Tag Archives: Hergé

‘Blistering barnacles!’

I’d never really thought about it. The translating of ‘comics’, by which I mean pages with pictures and speech bubbles. You take out the original words and find something suitable, in both senses; so that it means roughly the same, and so that it fits in physically.

I find the ‘Other Lives’ obituaries in the Guardian fascinating. Often much more so than the ‘real’ obituaries of the people they have on their own list. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper sounds like an interesting woman, with a career starting in WWII and taking her to the Open University as a rights specialist, until she retired 35 years ago…

What gripped me the most was that she, along with Michael Turner, spent thirty years translating Tintin, coming up with phrases like ‘blistering barnacles’, to fit snugly in those speech bubbles left by Hergé. (I haven’t read much Tintin in English, which makes me wonder what happened in Swedish. Which, of course, I don’t remember.)

There is so much that is important, and interesting, and fun to learn about, and as always my main gripe is that one doesn’t find out about these people while they are still alive.

‘Leslie was especially proud of their invented Tintinian oaths.’ I should think so!

Back to Tintin

I have re-acquainted myself with Tintin. Apart from supplying one or two Tintin books for Offspring over the years, I haven’t touched much in the way of comics for decades. As a child I was a keen reader of comics, and in a home with two daily papers there was a fair amount of comic strips every day that had to be kept up with.

Just finished reading The Black Island, which was very enjoyable, although it wasn’t set as much in Scotland as I’d expected. Tintin in a kilt is a nice sight, and I love Snowy, intoxicated on whisky or not. He’s a most intelligent dog.

What with modern Manga style books, it’s quite a relief to return to a period piece like Tintin. I hope he’ll never be out of fashion.