Tintin, Totor and the Belgian Boy Scout cartoonist Herge

Before there was Tintin, there was Totor the Boy Scout , one of the first regular cartoon characters (1926-1929) by Tintin creator Herge (1907-83)

Twelve year old Georges Remi—who later took the pen name Herge from his reversed initials —joined the Boy Scout brigade in 1919 attached to Saint-Boniface School in his native Brussels.

Brussels had been occupied during WW1 but scouting had begun in 1910, influenced by an early British Boy Scout Troop there.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scouting_and_Guiding_in_Belgium

Georges became troop leader of the Squirrel Patrol and earned the Scout name “Curious Fox” (Renard curieux).

The Adventures of Totor, Chief Scout of the Cockchafers (French: Les Aventures de Totor, C.P. des hannetons) 

It was serialised monthly from July 1926 to summer 1929 in Belgian scouting magazine Le Boy Scout Belge.

The plot revolved around Totor, a Belgian boy scout who travels to visit his aunt and uncle in Texas, USA.

Once there, he comes across hostile Native American tribes and gangsters, each of whom he outwits, before returning to Belgium.

Tintin the boy detective character was created shortly afterwards in 1929.

This Totor plot sounds much like the plot of the later 1931 Tintin in America. https://www.tintin.com/en/albums/tintin-in-america

Herge in his Totor cartoons used the old Rupert style picture and separate caption type strip cartoon format.

There is a useful Wikipedia article about Totor, whose adventures easily morph into Tintin the “Boy Detective”.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Totor

Amongst his early ‘picture and separate caption’ style, Herge experimented with early speech bubbles from American comics … Image source: Wikipedia / Wikipedia

There is a lengthy and interesting biographical article on Herge:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hergé

Online you can find several other (later?) Totor style but Scouting related Tintin drawings by Herge:

Classic ‘Scout’ uniform details …

https://www.tintin.com/en

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN in Scouting Wide Games, 5th March 2022

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