The Adventures of Tintin is heavily influenced by film in several ways, in both its content and execution. While reading, I was immediately reminded of the works of iconic filmmaker-actors Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin which, interestingly enough, were an inspiration to Herge.

Tintin is built on a foundation of Western film traditions and techniques. All of the locations utilized in Volume 1 are caricatures, putting an emphasis on certain stereotypes to capture the feeling of the area, similarly to a cinematic approach.  

Tintin also utilizes slapstick comedy in the same way that Keaton and Chaplin did. The main characters are painted as loveable but pretty average or even naive, making them more relatable and unexpected heroes. These heroes are placed in unlikely situations and are able to rise to the occasion, as their opponents tend to be extremely dim-witted and can be outsmarted with ease. When problems arise, or the protagonist has to fend off the villains, they use their naivety to their advantage; most of the slapstick defense techniques are happy accidents.

Though this is what makes Tintin so charming, now that we have revisited it after probably not picking up a copy since we were young, we realize there are many areas in the comic that are problematic in a modern world. This makes me wonder how many of these are also shared in some of the great films I grew up on. Were Keaton and Chaplin’s works just as problematic?