The Sexual Orientation of World's Most Famous Boy Reporter

I’ve been following this story with a mild interest for a few days. Matthew Parris, a columnist for The Times, has made the rather dubious claim that Tintin — world’s most famous boy reporter — is a homosexual.

Tintin, created by Belgian artist Herge (Georges Remi), first appeared on January 10, 1929, in Tintin au pays de Soviets in the pages of Le Petit Vingtieme, the weekly childrens’ supplement of Le Vingtieme Siecle. The indefatigable reporter and his dog, Snowy, appeared in another 22 graphic albums, making up The Adventures of Tintin.

Supporting characters, such as the foulmouthed Captain Haddock and the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson, were added as the adventures went along. Tintin changed in appearance over the years, but his quick wit and courageous spirit remained the same.

In Of course Tintin’s gay. Ask Snowy.[sic] Parris cites, as evidence for his claim, Tintin’s involvement in the Boy Scouts and association with the Catholic Church. I imagine these organizations would be surprised to find that association with them is evidence of homosexuality.

Parris also claims that spies are gay, and the boy reporter must be a spy because he never had an article published during his adventures. A casual knowledge of Tintin’s history proves this to be incorrect. He had many pieces published over his career.

He goes on to say Tintin must be a homosexual because he lives with Captain Haddock at Marlinspike. It’s the same tired argument we hear about Batman and Robin ever so often.

Parris doesn’t stop with the hero. He also attempts to out Thomson and Thompson for their inseparable nature and tendency to dress in costume. Thomson and Thompson are identical twins with different names (a bit of Herge’s delightful humor). They dress in costume because they’re undercover detectives.

It seems that Parris’ claims are somewhat tongue in cheek, but  I’m not laughing. And neither are many other fans of the comic series. His article has resulted in a backlash among the media and on the net.

You can learn more about Tintin at or at any of the sites on this list.

Dreamworks has bought the rights to all 23 Tintin albums, and Spielberg is working on the first film of a planned trilogy to be released May 22, 2011 — the anniversary of Herge’s birth. (Details sketchy.)


About James A Woods
Freelance Writer, Constant Learner, Family Man

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