Thursday, October 6, 2016

You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down Under

I've been a long time fan of John Ostrander and Kim Yale's comic book SUICIDE SQUAD, their brilliant combination of “Mission Impossible” and “The Dirty Dozen”... with super-villains. And so I was interested when I heard about the movie that was released last summer.  Going into it, I had three main concerns. (1) They had to get Amanda Waller right. They did; Viola Davis did a superb job of playing the Squad's indomitable administrator. (2) They had to convince me about the Joker. I didn't think he belonged on the team. As it turned out, he wasn't; he had only a small part in the film to explain Harley's backstory. A lot of viewers were annoyed by this, but I was just as happy. (3) The movie had to have Captain Boomerang in it.

Why Boomerang? He had only a minor role in the movie. Most critics reviewing the film didn't even mention him, and those who did thought that he was irrelevant to the plot and that the movie could well have done without him. But although Boomerang might have been superfluous to the movie, he is still an essential part of the team. Captain Boomerang is the very Heart of the Suicide Squad.

Well, maybe “Heart” is the wrong word. More like the Spleen. Or maybe the Gall Bladder. Yes; if there's one thing Boomerang has, it's a lot of gall.

Captain Boomerang started off as a member of the Flash's Rogues Gallery. A lot of super-heroes have colorful villains, often employing weird gimmicks; but the Flash's villains have always been more colorful than most. And the term “Rogues Gallery” isn't just an umbrella category; they really are a kind of group. Batman's villains may know each other socially, but they don't as a rule hang out together. The Flash's villains have a kind of camaraderie based on their shared arch-enemy.

And just as the citizens of Central City take pride in their hero, the Rogues take pride in the fact that they aren't just any crooks; they are enemies of the Flash. They don't rob banks for the money; okay, yes they do; but more importantly, they want to outwit the Flash; they want to beat the Flash.

Like many Silver Age villains, Captain Boomerang was based on a gimmick. (Two, really, if you count his annoying Australian accent). He threw boomerangs. He was an Australian named George “Digger” Harkness who had come to America and got a job working for the Wiggins Toy Company. The owner, W.W. Wiggins, thought that boomerangs would be the next Hula Hoop and hired Harkness to be the company spokesman. Harkness saw the “Captain Boomerang” persona as a flashy way to get into the newspapers and began robbing jewelry stores in his costume. Okay, there's a slight gap in the logic there, but if you're a criminal in Central City it helps to have an insane amount of ego.

In SUICIDE SQUAD, John Ostrander expanded on Boomerang's origin a bit. Wiggins was actually his illegitimate father, something he didn't learn until many years later. He grew up in poverty in the outback and taught himself how to carve boomerangs for fun and engaged in petty crimes. As he became an adult and his scrapes with the law became more serious, his mother urged him to go to Central City and ask Wiggins for a job, not telling him about their connection.

Unfortunately, this fresh start wasn't much help. Harkness quickly grew bored with the Wiggins gig, demonstrating boomerang tricks at county fairs. At one such event, he picked a guy's pocket just for amusement and was spotted by the Flash. When the Flash confronted him, Harkness threw a boomerang at him. The Flash easily dodged the boomerang, but didn't expect it to come back. The boomerang conked him on the head on its return, knocking him out.

This was an epiphany for Harkness. He had just beaten the Flash, the Hero of Central City and the Fastest Man Alive. Sure, he had mostly just gotten lucky; but he instantly saw for himself a new career. Instead of committing petty crimes, he would be a Super-Criminal, pulling off Big Crimes. With boomerangs.

Okay, the boomerang thing is pretty silly; but a lot of Silver Age villains had gimmicks no less goofy. Another member of the Rogue's Gallery was named the Top and he used, you guessed it, spinning tops to commit his crimes. Then there was Captain Cold's sister, the Golden Glider, who committed crimes with her brother on ice skates. (He provided the ice, naturally, and she skated on it).

