“The Real Hergé: The Inspiration Behind Tintin”, first comics-related biography from White Owl Books

Slipping under my radar late last year was the release of The Real Hergé: The Inspiration Behind Tintin by Sian Lye, published by White Owl Books, an imprint of Pen & Sword – and the publisher has more comics-related biographies in the works, including an “joyous” tribute to Stan Lee from Adrian Mackinder.

The Real Hergé: The Inspiration Behind Tintin by Sian Lye

Belgian comic creator Georges Remi, aka Hergé (1907-1983) created only 24 Tintin books, which have been translated into more than 70 languages and sold 230 million copies worldwide.

The Real Hergé: The Inspiration Behind Tintin takes an in-depth look at the man behind the cultural phenomenon and the history that helped shape these books.

As well as focussing on the controversies that engulfed Hergé, this biography also looks at his personal life, as well as the relationships and experiences that influenced him.

Sian Lye, who lives in Brighton, is an author and journalist who has contributed to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Sunday Times and Radio Times. The Real Hergé: The Inspiration Behind Tintin is her first book.

White Owl is the newest imprint to come from Pen & Sword Books, a publishers based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. It catalogue features books on a variety of topics including lifestyle, wildlife, gardening, space and sports.

Out next month is Stan Lee: How Marvel Changed The World ⁣by Adrian Mackinder, currently available on pre-order at a discount from White Owl direct, described as “a bold celebration of the power of storytelling and a fitting tribute to Stan Lee’s enduring legacy”.

Stan Lee: How Marvel Changed The World ⁣by Adrian Mackinder

a journey through twentieth century American history, seen through the life of a man who personifies the American Dream, White Owl says the book shows how Stan’s life reflects the evolution of American entertainment, society and popular culture throughout the 1900s and beyond.

Along the way, bold questions will be asked. Was Stan Lee himself a superhuman creation, just a mask to protect his true, more complicated secret identity? Just like the vibrant panels of the comics he wrote, Stan’s life, it seems, is never black and white.

Sourced from Stan’s own words, this book also includes brand new and exclusive interviews with Marvel comic book creators, for whom Stan’s work proved an invaluable inspiration. Upbeat, accessible and fun, this book is told with a glint in the eye and a flair for the theatrical that would make Stan proud.

Adrian Mackinder, who lives with his family in Copenhagen where he “struggles daily with being an Englishman abroad”, is a writer and performer with 20 years freelance experience, scribbling for just about everyone, from The Guardian, the British Government and the BBC to Cartoon Network, LEGO and The Beano. He’s also a professional improviser, actor and comedian. He was Head Writer at Comedy Central UK for five years, and has performed live on stage in the UK, US and mainland Europe.

“I’ve cunningly written it so you don’t have to be a comic book fan to also find it interesting,” says Adrian of the new book. “It’s a joyous romp through a century of mainstream entertainment – stage, radio, TV, film and online – seen through the life of a man who was at the forefront of popular culture for over seventy years.

“It’s fun, funny, full of weird trivia, and I hope as fascinating to read as I found it to research and write.”

• The Real Hergé: The inspiration behind Tintin, by Sian Lye, published by Pen & Sword, White Owl, is available from all good bookshops and AmazonUk (Affiliate Link)

Sian Lye is online at sianlye.com | Follow Sian Lye on Twitter @sian_lye

Stan Lee: How Marvel Changed The World ⁣by Adrian Mackinder is on sale from 31st March 2021 | Pre-order for £15.99 here direct from White Owl (Limited time offer) | AmazonUK Affiliate Link

Adrian Mackinder is online at adrianmackinder.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter |

White Owl Books is online at whiteowlbooks.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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