|26 September 1946 – 29 June 1993
Tintin (French : Le Journal de Tintin; Dutch : Kuifje) was a weekly Franco-Belgian comics magazine of the second half of the 20th century. Subtitled "The Magazine for the Youth from 7 to 77", it was one of the major publications of the Franco-Belgian comics scene and published such notable series as Blake and Mortimer , Alix , and the principal title The Adventures of Tintin . Originally published by Le Lombard, the first issue was released in 1946, and it ceased publication in 1993.
Tintin magazine was part of an elaborate publishing scheme. The magazine's primary content focused on a new page or two from several forthcoming comic albums that had yet to be published as a whole, thus drawing weekly readers who could not bear to wait for entire albums. There were several ongoing stories at any given time, giving wide exposure to lesser-known artists. Tintin was also available bound as a hardcover or softcover collection. The content always included filler material, some of which was of considerable interest to fans, for example alternate versions of pages of the Tintin stories, and interviews with authors and artists. Not every comic appearing in Tintin was later put into book form, which was another incentive to subscribe to the magazine. If the quality of Tintin printing was high compared to American comic books through the 1970s, the quality of the albums was superb, utilizing expensive paper and printing processes (and having correspondingly high prices).
Raymond Leblanc and his partners had started a small publishing house after World War II, and decided to create an illustrated youth magazine. They decided that Tintin would be the perfect hero, as he was already very well known. Business partner André Sinave went to see Tintin author Hergé, and proposed creating the magazine. Hergé, who had worked for Le Soir during the war, was being prosecuted for having allegedly collaborated with the Germans, and thus was without a publisher.After consulting with his friend Edgar Pierre Jacobs, Hergé agreed.
The first issue, published on 26 September 1946, was in French. It featured Hergé, Jacobs, Paul Cuvelier and Jacques Laudy as artists,with their mutual friend Jacques Van Melkebeke serving as editor. (Due to suspicions of incivism left over from the war, Van Melkebeke was forced to step down as editor soon after.) A Dutch edition, entitled Kuifje, was published simultaneously (Kuifje being the name of the eponymous character Tintin in Dutch). 40,000 copies were released in French, and 20,000 in Dutch.
For Kuifje, a separate editor-in-chief was appointed, Karel Van Milleghem. He invented the famous slogan "The magazine for the youth from 7 to 77", later picked up by the other editions. (Van Milleghem gave Raymond Leblanc the idea for the animation studio Belvision, which became the largest European animation studio, producing ten feature-length movies, including a few featuring Tintin. It was Van Milleghem who also introduced Bob De Moor to the magazine and to Hergé. De Moor became a regular in the magazine and the main artist in the Studio Hergé.)
In 1948, the magazine grew from 12 to 20 pages and a separate version for France was launched. A group of new young artists joined the team: the French Étienne Le Rallic and Jacques Martin, Dino Attanasio and the Flemish Willy Vandersteen.
For decades, Hergé had artistic control over the magazine, even though he was sometimes absent for long periods and new work of his became rarer. His influence is highly evident in Vandersteen's Suske en Wiske for which Hergé imposed a stronger attention to the stories, editing, and a change of art style.
In order to keep its readership loyal, Tintin magazine created a sort of fidelity passport,[ when? ] called the "Chèque Tintin" in France (Tintin-voucher) and "Timbre Tintin" in Belgium (Tintin-stamp), which was offered with every issue of the magazine, in every comic album by Le Lombard, and on many food products as well. These stamps could be exchanged for various gifts not available in commercial establishments. Other brands, mostly from food companies, affiliated themselves with the Tintin voucher system: they could be found on flour, semolina boxes, etc. A Tintin soda existed, and even Tintin shoes. The French Railways Company went as far as to propose 100 km of railway transportation for 800 stamps. Among the gifts, there were super chromos extracted from the magazine issues, or original art.
At the time the vouchers were initiated, the magazine was selling 80,000 copies in Belgium and only 70,000 in France. Due to the success of the vouchers, the circulation in France quickly rose to 300,000 a week.The vouchers disappeared by the end of the 1960s.
