This month Paris’s Grand Palais pays tribute to the grand master of Franco-Belgian comics with “Hergé,” a retrospective of the creator of the widely beloved Tintin series about an intrepid boy reporter, his dog, and his drunken-sailor best friend. The 24 Tintin books Hergé (born Georges Remi) wrote between 1929 and 1983 are hailed as much for their humor as for their literary merit. But his own life was as complex as his line-drawing style and narrative sense were clear. He was a set of contradictions: a depressive workaholic, a philandering moralist, a Taoist Catholic, a colonial sympathizer sensitive to the Native American plight, and a brilliant children’s book artist who didn’t really like children. He was also a pioneer of the form, bringing a level of imagination and detail not seen in comics before. (Take his prescient masterpiece, Explorers on the Moon, published 15 years before the Apollo 11 landing.) The Paris show highlights the eclecticism of his influences and the depth of his reach by placing his strips in the context of the adventure movies that inspired his brilliant pacing, the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin reels whose slapstick humor he adapted, and, most surprisingly, the modern art—by Lucio Fontana, and, naturally, Roy Lichtenstein—he collected. September 28–January 15, 2017; 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower; 33-1/44-13-17-17; grandpalais.fr.
Tintin’s Adventures at the Grand Palais
A new retrospective examines the life of the man behind these game-changing, timeless comics.