As a boy, I was not really fond of comic books or comic strips. I used to make a passing glance at the strips that appeared in newspapers or magazines. When I was 9 or 10 years old, I happened to see a book at a local bookstore, which was totally different from my concept of a book. This one was, length wise, a gargantuan. As I browsed through it, I was quite stunned by the clarity of the pictures. I fell instantly in love with a short, young man with the front of his hair curled upwards. That was the introduction of Tintin to me.
Before my teens ended, I had almost completed reading most of his adventures. He appeared to me as a sensible reporter but never saw him in a newspaper office or anything like that in the series. Perhaps he was a freelancer who used to mail his stories to the newspapers. The world in which Tintin lives is mostly real. His adventures focus on solving mysteries or being involved in a science fiction adventure or fantasy. He is ably assisted by that cool, white dog of his – Snowy. I don’t think there has ever been a much talked about man-animal combination in literature. Snowy was temperamental, feared spiders and had an uncanny knack of getting drunk. But his loyalty and love for Tintin remains unflinching.
Tintin’s friends are also a source of great reading. There is Captain Haddock, the retired sea captain who becomes Tintin’s strongest human ally. Then there is the eccentric Professor Cuthbert Calculus, very absent-minded and half-deaf. His USP is the pendulum which he carries with him. There are the Thompson and Thomson twins, largely ineffective detectives. Between these characters, there is so much humor, many a source of dry wit and some long-lasting friendship.
My favorite Tintin adventures are ‘The Seven Crystal Balls’, ‘Destination Moon’, ‘Explorers on the Moon’ and ‘The Castafiore Emerald’. Though I like him in all his adventures, I feel he is at his best in these four. To this date, Tintin remains my favorite comic series. I’m glad that gargantuan book at that bookstore helped me discover Tintin. Goes to show that a visit to a bookstore can sometimes be magical.
Written as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge – http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/