In the 1950s new artists and series showed up:
The magazine became more and more international and successful: at one time, there were separate versions for France, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands, with about 600,000 copies a week. The magazine had increased to 32 pages, and a cheaper version was created as well: Chez Nous (in French) / Ons Volkske (in Dutch), printed on cheaper paper and featuring mainly reprints from Tintin magazine, plus some new series by Tibet and Studio Vandersteen.
In the 1960s the magazine kept on attracting new artists. The editorial line was clearly bent towards humor, with Greg (as editor-in-chief and author of series such as the remake of Zig et Puce ), Jo-El Azara (with Taka Takata), Dany (with Olivier Rameau ) and Dupa (with Cubitus ). Other authors joined the magazine, like William Vance (with Ringo and Bruno Brazil ) and Hermann (with Bernard Prince ).
In the 1970s the comics scene in France and Belgium went through important changes. The mood for magazines had declined in favor of albums in the late 1960s. In 1965, Greg was appointed chief editor. He transformed the editorial line, in order to keep the pace with the new way of thinking of the time. The characters gained psychological dimensions, real women characters appeared, and sex. New foreign artists series were added to the magazine. Moralizing articles and long biographies disappeared as well. These transformations were crowned with success, leading to the Yellow Kid prizeat the Lucca comics festival, awarded to the magazine in 1972 for the best publication of the year. Greg quit his chief editor position in 1974.
The major new authors in the 1970s were:
And more in the humor vein:
The 1980s showed a steady decline of popularity of Tintin magazine, with different short-lived attempts to attract a new audience. Adolescents and adults preferred (A SUIVRE) , if they read comics at all, and younger children seemed less inclined to read comic magazines and preferred albums. Still, some important new authors and series started, including Grzegorz Rosiński, with Thorgal , and Andreas, with Rork . At the end of 1980, the Belgian edition was cancelled, leaving the French edition remaining.
In 1988, the circulation of the French version had dropped to 100,000, and when the contract between the Hergé family and Raymond Leblanc finished, the name was changed to Tintin Reporter. Alain Baran, a friend of Hergé, tried to revive the magazine in December 1992. The magazine disappeared after six months, leaving behind a financial disaster.The circulation of the magazine dropped dramatically, and publication of the Dutch version Kuifje ceased in 1992, and the French version, renamed Hello Bédé, finally disappeared in 1993.
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From the beginning, Tintin magazine was in competition with Spirou magazine. As part of a gentlemen's agreement between the two publishers, Raymond Leblanc of Le Lombard and Charles Dupuis of Dupuis, if one artist was published by one of the magazines, he would not be published by the other one. One notable exception, however, was André Franquin, who in 1955, after a dispute with his editor, moved from the more popular Spirou to Tintin.The dispute was quickly settled, but by then Franquin had signed an agreement with Tintin for five years. He created Modeste et Pompon for Tintin while pursuing work for Spirou. He quit Tintin at the end of his contract. Some artists moved from Spirou to Tintin like Eddy Paape and Liliane & Fred Funcken, while some went from Tintin to Spirou like Raymond Macherot and Berck.
René Goscinny was a French comic editor and writer, who created the Astérix comic book series with illustrator Albert Uderzo. He was raised primarily in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he attended French schools, as well as lived in the United States for a short period of time. There he met Belgian cartoonist Morris. After his return to France, they collaborated for more than 20 years on the comic series Lucky Luke.
Bandes dessinées, abbreviated BDs and also referred to as Franco-Belgian comics, are comics that are usually originally in French and created for readership in France and Belgium. These countries have a long tradition in comics, separate from that of English-language comics. Belgium is a mostly bilingual country, and comics originally in Dutch are culturally a part of the world of bandes dessinées; these are translated to French and concurrently sold to the French-reading audience and vice versa.
André Franquin was an influential Belgian comics artist, whose best-known creations are Gaston and Marsupilami. He also produced the Spirou et Fantasio comic strip from 1946 to 1968, a period seen by many as the series' golden age.
