual message -- you learn that in advertising."

As a young man, Herge was put in charge of the weekly youth supplement to the Belgian Catholic and anti-communist newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle (The Twentieth Century).

Inspired by the boy-scout code of honor, he drew his first Tintin comic for the supplement.

"Graphically he (Tintin) practically doesn't exist. All the other characters are very detailed, not Tintin's face. You can project yourself as a reader," Dierick says.   Continued...

<p>Visitors pass by original drawings of Tintin during an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou modern art museum in Paris December 19, 2006. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>