And as lame as boomerangs might seem, Captain Boomerang managed to jazz up his arsenal by creating a variety of specialty ones. He had razor-edged boomerangs for slicing through things; exploding boomerangs for blowing things up; boomerangs containing cartridges of knockout gas; boomerangs with sonic emitters that could stun people. Really, his trick boomerangs are hardly any sillier than the Green Arrow's “Boxing Glove Arrow”; and Batman uses “Batarangs” all the time, yet no one calls him lame. Okay, so the early appearance where Boomerang tied the Flash to a giant boomerang with rockets on it designed to fling Flash and boomerang into orbit was doofy; but it was epic doofy.

When Barry Allen died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, many of his Rogues went straight for a time. With the Flash gone, crime just wasn't as much fun. Yes, Barry's sidekick Wally West took over his mantle, but it wasn't the same. Boomerang was not one of the Rogues who went straight, by the way. That's not how Boomer rolls. But he didn't really do much until the LEGENDS mini-series which introduced the modern version of the Suicide Squad.

There had been a previous, Silver Age team called the Suicide Squad which appeared in BRAVE AND THE BOLD; a team of non-powered adventurers who fought weird opponents like dinosaurs and monsters. There was also a feature in STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES about a group called the Suicide Squadron, a unit of elite soldiers who were sent on top-secret missions, such as to the dinosaur-infested island of “The War That Time Forgot”. John Ostrander linked these previous Squads to a secret government agency called Task Force X to give a background for his incarnation of the Squad.

A tough-minded Washington bureaucrat named Amanda Waller finds a dossier on Task Force X and re-activates it with the idea of using imprisoned super-criminals to perform secret, highly dangerous missions for the government in exchange for reduced sentences. Captain Boomerang was one of the criminals she chose for the initial team.

From the very beginning, Boomerang proved to be treacherous, betraying the Squad to the villain Glorious Godfrey in their very first mission. On another early mission, he stood by and let his teammate Mindboggler get shot in the back because she had earlier humiliated him for acting like a jerk.

And yet, I thought he had his endearing qualities as well. On a mission to destroy a training camp for super-powered terrorists, he was assigned to take out a speedster. He managed it by simply sneaking up behind the guy and shoving him off the edge of a tall building overlooking a high cliff. As his opponent plummeted, he leaned over the edge and called out: “Y'know what ol' Flasheroo would do in situations like this? He'd whirl around at super-speed and create air currents to stop his fall. You could try that.” There is a pause for a panel, then he turns away. “I guess you're not in ol' Flasheroo's league. You ain't even in mine.”

On another early mission, the Squad found itself surrounded on all side by killer androids. “I think I'll come over by you,” he says to Deadshot. “I just threw me last boomerang.” Deadshot shrugs. “Suits me. I'm almost out of ammo.” As the androids converge on them, Boomerang utters possibly the greatest “Pot-Meet-Kettle” line in all comics: “You're not much bleedin' use without yer bloody gimmick, are you!”

In his earliest Silver Age appearances, Captain Boomerang spoke with a standard American accent, but Ostrander followed the practice of Chris Claremont in X-MEN of giving foreign characters distinctive accents; and Boomerang's was definitely distinctive. On one letters page, Ostrander told about how a friend of his from Australia had complained about Boomer's dialogue. “I looked it up,” Ostrander insisted. “Everything Captain Boomerang says is authentic Australian slang.” “Yeah,” his friend replied, “But we don't use 'em all in the same sentence!”

But to be honest, Captain Boomerang has few if any redeeming qualities. The staff psychiatrist at the Belle Reeves prison that serves as the Squad's base of operations once called him “an unprincipled sociopath with little or no moral sense of right and wrong,” yet conceded that he was also probably the most well-adjusted member of the Squad because he was perfectly comfortable with what he was.

I like to think of Captain Boomerang as the Doctor Zachary Smith of the Suicide Squad. You'd think that Waller would have gotten rid of Boomerang long ago. Heck, have him deported back to Australia, except that probably the Australians don't want him either.

