Thats all for Tintin week. I enjoyed it. I even managed to celebrate by finding 6 Tintin books in charity shop for 50p each!
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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This next one should be obvious. Its Herge!
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.
Surely that isn’t Mr T?
This shooting star must be a homage to the Shooting Star book!
Last but not least is also from the title sequence. The logo above the pub is the bird from the 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 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.
In this scene Herge is the chap in the green on the left.
You can see him again in the crowd, this time on the left.
Herge is still wearing green at the bottom right of this scene smoking a cigarette.
Other than himself, Herge likes to pay homage to other famous characters too.
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!
Herge must also have a soft spot of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comics, as he included Snoopy in the crowd.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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…