If there was something called a platonic crush (most crushes end up becoming platonic, involuntarily though, if you think of it), I would so have it for you. You and your lovable menagerie are the best fairytales of all times. The taller, unbound version of each single title could launch monthly dreams, back in the dark ages where I grew up. Where bookstores and a cycle were the ONLY portkey to a life less ordinary. I could never save enough to buy more than three, and even manipulated friends to forsake theirs on my account. Once told an unsuspecting greenhorn that The Blue Lotus was not actually Herge’s Tintin, so they would sever ties with it. That did not work. So, in the What’s Not to Love section of our report today (we will keep the allegations of racism for another day):
Captain Haddock: sober, inebriated, any which way
The first cuss words I learnt were “Blistering Barnacles”. Ok, not the first ones but these are the most resplendent, and that’s how all profanity should be. Of course, this is never sold single. It is accompanied with a recital of other sea and aquatic-focused curses. Sometimes, when I have been mad at someone at work (everyday, thrice), I have pictured Captain Haddock yelling abuses at the slave trader who is sailing away in the Red Sea Sharks title, and when Tintin says that they have sailed out of earshot, the Captain walks out on the deck with a loudspeaker and starts his thundering playlist again. How can you not swoon over a man who refuses to bow to the laws of physics and wind velocity! I would totally do that to a slave trader, and also to lesser defaulters. Unlike Captain Haddock, I do not drink so I overcompensate by harboring murderous thoughts against co-workers.
Also, “Interplanetary Goat” deserves some ink all of its own. And the always pummeled “guardian angel” who wants the Captain to watch both his temper and his tequila.
Snowy, in and as very imaginative name
Before Milo in “The Mask” and that Tuffy, in our own local social masterpiece, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Snowy was busy fighting crime. Rephrase that. By and large, he was hanging around to get tipsy on his whiskey, and sometimes, for no fault of his, he would become an unlikely hero. In between almost becoming Lord Shiva’s offering and bouncing about in space, Snowy is the only sane voice in the outfit. Shocking as it may sound, he voices caution into Tintin’s audacious sense of adventure and sometimes dutifully warns the Captain of the arrival of Abdullah.
If you grew up reading Indrajal, Amar Chitra Katha and Tintin, with intermittent phases when you could afford or steal Asterix and Obelix, you could become an astrophysicist. You just knew so much. As a sampling, Al Capone, Native Americans, Stolen Treasures, African warlords, Intergalactic Magicians, Pirates, Emeralds, Spaceships, Inca Warriors, Eccentric Scientist ready for the moon, Frozen Egyptologists, evil Greek tycoons whose demise remains inconclusive, hospitable Indian kings, Bowler Hats and the two accompanying Scotland Yard’s “best” detectives and the abominable snowman. It’s a smorgasbord of stories that could enrich any bedtime chatter or light up a rainy evening. And who better than to deliver the best lines but Snowy.
Tintin is not Tintin per se, it’s like the Marvel Universe but more adorable and where you can understand all the hipster talk. A family of oddballs sprinkled with all-star winners at the World Cuteness Awards. Thomsons, the professor, Nestor, the Sheikh, Oliveira da Figueira, and even, Ms Castafiore and her beauty past compare.