#A2ZChallenge · Books and Comics

#A2ZChallenge: T is for Tintin

Dear Tintin

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

T is for TintinThe 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

TintinBefore 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.

The Stories

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.


Certified Diplodocus


10 thoughts on “#A2ZChallenge: T is for Tintin

  1. Hi Lalita ! For me …yours is the paradigm of refinement in writing . “And miles to go before i sleep..” 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration. I so wish you would publish your A-Z in a book format. Also, please suggest some books to me , that might help me improve my writing skills, once the A to Z is over. Is it possible for us to connect beyond this blog?
    Best wishes,


    1. Moon, this is such an honor! Of course it is and I would love to. Your encouragement has been so key for me to keep posting through the a2z challenge! Whats a good way to connect separately? Are you on Twitter or FB?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lalita Mahanti, on FB (sometimes my friends say they can’t find me on FB but that’s because they are stupid :-)) – I will also find and add you.


    1. Such a huge compliment Kalpanaa. I have grown to love your writing and your ability to add so much expression to a topic that is inherently about pain and struggle. Thank you for being here.


  2. I love everything about Tintin. EVERYTHING! We have the complete Tintin collection as I told Soumya on her post, who has also written about Tintin, by the way 🙂 Such classy, tongue-in-cheek responses. There’s something so primal about clean humour and Herge did it in style.


    1. I agree. The language is flawless, even though the original writing was French. The set-ups are fantastic. Its the only comic book I approve for the kids, starting very early. I have a secret Snowy plush toy that I don’t share with my children too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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