Léon Degrelle, the Inspiration for Tintin?

Catholic World News recently ran an article quoting the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on the topic of the forthcoming Steven Spielberg movie "The Adventures Tintin", describing the title character as “a knight without a stain”. Although the young journalist-hero is not overtly religious, L’Osservatore quotes at length from a French critic who sees Tintin as an examplar of Catholic virtues. 

This "French critic" may be onto something since the inspiration for Tintin was the Catholic politician Léon Degrelle whom I posted about last week. Although Tintin is not a politician or soldier, I believe the connexion comes from Degrelle's years as a journalist-adventurer most notably covering the Cristero War in Mexico. Hergé, the creator of the comic-book character met and befriended Degrelle in Belgium in the 1930s during the latter's political crusading days.

An English translation Degrelle's memoir recounting his friendship with Hergé can be downloaded here: http://www.jailingopinions.com/tintin.pdf (in French)

Hergé subsequently denied that he based Tintin on Degrelle, may be due to the fact that Degrelle was villainised as a "collaborator" after the war. Well, that's a whole can of worms that I'm not going to get into right now, although obviously since I consider Degrelle a hero I don't consider him a "collaborator". But in further support that Tintin really was based on Degrelle the similarities in appearance are rather striking ...

The similarities to the CGI version of Tintin in Spielberg's rendition seems even more similar to the photos of Degrelle:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well written article and very true about Degrelle. As a veteran of the US Army, I have nothing but the utmost respect from General Degrelle, as he "is" The Valiant Knight of the West, the Homer of the 20th century, and a brave warrior or truth.

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