herge and marie louise milou snowy

If you asked people for a list of famous literary double acts, surely Tintin and Snowy would be mentioned. Snowy is Tintin’s friend, his companion, and his confident. Snowy is there for Tintin when no one else is. Snowy would appear in every book by Tintin’s side, and often help him along on his travels. Could you have gotten a closer bond between man and an animal?

snowy Tintin

This makes sense when you realise the history behind the character.

It has often been said that Herge created Tintin as an alternate version of himself. It is also said that the many characters that Tintin encounters are actually based on real characters from throughout Herge’s life. So if Tintin is Herge, and the other characters are people Herge met, what does that mean for Snowy?

Herge has said that Snowy was based on a wire fox terrier he used to see in a local restaurant. He thought it was intelligent, brave, and funny. A perfect companion to Tintin. The thing is it is much more complicated than that.

Wire-Fox-Terrier Tintin Snowy Milou

Snowy is not the real name of Tintin’s companion, in the original French version, Snowy is called Milou.

Milou is actually a sweet homage to Herge’s first girlfriend. It is said that he went out with a girl named Marie-Louise van Cutsem. It was young love.

herge and marie louise milou snowy
A Young Marie-Louise

Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. Marie’s father did not approve of the relationship as Herge was of a lower social standing than his daughter. He obviously wanted his daughter to marry at her level and lower herself because of a mere infatuation. The relationship ended after this. After this Herge still had feelings for Marie and supposedly named Milou after her. Marie-Louise became Milou.

herge and marie louise milou snowy
Herge and Marie-Louise

It is interesting to point out that if Herge is Tintin and Milou is Marie Louise, Herge made the two inseparable in the books. Tintin could not go anywhere without Milou, and would often risk his life for him. Maybe Herge used the Tintin books as a kind of escapism from his heartbreak?

So we know how Milou got his name. But why Snowy.

Apparently the name Snowy was chosen, because it was the same amount of letters as Milou so it would fit into the speech bubbles. It was also chosen because he is white.

herge Tintin snowy milou

So Herge was a hopeless romantic and ended up naming one of his most popular characters after an old girlfriend. I wonder if Marie-Louise knew?

tintin feature

Before Herge died, he gave the rights of a Tintin film to Steven Spielberg. Although the film deviated from the book plot, I think Steven did the young reporter justice. According to some sources, Steven first became aware of Tintin after someone told him he was similar to Indiana Jones. I really enjoyed the film. I also really enjoyed the little nods Steven put into the film as a fan. These nods are what I have included in this post.

As you can imagine all the Easter Eggs point towards the different Tintin books.

In Tintin’s room we can see the statue from the Broken Ear.

Broken Ear Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

broken ear Tintin

In the palace and the docks we can see two golden crabs. This is the logo found on the crab tins full of opium in The Crab with the Golden Claws book.

Crab with the golden claws Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Golden Grab Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

The Crab with the Golden Claws Tintin Easter Eggs

I love this little addition. In Red Rackham’s Treaure, Captain Haddock bumps into a news poster advertising the Daily Reporter with the same tagline; the News Which Hits You.

Daily reporter Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

A running joke throughout the last few Tintin books plays on the fact that people keep calling up Captain Haddock at Marlinspike, when they really wanted E. Cutts the Butchers.

E.Cutts Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

This one is an interesting nod towards one of Spielberg’s films. On the typewriter in the opening scene we see E T being typed.

ET Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

This next one should be obvious. Its Herge!

Herge Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

During the opening scenes we see a lot of different elements of the many books. This wallpaper is actually the end papers of the Tintin books.

inside pages Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

tintin endpapers

Surely that isn’t Mr T?

Mr T Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Also during the opening sequence we we a list of destinations. All of the destinations are ones that Tintin has visited in his books.Place names Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

This shooting star must be a homage to the Shooting Star book!

shooting star Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Last but not least is also from the title sequence. The logo above the pub is the bird from the Syldavian flag.