Boomerang was never really happy unless he was putting something over on somebody. He once persuaded fellow teammate Slipknot to make a break for freedom during a mission, as an experiment to see if the Squad leader would really detonate the explosive bracelets that were supposed to keep the criminals in line. He did. Granted permission to live off-campus in an apartment of his own, Boomerang abused the privilege, first by constantly “losing” his pager so that he couldn't be summoned on missions, and later by adopting the costume of a deceased fellow Rogue, the Mirror Master, so that he could continue committing crimes without Waller knowing that it was him doing it. (This led to the inevitable result of getting arrested as “Mirror Master” and then having to go on a mission both as himself and as his bogus identity. Hilarity ensued.) He once managed to lose Deadshot's luggage containing Deadshot's armor and weapons on a mission into Israel; and he carried on an affair with a married teammate and possibly got her pregnant; (the true father was never revealed).

When constrained from committing crimes, he got creative. At one point he embarked on a new career throwing pies at his his teammates when no one was looking. Okay, that sounds dumb; but it was also funny, and Boomer managed to keep his identity as the Mad Pie-Thrower a secret for several issues.

After SUICIDE SQUAD ended its run, Boomerang fell back into obscurity for a while. He had a small but significant subplot in the mini-series IDENTITY CRISIS, in which he's a has-been villain, overweight and over-the-hill, cadging drinks at a villain's watering hole and conning newbie villains into buying fake superpower-enhancing drugs. He discovers that he has a son, and the two have a bonding moment when Boomerang learns that the young man shares his affinity for thrown aboriginal weapons. But before he can introduce his boy into the family business, Boomerang gets caught up in the machinations of the main villain who sets him up to be killed. The boy takes up his dead father's doofy hat and becomes the New Captain Boomerang.

Not that Boomer stayed dead. He was resurrected a couple times in the next few years; and in the “New 52” reboot, his death was ret-conned away. With his inclusion in the new SUICIDE SQUAD movie, he is bound to continue to be a presence in the DC Universe.

One of the base premises of the Suicide Squad is that anyone can die at any time on any mission. Boomerang is the guy everyone hopes will be the one who doesn't make it. And yet, somehow he always does.

That's the thing about boomerangs.

They always come back.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


September 26th, 2016- Brooklyn, NY

Comic Creator Fabrice Sapolsky will be attending New York Comic Con and is available for quotes and perspective on his unique experience within in the comic market in the United States. Born in Paris, he created and ran for over a decade the French comic news magazine COMIC BOX which focused on the American comic market. He’s the co-creator of SPIDER-MAN NOIR from Marvel Comics. He co-wrote the first two miniseries as well as the EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1 issue (all with David Hine). He also did an album, BLACK BOX, with Tom Lyle for the French market, before launching his first full creator-owned, ONE-HIT WONDER (with art by Ariel Olivetti, Stephen Thompson and Ivan Fiorelli) at Image Comics. He currently has a new comic series called INTERTWINED, a Kung-Fu Noir tale,  that is being published through DYNAMITE COMICS. New York Comic Con runs from October 6th through the 9th at the Jacob K Javits center in New York City. You can find him at the show in artist alley booth Q12.

His most unique co-creation to date will take place November 13th, the first ever Jewish Comic Con.  The event will promote how Jewish identity has influenced comic books, both on the page and behind the scenes and will occur in a synagogue at CONGREGATION KOL ISRAEL at 603 St Johns Place in Brooklyn NY.  See more about the event at

Sapolsky explains the impetus for Jewish Con, ”Lots of people don’t remember or simply ignore the fact that 90% of the first generation of comic book creators were Jewish. The Jewish Comic Con has been designed to pay homage to the founders of our industry and shed a light on the new generation of Jewish creators or non-Jewish ones with Jewish content in their body of work. The door is open to everyone, whether they identify as Jews or not. To comic book fans from every community in New York and beyond.”

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Get to know me

In the event that you will be meeting me or buying my work I thought you might like to know more about me.  Probably you don't give a shit.  But soon I will win the Nobel Prize for Literature, so I'd suggest get yourself a bit more info.

