In the twenty-four books that Belgian comic artist Georges Remi, under the penname Hergé wrote about the indefatigable reporter Tintin (who somehow hardly ever got around to reporting), the one-named hero traveled far, all the way to the moon.
As the Internet has grown, so have Tintin’s online adventures. If you are not familiar with Tintin (and that should change in the next couple of years, as we get ready for the release of the first of three Tintin movies by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson), certainly the best way to “meet” him is online. Then, of course, don’t forget to read the books.
Tintin and Snowy: where are the pictures?
Although the image of Tintin is still under copyright (guarded by the Belgian company, Moulinsart SA), Tintin and Snowy, like Charlie Brown and Snoopy or Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, have become such a part of popular culture, even folklore, that there is a real tension between the legal use of that image and other uses.
I omit all images of Tintin and his friends. If you would like to see them, check the Wikipedia article on the characters in the adventures of Tintin (here). Most of the characters, as well as each of the books (here) have Wikipedia articles. But, even Wikipedia specifies limitations of the use of these images.
Tintin and Snowy on Facebook
If you are a fan of Tintin and Snowy in the United States, you may feel lonely. If so, check out Facebook. Of 27 pages devoted to Tintin, the two most popular can be found here, with 220,545 fans, and here, with 133,657 fans. Of over 500 groups interested in Tintin, here is one with over 2,100 members, and here is another with over 1100 members.
Tintin and Snowy on Twitter
Tintin shows up three different ways on Twitter. First, there is TintinMovie (here), largely providing links to updates to the Tintin movie site (here). Then, there is at least one person with a Tintin avatar, who goes by the name baffled (here). These posts would be interesting even with a less impressive avatar.
Finally, there are people who refer to Tintin in their posts. Just as I am writing this, I found this unusual entry, “Dreamt that Tintin was a ghost and wandering the modern world.” That comes from okchickadee, whom you can follow on Twitter here. Most of these posts (you can find the search results here) are more prosaic speculations on the new film.
Tintin and Snowy on eBay
Go ahead and check out Tintin on eBay (here). Today, there are over nine hundred Tintin items listed on eBay, the most expensive being a resin statue of Tintin and Chang (from the The Blue Lotus) for $799.99. Cheaper items can be found in such categories as Collectibles, Books, Toys & Hobbies, and Clothing.
You can buy a neon sign of Tintin and Snowy, Tintin mouse pads and Tintin stamps. Yes, stamps, because there have been so many stamps with Tintin’s image that there is a Wikipedia article on them (here).
Tintin and Snowy on blogs
The blogosphere is not just for political activists. Tintin and Snowy have their adventures there as well. There is a lot of blog activity speculating on the movie, of course, but there are blogs dedicated specifically to Tintin’s adventures.
“Tintin in Paris” (here) has hardly anything to do with Tintin, beyond its subtitle: “Destitute from years of travelling the world as a ‘reporter,’ Tintin moves to Paris and takes a job in corp comms.” Note: this is a bit on the adult side, so if you are sharing all things Tintin with your children (and I hope you are), you might want to check this out first before turning the kids loose on it.
“The Tintin Blog” (here) is strictly about Tintin, with pages on “Tintin in Pictures,” “Fans of Tintin,” and “Who is Tintin?” The blogmaster includes this disclaimer, “while this blog is brought to you by ShopTintin.com, the most comprehensive online source for official Tintin merchandise outside Europe, it is NOT a place of commerce.” But, I’m sure he would not be offended if you were to make a purchase.
Finally, I offer for your consideration “Tintin in America” (here), which is my own effort to spread the word about Tintin in one of the few places where Tintin has never really caught on.
Tintin and Snowy on forums
“Tintin Chat,” a Yahoo! group, provides an online meeting place (here) for almost four hundred Tintin fans. On the Internet Movie Database, there is a lively discussion forum (here) for the upcoming film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (main entry here). A discussion thread about Tintin on a site from India ran for thirty-one pages (here), and there are forums and discussions from sites all over the world.