Tintin isn’t as popular in America as he is in the rest of the world, yet I still have fond memories of browsing through these wonderfully colorful books and following Tintin on his adventures around the globe. I didn’t realize at the time that later on in life I would have the chance to visit so many of these strange foreign lands which this comic book character introduced to me so many years ago.
Tintin has touched millions of readers in many different ways; this year many of them will return the joy by celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hergé, Tintin’s creator.
Belgium will be the center of these celebrations for the simple fact that Hergé, like the hero he created, was born in this small country. Belgians are not only fiercely proud of this fact, but most acknowledge that Tintin is arguably the country’s most famous export.
With this in mind, The Guardian has researched the best way for Tintin fans to celebrate this centennial event. Obviously, the first step is to get to Brussels and pay homage at the Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Arts where Tintin paraphernalia dominates the exhibit. Fans who want more can journey over to La Boutique Tintin, the “official Tintin gift shop” which is apparently stocked with high-end, very expensive items.
Brussels also sports the world’s only Comic Strip Trail, a walk past more than 30 murals featuring characters from Tintin comic books as well as many others.
This is where my fascination with Tintin would start to wane. For those more fanatical than I, The Guardian points out the home of Hergé, where he is buried, cafes sporting Tintin themes, various locations throughout Brussels featured in the comic books, and even a subway stop featuring a mural of 140 characters which have appeared in Tintin comic books.
Wow. The Belgians sure do love their favorite son!