Preface from the book Robert Sexé in the land of the soviets, Janpol SCHULZ, Chapeau Rouge Édition, 1996.
" Born in January 1929 under the pen of Georges Remi, alias HERGÉ, TINTIN, is certainly not born by accident. He must have benefitted of the experience of some adventurous people. Certainly he had, if not models, at least guides. For him to open the road.
Robert SEXÉ cultivated within him an intense desire for adventure, he was soon to express. Born in 1890, he first took a studious teenager, as we begin the century of speed and mobility. He was twenty years: he's a reporter. It does not take up. It will soon buy a motorcycle. To live a hundred miles an hour for travel.
Grand Prix racer, and globe-trotter, he made his first raid motorcyclist (Paris-Istanbul-Paris) in 1924. Therefore, Sexé-reporter will always be some steps ahead of Tintin. Thus, in 1925, he took the road for the Soviet country. He represent the Belgian brand Gillet-Herstal, newspapers will largely echo, Belgium, at this escapade and following.
One year later, when he began the first worldtour on a motorcycle, it is (momentarily) in a comic book published by the American press. Before being born, Tintin is beaten on his home turf. It will catch up. In 1928, Sexé made a tour of Europe, then he is heading north, and pushed up the Arctic Circle. the following year, he "remade" Europe tour, but this time in zig-zag.Meanwhile, in Brussels, Hergé creates Tintin and Milou.
Robert Sexé (accompanies more than once a « mécani-chien » (« mécani-dog » in english) ... sorry! A mechanic named Milhoux) was therefore clearly a pre-Tintin. A dynamic reporter , enterprising and courageous which, perhaps, articles and photos was fell under the eyes of the young artist Hergé. Who knows if one day we will not find a photo of Robert Sexé in the Fondation Hergé's archives ? "
ex-General Secretary of the Foundation Hergé from 1989 to 1999.
|Fitting the cover of the book Robert Sexé in the Land of soviets with a drawing|
In the spirit of Robert Sexé germ the idea of a "round the world" on motorcycle. Gillet agrees, he sees this, rightly, a great publicity stunt ... in case of victory, to publicize and sell their motorcycles around the world. In the Belgian factories, construction of three prototypes advances.
Sexé Team, Krebs and Dumoulin is scheduled to be renewed. However Dumoulin, and Krebs for professional reasons, will forfeit the game. Sexé then calls Andrieu, skilled mechanic at Gillet France, and a true force of nature.
In early July, the two companions are leaving Paris for over 22,000 km Liege, Cologne, Berlin, Warsaw (where, for security reasons, we supplied them with gasoline), the Soviet leadership in Moscow, Kazan, Nyni Nosgorod, dirt roads are very difficult and almost impassable when it rains motorcycles sink up to the axles. For the track of convicts, is already direction Tomsk, Omsk, Irkutsk and Lake Baikal and the track is a real ordeal for two raiders. After Strietensk and Chita, the route follows the valley of the Amur River. Finally, Vladivostok and boarding for Japan via Tokyo, the American leadership, headed for San Francisco and 6,000 miles across the USA, so when the roads are not always wonderful. Omaha, Chicago, New York and it's already late October. Atlantic with return to England, Holland, Belgium (Herstal) and Paris. This is a great success reported in newspapers in the world!
At a time when Robert Sexé is world famous journalist and reporter, a young Belgian Georges Remi (Hergé in 1924) works in the press and became editor in 1928 the newspaper "Le Petit Vingtième" . It can easily read the exploits of Sexé, his journey to the USSR in 1925 with his participation in the Soviet system. Perhaps in Brussels will he see his bikes and his photos exhibited or its projections relating his travels. Still, there is a great similarity between the character's real Sexé and paper character of Hergé.
Sexé, this amazing reporter, journalist, world traveler, his journeys and stay in the USSR in 1925 have they inspired the creation of Hergé Tintin 1929? Disturbing similarities between the pictures of Sexé and Herge's drawings ...
|Assembly, comparative study between Robert Sexé and the comic strip heroes Tintin, stamped on a map|
Sexé through the U.S. in 1926, during his world tour on motorcycles. As for the third bike, it was used by a Belgian soldier, Lieutenant Fabry, who raided Africa, Congo. Amazing coincidence in the albums of Hergé: Tintin in the Congo ", 1931 and" Tintin in America ", 1932.
Sexé continue its raids in Gillet on other models until 1931. Then he spent Peugeot to make other trips. He won include: the Tour of Europe, the Arctic Circle - 14,000 km through Europe - 20,000 km in Europe and Africa ...
By the early 50s, "Gillet round the world" and "Norton" racing will resume service assisting with their driver Robert Sexé, rallies of old bikes in Holland, Germany and France. Very well maintained and in their original state, Robert Sexé use them until the early 70s. It will periodically visit the Elephant rally where he plays the star, and every year, Moto-Journal recounts his exploits. At each exit a crowd formed around this character and his bike already legendary.
The TV will pay tribute to in "Les coulisses de l'exploit" as well as several other occasions. In the early 70s, Robert Sexé is 84 years and still practices regularly bike.