Herge, Moulinsart

Nick Rodwell: Publishing’s Most Vilified Figure?

There are a lots of words that can describe Nick Rodwell but popular is not one of them.

As head of Moulinsart and husband to Herge’s second wife Fanny, he holds in his hands one of the biggest, most iconic and most loved characters of the 20th Century. A man in this position has to make some hard decisions and will inevitably step on some toes but Nick Rodwell does seem to have a special gift when it comes to annoying people. Not many publishers are on the receiving end of a 200 pages of a book criticising nearly everything they have done.

Stéphane Steeman, Belgian humourist, radio presenter, writer, Herge collector and longtime president of The Friends of Herge has self-published a new book L’escalade. It is not all about Nick Rodwell but about The Friends of Herge and how the actions of Moulinsart destoryed his love for Herge’s works.

… censorship, bans, subpoenas, legal threats, blackmail and so forth, out of decency of our members I never mentioned the name of Mr. Rodwell in our reviews, I never criticized Moulinsart … And yet, I’m in a squad that Mr. Rodwell was nicknamed “The Black List”

It is hard to tell from the sources if this book is born out of personal bitterness against Nick Rodwell and Moulinsart or a genuine, well rounded criticism of the man and the company. Mr Rodwell’s behaviour has certainly been far from the standards set by Tintin and the company’s legitimate desire to protect its copyright has at times appeared self-defeating.

Boycott Moulinsart!

One of the company’s ongoing legal battles is against Bob García. As we reported earlier, Mr Garcia published five Tintin related books. Two of these books used a handful of images that are owned by Moulinsart that the author believed were usable under the idea of Fair Use. At the initial trial, the judge found in favour of Bob Garcia however Moulinsart won on appeal and are now forcing Mr Garcia into bankruptcy to collect damages. Some fans are now trying to organise a boycott of Herge products on behalf of Mr Garcia.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular case, it is certainly doing the image of Moulinsart and Nick Rodwell no good at all.

Sources: Stéphane Steeman consacre un livre à Nick Rodwell, son pire ennemi, Los fans de Tintin amenazan con boicotear la película de Spielberg, L’ESCALADE, de Stéphane Steeman


  1. Brian

    It’s time to fans to strike back. Let the movie and the books be posted to sites like rapidshare so often that it REALLY affects their income
    They want a war with the fans? Let them have one. Let’s give it to them with both barrels until Rodwell goes backs to court to apologise and cancels every court order against the fans.
    Let’s bankrupt the bastard

  2. admin

    A boycott will be make very little real financial impact on the company. Most Tintin books and merchandise are brought by people discovering Tintin for the first time and not the hard core fans.

    However talk of a boycott is very effective at gaining media attention and forcing Moulinsart to take a more conciliatory approach to the situation.


  3. Christian

    Moulinsart certainly have a monopoly on Tintin items and customers pay for it. It’s terribly sad and wrong that Tintin fans can’t celebrate their love for him without being bullied by Moulinsart. I really don’t like Nick Rodwell and his influence on Moulinsart. I suspect Herge would be rolling in his grave. I just want the fans to get a say and be able to have fun. The bullying has got to stop, now. Not even Disney are this bad.

    Brian, I don’t think rapidshare is the way to go. Sure they’re doing something wrong but stealing from them (no matter how wrong they are) is still unethical. Let’s not stoop to their level.

  4. Leeza

    Brian, Christian, I agree with you on your statements and views.

    I feel a Tintin expert should be authorized by Moulinsart and/or the Herge Foundation to do this for Tintin fans. That should be finishing up, “Tintin and Alph-Art,” so the fans, myself included, can have some closure. (I became a new Tintin fan during the 2011 Holiday Season.)

  5. rupert

    On the other hand, there are sellers on Ebay selling pirated Tintin ebooks – the whole series for about a tenner! One nitwit in Lisbon keeps relisting and claims he has resale rights

    Frankly I’d love to see Nick Rodwell eat this seller alive.

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