Tag Archives: comics

Visually Oriented: The Story of a Boy & His Snowy White Dog

-Emily Fraysse

 “Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!”

“Ten thousand thundering typhoons!”

These common outcries are from the mouth of the fictional whisky-drinking character Captain Archibald Haddock, who is friends with the protagonist Tintin from the comic series The Adventures of Tintin.  This massively popular book series (1929) turned feature length film (2012) began with a Belgian artist and writer named Georges Remi (with the pen name Hergé).

But, long before the Tintin series began, Remi’s creative vision was displayed on the sides of his schoolbooks, where he often scribbled down the lives and stories of made-up characters. Although he was not an avid reader, he loved many British and American authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) and Mark Twain (Huckleberry Fin). After finishing school, he began to work at a Belgian newspaper and managed a supplement for children called Le Petit Vingtieme (The Little Twentieth). This got him thinking about a new character that was a journalist, “with the spirit of a Boy Scout.”

A round head, two dots for eyes, button nose, blue-collared shirt, baggy brown pants, and hair that stands straight up in the front are the characteristic physical features of Tintin. On his adventures, he always has his best friend Snowy, a sheet-white dog, by his side (who many times saves Tintin from peril). His look is simple yet iconic and easily recongnizable.  “Tintin is myself. He reflects the best and brightest in me; he is my successful double. I am not a hero. But like all 15-year-old boys, I dreamt of being one… and I have never stopped dreaming. Tintin has accomplished many thing on my behalf,” Remi states on the Tintin website.

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets was Tintin’s first adventure, which became an instant hit. With characters that mimicked famous people as well as family-based characters, Remi created a world full of splendor, thrill, and comedy. There are currently 24 published books that follow Tintin, Snowy, and his friends through perilous lands discovering Yeti, busting opium smugglers, narrowly escaping his head being shrunk by tribal warriors, and unraveling the mystery of stolen emeralds.

The mysteries and adventures of Tintin and all of his friends, like the comical twins Thompson & Thompson and the quizzical, absent-minded man named Professor Calculus, continue to spark the adventurous, fearless minds of youth.

Schwarzenegger Not Quite Ready to Give Up His Title as Governator

– Mike Munoz

As a California native, the 2003 California Gubernational recall elections certainly stick out in my mind as a milestone for our state. With celebrities and adult entertainers alike on the ballot, it was almost as if MTV was hosting a new Real World vs. Road Rules challenge where the winner gets to be governor of California. And to make the punch line even funnier, when all of the dust cleared, former terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as our state governor. Indeed, the man who has made a living off of bodybuilding and protecting John Connor from evil robots was ruled fit to run an entire state. Earlier this year, Jerry Brown took over as governor, but Arnold wasn’t quite ready to give up his role as Governator, and as he has told us many times before, he’ll be back.

And sooner than expected too. Nobody was surprised to see the bodybuilder jump back to entertainment after his stint in politics; however many were surprised by the former actor’s next move. At the end of March, Schwarzenegger announced via Entertainment Weekly that he would be making his debut as a comic book superhero named, naturally, the Governator. And just when the news couldn’t get any more strange, it was also announced that the comic and cartoon will be co-produced by Marvel legend (and god amongst geeks) Stan Lee, the inventor of Spiderman, X-men and the Hulk in addition to many other well known superheroes.

Although the comic isn’t expected to hit the shelves until 2012, a YouTube trailer for the Governator was released Monday morning. The video opens with Schwarzenegger giving a speech as he prepares to step down as governor of California. After listing his many talents to a much younger looking Larry King, Arny claims he’s off to live his life as a private citizen. But after hearing news about a robot rampage in San Francisco, it isn’t long before he’s forced to suit up and once again, attempt to save California.

With the help of a couple of random children who just happened to be hanging out in his secret lair, the Governator jumps on his motorcycle and heads to Nor Cal to the beat of the Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It.” Considering the fact that he has been battling evil robots since before I was born, the Governator subdues the machines and order is once more restored in California. And of course it wouldn’t be a Schwarzenegger trailer if it didn’t end with the cliché, “I’m back.”

While some were surprised to see the big screen actor make a shift to cartoons, some weren’t as shocked to see Schwarzenegger struggle to step out of the spotlight. The Governator had several cameo appearances in small films like The Rundown and Around the World in 80 Days during his time in office. He even found the time between budget cuts and English lessons to get in shape for his appearance in the 2010 action flick, The Expendables.

In the year leading up to the release of the Governator comic books, all us Californians can do is shake our heads at the painful reminder that this man once ran our state.