Hergé: The Father of Tintin and Snowy

By Storey Books, Tuesday, 15th January 2013 | 0 comments


Tintin creator George Prosper Remi is better known by his pen name 'Hergé' - the French pronunciation of his initials "RG". Born in 1907 to a middle class family in Etterbeek, Belgium, he spent his childhood and youth doodling on any scrap of paper and drawing whatever came into his mind, at any given opportunity.

             tintin comic early drawings herge sketches

In 1920 Hergé entered Saint Boniface school run by catholic priests where he excelled academically. The margins of his textbooks were completely full of scenes, landscapes, and characters from history, geography, and of German soldiers in the ongoing war. He first began to sign his artwork with his pen name "Hergé" at this time.


At Saint Boniface he joined the Boy Scouts where he really came into his own.
With his keen wit, intellect, neat appearance, and determination Hergé was awarded head of the Squirrels Patrol and was given the totemic name "Renard Curieux" (Curious Fox)! 

The Boy Scouts provided Hergé with a way of life, a means to travel, and a way to develop his life-long interest in exploration, and enabled him to escape the inertia of his small town life. 

Hergé's Career

Scouting provided Hergé with the opportunity to publish his work. His drawings were first published in the Saint Boniface Scouts newsletter 'Jamais Assez' (Never Enough) thanks to his Scoutmaster René Waverbergh who first believed in young George Remi's talent.
Hergé then went on to produce work for 'Le Boy Scout Belge', 'On Patrol', 'The Cub Scouts' Corner', and 'Strings and Things'. 

Upon leaving school in 1925 he worked for the Catholic newspaper ' Le XXe Siècle'.  In 1928 he was put in charge of producing the children's supplement 'Le Petit Vingtieme'.


le petit vingtieme tintin in america herge Thumbnail0



In 1926 for 'Le Boy Scout Belge' Hergé completed his first comic strip. It was the story of a heroic young patrol leader: 'The Adventures of Totor C.P. of the June Bugs'. It formed a prefiguration of Tintin's adventures.

Hergé's experiences of travel, and his love for the outdoors, and the scouting principle of giving your word and staying true to it, all played a pivotal role in the plot and themes of the scouting adventures of Totor  and his other work.

None more so perhaps than in his life's monumental work 'The Adventures of Tintin'.


                            Sothebys first ever tintin comic the land of the soviets Thumbnail0

Hergé's Art

Although he received no formal art training, he was inspired by various art forms including portraiture, graphic art including that of Swiss graphic artist Leo Marfurt, and illustration by Benjamin Rabier and the Art Deco style of fashion designer René Vincent.

Hergé also admired 1930s-era American comic strips for their clarity, and Chinese drawings for their order and simplicity.
Hergé maintained “One tries to eliminate everything that’s graphically redundant, to stylize as much as possible, and to choose the line that’s most expressive.”

An ethos he clearly held onto throughour his life. 

Herge drawing tintin sketch Thumbnail0

 tintin in america first edition comic Herge Thumbnail0



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