TINTIN will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year with the controversial new edition of “Tintin in the Congo,” by a Belgian artist in 1930, who at that time was accused of racism.
As reported by the Antara News Agency, the adventures of young reporters in what was once the Belgian colony is the first story of Tintin that was made serialized by Herge artists.
The story was re-released with a “remastered” color digital version to celebrate 90 years since the cartoon strip character first appeared in the Brussels newspaper in 1929.
The publisher rejected the notion that the story, which featured a fat, black African character with red lips and wearing a loincloth was problematic.
“Dialogue is the most important and deconstruction work, decolonization is equally important,” Robert Vangeheberg said, as quoted by Reuters.
However, a Congolese comic artist named Barly Baruti, told Reuters that the republishing of the work when nationalist and racist groups were tempering in Europe was questionable.
“We have to ask ourselves if it's the right moment,” he said.
The first edition of the book “Tintin in the Congo” in 1946 featured Tintin and his loyal dog Snowy wrestling with diamond smugglers.
Belgian court rejected a request by Congolese activists a decade ago to ban the book. The judges said the comic reflected the colonial attitude at the time and there was no evidence that Herge, who died in 1983 when he was 75 years old, had a racist view. ***