Spirou is a weekly Franco-Belgian comics magazine published by the Dupuis company since April 21, 1938. It's an anthology magazine with new features appearing regularly, containing a mix of short humor strips and serialized features, of which the most popular series would be collected as albums by Dupuis afterwards.
Clifton is a Franco-Belgian comics series in the humorous spy-genre, featuring the exploits of Colonel Sir Harold Wilberforce Clifton. It was created by Raymond Macherot in 1959, and has since passed on to other artists and writers. Over the fifty years of publication of the Clifton series, approximately twenty albums and twenty smaller stories have been published, totalling about 800 pages.
Raymond Macherot was a Belgian cartoonist. Although not nearly as famous as fellow Belgian cartoonists such as Hergé or André Franquin, Macherot's work, both as artist and writer, remains highly regarded among critics and collectors.
Le Lombard, known as Les Éditions du Lombard until 1989, is a Belgian comic book publisher established in 1946 when Tintin magazine was launched. Le Lombard is now part of Média-Participations, alongside publishers Dargaud and Dupuis, with each entity maintaining its editorial independence.
Willy Vandersteen was a Belgian creator of comic books. In a career spanning 50 years, he created a large studio and published more than 1,000 comic albums in over 25 series, selling more than 200 million copies worldwide.
Hergé's Adventures of Tintin is the first animated television series based on Hergé's popular comic book series, The Adventures of Tintin. The series was produced by Belvision Studios and first aired in 1957. After two books were adapted in black and white, eight books were then adapted in colour, each serialised into a set of five-minute episodes, with 103 episodes produced.
Éditions Dupuis S.A. is a Belgian publisher of comic albums and magazines.
Belgian comics are a distinct subgroup in the comics history, and played a major role in the development of European comics, alongside France with whom they share a long common history. While the comics in the two major language groups and regions of Belgium each have clearly distinct characteristics, they are constantly influencing one another, and meeting each other in Brussels and in the bilingual publication tradition of the major editors. As one of the few arts where Belgium has had an international and enduring impact in the 20th century, comics are known to be "an integral part of Belgian culture".
Modeste and Pompon is a Belgian comic series consisting mainly of humorous one-page short stories about a temperamental young man and his girlfriend. Created by André Franquin, it was first published in Tintin magazine on 19 October 1955.
Willy Maltaite, better known by the pseudonym Will, was a Belgian comics creator and comics artist in the Franco-Belgian tradition. In the genre known in Francophone countries as bande dessinée, Will is one of the young cartoonists trained by Jijé, who made them live and work with him in his studio in Waterloo. He is considered one of la Bande des Quatre, and a founding member of the Marcinelle school.
Tibet, the pseudonym of Gilbert Gascard, was a French cartoonist in the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. Tibet, who debuted in 1947, is known for work produced for the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin, most notably the long-running series Ric Hochet and Chick Bill.
Sibylline is a Belgian comics series by Raymond Macherot and his second best-known work after Chlorophylle. Just like the latter, it is a fantasy comic about anthropomorphic animals in a forest setting. However, here the protagonist is a female mouse named Sibylline.
Raymond Leblanc was a Belgian comic book publisher, film director and film producer, best known for publishing works such as The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé and Blake and Mortimer by Edgar P. Jacobs. He debuted, published, and promoted many of the most famous Franco-Belgian comics. Leblanc and his two partners created Le Lombard publishing, Tintin magazine, PubliArt advertising agency, and Belvision Studios.
The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a museum in Brussels, Belgium, dedicated to Belgian comics. It is located at 20, rue des Sables/Zandstraat, in an Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta, and can be accessed from Brussels-Congress railway station and Brussels Central Station.
Chlorophylle was a Belgian comics series and Raymond Macherot's best known work, alongside Sibylline. It is a fantasy comic about anthropomorphic forest animals, including the title character Chlorophylle, who is a dormouse.
Georges Dargaud was a French publisher of comics, most famously Tintin magazine, Asterix, and Lucky Luke, through his Dargaud company.