2011/01/28

Rene Milhoux - How Tintin's dog "Milou" got his name

How Milou got his name

A little while ago I was contacted by Renaud Milhoux who told me a fascinating story of how Milou got his name. I absolutely love family stories like this and really appreciate Mr. Milhoux for sharing it with me and the readers of Tintinblog.com. Enjoy…


Rene Milhoux (second from right)

This is how my late grandfather told me this story:
My late grandfather, Rene Milhoux, was a very famous Belgian motorcycle champion and speed record holder during the 20′s and 30′s. He was regularly in the press as in those days what he did made big news. One of the newspapers that would recount his feats was “Le Vingtieme Siecle”, which as you know had a supplement called “Le Petit Vingtieme” for which Georges Remi (Herge) worked. At the same time “Le Vingtieme Siecle” was also regularly publishing photo reportages of a travel journalist called Robert Sexe, whose pictures were a direct inspiration for Herge’s first few stories of Tintin. Sexe and my grandfather had been introduced to each other by the owner of a motorcycle company, my grandfather was at the time riding for that company (Gillet de Herstal) and Mr. Sexe was traveling around the world on motorcycles and needed a technical adviser. They soon became friends and my grandfather helped him preparing his motorcycle for his round the world trips. Both men were on a regular basis in the news. On one occasion my grandfather was invited to the offices of “Le Vingtieme Siecle” for an exclusive interview, he was introduced to several people working there, one of them being Georges Remi, they had a little chat during which Herge asked my grandfather if he wasn’t too bothered that he had named the dog Milou after him, my grandfather found it quite amusing so of course had no objection. Remember that at that time Tintin wasn’t as big as it is now.
Milou is male, small, brave and quite clever. My grandfather is (obviously) male, was small, brave (record breaker) and being an engineer I would say quite clever (also he regularly helped Mr Sexe out…).


Rene Milhoux.

According to Renaud, his grandfather was “sometimes called the “White Devil”…because he always wore white overalls for his record breaking events…another link to an impossibly white Snowy?”

The heir to the story:

Renaud Milhoux

Vintage images found at (French): www.automag.be

Read more about Rene Milhoux (French): automag.be Rene Milhoux
   
Original article found at (English): tintinblog.com

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