As the creator of Tintin, Herge (1907-1983) remains one of the most important and influential figures in the history of comics. When Herge, born Georges Prosper Remi in Belgium, emerged from the controversy surrounding his actions after World War II, his most famous work leapt to international fame and set the standard for European comics. While his style popularized what became known as the "clear line" in cartooning, this edited volume shows how his life and art turned out much more complicated than his method.
The book opens with Herge's aesthetic techniques, including analyses of his efforts to comprehend and represent absence and the rhythm of mundaneness between panels of action. Broad views of his career describe how Herge navigated changing ideas of air travel, while precise accounts of his life during Nazi occupation explain how the demands of the occupied press transformed his understanding of what a comics page could do. The next section considers a subject with which Herge was himself consumed: the fraught lines between high and low art. By reading the late masterpieces of the Tintin series, these chapters situate his artistic legacy. A final section considers how the clear line style has been reinterpreted around the world, from contemporary Francophone writers to a Chinese American cartoonist and on to Turkey, where Tintin has been reinvented into something meaningful to an audience Herge probably never anticipated.
Despite the attention already devoted to Herge, no multi-author critical treatment of his work exists in English, the majority of the scholarship being in French. With contributors from five continents drawing on a variety of critical methods, this volume's range will shape the study of Herge for many years to come.
About the Author
Joe Sutliff Sanders, Manhattan, Kansas, is associate professor in the children's literature track of the English Department at Kansas State University. He is author of A Literature of Questions: Nonfiction for the Critical Child and Disciplining Girls: Understanding the Origins of the Classic Orphan Girl Story, coeditor of a collection of essays on The Secret Garden, and former Fulbright Fellow at the University of Luxembourg.