Tintin 101


I've heard people try to say that virtually no one in this country knows about Tintin before this, and I asked in vain for any supporting evidence of this. Is there any, something statistical rather than anecdotal? American editions have been in print for decades, selling out countless printings, and each of the books is in hundreds of libraries nationwide. Not saying its as big as in Europe, but it's still a pretty big comics phenomenon here too -- has been a consistent seller for decades, as far as I can tell from the publication history. Pretty hard to say how the movie will do, though.
Agree with geyser. I've read all the Tintin books numerous times over the years (mid-30s here, so it was 20+ years ago when I was collecting), and when this meme gathered steam that Americans don't know Tintin, it seemed odd to me, so I started asking friends and coworkers. Couldn't find anyone that hadn't read at least a few of the books or wasn't familiar with the characters and basic concept. It's not as big as in some other countries, sure, but to me, Tintin is kind of like Nerf, Lincoln Logs, and Legos... just a common feature of childhood.

That said, the stop-motion in the previews for the movie looks creepy and cold.
I third the sentiment.

My brother and I read all the stories numerous times. They were at our local library, and seemed well loved/worn. I'm not saying that my experience is typical, but clearly we are not some obscure minority.

Poll time.
Since I was asking about evidence, I should have cited the source for my own claim that the books are in hundreds of libraries nationwide: Worldcat.org, which I checked to satisfy my curiosity about this a while back.
Anecdotally, many of my own family's copies of the books were bought from the Baltimore Public Library, where they were withdrawn because they'd been read so many times they were too worn to keep circulating them. I also don't think HBO would have aired the animated series here if it'd been so obscure. As one of the most premium channels of the time, their airtime was too valuable for that.
@2, it's motion capture, technically, and I agree it looks really bad, in this film at least.
Another anecdote: the now-gone-from-downtown Looking Glass bookstore (which was THE bookstore back in the day) only had space for one of those tall spinny racks in its kids' section. I don't remember a single time that rack wasn't the exclusive domain of Tintin books. Wouldn't have had that placement if it wasn't the best seller every year for as many years as I can remember.
I like the early books where not only Milou (Snowy) speaks but other animals talk as well. Tintin is obviously insane. He probably never actually leaves his mother's back garden in Brussels.
@ Todd and Graham...agree on both. I grew up in Portugal and France until age 12, and liked both comics...I am glad there was exposure here
@6: "OBELISK"? Obelix, you piker.