I will be attending FALL CON as a GUEST.

I live in Minnesota, and have in the past lived in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and North Dakota.  I have a number of college degrees, in history and political science.  I find ancient human life to be totally and magnificently interesting.  I have an undergrad degree from UMinnesota Duluth, and a Master's degree from North Dakota State University (Go Bison!).  I think I'd like to live in North Dakota, or the wilds of northern Minnesota.  

I am a poet, an essayist, a prose writer, and lover of cats.  I write daily, 80 hours each week.  I am imperfect in everything I do, I am flawed beyond measure.  But I love doing it.  Writing is my life.  I am not suggesting I am anything but a guy who writes.

I believe in God, I write to express myself, and also to create art.  I do not consider poetry/prose writing's main purpose to be beautiful.  I believe it is meant to enlighten and on the journey that the words take you, the elegant presentation should be economic, but also easy to listen to.  Some people expect poetry to solely be aimed at pure beauty.  I do not.  Therefore, you may or may not find my take on poetry to work for you.

I collect books, some comics, and hockey cards.  I read 3-4 books a week, but, sadly, mostly for reference.  However, the authors I collect are limited.  So, while i have little money, at times I can score big at a used book store.  I love HP Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Edgar Allan Poe.

I am married, have been since 1988.  I have a wonderful son, who is graduating in May 2017.  We hope to save enough money to visit the San Diego Comic Convention 2017.   My son hopes to take a year to work prior to entering community college, university or an apprenticeship.

The above offer is good until the blog entry is taken down.  Contact me at Alexanderness63@ for my paypal if you'd like these 10 books sent to you for $55 USD.  They are all in new condition, and will be signed, unless you prefer unsigned.   Offer good only to the continental USA.

As I've said I love cats.  I truly love them.  I love them love them love them.

My cat Sophia --> Photograph copyright Jonathan Ness  2015

My cat Katya --> Photograph copyright Jonathan Ness 2015

I also love art, usually of the Pre-Raphaelites, and often I find myself lost on the Wikiart pages in stunned joy.  I once wanted to be an artist, and then I saw what artists can do.  I am no artist. 

Oh, if you are on Facebook and wish to be friends there I am at X and XX
On Twitter you can find me at X

Halloween Readings To scare you

October approaches with the speed of time passing through your fingers.  My son began his final year in high school, and he is doing well.  It seems impossible.  Yesterday he was a 7 year old running to me and hugging me.  Now, he is this huge (compared to the 7 year old) kid who is brilliant, nearly an adult, kind, and all those good things.  Time is unfair, but it isn't the only thing in life to be so.

And due to my schedule I am not able to spend time, as I have in the past, promoting horror, monster movies, tpbs of comics with vampires and the like.  This will be pretty much it.

I've chosen books for you to consider that have some degree of acceptance as good works in the genre/subject.

Werewolves and wolf packs are not as popular it seems as vampires, but are by far more interesting to me.  Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King has brilliant art within by Bernie Wrightson, an amazing artist who loves depicting horror.

I truly adore Brian Lumley's writing skills.  His Necroscope series is one that I've only recently indulged fully in.  And the vampires he writes are not truly the undead, or blood suckers, in the true sense.  They are a form of energy, with human characteristics, who feed upon human souls/blood.  The aspects that are familiar are revisioned and made better, and the aspects that are brand new are made clear for the reader to dwell in the horribly scary place they come from.

Anne Rice is a wonderful writer, who has a way with Vampires.  She is a person I adore as well.  Stephen King is a great writer, perhaps among the best ever America has produced, but due to his "fixation" upon writing horror he'll likely never get his due.  However he gets lots of dough instead of due.  So there is that.   Bram Stoker's words are far far far better than any of the movie roles Dracula appeared in, so it is with some joy I suggest people read this Dracula work, with Jae Lee panels of art within.  He brings to life horror, at the same time as beauty.  Not an easy trick, and quite delicious.

