Sep 12, 2012

Corentin and Kim

Like Alix and Enak, Jonny Quest and Hadji, and a dozen others, Corentin and Kim were a teenage European-Indian homoromantic pair. Belgian cartoonist Paul Cuvelier began painting the androgynous, muscular teenager in 1943.

Herge, creator of Tintin, saw them and suggested a comic strip, which appeared in  Tintin magazine beginning in 1946.

The comic story begins with Corentin at age 14, a Breton boy in the 18th century who runs away from his abusive uncle, stows away aboard a ship, and is shipwrecked on a desert island.  Soon he teams up with an Indian boy named Kim.  They also add a gorilla named Belzebuth and a tiger named Moloch to their entourage.

Corentin was aimed at somewhat younger children than Alix, so his adventures were less complex, but the backgrounds were just as spectacular, and there was nearly as much nudity (especially as the two boys aged into muscular late adolescence).


Seven comic albums appeared between 1950 and 1974, rather a paltry number compared to Alix, sending Corentin and Kim to India, China, Italy, Egypt, and back to Brittany (Corentin's grandson also appeared in the 1800's Wild West).  There were also novels, an animated cartoon series (1987),  and an original comic strip, translated into German, Spanish, and Dutch.

Nevertheless, Corentin was never as successful as Alix, and Paul Cuvelier less concerned with homoromance; eventually Corentin gets a girlfriend, and many of Cuvelier's other works featured female nudity.

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