4 May 2013

Tintin in America in Brussels Midi

Having arrived at Brussels Midi by Eurostar my time waiting for the train to Düsseldorf was considerably brightened by Tintin.

Obviously I read the books as a boy, even the one in French that one of my French teachers bought for me (Vol 714 pour Sydney), I loved the animated adaptation that that we used to get on TV where each book was broken down in to segments just a few minutes long, and I likes the recent film too.

A large poster inside one of the many confusing entrances explained that this film was the cause of the Tintin celebration at the station.

On a concrete pillar in one of the reception areas (a place to pause while you try and work out which way you are meant to go to find anything useful, such as a train) was a large copy of one of the pages from the black and white edition of Tintin in America.

A short panel beneath explained something about the drawing style.

Clear straight lines were used for Tintin and the train but broken wavy lines were used for the landscape and smoke to indicate movement.

As always with Herge's style, it is simple but effective.

This is the first time that I had seen his work in black and white, instead of the familiar bright flat colours, and I found that effective too. A lot of good art is done in black and white, especially horror comics, and I would like to see more of it in the mainstream.

On the wall behind the pillar with the poster was a very large copy of one of the panels. It stretched a whole story high and was as wide as it was tall.

The effect was stunning. The movement was palpable, as was the determination on Tintin's face. And all this was achieved with very few lines.

Tintin has been a popular character for over eighty years and it is excellent that he is being celebrated in such a public way.

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