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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 November 2011
The Adventures of Herge is a brief autobiographical comic of Herge's (or Georges Prosper Remi to give his real name) life and, at 60 pages, it's a whistle-stop tour of the highlights of the Tintin creator's life. From childhood, where there were rumours of him being a descendant of the Belgian Royal Family, and where we meet his twin uncles who would later serve as inspiration for the Thompson/Thomson twins, to success with Tintin in the Land of the Soviets when he was in his twenties.

It continues from there, revealing Herge's sexual promiscuousness, to his pride that excluded any other artist as being credited on the front of the Tintin books, to his futile efforts to break free of Tintin's shadow, and eventual acceptance of his legacy as being the creator of one of the 20th century's best loved cartoon characters.

The book is drawn in the style of Herge's clear line and the events in his life mirror events Tintin himself would undertake in the books. While the art is wonderful, the limited number of pages makes for only the briefest of acquaintances with the important people in Herge's life as well as many important events only being mentioned in passing.

The Adventures of Herge is an interesting book for those wishing to know more about TIntin's creator and not wanting to spend too long finding out, but anyone expecting a more in-depth look into his life should try elsewhere.
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on 14 October 2013
The Adventures of Hergé is a delightful biographical comic about Georges Prosper Remi, better known as Hergé, the creator of Tintin.

According to Jose-Louis Bocquet and Jean-Luc Fromental, Hergé first discovered his love of drawing in 1914 when his mother gave him some crayons in order to keep him quiet and out of trouble. This incident serendipitously coincided with Hergé witnessing an informal performance from a powerfully voiced family friend who would end up immortalised as Bianca Castafiore, the Milanese Nightingale herself.

Given its format, The Adventures of Hergé goes on then to provide a necessarily whistle-stop tour of the important events in Georges Remi's life. After [presumably] spending his childhood more dedicated to art than to schooling, Remi eventually gets his big break in 1925 when a friend of his in the Belgian Scouts movement helps him to get a job at Le XXe Siécle, a conservative magazine. It was here that Remi adopted the penname Hergé and here, in 1929, that Tintin in the Land of the Soviets was first serialised. Tintin quickly captured the imagination of readers, first in Belgium and then eventually worldwide, and so the escapades of the boy reporter came to dominate Hergé's life.

However, despite any resentment that he might have felt towards his famous creation, it seems that Hergé himself led quite the life. While Tintin was engaging in dangerous exploits and thrilling the reading public, his creator was getting up to a fair number of shenanigans himself. Readers familiar with the adventures of Tintin might well be less familiar with the unusual life [both Tintin related and otherwise] of Hergé. Whether it's his near miss with Nazi interrogators or his campaign to liberate an old friend from Communist China, his tangled romantic life or his desire to be taken seriously as a painter, there is a lot to be learned about Hergé that is separate from Tintin.

Saying all that, it's still undeniably fun to spot the frequent visual and narrative references to the Tintin albums in the scenes from Hergé's life and to try and determine where art ended up imitating life. It would probably take several readings to spot all of the references and to properly identify the relevant album. There are also lots of famous faces to spot, from Astrid of Sweden to Edgar P. Jacobs [of Blake & Mortimer fame], René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo [creators of Asterix] to Andy Warhol. There's so much to learn and observe in this book in fact that it's a shame The Adventures of Hergé couldn't have been longer and so featured more of Hergé's life.

The Adventures of Hergé is illustrated by Stanislas Barthélémy. This particular edition is fully coloured [the original French-language publication having been black-and-white] and is a lovely book to behold. Barthélémy is clearly portraying Hergé's life in Hergé's own clear line style but there are still plenty of original touches. Barthélémy has also played his part when it comes to hiding references to the Tintin albums and in-jokes in The Adventures of Hergé.

