Tintin marks 90th birth an­niver­sary

The Sunday Guardian - - THE WEEK -

BRUS­SELS: Tintin will mark his 90th birth­day this year with a re­turn to con­tro­versy as his Bel­gian cre­ator’s heirs re­lease a new edi­tion of Tintin in the Congo”, a work from 1930 that draws ac­cu­sa­tions of racism.

The boy re­porter’s ad­ven- ture in the then Bel­gian colony was among the first Tintin sto­ries to be se­ri­alised by the artist Herge, and his widow’s firm is launch­ing a re­mas­tered dig­i­tal ver­sion in color to cel­e­brate 90 years since the strip car­toon char­ac­ter first ap­peared in a Brus­sels news­pa­per in 1929. The pub­lish­ers dis­missed sug­ges­tions that the story, which fea­tures char­i­cat­u­ral black Africans with fat, red lips and wear­ing loin­cloths, was prob­lem­atic: “Di­a­logue is most im­por­tant and the work of de­con­struc­tion, de­col­o­niza­tion, is just as im­por­tant,” Robert Van­geneberg told re­porters on Thurs­day.

How­ever, one Con­golese, noted Brus­sels-based comic book artist Barly Baruti, told Reuters that he felt that bring­ing out a new edi­tion of the work at a time when na­tion­al­ist and racist groups ap­pear to be on the rise in Europe was ques­tion­able: “We re­ally ask our­selves if it is the right mo­ment,” he said.

A Tintin bal­loon in Al­ber­tine.

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