Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Coffeehouse: Tintin

Comic books: I think that they can be a waste of time and degrading to a child's mind and intelligence if they are stupid and low-humored. Yet if comics are well-thought out by the author/artist and are pleasing for you, the parent, to look at and read as well, then I think it can be an edifying and fine activity for a rainy Saturday afternoon. Personally, I hope to only allow comic books in our own family on the above type of day, as there are too many classics out there to even be able to read. But for those "good" comics I speak of, I'm putting in a word for Tintin.

Tintin was written by the artist and author Herge. It is a strikingly well-balanced comic series of action and adventure, mystery, exploration, walking and hiking, cups of tea, opera, reading and fireside chats with a local. Tintin is a journalist who travels the ends of the earth, knows how to defend himself, is intelligent and gets to the bottom of every mystery, and knows the good things in life: his brisk walks in the morning sunshine and his meals and steaming cups of tea on the terrace of the house. Tintin's adventures take the reader to the mountains of Tibet, the Rainforest, Pyramids, Italy, highlands of Scotland, the great desert, and many more places. There are many delightful different characters, such as the retired sailor Captain Haddock, the deaf, brilliant Proffesor Calculus, Tintin's loyal dog Snowy, identical twin dumb police and the iron-jawed thugs who smoke cigars. The humor is witty, creative, over-the-top hilarious and inspires creativity in the children's vocabulary. I love hearing one of my siblings yell out in playful frustration, "Thundering Typhoons!" or "Billions of Blue Blistering Baracles!" Or when calling somebody a playful insult, rather than something conventional such as "butthead" (pardon the use of that ugly term!), they choose "nincompoop" or "you interplanetary goat, you!"

To me, the books are just so astoundingly good. Herge has his weaker ones, but I would definitely say that some of his best would include The Calculus Affair, Tintin in Tibet and The Red Sea Sharks. Children between the ages of 8-12 usually enjoy them the most, but as I said, they are still enjoyable to me now.

~Sia writes from Vancouver, WA


one of us :: 6:56 AM :: 5 Comments