Roving reporter Dan Griliopoulos is driving home from GamesCom, but he turned the wrong way at the Baltic. Today he’s passing through Belgium.
Belgium! Where the only heroes are fictional! Hercule Poirot, Tintin and… The Smurfs? Anyway, it’s easy to sneer at Tintin; the plucky Belgian journalist went through an odd inception, passing quickly through the same facist, colonialist and racist phase as much literature of the 1930s. (Tintin in the Congo is essential reading if you want to understand why your great-grandparents in all probability shared these traits). But his adventures were always Jolly Good fun, in that way that inter-war kids stuff could be; all villainous millionaires and smugglers, where no-one who mattered was ever hurt except by fisticuffs, and the Cluedo-esque cast retired to Marlinspike Manor after an adventure to have their lugholes rent asunder by Bianca Castafiore’s rendition of the Jewel Song from Faust. When I was a kid, he was up there with Asterix and, um, Johnny Alpha. Apparently, Simon Pegg loved him as much as I did, because they’re making a film. And John Walker’s beloved Ubisoft have the rights to the tie-in!
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