On the way up to a talk in Middlesbrough last October, my agent mentioned how he liked my little tip of the hat to the Thom(p)sons (from Tintin) in the guise of the Tayaut twins. You may find this difficult to believe, but the comparison hadn't even crossed my mind. Because I am already dans l'ecole ligne claire, I have otherwise tried to ignore any further Hergéisms as much as possible. But now it's been mentioned, I actually quite like the idea.
You may be interested to know that Tayaut is a French term for the cry "tally ho!", having its origins in calling the hounds during a fox hunt. It could also mean "the game's afoot", or "let's go" and it was apparently used by some French pilots during World War II.
For those of you who have trouble telling them apart, Josette sports an orange jumper and a cap (she's also a little more happy-go-lucky than her sister), while Eloise has a blue jumper, and doesn't normally wear a hat (and is the more serious of the two). I say she normally doesn't wear a hat, because in the following beautiful image, by children's illustrator Sarah McIntyre, Eloise is in fact wearing a cap like Josette's. I was completely bowled over to receive this masterpiece, thanks so much Sarah! Click it for a bigger view (and see a translation note from Sarah here).
The initial image that jumped into my mind when I created Josette Tayaut (it was just her to begin with) was that of Jackie Coogan in The Kid, Charlie Chaplin's 1921 classic, though, of course, somewhat older and somewhat more female - but definitely in the category of tomboy. That leads me to another wonderful drawing, this time sent by Linda Wada, a Chaplin scholar and the world's foremost expert on his leading lady, Edna Purviance. Huge thanks, Linda!
And I'll just end off with a word or two of advice from Josette herself.