I took the family to see Puss in Boots Sunday (go ahead and skip it or wait for DVD) and saw the Tintin trailer during the previews. I whispered to my wife just how big Tintin is in Europe. She’d not heard of Tintin before and I suspect most in the audience hadn’t either.
The LA Times Hero Complex blog is doing a series on the “heritage of the [Tintin] character”:
A cousin of such 20th century American young-adult heroes as the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift, Tintin is no longer a boy, nor quite yet a man. (“It’s difficult to say,” Herg’e once told a teenaged interviewer who asked the character’s age, and then settled on 17.) But he is manly in a way that boys were once told to strive to be: athletic, brave, loyal, cool-headed, polite. In any case, neither his friends nor foes, all his senior, treat him as a child; practically speaking, he is more adult than any of them. His virtues are, essentially, Boy Scout virtues – Herg’e had enthusiastically been a Scout himself – and in early drawings Tintin markedly resembles his predecessor Totor, the star of a strip Herg’e had written for Le Boy-Scout Belge.