BILLIONS OF bilious blistering barnacles! The idea for the most famous trio in cartoondom - Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock - was stolen by Herge from Jules Verne.
Ten thousand thundering typhoons! Herge was lazy and a poor draughtsman. Large parts of the best-loved later Tintin stories were sketched, and even conceived, by other people.
Lily-livered bandicoots! A close colleague says that Herge once confessed - echoing the feelings of Tintinophobes everywhere - "I hate Tintin". The 70th anniversary of the perpetual boy reporter this month has precipitated a minor avalanche of Herge criticism, analysis, back- biting and reminiscences in Belgium and France, proving, as Le Monde pointed out, that cartoon books are an art form like any other. Perhaps the most fascinating work - a labour of love say the Belgian authors, not a put-down - is a 160-page book tracing the similiarities between the Tintin stories and some of the lesser- known novels of Jules Verne. Herge (1907-1983), real name Georges Remi, admitted taking ideas from other writers but always denied any connection with Verne. Asked on one occasion which authors he had enjoyed as a boy, he gave a list and then said: "And Jules Verne? Jules Verne nothing." Jean-Paul Tomasi and Michel Deligne (Tintin chez Jules Verne, Lefrancq) prove otherwise. Not only are the boy reporter, plucky dog and itinerant ship's captain taken from Verne's Mysterious Island, but the detective duo (Dupont et Dupond in the French version; Thompson and Thomson in the English) come straight from another Verne tale. Even many of the drawings in the 22 Tintin books bear a resemblance to illustrations in the collected works of Verne published in 1906 under the title Voyages Extraordinaires. …