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Hergé, Son of Tintin Hardcover – November 22, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

In this enthralling, deeply considered synthesis, brimming with anecdotes and perceptions, [Peeters] has enhanced our understanding and appreciation of the creator, the creation, and above all, the man.

(Paul Gravett The Comics Journal)

Model of economy and grace, mixing meticulous detail and stylized tableaux in perfect proportion so that the story is neither generic nor bogged down by excessive rendering.

(Slate)

Verdict: Carefully researched (there are extensive endnotes) and well written and translated, this fine study is most appropriate for sophisticated readers or dedicated Tintin fans.

(Library Journal)

Hergé is a granular biography that pingpongs back and forth between the artist and his art, looking to build bridges of epiphany and exposition between the ideas expressed and the life lived.

(Washington Post)

Well, Blistering Barnacles!, as Captain Haddock would say. The great merit of Hergé, Son of Tintin is that Georges Remi is allowed to emerge in three dimensions as what he in fact was: not an intellectual, not an activist, not a saint, but an ordinary man of his times.

(Cullen Murphy New York Times Book Review)

A 'must' for any TinTin or Herge fan.

(Midwest Book Review)

Why should readers consider another book on Georges Remi (Hergé), the creator of Tintin? Because this one was written by a comics writer himself, a man who knows the medium from both its theory and practice, who interviewed Hergé and those close to him, and who had access to a trove of vital letters, papers, and notebooks.

(Choice)

About the Author

Comics writer, novelist, and critic, Benoît Peeters is one of the most highly regarded Tintinologists in the world. His most recent book is Derrida, a biography of Jacques Derrida.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Tra edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421404540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421404547
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,851,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Science fiction was a new genre for Herge.
Mary E. Sibley
Peeters knows his subject very well and the plethora of detail that reveals Remi's life is sometimes riveting.
Robin Simmons
His style had a strong influence of future comic artists as well.
S. Lawrenz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Derby VINE VOICE on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Herge, Son of Tintin" provides a solid look at the life and creative process of Georges Remi. Herge, as he was known, is celebrated for his famous creation: boy reporter and adventurer Tintin who has graced a series of comics for almost five decades. While Herge did not exactly live the colorful life that Tintin does, Benoit Peeters offers an interesting biography though more could have been done on the Tintin works themselves. While this work is a translation, the reader should not notice--Tina Kover did a solid job on that front.

One big problem--though this could be the fact that I read a review copy. The book does not have an index which is simply unacceptable for an academic work from a university press. I hope this is remedied in the final version but it was a major pain.

Despite this flaw, this is a solid and useful work, especially for Tintin fans who want to know more about the man behind the famous comics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D.S.Thurlow TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Belgian artist Georges Remi, better known by his writing name of Herge, is famously the author of the Adventures of Tintin, a European comic book phenomenon that has survived quite nicely into the 21st Century with the recent release of the latest Tintin movie. Herge produced Tintin graphic novels from 1920's "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" to 1976's "Tintin in the Land of the Picaros", featuring his distinctive artistic style and increasingly sophisticated story-telling.

"Herge, Son of Tintin" is a translation into English (by Tina Kover) of Benoit Peeters' 2002 biography. Peeters, a highly regarded Tintinologist, provides a comprehensive look at the life of Herge, based on a variety of documentary sources and years of interviews. The result is an unblinking look at a gifted, hardworking and successful artist who endured childhood abuse, life under German occupation during two World Wars, nervous breakdowns caused by overwork, and an ultimately failed marriage.

Peeters paces the narrative by the production of the twenty-three completed Tintin adventures, discussing Herge's creative process, including his interaction with supporting staff and publishers, and his various sources of inspiration. Peeters takes note of the effects of the changing political landscape in Belgium. The frank discussion of the circumstances of Herge's alleged involvement in collaboration under the 1940-1943 Nazi regime might be worth the price of the book by itself. Peeters finds that the immense effort that went into the Adventures became a physical and psycological burden for Herge, whose production tailed off drastically in later years.

"Herge, Son of Tintin" is a long book at over 300 pages; some of the content is repetitive and its syntax may sometimes be a challenge to readers in English. However, it is likely to be of keen interest to dedicated fans of the Tintin phenomenon, as perhaps the definitive biography of its creator.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Williamson VINE VOICE on November 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a Tintin fan -- have read (when my son was growing up) all the books numerous times, and have gotten and enjoyed Benoit Peeters' TINTIN AND THE WORLD OF HERGE and Michael Farr's COMPLETE COMPANION, with their rich illustrations, as well as the early facsimiles. So I was interested enough when offered an opportunity to read an advance edition of this complete biography. It's complete all right, and I start out with 5 stars for that, but the style is somewhat flat and the details are such as to make those of us not interested in every minute aspect of Herge's business and personal life start to skim very quickly. All the details are here, but little of the *heart* is -- what really made Herge the person and artist he was. So we're down to 4 stars. This advance reading copy had none of the "14 halftones" that are in the final book, but even so, 14 illustrations are hardly enough to deal with the life of, after all, an *artist*. When Peeters talks about the art, I want to see it, and the only way to do that is to refer to other books. So the absence of the art takes off another star. By the end, I was roaring through at great speed just to finish. If you're a thoroughly dedicated Tintinologist, I'm certain you'll find the book quite valuable, but for a reader with more casual interest, this is too much of an only so-so thing. Still, certainly the definitive biography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. A. Carpenter VINE VOICE on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Georges Remi, better known by his non de plume of Herge, was a Belgian cartoonist famous for his Adventures of Tintin. About two dozen Tintin books, which we would now call graphic novels, were published over a 50 year span. They remain popular and a 2011 Tintin movie by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson will no doubt not hurt book sales.

Hergé, Son of Tintin is an English translation of a 2002 biography by Benoit Peeters. It is well-researched and covers everything about Herge's life - living through two World Wars, nervous breakdowns, an unhappy marriage, and various troubles with politics and publishers.

Curiously, Remi himself seems a very bland character who seemed to live mostly through his Herge persona and through the illustrated adventures of Tintin. I found that 350 pages about Herge was more than enough information about him but that the author never really penetrated into who Remi himself was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DragonWing VINE VOICE on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I discovered the adventures of Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock sometime in the 1980s, when I was 20 or so. They may have been aimed at kids, but adults can enjoy them also. Of course I have my favorites - the piratical ones - The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure, and the space ones, Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon.

The creator of Tintin, Georges Remi, used his initials to form his pen-name. (Herge is the French pronunciation of RG.) Remi was born in 1907 and died in 1903.

Although he created a couple of other comic strips, it is for the Adventures of Tintin that he is most well known. His first adventure was Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, published in book form in 1930, and ending with the 23rd book, Tintin and the Picaros, published in 1976.

Tintin is as popular today as ever, with his adventures translated into 80different languages. He's starred in a couple of cartoon series and his adventures have been adapted for radio. Although there have been a few animated Tintin movies in the past. The 2011 Adventures of Tintin directed by Steve Spielberg promises to ignite a new explosion of interest.

And doubtless to coincide with the release of that movie, a couple of biographies of Tintin's creator, Herge are coming on the market.

Herge, Son of Tintin, by Benoit Peeters, was actually first published in 2002 - it is making its English language debut now.

And I found it extremely interesting.

Herge was born in 1907 in Belgium, and had a "grey" childhood, nothing particularly stood out. He was 7 when the Germans invaded, and he and his family - not to mention the rest of Belgium - endured privations for the duration of the war.
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