Feb. 13, 2012 | 11:56 a.m.

Beyond ‘Tintin’: Franco-Belgian comics waiting for their close-up

Hard-core Tintinophiles – fans of Hergé’s iconic comic book series “The Adventures of Tintin” — will be upset at Steven Spielberg for a long time to come. The recently released film adaptation reduces three richly layered books into one briskly paced movie, omits the beloved character of Professor Calculus and turns Tintin himself into a European version of Indiana Jones. Still, a sequel is in the making. But Tintin is only the tip of the iceberg in the world of bandes dessinées, or Franco-Belgian comic books. Here are five other long-standing series that could easily be turned into Hollywood franchises. (Note to potential directors: Avoid alienating the existing fan base by sticking to the virtues of the original.) Asterix Created by artist Albert Uderzo and the resident genius of French comic books, prolific writer René Goscinny, Asterix is the only […]
Jan. 02, 2012 | 10:57 a.m.

‘Tintin’: A boy and his dog meet a sea captain

Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd is a longtime “Tintin” fan. He has been writing a series of posts on the heritage of the character. This installment explores the bookshelf epic’s many costars and companions. Tintin, the Belgian boy reporter, did not travel alone. From the very beginning to the very end he was accompanied by his dog, Snowy, and as the years went on, he collected other friends and kept them: a bibulous sea captain, a pair of lookalike detectives, a hard-of-hearing inventor, an Italian soprano. Snowy: For his first eight adventures, Tintin’s sole sidekick was the little wire fox terrier (or, as creator Hergé once described him, “approximately” a wire fox terrier) English readers know as Snowy. His French name, Milou, came from the nickname of Hergé’s first girlfriend — or from Belgian motorcycle champion Rene Milhoux, according […]
Dec. 26, 2011 | 1:48 p.m.

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson as Tintin and Haddock?

“The Adventures of Tintin” star Jamie Bell compared the film’s director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson to the film’s heroic duo — Tintin and Haddock. “Steven is Tintin, a fearless innocent, and Peter, who is a mischievous, anarchic … kind of guy,” Bell told a packed theater during a Q&A after Hero Complex’s free screening of “Tintin” earlier this month. “They speak a common language which is making movies. I will say that the one thing that is similar about them is that they both makes films like it’s their first one.” Bell, who plays the title character in the film, and Nick Frost, who plays bumbling detective Thomson, answered questions from audience members about “Tintin,” which opened in U.S. theaters this week. Watch the video below to hear their takes on Spielberg, Jackson, Andy Serkis and the differences […]
Dec. 24, 2011 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Tintin’ star Jamie Bell: Hero is ‘a beacon of excellence for children’

Tintin is the right kind of role model for kids, “The Adventures of Tintin” star Jamie Bell told a packed theater after a free screening of the film. “There’s a spirit about him that is great,” said Bell, who played Hergé’s widely beloved comic strip character in the Steven Spielberg film, which opened in U.S. theaters this week. “I consider Tintin to be very much a beacon of excellence for children. His moral compass is definitely pointing the right way. And what makes him great is that he relies on nothing other than being who he is. He doesn’t have a super power. He doesn’t have technology that makes him amazing. He just has this fantastic natural heroic instinct…” “– and a gun,” Nick Frost added, drawing big laughs from the audience at the Hero Complex event earlier this month. […]
Dec. 19, 2011 | 9:32 p.m.

‘Tintin’: Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are proud parents

It’s hard to think of anywhere farther from Southern California than New Zealand, but if there is such a place, it would be Middle-earth. That’s why it was a massive surprise this summer when Peter Jackson — the cinema wizard behind the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and its upcoming two-part prequel, “The Hobbit” — left his work in Wellington to make a mad dash to Comic-Con International in San Diego. “Madness is the word for it,” Jackson said at the time when asked about the trip, which involved more than 24 hours in the air and less than 24 hours on the ground. “But I’m happy to do it if it helps spread the word about Tintin. He’s like an old friend, one of my oldest, in fact….” Tintin is the beloved adventure hero who, for five decades, lived […]
Dec. 14, 2011 | 8:09 a.m.

