Hergé (Georges Prosper Remi) was a Belgian cartoonist who was best known as the creator of the comic series, Adventures of Tintin. One of the most influential comic creators in history, he single handily launched the Belgian comics industry with Adventures of Tintin. He was a master at crafting suspenseful page-turners where humour was never far away and had the latest political, cultural, and scientific inventions of the time mirrored in his work.
Through his comics, he developed his own graphic style, “Ligne Claire” (Clear Line). This style had thin, bright, and clean lines and avoided the use of hatches, shadow effects, or excessive details. This gave his work the clarity of readability. Decades later, when he started adding colours, they were applied in his open outlined areas and were flat and plain. Hergé insisted that his drawings’ line quality formed the true structure of his work, which is why he used a light pastel palette to help his lines stand out and allow more complex images to be easily read.
Originally, I chose Hergé to research because I loved watching and reading Adventures of Tintin when I was a child. However, after researching, I am even more amazed by his work. His strategic use of “Ligne Claire” to allow his cartoons to be easily read is well done, especially as he was considering the medium (newspapers) his cartoons would be printed on. By using clear clean lines, he was able to overcome the issue of ink bleeding on newspaper paper and allow his story to reach all audiences. I am impressed by not only Hergé’s craft as a storyteller, but also his skill as an illustrator.
- “Hergé.” Claudio Bravo Biography – Claudio Bravo on Artnet, Pace Gallery, www.artnet.com/artists/hergé/.
- “Hergé.” Lambiek.net, Drawn and Quarterly, 1 Jan. 1970, www.lambiek.net/artists/h/herge.htm
- “Hergé & The Clear Line:” Moebius & Jean Giraud | PAUL GRAVETT, www.paulgravett.com/articles/article/herge_the_clear_line.