Hergé, whose real name was Georges Remi, was working as a photographer and illustrator of ads at a Belgian newspaper when he was asked to design a comic strip for the newly created children’s supplement at the paper. His only instructions were that the central character must be a good Christian reporter who travelled the world and did good deeds. Only a year after the first strip appeared, Tintin and his little dog were such a huge hit that a promotional appearance at a train station by Tintin and Snowy look-a-likes attracted a huge crowd of enthusiastic fans.
This is a fascinating biography, especially for anyone who grew up reading Tintin. Born in 1907, Georges Remi’s life reflects all the major events in the 20th century, and even though he was an untrained artist, his work has had a major impact on the look of contemporary comic strips. In 2011 a new trilogy of 3-D Tintin movies will be released, directed by Stephen Spielberg.