Hergé in Quebec City

Hergé in Quebec City

Quebec City is about as close as you can get to France without leaving North America. Maybe that’s why the Hergé Museum in Brussels sent a selection of its choicest materials to the Museum of Civilization.

Some of the first pieces on display are tributes to the creator of Tintin, not one but two busts and not only a portrait of Hergé by Andy Warhol but photos of them hanging out.

I thought the selection of fine art was fantastic as well. As a student, he surveyed the popular styles of the time rather well. I’m glad he settled on comics.

When you get to the original Tintin art, the precision of the lines and inks is shocking. The displays detail his process and state that his penciling was energetic and sometimes even violent. But the inks are immaculate, as if his brain, hand, and pen were one.

There’s an entire wall of book covers from around the world, which is not only good for selfies on social media but also to show the extent and influence that the books have had around the world.

Perhaps the most interesting section entails The Blue Lotus, one of Hergé’s most loved stories. It was inspired by the artist’s friendship with a Chinese guy, Chang Chong-chen, and provided a real turning point in terms of research, narrative, and ambition.

There are artifacts of the relationship, including Chang’s notebook, and original art! Incredible. Other items flesh out Hergé’s career–commercial work, fashion illustration, newspaper work–but the raw comic strip art is the real treasure to admire from close up.

There are T-shirts, figures, and stuffed Snowy dolls in the gift shop but don’t forget the source: comics. Hardcore readers and fans can go to the other exhibits in Paris and Louvain-la-Neuve (near Brussels) for the trifecta.

Museum of Civilization
85 Rue Dalhousie
Ville de Québec