Friday, January 28

Hergé’s heirs sue the artist for his Tintin and Edward Hopper mashups | Comics and Graphic Novels

A French artist who imagines romantic adventures for the adventurous boy Tintin in Edward Hopper’s landscapes has been sued by the heirs of Tintin’s creator Hergé, who said it was no fun taking advantage of Tintin by putting him in an erotic universe, especially as Hergé. he had chosen not to caricature women.

In the work of the Breton artist Xavier Marabout Hergé-Hopper MashupsTintin is painted in various ways at Hopper’s Road and houses, scratching his head while greeting a woman in a car; looking disgusted in a version of Hopper’s Cape Cod Night, 1939; and kiss a girl in a car, driving around Hopper’s Queensborough Bridge, 1913. On his website, Marabout describes his work as “strip art,” in which he “strips distant artistic universes to fuse them” in a style in which he “parodies [is] omnipresent”.

But the Moulinsart company, which runs Tintin’s business, disagrees, accusing Marabout of reproducing Tintin’s world without proper consent.

“Taking advantage of a character’s reputation to immerse him in an erotic universe has nothing to do with humor,” a lawyer for the company said this week in a court in Rennes, where Moulinsart has sued for infringement. as reported by Ouest-France.

Hergé, added the lawyer, had “explained his decision not to involve women in his work, because he discovered that they are rarely comic elements.” The Belgian artist hardly included female characters in the Tintin comics; In Benoît Peeters’ biography, Hergé, son of Tintin, is quoted as saying: “I love women too much to make cartoons with them! And besides, pretty or not, women are rarely comic elements … Is it that the maternal side of women does not lend itself to laughter? In fact, it is strange to realize that women are absent in many comic stories. Or if they are there, they are rarely funny. “

In response, Marabout’s lawyer claimed the paintings were a parody, Ouest-France reported, citing a “conflict between copyright and freedom of expression and creation,” asking: “Does an artist have the right to wonder about Tintin’s sex life? ” and “what about artistic freedom?” The Rennes court will rule in May.

Marabout told The Guardian that his work echoed historian Christian Jacob’s belief that “there is no cultural transmission without reappropriation.”

“This is exactly what I do in my work as an artist. I revisit my own culture by merging or mixing different cultural worlds and giving them meaning. Because some universes talk to each other in secret, ”he said. In addition to Hergé and Hopper, his mergers include Batman and Klimt, Picasso, and the creations of cartoonist Tex Avery.

“In my Hergé Hopper series, I imagined a romantic life for Tintin in the intimate and voyeuristic universe of the American painter. Because frankly, Hergé’s universe is terribly virile and women are completely absent, ”Marabout said. Who can imagine a world without women? So my paintings where Tintin is staged with pin-ups are fun, but behind that I wanted to show that the two universes were perfect to meet. The Mystery of Hopper’s Paintings in Response to the Mystery of Tintin “.

“I defend my right to parody, which is part of freedom of expression,” he added. “It is a fundamental law in our democracy. I hope that justice shows that I am right, but I am still worried, because we are going through a difficult period in which freedoms are diminishing every day.

Moulinsart did not respond to a request for comment from the Guardian.

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