Tintin expert named Britain's first professor of comics

Mr Benoit Peeters, 59, a French graphic novelist and critic, will take up the position of visiting professor at Lancaster University in north west England from summer 2016.
Mr Benoit Peeters, 59, a French graphic novelist and critic, will take up the position of visiting professor at Lancaster University in north west England from summer 2016.PHOTO: TWITTER/ BENOIT PEETERS

LONDON (AFP) - An expert in "The Adventures of Tintin" comic book series has been named as Britain's first ever professor of "graphic fiction and comic art".

Benoit Peeters, 59, a French graphic novelist and critic, will take up the position of visiting professor at Lancaster University in north west England from summer 2016.

He called the post "a great honour".

"I want to explore the connections between the history of graphic fiction and contemporary creation, between the world of French and Belgian bande dessinée, and the world of comics and graphic novels," Peeters said in a statement this week.

Known as a world authority on the Tintin comics and author of a biography of the cartoonist Herge, Peeters will run creative writing workshops, give lectures and supervise post-graduate students during the three-year position.

The position was created in collaboration with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in the neighbouring county of Cumbria.

The university said it was "a significant investment in the academic significance of comic art".

"We are delighted Benoit has accepted this appointment," Simon Guy, Lancaster University's dean of faculty of arts and social sciences said.

"The appointment will bring a new dimension to our University and, in particular, to our English and creative writing courses." Peeters will take part in the next Lakes International festival in October 2016, the university said.

In the meantime, fans of Tintin can enjoy an exhibition called "Herge's Masterpiece" about the comic series at Somerset House in London.