One of the most beloved characters in all of comics, Tintin won an enormous international following. Translated into dozens of languages, Tintin's adventures have sold millions of copies. Yet, despite Tintin's enduring popularity, Americans know almost nothing about his gifted creator, Georges Remi--better known as Herge.
Timed to coincide with Steven Spielberg's long-awaited film The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn, here is the first full biography of Herge available for an English-speaking audience, offering a captivating portrait of a man who revolutionized the art of comics. Granted unprecedented access to thousands of the cartoonist's unpublished letters, Assouline gets behind the genial public mask to take full measure of Herge's life and art and the fascinating ways in which the two intertwine. Neither sugarcoating nor sensationalizing his subject, he weighs such controversial issues as Herge's support for Belgian imperialism in the Congo and his alleged collaboration with the Nazis. He also analyzes the underpinnings of Tintin--how the conception of the character as an asexual adventurer reflected Herge's love for the Boy Scouts as well as his Catholic mentor's anti-Soviet ideology--and relates the comic strip to Herge's own place within the Belgian middle class.
For all his huge success--achieved with almost no formal training--Herge would say unassumingly of his art, "I was just happy drawing little guys, that's all." A profound influence on a generation of artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, the elusive figure of Herge comes to life in this illuminating biography--a deeply nuanced account that unveils the man and his career as never before.
"Highlights yet again that all-too-common divide between the flawed private man and the admirable creative genius.... Those fascinated by the strange lives of creative geniuses may want to read Assouline's fine, if somewhat disillusioning, biography."
--Michael Dirda, Washington Post
"Will inform and edify America's Tintin devotees."
--San Francisco Chronicle