‘Tintin’: Jamie Bell and Nick Frost get ‘loaded into the Matrix’

Two stars of  “The Adventures of Tintin,” Jamie Bell (who plays the title role) and Nick Frost (who plays Thomson, the daft policeman), joined us Monday night for a free screening of the film in Burbank and talked about working within “the volume,” the performance-capture space that was used by director Steven Spielberg and his crew to create the world of the young adventure hero. Here’s the first video installment of the on-stage interview. Check back for more from Bell and Frost. — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED ‘Tintin’: A beginner’s guide to the European classic Hergé: An animated (and complicated) life The hopes (and fears) of one longtime ‘Tintin’ fan ‘Tintin’: Spielberg on the Indiana Jones connection ‘Tintin’: Catching up with a globetrotter ‘Tintin’: Spielberg felt ‘more like a painter than ever’ Andy Serkis’ Haddock is ‘shipwreck of a human’ Spielberg touts ‘Tintin’ […]
Dec. 13, 2011 | 9:16 a.m.

‘Tintin’ creator Hergé: An animated (and complicated) life

A December 1972 photo in Paris shows Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, aka Hergé. (Getty Images)
Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd is a longtime “Tintin” fan and he will be writing a series of posts on the heritage of the character. This installment explores: Who is Hergé? A December 1972 photo in Paris shows Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, aka Hergé. (Getty Images) Hergé is the pen name of Georges Remi, who created, and for 54 years wrote and drew “The Adventures of Tintin.” I will just call him Hergé here. Hergé — Remi’s initials backwards, pronounced in French — was born in Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium on May 22, 1907; like his hero, he was a city boy with a taste for the outdoors. His first published drawings, after his school paper, were for the monthly Le Boy Scout Belge; he had been a Scout himself, and made his first comic-strip hero — Totor, a […]
Dec. 07, 2011 | 8:45 a.m.

‘Tintin’: See an early (and free) IMAX screening Dec. 12

The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Screening Series presents an advance screening of "The Adventures of Tintin" on December 12th in Burbank. including a live Q & A with the film's star Jamie Bell.
Dec. 03, 2011 | 8:03 a.m.

Terry Gilliam on ‘Dark Knight,’ ‘Tintin’ and ‘Transformers’

We’re still hearing a lot of response to our biggest article this week, “Terry Gilliam: The heir of Fellini and the enemy of God?,” but the story isn’t quite done yet. Gilliam, the director of “Brazil” and “Twelve Monkeys,” is a man of fiery opinions and during our two interviews (covering three hours and spread over two days) he lobbed a few Molotov cocktails in different directions. So, with quotes that didn’t make it into that first article, we bring you the World According to Gilliam: * On “Transformers: Dark of the Moon“: “The latest ‘Transformers’ movie was on the plane coming over to Los Angeles. It’s horrible and there’s all these phallic things going on. I just couldn’t even deal with it. C’mon, leave some room for me, as the audience. The audience is totally excluded, you just sit there and watch the explosions. […]
Dec. 02, 2011 | 12:00 p.m.

‘Tintin’: Steven Spielberg says ‘the medium isn’t the message’

Is there a better way to start a Hollywood friendship than handing someone an Oscar as you shake their hand for the first time? That’s what happened when “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won the Academy Award for best picture and Spielberg was the presenter as producer-director Jackson came forward to pick up the most coveted trophy in town. The two filmmaking titans are now collaborators with “The Adventures of Tintin,” a movie that takes Europe’s beloved boy adventurer and introduces him to an American audience through a cutting-edge cinematic creation that, to most observers, pushes the envelope for animation and, for some skeptics, tests the Academy’s definitions of what it is and what isn’t animated. Geoff Boucher sat down with Spielberg and Jackson together backstage at last summer’s Comic-Con International to talk about the project’s spirit […]
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