Syldavian Flag Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Syldavian Flag

It was nice to watch the film though again. I know I missed some, but I found a great site that has gone through the film with a fine tooth comb. You can see this site here.

Tintin easter eggs

Tintin is often seen as one of the best series of stories. While Herge is often seen as a visionary, political commentator, and genius. So I am not surprised he managed to sneak in some Easter eggs into the series of books.

All the notable easter eggs are from three books: King Ottokar’s Sceptre, The Calculus Affair, and Tintin and the Picaros.

The Easter eggs from King Ottokar’s Sceptre and The Calculus Affair are sneaky cameos of Herge himself.

herge king ottakar's sceptre cameo Tintin

In this scene Herge is the chap in the green on the left.

herge king ottakar's sceptre cameo Tintin easter eggs

You can see him again in the crowd, this time on the left.

herge cameo Tintin easter eggs calculus affair

Herge is still wearing green at the bottom right of this scene smoking a cigarette.

herge tintin easter eggs
The man himself.

Other than himself, Herge likes to pay homage to other famous characters too.

tintin easter eggs mickey mouse asterix

If you look closely at this scene from Tintin and the Picaros you should be able to see two very recognisable characters. Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse can be seen in the crowd. Herge also includes fellow European comic character, Asterix!

Tintin Easter Eggs Snoopy Picaros

Herge must also have a soft spot of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comics, as he included Snoopy in the crowd.

Tintin Easter Eggs 2 Donald Duck PIcaros

Finally another Disney cameo. I am not sure if you can say Donald Duck is making a cameo as he fairly obvious! Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

These are just a few different Tintin easter eggs that I find interesting. I hope you enjoyed them. Look out for tomorrow’s post about the Easter Eggs in the recent Tintin animated film!

 

tintin phoenix comic feature

I love it when comics pay homage to things that inspire them. It is obvious that the artist loves Tintin and all the other classic comic characters. If you have never read the Phoenix, I would definitely recommend it. It is full of great stories and strips. It is also full of great artwork.

The strip that pays homage to Tintin is called Von Doogan. Von Doogan, or the Doog as he is sometimes called, is a strip dedicated to puzzles. Each week a puzzle would be given to the readers for them to solve by the next week’s issue. The artwork is brilliant and the puzzles are tricky. It was in one series where the Doog is in search of the mystery Asteroid X. A story I would say is similar to Tintin and the Shooting Star. I will just let you see the page and see how many Tintin nods you can see.

Tintin Phoenix Comic

The artist, Lorenzo, must also love some of the other classic comics because the puzzle the week after features 5 characters; Asterix, Obelix, Calvin, Hobbes, and Snowy!

Tintin Phoenix Comic 2

I had found these great little details quite a while, but I waited until Tintin week to show them! I hope you find them as cool as I do!

tintin week feature

As I am sure you have gathered this week is Tintin week! Every post this week will be dedicated to the young reporter and his many adventures. As always I have written out a schedule. Bare in mind I probably won’t stick to it, but one can dream.

Tuesday: A nice page from the Phoenix Comic in honour of Tintin.

Wednesday: Easter Eggs in The Tintin Books

Thursday: Easter Eggs in The Tintin Film

Friday: Snowy, Milou, and Herge’s young love.

Saturday: My day off as always.

Sunday: Review of Herge’s Adventures of Tintin Cartoon DVD Box Set.

This week’s Culture Clash is between two old friends. It is…

Captain Haddock vs Tintin

Who is your favourite character?

tintin vs captain haddock culture clash tintin week
Click the picture to cast your vote!
phineas and ferb-catan

Bloons and Up Dennis the Menace and Angry Birds Despicable Me, Minions, and Where's Wally Mario and Pacman phineas and ferb-catanpixar and fifa tintin and professor laytonwalle and minecraft

Click Each Picture for A Large Image that you can Save and Set As a Desktop Background. I created all these photos from stock images using Photoshop, so I don’t own any of these images.