Profile: Tintin - Reporter and Adventurer

Tintin is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. Tintin is the protagonist of the series, a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy.

Readers and critics have described Tintin as a well-rounded, yet open-ended character, noting that his rather neutral personality—sometimes labelled as bland—permits a balanced reflection of the evil, folly and foolhardiness which surrounds him. His boy-scout ideals, which represent Hergé's own, are never compromised by the character, and his status allows the reader to assume his position within the story, rather than merely following the adventures of a strong protagonist. Tintin's iconic representation enhances this aspect, with Scott McCloud noting that it "allows readers to mask themselves in a character and safely enter a sensually stimulating world."

Tintin is an intelligent and imaginative character with good powers of deduction. However, while in deep thought, he tends to be absent-minded and fails to notice things around him. He seems to know multiple foreign languages and reads extensively on a variety of subjects. He is skilled at driving automobiles (including a tank), riding horses or motorcycles, and flying aeroplanes and helicopters. Despite his generally delicate and unassuming appearance, Tintin is quite athletic and possesses great physical strength, often getting into fights where he is able to knock out enemies much larger than himself with a single blow. Although he is small as opposed to the other characters, he is an excellent swimmer, has been shown to be a skilled mountaineer, has been shown to do yoga, and can survive falls that would normally cause serious injuries.

Tintin's age is never accurately revealed. Other characters treat him as a worldly young adult, as shown by the absence of concerns like parents or school, as well as by his wide solo travels all over the globe. He's old enough to enter a pub and drink a beer (The Black Island) and old enough to live alone with his dog in his own apartment. However, he is still referred to as a "young boy", and a "puppy" in The Crab with the Golden Claws. A 1979 television interview with Hergé settled the matter, when Hergé stated that when he first thought about Tintin he was 14 or 15 years old, "but now, let's say that he is 17." In one shot in the television series episode The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin's passport states his birth year as 1929 (the year of his print debut).

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