People hold a copy of a Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a sign reading 'I am Charlie' as they gather on January 7, 2015 in Paris. (Agence France-Presse)
Fictional detective Tintin today turned 86 and used the occasion to express his solidarity with the families of the Charlie Hebdo attack victims.
The rallying cry for the birthday is "I am Charlie - Je suis Charlie and Tintin expresses solidarity with the families of the victims!", according to his website.
It says the occasion is marked by the most horrible recent attacks against, among others, employees of Charlie Hebdo.
Tintin, the amazing reporter and sleuth with the iconic quiff created by Georges Remi, better known as Herge, appeared for the first time in 1929, January 10 in the comic strip called "Le Petit Vingtieme", together with his trusted canine companion Snowy.
Among his friends, Snowy comes first - the faithful companion with a generous spirit. Secondly, Tchang appears in the family circle and becomes a lifelong friend of Tintin and almost a brother. Thirdly, Captain Haddock whose debut was to come a good 10 years later is ready to sacrifice his own life for Tintin. Not forgetting all the others, Castafiore, Calculus, Thomson and Thompson who form Tintin's family circle.
Since 1929, more than 230 million Tintin copies have been sold. The Tintin adventures have been translated in more than 70 languages. Reprinted and published in ever greater numbers, the books are a source of inspiration for artists, writers, producers, and directors.
Tintin has indisputably earned his place among the great figures in world literature. In 1999, following a survey by Le Monde, readers of this newspaper ranked The Blue Lotus 18th among books that left their mark on the 20th century.
Tintin found himself in distinguished company with Aldous Huxley, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and Anne Frank.