My passion for Tintin, Haddock and Hergé's
other vivid and amazing characters goes back a long way. In fact, I have never
considered Tintin and company as fictional. To me they were always (and still
are) human beings. My father, who bore true resemblence to Haddock (he even smoked
the pipe), gave me my first Tintin books when I was a kid and I still read them
often, always discovering new things.
One childhood evening I accidentally happened to watch the news. It seemed someone had taken the splendid initiative of putting together a Tintin statue located somewhere in Brussels, Belgium. As if this wasn't exciting enough for a young die hard Tintin fan, me, one of my elder sisters, Mom and Dad were actually going to to Belgium in the near future to visit my aunt Tullan. As you probably have figured out by now, stubborn kid as I was, I had to see the statue, no matter what.
Well in Brussels (after my first introduction to the German autobahn. Not my idea of a good time) my lovely aunt had bought me a Tintin doll. This was long before the explosion of profitable Tintin stuff that's on the market these days. Therefore the doll had a truly, almost perverted, look (I watch it while I'm writing this, it still looks nasty). I loved it dearly anyhow.
The day had come which I had long awaited. After wandering around a small eternity in the Belgium capitol, checking out the obvious sights like Manneken-Pis etc, it was time to visit the one and only journalist of doom: Tintin!
I didn't know much about where the exciting statue was, only that it was in a
park somewhere in Brussels. My beloved parents had not done a heck of a lot of
research on the subject either, therefore each and every damn park, fountain,
etc had to be thoroughly examined.
We (the older folks that is. I refused to quit) where about to give up when all of a sudden: there he was! Tintin! The statue! Alive (well, to me anyway)!
The statue was a tiny green, moss-covered, thing, hidden away from where anyone possibly could bumb into it. I didn't care. My quest was fulfilled. I had met Tintin and Milou (Snowy) in person. Talk about euphoria.
A couple of pictures were shot and it was off to auntie and later back home to Sweden.
I'm positive I always will remain a Tintin-buff. Haddock cracks me up when nothing else can. More potent than any fluid, pill or powder on the planet. The translators of the Swedish editions of "The Adventures of Tintin", Allan and Karin Janzon, have done a tremendous job creating Haddock's innovative vocabulary. I suggested to my wife Camilla that she should check out the hebrew editions of the books since she's studied the language at university. One way to learn. Good one too.
Did you know that the Tintin books are forbidden in Iran because of Haddock's drinking and (to me wonderful) language? Stay bad Captain, stay bad.
If you still haven't discovered the fine world of Tintin yet, pick up and book, kick back, pour yourself a cup of tea (or Loch Lomond whiskey) and enjoy. For the rest of your life.