Herge: Comics: made cameos in Tin Tin!

Georges Prosper Remi (22 May 1907 – 3 March 1983), better known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian comics writer and artist. “Hergé” is the French pronunciation of “RG”, his initials reversed. His best known and most substantial work is The Adventures of Tintin comic book series, which he wrote and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983, leaving the twenty-fourth Tintin adventure Tintin and Alph-Art unfinished. His work remains a strong influence on comics, particularly in Europe. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2003.
In 1920 he began studying in the collège Saint-Boniface, a secondary school where the teachers were Catholic priests.  Georges joined the Boy Scouts troop of the school, where he was given the totemic name “Renard curieux” (Curious fox). Recently an old strip by him was found on a wall of this school.  His first drawings were published in 1922 in Jamais assez, the school’s Scout paper, and in Le Boy-Scout Belge, the Scout monthly magazine.   From 1924, he signed his illustrations using the pseudonym “Hergé”.  His subsequent comics work would be heavily influenced by the ethics of the Scouting movement, as well as the early travel experiences he made with the Scout association.
On finishing school in 1925 Georges worked at the Catholic newspaper Le XXe Siècle under the editor Norbert Wallez, a Catholic abbot who kept a photograph of Mussolini in his office.  The following year, he published his first cartoon series, Totor, in the Scouting magazine Le Boy-Scout Belge.   In 1928, he was put in charge of producing material for the Le XXe Siècle’s new weekly supplement for children, Le Petit Vingtième. He began illustrating The Adventures of Flup, Nénesse, Poussette, and Cochonnet, a strip written by a member of the newspaper’s sports staff, but soon became dissatisfied with this series. Wallez asked Remi to create a young hero, a Catholic reporter who would fight for good all over the world.   He decided to create a comic strip of his own, which would adopt the recent American innovation of using speech balloons to depict words coming out of the characters’ mouths, inspired by their use by established French comics author Alain St. Ogan.
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, by “Hergé,” appeared in the pages of Le Petit Vingtième on 10 January 1929, and ran until 8 May 1930. The strip chronicled the adventures of a young reporter named Tintin and his pet fox terrier Snowy (Milou) as they journeyed through the Soviet Union. The character of Tintin was partly inspired by Georges’ brother Paul Remi, an officer in the Belgian army.

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