Hergé gave the world The Adventures Of Tintin, which included the characters Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock and loads of other characters from around the world. This Belgian comic strip has been translated into over 70 languages and sold over 200-million copies, not to mention being adapted for radio, television, theatre and film.

However it was in the story “Shooting Star” where Tintin finally visited Iceland. He was heading into arctic waters aboard a research vessel called “Aurora” to look for a meteorite that was believed to contain a new metal never seen on earth before. 

Tintin stopped in Akureyri to refuel the vessel before heading further north in search of the meteorite. He runs into a bit of trouble when he finds out that some evil bankers have a monopoly on all the oil and fuel sold in Iceland and those bankers refuse to refill Tintin’s ship. Luckily, Captain Haddock runs into an old sailor friend, Chester, who agrees–after a minor scuffle–to refuel the Aurora.

The inspiration from Iceland in “The Shooting Star” is everywhere. Iceland’s landscapes have been described as otherworldly and the aurora borealis have sparked discussions of UFOs for decades. The comic even features giant mushrooms, reminding us of mushrooms’ important cultural importance to the vikings and other nordic cultures.

However, the inclusion of bankers attempting to control the resources of the country and sailors having shouting matches on the streets of Akureyri seems too far-fetched.