Steve Niles has a hit franchise with 30 Days of Night comics, but he did some work with Jeff Mariotte to expand and contrast the fictional world of darkness.  These are at times as evocative as the comics, and are recommended. 

I remember when the first time I picked up Black Easter and the follow up.  I was horrified and quite naive to the world, oh so very long ago.  And then I came to the end of the first book, and I shivered.  It was genuinely that scary and icky.  Which is the mark of great writing.  So I began the next book, and it took forever to finish, because I didn't want to have it hit me like the previous work.

And just so the ghost of James Blish knows, you probably realize already, but, God is not dead.  So so not dead.

Frankenstein is a powerful work.  It is not horror, but people believe that it is.  It is a lesson upon the arrogance of humans, to think that they too could create life, in a fit of idolatry rather than recognize that life comes from and the secret is known only to God.  It is not a "Christian" or "Theistic" work, rather, it speaks in the language of the day and uses the power of myth to ask the question "what is life?".  The books below would be enough to send your mind into ambrosia if this is your interest area.

The next three books suggested are not for all audiences of horror.  They are long, drawn out, wordy works that mostly require a high level of interest or attention.  Phantom of the Opera is possibly based on a poor sucker who was misformed in the face.  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is well written, about the dark side of men.  Have any of us really overcome it, and should we want to have done so?  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an exercise in pain for some people I know.  It is different than any of the movies, Quasimodo isn't a happy guy even in the end, although he isn't tortured as much.  And the real theme is cruelty based upon difference, and trust and distrust due to appearance rather than the human heart.  Yes I liked it, but it is not an easy book. 

While my favorite monster is the Mummy, I cannot say that I've ever read or watched a movie about one that scared me, except for the Karloff movie, The Mummy.  I think they could be used well, and I don't assume any genre or subject to be bankrupt of potential.  But of the books and stories suggested below I'd suggest that the Anne Rice is the best one, and unless you are a person with an interest in the subject, (for me it comes from my love of Egypt and Ancient History in general) you might be better off finding one of many great National Geographic documentaries or books on the subject.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tintin and the Fascists

One of my favorite comic book characters as a kid wasn't a mutant, didn't have super-powers and didn't wear spandex.   He did have weird hair, though.   He was Tintin, the intrepid boy reporter created by the Belgian cartoonist George Remi, better known by his pen name, Hergé.   Through much of the 20th Century he was an international super-star with his adventures translated into over a dozen languages.

Since the 1960s, some revisionist critics have called Hergé's hero an apologist for colonialism and a symbol of racist attitudes.   This is largely based on some of his earlier stories and do not take into account his development as a writer.   But what is not as well-known is that Hergé was actually arrested and imprisoned as a Nazi collaborator and that the defeat of the Germans in WWII almost ended his career.

Tintin a Nazi?   Well, not quite.   It's a little more complicated than that.

Hergé started out working as a draughtsman and jack-of-all-trades for a Catholic newspaper in Brussels called  Le XXe Siècle (“The Twentieth Century”).   The newspaper's director, Father Norbert Wallez, decided to begin publishing a supplement to the paper for young people, titled Le Petit Vingtième (“The Little Twentieth”) and commissioned Hergé to create a comic strip for the new magazine.   Hergé named his hero Tintin, and envisioned him as a young globe-trotting reporter.   As a lad, Hergé had been a boy scout, and he gave Tintin all the best qualities of a scout.

Le Petit Vingtième  was meant to be educational as well as entertaining, and since Father Wallez was strongly conservative in his politics, and he told Hergé to have his boy hero educate children about the evils of Communism.   The first Tintin story,”Tintin in the Land of the Soviets”, was largely based on an exposé of Bolshevism entitled “Moscou sans Voiles”    (“Moscow Unveiled”).

