Belgium increased its daily dose of Tintin to a saturation point on Saturday as the world-famous character celebrated his 75th birthday. Newspapers had the young reporter all over their front pages, capping a week of endless analysis of Tintin on radio and television.
Tintin hasn't chased a new adventure in a quarter century. And 20 years after the death of his creator Herge, it looks like he never will. Now he lives on in the marketing of an endless stream of Tintin T-shirts, mugs and watches.
There were more collector's items on Friday, especially when two newspapers banned all photos from their pages in favor of cartoons from Tintin's 23 books.
Saturday's birthday kicks off months of exhibits, plays and tours in Europe. Raymond Roy, a Canadian tourist, said, "We heard it was the anniversary and Tintin is one of his (son's) favorite characters. We are from Canada, and we are in Brussels, so we decided to come and to see the store."
Tintin's 23 adventures have sold over 200 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 55 languages. He has become a Belgian icon. There are plans for a Tintin museum to be created in Brussels by the time of the centennial of Herge's birth in 2007.
(CCTV.com January 12, 2004)