What to Read After... Tintin

Published on: 19 November 2018 Author: Anna McKerrow

Hergé's tales of a young reporter and adventurer continue to delight generation after generation - but if you're ready for something new, what should you try next? We've got some ideas and we want your thoughts too...

Tintin by Hergé

The 24 comics in Hergé's Tintin series are among the most popular European comics of the 20th century, have been published in more than 70 languages, and have sold more than 200 million copies.

They've also been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film. Featuring elements of science fiction, mystery, political thriller and plenty of humour, the Tintin books have a clear, readable format and thrilling stories that can hook a reader into never wanting to read anything else! But if they are ready for something new, what should they try?

If your child loves Tintin's epic adventures, here are some recommendations that might broaden their adventure horizons...

For something similar but completely its own

Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson

Tintin fans can try Luke Pearson's quirky, fantasy-filled Hilda series of books (which have now been adapted into an animated series on Netflix). Blue-haired, brave and kind, Hilda finds a variety of adventures to be had in the Scandinavian-inspired city of Trollberg and its rural environs, where trolls roam the land but turn into stone in daylight, and elves' invisible houses can be seen if you complete the correct paperwork.

For kids who want fantasy with something a bit different

Sam Bosma's Fantasy Sports series is an utterly fantastic three-book series featuring Wiz, a young girl wizard, and her adventures defeating a variety of baddies in different sporting tournaments: golf, basketball and football. Sport and fantasy hardly ever get combined, but after reading Bosma's books, you'll be wondering why you don't see it more.

For younger kids who want minimal text and maximum laughs

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

Judd Winick's HILO series features a diverse cast of characters set in the contemporary world, one of whom is a silver-pant-wearing alien. Battling baddies with plenty of KA-POW action happens alongside a sincere and thoughtful story about friendship, and a genuinely funny series of catchphrases and gags. It's full colour throughout and doesn't feel babyish - and it's also ideal for a reluctant reader.

For older kids...

Victoria Jamieson's Roller Girl is a brilliant graphic novel ideal for tweens. Deeply empowering, especially for girls aged 10-12, Jamieson's story is all about being true to yourself and finding your place in the world, set in the exciting world of roller derby. Alternatively, Julie Hunt and Dale Newman's Kidglovz is the haunting tale of a musical prodigy, drawn entirely in pencil, which is full of heart and adventure.

Elsewhere, Princeless stays in the fantasy genre but gives tweens and young teens a tremendous heroine in Adrienne, who steadfastly resists the standard princess stereotypes and sets about rescuing her sisters from their towers. And Alexis Deacon's Geis books will appeal to kids who are on their way to adult graphic novels – set in their own opulent fantasy world, both books are original, thrilling and delightfully different.

Looking for more fantastic graphic novels?

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Try Cece Bell's El Deafo inspired by the author's own childhood experience of deafness. Adam and Lisa Murphy's Corpse Talk series presents history non-fiction in an amusing graphic novel format, and The Mysteries of John Blake by Phillip Pullman and Fred Fordham is a rollicking Jason Bourne-type thriller for kids - Serena must solve the mystery of John Blake's ghost ship and a secret government conspiracy.

Your suggestions

The graphic novel adaptation of Artemis Fowl

As always, you came up with some fantastic ideas about what to read after Tintin - we knew we could rely on you! Here are some of our favourite recommendations...

  • Over on Twitter, @momoreihill admitted that it's tempting to recommend just going back and re-reading Tintin again! But there were other suggestions, too: Momo proposed the graphic novel adaptations of Alex Rider and Artemis Fowl, describing them as 'very good'.
  • @ThriftyParentUK had a similar problem, saying: 'As a diehard lifelong Tintin fan, anything after Tintin is a letdown! But I have to recommend Hergé's other characters Jo and Zette. The Valley of the Cobras is especially wonderful with a spoilt maharajah and an evil fakir!'
  • If your favourite thing about Tintin is Snowy, then @drhannahrobbins has an idea for you: 'To take an animal theme: the Time Travelling Cat books [by Julia Jarman] or, for more adult readers, Lilian Jackson Braun's crime novels about a newspaper man/amateur detective aided by his Siamese cat(s) are really fun.'
  • Not only is @Jake_Hope a children's books expert - he's also a self-confessed 'huge fan' of Tintin, so we definitely want to listen to his recommendations! He suggested some 'totally unmissable' graphic novels which use Hergé's 'ligne claire' style, including Meanwhile by Jason Shiga ('full of choices, imagination and invention') and Garen Newing's The Rainbow Orchid (he says the main character Julius Chancer is 'guaranteed to appeal to Hergé fans'). But that's not all, because Jake also recommended 'anything by genius Gene Luen Yang'.
  • @LawsonLibrary also backed up the Julius Chancer suggestion and added some other ideas, too, including The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks.
  • Tintin is such a classic... fancy some more? @TheEddWilliams is here to help, if so: 'Asterix obviously. Then old annuals of Steve Ditko-era Spiderman. And Calvin & Hobbes.' 
  • Over on Instagram, @gosforthlibraries had a brilliant recommendation - the Blake and Mortimer books, created by Edgar P. Jacobs, explaining that they are 'very similar in style to Tintin, if a bit more wordy - great for older readers'.
  • And finally, BookTrust's very own @EmilyDrabs had an up-to-the-minute recommendation to share - a new graphic novel adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird by Fred Fordham. 'It arrived on my desk today so I haven't read it yet but it looks stunning!' she said - one to check out, certainly.

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