For his second adventure, Hergé wanted to send Tintin to America and do a story with cowboys and Indians; but Father Wallez insisted on another "educational" storyline.   This time Tintin went to Africa in order to justify the Belgian colony in the Congo.   “Tintin in the Congo”  was an embarrassment on several levels.   For one thing, the Belgian colony was exploitative and bloody even by the standards of other European colonies in Africa.   For another, Hergé was familiar with Africa only as it appeared in popular culture, and so he relied heavily on stereotypes.   (The Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka had the same problem with his early work  “Jungle Emperor”/”Kimba the White Lion”; he only knew African natives from racist movies and cartoons).   Plus, Hergé wasn't really that interested in the subject matter, and his lack of enthusiasm shows.

Some years later, when the strips were reprinted in color albums, Hergé re-drew much of the art and tried to modify some of the more offensive bits.   For example, in one scene where Tintin is in a schoolhouse teaching the native children about  "de votre patrie: la Belgique"  ("our fatherland, Belgium"), the later version was altered so that he was giving a less controversial arithmetic lesson.   Didn't help much.   The story fell into disgrace during the de-colonization period of the '50s and '60s and quietly went out of print for many years.

Hergé himself later described the story this way:

'For the  Congo  as with  Tintin in the land of the Soviets, the fact was that I was fed on the prejudices of the bourgeois society in which I moved ... It was 1930.   I only knew things about these countries that people were relating at the time:   Africans were great big children ... Thank goodness for them that we were there!   Etc.   And I portrayed these Africans according to these criteria, in the purely paternalistic spirit which existed then in Belgium."
(--  Interviews with Hergé  by Numa Sadoul)

To put  Congo  in perspective, Tintin's next adventure took him to America where he finally got to encounter cowboys and Indians and where he battled Al Capone.   Cowboys, Indians and Gangsters; that pretty much summed up the view of America in European pop culture of that day.   From there he traveled to Egypt in  Cigars of the Pharaoh  where he trailed drug traffickers to India, which was also marred by some bad stereotypes, (such as a couple Hindu priests trying to sacrifice Tintin's dog Snowy to the goddess Kali!)

But here, Tintin came to an important turning point.   Hergé had announced at the end of  Cigars  that Tintin's next adventure would be in China.   He received a letter from a priest named Father Gosset, who was chaplain to the Chinese students at the University of Louvain.   He asked Hergé to be careful about what he said   about China and suggested that he do some research.   Father Gosset introduced him to a young Chinese art student named Chang Chong-Chen, who became close friends with Hergé and assisted him with the next adventure,  “The Blue Lotus”.   This story brought a new level of accuracy to Tintin, as well as respect and understanding of the people and culture of China.   Hergé even wrote Chang into the story as a boy Tintin befriends who becomes Tintin's -- and by extension the audience's -- guide to Chinese life.

Another thing Chang brought to the story was politics.   At the time, China was being invaded by the Japanese; and the Japanese invasion and occupation is an important element in the story.   An incident in the  The Blue Lotus  where Japanese soldiers blow up a rail line and use it an an excuse to invade, blaming the attack on bandits, was based on an actual incident on the Moukden railway.   Chang worked anti-Japanese slogans into many of the signs and bits of Chinese writing seen in the pages.

Hergé's next few adventures involved international intrigue as well.   “The Broken Ear”, set in a fictitious South American country, used elements taken from the Gran Chao War, a conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia over oil rights.   “King Ottokar's Sceptre”, set in the Ruritainian country of Syldavia was inspired by the  Anschluss, where Germany annexed Austria.

So in the 1930s, Tintin fought both the Japanese and expy-Nazis.   How then did he become associated with fascists?

Because about then, Germany invaded Belgium.   “Le XXe Siècle”  and  “Le Petit Vingtième” were shut down, and Hergé and Tintin found themselves without a home.   He found refuge in the newspaper  “Le Soir” (“The Evening”).

Working under Nazi occupation meant a lot of changes in the way Hergé worked.   Most significantly, it meant and end to the type of politically-inspired adventures he had been writing.   He had to abandon  “Tintin in the Land of Black Gold”, with its storyline about Mid-East tensions (and especially its German villain); he did not return to that one until after the War.   Instead, he turned to more fantastic adventures, looking for things that would not upset the Germans.   Whereas in  The Blue Lotus, the Japanese were depicted as invaders and enemies,  “The Crab with the Golden Claws”  featured a Japanese detective in a minor role as one of the good guys.

