A thousand Tintins

Kia ora and thanks to all the cool Christchurch kids who entered the Tintin colouring competition. We got nearly a thousand entries, and look how fabulous they are!
Paris's entry Leni's entry Laura's entry     Amelie's entry

Captain Haddock’s Chateau

book coverIn France’s Loire Valley, an enterprising stately home owner has cashed in on the fact of their chateau being used as the model for Moulinsart, the chateau of Captain Haddock. (In English it is called Marlinspike Hall)

Chateau de Cheverny has many attractions – the chateau, the beautiful park , a medieval church of great beauty and the rather savage soupe des chiens – daily feeding of a pack of hounds. Added to this is a small Tintin museum full of lots of interactive fun for the kids.

According to Wikipedia “Marlinspike Hall first appears in The Secret of the Unicorn as the home of the story’s villains, the Bird Brothers. At the end of Red Rackham’s Treasure, the manor (found to have been built by an illustrious ancestor of Haddock’s) is purchased by Professor Calculus on behalf of the Captain; the fabled treasure itself is found hidden in the manor’s old chapel, in the cellars. In the following years, Marlinspike provides a home base for Tintin and Haddock in between their various adventures. In The Castafiore Emerald, virtually all of the action takes place in the hall, its grounds, or the surrounding countryside.”

We don’t have the “soupe des chiens” but we are celebrating Tintin and Belgian culture at our libraries all through October.

Tintin cub reporter turns 80

07497046911Sacre Bleu!! Who’d have believed the ginger bequiffed one was 80 years old, and all without a wrinkle. Belgium’s greatest export aside from choc-choc and Hercule Poirot made his first appearance on January 10th 1929 and has remained a European favourite.

Intriguingly ambiguous, energetic, pure of heart, brave and intrepid Tintin and, bless him, Snowy have galloped through 24 adventures beginning with The Adventures of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets through to the unfinished Tintin and the Alph-Art. Loveable pisshead Captain Haddock (Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!) connoisseur of Loch Lomond whiskey joined the gang in 1941, while Thompson and Thomson, the excruciatingly inept British Bobbies turned up first in the Cigars of the Pharaoh in 1934 and then spend the rest of their print career pursuing Tintin for crimes he didn’t commit.

A colourfully cartoony cast of characters have all graced the pages of Tintin’s adventures: Professor Calculus, Nestor, my personal favourite the “Milanese nightingale” Bianca Castafiore, General Alcazar and baddies Rastapopoulos, Dr Muller etc. The Adventures of Tintin, an animated TV series, is well worth seeing and of course Peter Jackson’s Tintin movie has been gaining mahoosive amounts of attention although studio deal delays have set its release date back to 2011.

The burning question which has been preoccupying particularly the French media as Europe celebrates Tintin’s special birthday is Tintin’s sexuality, is Tintin gay? Matthew Parris in the Times makes a strong case in support of Tintin’s homosexuality even going so far as to describe Snowy as a “mincing toy dog”, how very dare he! Regardless of Tintin’s predilections the wonderful ligne claire illustrations, cosmopolitan locations and fast-paced plots make Tintin an enduring classic.