Tintin & Tess – a series of favourites, reflections and responses to Tintin by guest bloggers

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One of my fondest memories is discovering Tintin for the first time in a very dark corner of an empty high school library in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.

It wasn’t my school—I was seven or eight at the time. The library was empty because it was a Sunday, and it was dark because the school’s generator had broken down. I was there because my father was fixing that generator.

He often took me with him when he attended jobs in interesting places; I don’t know if it’s because he wanted my company, or because he wanted me to see interesting places. Maybe it was both. Or maybe it’s because I was pretty low maintenance for a kid: give me a corner full of books, and I’d be happy for hours.

As I traipsed about an Egyptian tomb with Tintin and Snowy, delving ever deeper into their wonderful cloak and dagger world in that hushed, darkened corner of the library, my father was somewhere on campus, up to his elbows in engine ichor.

For some reason, that thought has always made me smile.

T.

Source: http://jlutes.wordpress.com/category/creators-destroyers/herge/

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Tess Grantham is a British fiction writer living in Papua New Guinea with her husband and kids – visit her here!

Tintin & Stuart – a series of favourites, reflections and responses to Tintin by guest bloggers


In 1986, aged nine, for twenty-four consecutive Saturday mornings, I bowed before a revolving magazine rack in a corner of Hobart’s Angus & Robertson, mesmerised by the twenty-four Adventures of Tintin. The half-hour it took to read and twice re-read each book was an immunisation for the half-hour of pallid, ludicrous Anglicanism I endured the following morning.

……..The Ancient Egyptian pantheon had bewitched me at an earlier age (my bibliophilic parents would deliver me to the State Library—my preferred childcare centre: so many heathen texts—and pick me up hours later). Accordingly, my favourite Adventure was—and still is—Cigars of the Pharaoh: the eccentric Doctor Sophocles Sarcophagus who, struck by one of the Fakir’s poisoned darts, eventually went insane (‘Well, between you and me, I AM SECRETLY RAMSES THE SECOND’); the introduction of Thomson and Thompson, the bowler’d, bumbling detectives; the rank of mummified Egyptologists, gothic, catalogued (one—‘Lord Carnaval’—a nod to George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, Howard Carter’s financier); the vivid hieroglyphics and the gleaming uraeuses that might have been Xeroxed from the volumes I pored over.

Cigars of the Pharaoh instructed me to keep writing, to smoke opium, to visit Egypt.

I’ve yet to take my trip.

Stuart Barnes