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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 08:44 GMT
Tintin celebrates 75th birthday
Tintin was first printed in 1928
Fans of cartoon hero Tintin around the world are celebrating the cub reporter's 75th birthday.

Two Belgian newspapers will fill Saturday editions with Tintin strips, while France's Le Figaro is printing a special 114-page Tintin issue.

The comic strip was created by Herge, real name Georges Remi.

His first outing was in Le XXme Siecle newspaper in Belgium in January 1929 and over 200 million stories of his adventures have been sold worldwide.

"Don't forget Tintin was a journalist," said Ivo Vandekerckhove, chief editor of Het Belang van Limburg. "He was born in a newspaper, so he is made for the paper."

The two special newspaper editions will be in the Le Soir and La Libre Belgique papers on Saturday.

'Racist' criticism

Tintin's first adventure saw him tackle the Communist regime in the USSR in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.

Subsequent stories saw him battle drug dealers, travel to the moon and discover a lost Inca tribe.

But the brave reporter also had to battle criticism - his portrayal of Africans was deemed racist by some, and the fact Herge continued printing during the Nazi occupation of Belgium raised accusations of collaboration.

10-euro coin in honour of Tintin
A commemorative Tintin coin has been minted

The comics have sold more than 200 million copies around the world and were translated into 55 languages. His last completed adventure was published in 1976.

An exhibition of Tintin art will be held in Brussels, while other shows will take place in Spain, the Netherlands and Britain.

The Brussels celebrations will also include a tour to some of the scenery that inspired the adventures.

On Thursday, a 10-euro commemorative coin featuring Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy was unveiled.

"The comic books of Herge have conferred the highest nobility on Belgian art," Belgium's Finance Minister Didier Reynders said at the unveiling.

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said in 2002 he planned to make a trilogy of films based on the cub reporter's adventures.

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