Comics on a Hot Tintin Roof


With images from the upcoming Tintin movies being released I thought it would be a good time to post some photos from my visit to the Hergé Museum earlier this year.

The museum is located in in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, about half an hour from Brussels by train. Louvain-la-Neuve is a very new town, and can be a little confusing when you first arrive. The town was created with pedestrians in mind, thus all motorized traffic is kept underground, and visitors are left to wander around the narrow streets wondering where they are. I arrived on a Sunday and the town seemed emptier and sleepier than it probably usually is, with most of the shops closed and not many people around. Still, I managed to find the museum with no real problems.

The museum itself only opened last year and this is reflected in the modern building in which it is housed. Audio guides are available in several languages, and once you’ve gotten that you’re free to wander amongst the exhibits themselves. There are two floors devoted to Hergé’s life and art, including many pieces of original art, which for many would be the high points of the museum.

In addition to the art are many props, replicas, and scale models from the Tintin comics.

A yeti signal.

This rather neat piece hangs down in the middle of a stairwell. (Though it does unfortunately include some of Hergé’s less savoury portrayals of non-white people.)

There are also many examples of toys and games based upon Hergé’s work. This was probably my favourite.

A number of quotes from Hergé are printed along the walls in multiple languages. I liked this one dated 20 January 1969.

Comic strips in the year 2000? I think, I hope, that they will [finally!] be accepted and that, dare I say it, adults will be reading them as much as children. I hope that the world of comic strips will no longer be so barren, vilified as the source of all evil and a business that stultifies its readers, in some people’s eyes. I hope that they will become a complete form of expression, like literature or cinema [by which, it should be noted, they have been heavily influenced]. Perhaps, or rather no doubt, comic strips will find, on their way, their own Balzac – an author who is gifted with both artistic and literary abilities, who will create a classic work.

The ground floor holds a shop, restaurant, and some temporary exhibition halls, which during my visit held a display of artwork by Dutch artist Joost Swarte.

Outside the museum you won’t be able to escape Hergé’s grasp. This giant piece hangs in one of the train stations in Brussels itself.

And as a bonus, here’s a rather familiar statue I saw in a museum in Malmö, Sweden with absolutely no explanation as to why it was there.

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Matthew Murray can’t stop travelling. When he does manage to sit down somewhere he reads a lot of zines and comics, yet his cravings can never be sated and he always wants more. Thanks to Jen Vaughn for the post title.

Comments

  1. Great article, I LOVE that building.

  2. Matthew, thanks for the nice write up and photos. Several years ago, while visiting my brother who was going to school in Brussels, we went to the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (Belgian Comic-Strip Center) and I absolutely loved it. Aside from all the classic Belgian and French comics art on display, they also had a temporary exhibit of South African comic art which was fascinating.

    Having grown up on Tintin, I’d love to visit the Herge museum some day.

  3. Matthew, thanks for the mini-tour. I am looking forward to seeing this in person someday!

  4. What I’d give to see Tintin original art in person…

  5. moubius44 says:

    Thanks son i will go see my folks in belgium soon so i might take the trip 2. Did you check out the strip museum in Brussels ? it’s in a old art deco ….. well castle :)

  6. Rodney wall says:

    Many thanks to the intrepid reporter.
    I love the idea of a town with no cars.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by davidwynne and James, Andres. Andres said: RT @tomorrowboy01 My trip to the Hergé Museum: http://www.comicsbeat.com/2010/11/09/comics-on-a-hot-tintin-roof/ [...]

  2. [...] Matthew Murray files a report from the Hergé Museum in Belgium. [The Beat] [...]

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