Herge, the creator of Tintin, is being celebrated in his native Belgium and beyond on the day that would have marked his 100th birthday. He admitted his personality shone through his characters. “When Captain Haddock gets angry, it is a bit like me when I am angry, when Professor Calculus is absent-minded, that is me when I am absent-minded, when Thomson and Thompson do something stupid, it is me when I do something stupid. Actually, Tintin is kind of like me,” the cartoonist once said.
Controversially, Herge continued to publish comic strips during the Nazi occupation of Belgium. Journalist Hugues Dayez said: “At the start, Herge was rather like a sponge, absorbing the opinions of his time. His career evolved in a right-wing Catholic newspaper called “The 20th century.” He was to distance himself from it, little by little, even moving to an oriental philosophy and becoming interested in Taoism.”
Herge, whose real name was Georges Remi, died in 1983. Exhibitions, stamps and a museum project are helping to mark today’s anniversary, amid talk of Tintin hitting the big screen in blockbuster Hollywood productions.