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Hergé, Son of Tintin Hardcover – November 22, 2011
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
"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.
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.
The author, in his effort to craft the definitive biography, spares no detail of the real life Georges Remi, who wrote and drew under a name that reversed his initials. Although he also created lesser comics, Tintin became and still is internationally popular, especially as published in classic graphic novels that have been adapted into several animated series -- and of course, the big budget Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson motion capture feature. Ironically, Herge consistently referred to his comics as movie-like (and they do seem to move within each frame).
Herge's childhood was as dour as Tintin's was fictionally robust, his adulthood was alternately touched with great success, fame and fortune, as well as issues in his private life and severe bouts with depression. He also created a Tintin adventure during the Nazi occupation of Belgium that became a firestorm of controversy.
All of this and much, much, MUCH more is chronicled in this somewhat ponderous tome, so detailed that business contracts are even included. Such info is interesting, but the book reads more like a textbook than a narrative, at least as compared to the standard bio.
There is never a definitive biography of any famous or unknown figure. Citizen Kane demonstrated how we're all a collection of puzzle pieces. There was another Herge biography released around the same time as this one, and neither will be the last. A character like Tintin will live forever, and thus the creator will be forever tied to his or her creation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for adult Tintin fans. But the author did spend too much time on mundane or even negative aspects of Herge's career. Read morePublished on October 2, 2012 by Brad Teare
I found this to be a very good read; an interesting and solid read, if not an inspired on. Of course I am a Tintin fan and have been since a very young age so knowing about the... Read morePublished on May 26, 2012 by D. Blankenship
I don't know where I read my first Tin Tin Comic. It must have been under the covers at a sleepover at my best friend's house. Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by Sam I Am
I was very much looking forward to Herge, Son of Tintin. I was a Tintin fan growing up and thought this could really help flesh out the back-story of the man who created such a... Read morePublished on March 9, 2012 by Lonya
What a treat! If you grew up with TinTin you will enjoy this fascinating look at the creator, his times, and what shaped his writing. Read morePublished on February 16, 2012 by Todd and In Charge
How a book by a Belgian cartoonist made its way to a small mining community in Pennsylvania, I haven't a clue. Read morePublished on January 28, 2012 by John R. Lindermuth
Since Hergé lived from 1907 to 1983, this isn't just a story of a man and his creation -- it's about the interwar and war years in Belgium as well, about the Catholic press,... Read morePublished on January 5, 2012 by Benjamin Lukoff
A fascinating look into the life of the man behind Tintin. Not a particularly admirable man, in my opinion, after reading this, although his talent is undeniable. Read morePublished on January 3, 2012 by J B
Benoit Peeters did a good job of telling the story of Herge, author of Tintin. It wasn't exactly the happiest story, as it talks of his nervous breakdowns and failed marriages but... Read morePublished on December 15, 2011 by take403