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Tintin and the Adventures of the Unlikely Heroes
So I could really relate to the wonderful piece that Lev Grossman wrote
for Conde Nast Traveler about his childhood hero, who inspired in him a lust
for travel–not his parents, or even anyone he actually knew, but the
moon-faced comic book teenager Tintin.
Grossman loved Tintin for his sense of adventure go-getter attitude, and choice of exotic conveyances (seaplanes!). But also, “Like me, and so many other children of the American
suburbs, Tintin was nobody, and he lived nowhere, and he did nothing. In order
to do anything or be anybody, he had to travel.” Like Annie, Tintin was
fearless and unfettered by the rules binding most kids–bummers like school
and parents. Even better, Tintin is "about as close to a cipher as
a hero can get.” On this relatively blank canvas, Grossman suggests, anyone can
project his or her own self.
After all, there are the usual heroes— firefighters, astronauts, legendary
presidents, famous do-gooders, reality show stars – those brave wonders who do
what most of us can only dream of—and then there are those heroes (sometimes 2-dimensional
and blank-eyed) who inspire us because they allow us to imagine that we too
have within us such potential.
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