Dom Joly has this appreciation of Tintin in the Independent which captures that essential quality of the reporter – it makes you want to discover the world. (Sans dog in my case as I prefer cats.) In the main, Tintin is pure escapism and his world is rarely truly dark and dangerous (apart from the anti-Nazi sentiments of King Ottakar’s Sceptre).
The early books (Land of the Soviets and Congo) demonstrate the clear difficulties in writing political fiction for children – you need substance or it falls extremely flat extremely quickly. However HergÃ© managed to lose this and go for the boy adventurer before making a hard but ultimately catastrophic career choice: to keep working in Occupied Belgium. The post-War difficulties in finding a job lead to his losing control of his creation and ill-health.
I hope that the theatre production and the forthcoming films do Tintin proud.