Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guess What I'm Reading?

I read a lot. A ton actually. I've read three and a half books this week, although one of those was a young adult novel. And I've noticed that I don't write about what I'm reading very often. So I'm going to try to add a Guess What I'm Reading segment. The title comes from Unshelved, a great webcomic about a library. You can find that particular story line here (it runs for five days). I also bought one of their "Guess What I'm Reading" bumper stickers to hang in my library.

Lately I've been reading Tintin. Tintin is the main character in a series of comics created from 1929 until 1954 by french artist, Herge. The character is a young journalist who gets into all types of international adventures with his friends: a crusty old sailor named Captain Haddock, a hard of hearing professor who's brilliant but absentminded, and a pair of detectives who couldn't find their way out of a paper bag. He is accompanied by his dog Snowy and often ends up saving the day against a troupe of bad guys.

I picked up my first adventure on a whim. I'd heard a number of children's book writers mention how influential Tintin had been for them. I figured it was worth a shot. The first story I read was "The Castafiore Emerald" and although I was a bit lost on the characters, I loved the adventures. It reminded me of the old Uncle Scrooge comics I read as a child, but with more humor. The adventures are a mix of slapstick, funny dialogue, and genuine excitement. The series has only started to gain a following in the US, but Tintin is as well known as Mickey Mouse in Europe. Charles de Gaulle compared himself to the character once. Steven Spielberg is currently working on an animated Tintin adventure to be released in December 2011. This is a character that has influenced generations and I'm just learning about him.

After the first adventure, I've been picking up books from all of the libraries in the city. The stories were just released in a boxed set and I've been buying the books, one at a time. I've decided I want to own all of the Tintin adventures. I haven't gotten a chance to read all the adventures but I'm excited to get the chance. It's a fun series with great characters.

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