So. Let’s talk about Tintin.
To be honest with you, I only discovered Tintin in 2011, when the animated feature film “The Adventures of Tintin” was released. I was in France then, studying the language there in a nice language school, and got to watch the film in French (“Les Aventures de Tintin”). Unfortunately, I understood nothing because while I can write and speak la langue decently, listening to it being spoken was a whole different story, so I just focused on the visuals and tried to understand based on context. (And come on, there were pirates, so of course it was about a treasure… right?!) However, after watching the film, I completely forgot all about him, and didn’t bother to know more about the guy who solved mysteries alongside an alcoholic pirate and a cute, snowy dog. I just didn’t feel compelled to do so.
Until, of course, I was invited by our resident book store giant, Fully Booked, to the official launching of their Tintin shop. How could I NOT go and get to know this orange-haired dude for real this time? (And yes, Fully Booked finally gave me a legit reason to do so *hides*)
And I learned a lot from the experience. For starters, Tintin is actually old. He was first created in 1929 by Georges Remi A.K.A. Hergé (which is actually a play of his initials! If you reverse his name it would be R.G. instead of G.R., and if you pronounce R.G. in French, it would sound exactly like Hergé! I got this trivia from Victoria of Fully Booked~), and he has been everywhere since his first appearance on Le Petit Vingtième (“The Little Twentieth”) – to the Soviet Union, to China, to Congo, to America, and even to the moon (even way before Neil Armstrong got there!). The following are some of the comic books that have been released over the years, as seen in the picture:
- Tintin in The Congo (Tintin Au Congo) – Publication most likely discontinued due to its racial and colonial undertones. This was published in the 1930s, when Congo was under Belgian rule.
- Tintin in America (Tintin en Amérique) – Published around the same time as Tintin Au Congo. Our orange-haired hero travels to the United States, where he solves an organized crime and meets a tribe of Blackfoot Native Americans.
- Cigars of The Pharaoh (Les Cigars du Pharaoh) – This time, our duo travels to Egypt to discover a tomb full of dead Egyptologists and boxes full of cigars. Eventually, the mystery leads them to Saudi Arabia and India to investigate a smuggling syndicate.
- The Blue Lotus (Le Lotus Bleu) – Tintin and Snowy go to China during a time of East Asian unrest, and discovers Japanese spies hiding in their midst! (Plus, another smuggling syndicate.)
- Red Rackam’s Treasure (Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge) – The 2011 Hollywood movie is based on this comic series, where Tintin and Captain Haddock go down under to find the treasure of pirate Red Rackham.
- The Seven Crystal Balls (Les Sept Boules de Cristal) – Tintin is accompanied by Captain Haddock once more as they rescue Professor Calculus. It also has Incan mummies. Scary, yet intriguing stuff.
- The Prisoners of the Sun (Le Temple du Soleil) – They discover a hidden Incan civilization while searching for Professor Calculus!
- Land of Black Gold (Tintin au pays de l’or noir) – The world is in turmoil and full of political unrest over oil, so our team goes to the Middle East to investigate who is responsible it.
These are only 8 of 23 finished works by Hergé, and I am absolutely eager to read each and every one of them. The tour made me realize how much I was missing, especially since The Adventures of Tintin were one of the most popular comics in Europe during its time, and has been translated to over 70 languages, accumulating fans all over the world. There may be no more new Tintin books coming out soon, but the magic doesn’t stop there, and I’m hopeful that having a merchandise shop here in the Philippines (one of two here in South East Asia!) would introduce the new generation to this iconic comic book hero.
And here’s to hoping the 2011 animated film will have a sequel in the future…
Speaking of merchandise, there were a lot. If you’re a huge fan of Tintin, you’ll be having a field day in this shop as there were so many to choose from – from postcards, to t-shirts, to stuff toys, to coffee mugs, and even the comics themselves in their awesome colored glory! I didn’t bring a lot of money with me when I went there, but you bet I’ll be visiting again soon to get myself acquainted once more!
The activities were also so fun! There was a Milou/Snowy paper model making, and there were even sweets and nachos to eat, too!
So, if you’re a Filipino and you want to get to know Tintin and buy anything Tintin-related, you know where to go! The shop is located inside Fully Booked @ Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Awesome place, by the way. Four floors full of books. I pretty much restrained myself from frying my credit card.
What Else Happened?
What else? Why, I got to meet Dre of Sporadic Reads and my ever-so cute and sweet co-blogger, Aimee!
I wasn’t the only one invited! There were a lot of other bloggers there, book bloggers and lifestyle bloggers alike, and two of my friends were included. I was ecstatic to meet them. It would be my first time meeting people who I’ve communicated intimately online!
First up was Dre. We both wore black clothing (I swear it was a coincidence!), but while I went for the casual look, she went out with style with her awesome pants and boots. I was honestly very scared at first because I had this fear that what if we won’t be able to click, but it was very naive of me as she was so fun to talk to and we clicked from the very first second! Look, we even posed with Tintin! Wouldn’t we make the perfect threesome?
After our tour ended, we walked around and waited for Aimee. When we backed towards the bookstore entrance, we saw her petite figure checking out a bookshelf and I was like, “AIMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”
Yep, a moment of happiness right there. A hugged the dearie to death!
First off, Aimee really is cute. She’s so small and cute, and the sweetest person ever. It’s such a nice feeling to finally know the person behind the smiling avatar. I’ve wanted to meet Aimee for so long, but missed the chance in an author signing. And may I tell you how fitting it was that we met in a bookstore? Surrounded by books, the very thing that connected us together in the first place? So romantic, guys.
Behold, our first picture together:
And of course, we hanged out, tried to look for a book for Aimee to buy, but we pretty much ended up just exchanging personal and blogging stories. Aimee may be way younger than me, but she was so cool to spend time with. It didn’t even feel like I was talking to someone seven years my junior O_O. And it didn’t even feel like I was talking to someone 9 years my senior when it came to Dre. I swear these people are awesome, and I thank the fates for leading me to them :)
We even had a selfie. Ahihihih.
With that said, it was an awesome event, and I am thankful I was invited personally by Fully Booked! I hope there would be more events in the future where I and other Filipino book bloggers can participate. Plus, more reasons to hang out with these lovely people again. Calling Amir, Francine, Ella, Irish, Paula and Jules! Ahem ahem! ;)
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