The Shooting Star”  is an almost Jules Vernesian science fiction story about an expedition to find a fallen meteor.   The team of scientists whom Tintin accompanies on the expedition is an international one, but tellingly, they all come from countries which are either German allies, like Italy, or neutral, like Sweden.   More significantly, the rival expedition racing against them to the meteor flies an American flag and is financed by a sinister banker named Blumenstein, drawn with stereotypical Jewish features.   Hergé later regretted the anti-semitism in the story and changed the villain's name to "Bohlwinkle", which he hoped would sound more harmless.  It didn't help much.

While working on  “The Seven Crystal Balls”, Hergé had a narrow escape.   He found an apparently vacant house on the edge of town which he decided to use as the model for villa in which the story takes place.   He spent the morning sketching the exterior.   Shortly after he and his assistant finished and left, two cars full of German soldiers pulled up.   The house had been requisitioned by the SS.   'If they had surprised us a few moments earlier while we were sketching, we would certainly have been closely questioned,' he later recalled.

Although he was never arrested by the Germans, after the War he was not so lucky.   Le Soir  had been a collaborationist newspaper under German control, and once the Germans were expelled, the Allied High Command issued an order banning journalists from working who had collaborated in the production of a newspaper under the Occupation.

Hergé was arrested after the war no fewer than four times, each time by a different service; each time having to face the possibility of a firing squad. He was fortunate; the Military Commissioner trying collaborationists refused to prosecute Tintin's papa, saying "But I would make myself ridiculous!"

Nevertheless, Hergé found himself unable to publish for two years, still under the ban and tainted by his association with the Occupation.   He spent this time re-drawing and adapting his older stories for reprint in England.   Then in 1946, publisher Raymond Leblanc provided the financial backing to start a new magazine, called appropriately enough,”Tintin”, to showcase the character.   Leblanc had been a Resistance fighter during the War, and so he also had the street cred to restore Hergé's reputation.

During the Post-war period Hergé wrote what are arguably some of the best of the Tintin adventures,  “Destination Moon”,  “The Calculus Affair”,  and  “Tintin in Tibet”.   He also oversaw revisions to his earlier stories for publication in color albums for the international market.   Here he cleaned up some of the more offensive elements of the older adventures.   Still, he couldn't always avoid charges of racism.   One of his post-war tales,  “Red Sea Sharks”, was inspired by reports he read about modern day slave trade in Africa.   Although his intent was to draw attention to a serious problem, he was criticized for having his native characters speaking in pidgin, and once again had to make revisions.

Much of the perceived racism and colonialism that can be found in Tintin's adventures, especially the early ones, can be blamed on ignorance rather than malice.
But was Hergé a collaborationist?  Strictly speaking, he was working for a Nazi propaganda outlet.  Yet apart from the one evil Jewish banker, I can't think of any points in Tintin's adventures during the Occupation where he used Tintin as a mouthpiece for Nazi ideology.

It's true that Tintin's failure to fight the Nazis, as he had the Japanese in “Blue Lotus” or the fascist Bourdurians in “King Ottokar's Sceptre” – his failure to mention the existence of the Nazis at all – can be taken as tacit support. But I'm not sure what alternatives Hergé had. Being a cartoonist without a publisher is a rather precarious position. I suppose he could have shut down his studio, fired his assistants and found honest work. Instead, he chose the path of least resistance, and I'm not sure if I could have done differently in his situation.

For what it's worth, Hergé's defenders argued that continuing to draw Tintin's adventures brought more joy to the children of Belgium during the dark days of the Occupation than it gave support to the Nazi regime.

In his final published adventure in 1976,  Tintin and the Picaros, Tintin had traded his traditional knickerbockers for jeans and had a "Peace" sign on his motorcycle helmet.   Even the ageless boy reporter managed to change with the times.