In The Adventures of Hergé Bocquet, Fromental and Barthélémy use the comic form to brilliant effect. While it is a wonderfully illustrated and predominantly factually accurate biography of Hergé, there are plenty of playful touches and cracking in-jokes that will certainly please fans.
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on 17 December 2011
This is not a literary biography. It's more of a paper biopic. The life of a comics artist told in comics. It's clever, funny, full of discreet nods and allusions to Hergé's body of work, like a game to play to test your Tintin knowledge. The dialogues are fine. The art is superb, influenced more by Alain Saint-Ogan, Hergé's own master, than by Hergé himself, which is a good and intelligent way to avoid redundancy. Try it, you won't regret it.
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on 29 March 2016
The idea is brilliant; A biography of Hergé told in his own clear-line style. And if you are already a fan of Hergé and reasonably well informed about his life it's a good addition to your shelves - though probably not for children. [There is a completely gratuitous and explicit female nude at one point for instance.] The lay-out and colour pays homage to Hergé and the pictures are [mostly] sufficiently well-drawn that it is really puzzling that they are NOT in Hergé's style. The artist is good enough that this could have been achieved (or at least attempted) and it would have added greatly to the charm of the book. It's a real shame because there's clearly a lot of care and hard work gone into this project.
And it is not so much a biography as disconnected fragments of biography almost completely robbed of their context. I could only make much sense of it because I have read a fair amount of other biographical material. What a shame.
It's by no means dreadful but this could have been a classic for Hergé aficionados.
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on 14 April 2014
A glorious tribute, full of little visual puns and references which Tintin fans will notice and enjoy every time they re-read the book. As with all biographies of Georges Remi it somewhat skates round painful facts about Belgian Catholic antisemetism and collaboration with the Nazis, though it does show how his postwar arrest (and nearly being executed) influenced the Tintin stories. If you love Tintin you must get this book, perhaps the next best thing to Herge coming back to life and producing another one.
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on 16 November 2011
This book is not as claimed in the style of Herge's art work, It may be clear line and colour but its nothing like Herge's style, its very crude and lacking in detail, more like Herge's early works, land of the soviets.
It tells of various parts in Herge's life, rather than his life, what it does tell is often missing details and if you don't already know his life story, half of it won't make sense, you'd be better off getting a proper biography.
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on 21 December 2011
This book is really well done. It goes without saying that it can't include more than a fraction of the facts and figures of a written biography, but it makes up for this with its style and wit. It also manages to address sensitive issues with real feeling.

It is OK as an introduction to the author of Tintin, but for those who already know a bit about Herge this book is full of nods and winks to real-life events, anecdotes and well-known photos and images. It's a lot of fun!

The French artist, Stanislas, is an established comic strip author. His art style is quite contemporary and is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Dutch comic artist and graphic designer Joost Swarte, who actually coined the term 'clear line', when referring to the general style of comic strip art that Herge pioneered.

Highly recommended!
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on 21 July 2013
Nicely produced book but, unless you know a fair bit about Herge, text is difficult to comprehend. I've been an avid Tin-Tin fan for years and have most of the books, so I look forward to seeing what sort of idiotic comment I get from 'rare_comic_books'!
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on 29 September 2015
Fine
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on 11 August 2013
I'll admit, I've never read any of the Tintin books. My knowledge of the franchise is that the dog appears to be speaking because Hergé didn't know about thought balloons and that there was an Eighties British pop group named after the detectives in the books. Growing up, Asterix was more my thing. Which is probably why I found this book next to incomprehensible. The last few pages contain potted biographies of most of the main people in Hergé's life, it might do to read this first if you don't already know the details because you won't be getting them from the story itself. If it doesn't chose to make clear his relationship with his first wife, their break-up and his long relationship with the woman he would eventually marry in his old age then surely something is wrong? Did Hergé keep secret how he invented the characters and stories of Tintin? Because you won't be finding out anything about them here. There is always a risk when telling the story of the life of a creator that their creations overshadow them, in this more space is given to the tale of a female actress who is indignant at being cut from the first Tintin film that about the entire creative process of all the stories in the canon. When, towards the end, we suddenly start hearing about a Chinese man who Hergé is concerned about do even Tintin fans know he was a real person who was written in to a couple of the books?

The idea of copying the style of the books to tell the story of the creator is a good one, but while the lines are crisp and neat the characters look far too similar, an endless procession of (mostly) men in different coloured suits. Again the unclear storytelling makes it difficult to know who is who.

Like I said above, maybe my dissatisfaction comes from not already knowing the life story of Hergé before I sat down to read the book. But if we always knew the story before we read a book, what would we ever bother reading?
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