This paper analyses Herge's Tintin books in terms of the politics of the series, as a precursor to its human rights messages, in particular regarding racism, sexism and due process. Politically, Tintin swings from right to left. Despite heavy (and often justified) criticism of the series as racist, Herge's books are more nuanced, as they include conscious if clumsy anti-racist messages.
Ultimately, Tintin is a quintessentially European product of his time, and the books are in fact a unique chronicle of one half of the twentieth century, warts and all. Nevertheless, the warts (and even Herge's failure to recognise them) have not stopped the ongoing globalisation of the Tintin books' appeal many decades after their creator's death.