It has been five months since I bought The Adventures of Tintin Complete Collection box set, but I’ve only just started reading it. The delay was due to the first story, “TINTIN IN THE LAND OF THE SOVIETS” (first serialized 1929-30). Hergé‘s style is simple, here it looks rough. (It reminded me a bit of Art Spiegelman’s Maus.) Hergé himself must not have cared for it, either, because he blocked its publication until 1973. It was colorized in 2017, but is presented here in the original black & white. Now that I’ve read that first story I intend to read the rest, so I thought I’d start a discussion here. (Who knows? I may even stick to it.) We have already determined (in “Your Favorite Things of the Year” when I first posted about it in October) that the controversial “Tintin in the Congo” is not included in the set, so next up is “Tintin in America.”

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I have English translations of the original Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo.  

As for Congo, sacred fecal matter, is it racist!  Even by the standards of 30's comics, it's racist.  Herge later re-did it so that it was slightly less racist, but the original has to be seen to be believed.  

It also leads into Tintin in America, but you can enjoy America without having read  Congo.

I also bought that boxed set, Jeff, but it's still in its shrinkwrap. I have three knee-high stacks of material in the bedroom, with God knows how much online that I have basically given up on. My priority is 1) reading for the weekly column, 2) reading for the book and 3) reading for fun. Alas, Tintin falls in category 3. But maybe you'll spark my enthusiasm and I'll break my self-discipline.

TINTIN IN AMERICA: This story starts in 1931 Chicago, the Al Capone era which inspired Chester Gould to create Dick Tracy, but soon moves out west. The story and art is nothing like Dick Tracy, though, but it’s exactly what I expect from what little Tintin I have seen. If I had to compare it to anything, I would call it a cross between an American adventure strip (such as Wash Tubbs & Captain Easy) and Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge McDuck. As Bob indicated, the story continues directly from Tintin in the Congo, in which he broke up and diamond smuggling ring then tracked it back to its source.

Tintin in the Congo has me curious. The completist in me will probably want to read it sometime, but not until I’ve finished all the other ones I already have. If I can’t track down a copy by then, I may ask to borrow yours. I like reading these one the weekends, and plan to proceed at the rate of one (or perhaps two) a week.

Books I have that you may find interesting:

The Adventures of Tintin, by Michael Farr:  A biography of Herge, with emphasis on the years he spent cresting the Tintin books.

Tintin: The Complete Companion, by Michael Farr: A book-by-book look at the Tintin stories, with background and photographs of the people and places that inspired them, with comparisons of the different editions of the books.

Tintin and the World of Herge - An Illustrated History, by Benoit Peeters:  Covers much of the same material as Farr's (each covers things the other doesn't), this also includes info on some of Herge's other works.

The Adventures of Herge, written by Jose-Louis Bocquet & Jean-Luc Fromental, drawn by Stanislas Barthelemy:  Herge's life told in the style of a Tintin book.  Not bad, a little disjointed in parts. 

Breaking Free, by J. Daniels, published by Attack International. A b/w comic in which Tintin and Captain are laborers who get caught up in a workers' revolution in Britain. Amusing, and the artist does a reasonably good imitation of Herge's style.  I have to assume that this is unauthorized AF.

One that I seem to no longer have my copy of:

Tintin in the New World: A Romance, by Frederic Tuten, a prose novel in which Tintin "grows up". I'd say give it a look if you're up for more Tintin after you've read the books.

 

You are obviously quite the fan!

I grew up reading Tintin and Asterix, when they weren't easily available in this country.  My parents had friends in Canada, and would go up there once or twice a year to visit. We would get the latest book for birthdays or Christmas.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

You are obviously quite the fan!

I also have two small volumes of Les Exploits de Quick et Flupke, one of Herge's other works.

...I have read that some WWII-era Tintin stories  have run into at least some controversy over their portrayals of Jewish persons.  Possibly over Herge's reaction to Hitler's conquest as well? With no " Congo " it is hardly a " Complete " set. Even aside from controversial elements, weren't some, at least in the eaarly years, of Herge's Tintin stories different in their serial version and in their final, collected, version? When did Tintin start appearing in color?.

There were some controversies over some of the war years stories, but I figured I'd wait until Jeff got to them. 

Several of the stories were "updated" in later editions to remove the more egregiously racist elements.

I"m not sure when they went to color.  I know that several of the early stories were first released in b/w , then re-done i n color later.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...I have read that some WWII-era Tintin stories  have run into at least some controversy over their portrayals of Jewish persons.  Possibly over Herge's reaction to Hitler's conquest as well? With no " Congo " it is hardly a " Complete " set. Even aside from controversial elements, weren't some, at least in the eaarly years, of Herge's Tintin stories different in their serial version and in their final, collected, version? When did Tintin start appearing in color?.



The Baron said:

There were some controversies over some of the war years stories, but I figured I'd wait until Jeff got to them. 

Several of the stories were "updated" in later editions to remove the more egregiously racist elements.

I"m not sure when they went to color.  I know that several of the early stories were first released in b/w , then re-done i n color later.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...I have read that some WWII-era Tintin stories  have run into at least some controversy over their portrayals of Jewish persons.  Possibly over Herge's reaction to Hitler's conquest as well? With no " Congo " it is hardly a " Complete " set. Even aside from controversial elements, weren't some, at least in the eaarly years, of Herge's Tintin stories different in their serial version and in their final, collected, version? When did Tintin start appearing in color?.

..." Redone "? You mean new versions? Or simply colorized?

  In the 70s I got some of the Little, Brown albums that were out in the U,S, then, but nothing since.

CIGARS OF THE PHARAOHS: In Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Hergé was finding his voice. I’m glad Tintin in America occurred so early in the series (it’s always interesting to me to see how other nations perceive America), but I think he was still finding his voice. With Cigars of the Pharaohs, the feature really clicked. It starts with Tintin on vacation aboard a ship at
Port Said in Egypt. Tintin’s itinerary was to have taken him through the Suez Canal and eventually to Shanghai, China. But things don’t go as planned and he ends up travelling overland to Cairo, then by air to the jungles of India.

I’m still trying to think of another comic to compare it to. It reminds me a bit of Corto Maltese (with its exotic locations). This particular installment reminds me of a cross between Peanuts and Jimmy Olsen. Hergé lines, like Charles Schulz’s, are deceptively simple. Also, Titntin’s dog, Snowy, reminds me of Snoopy in that he “speaks” (or thinks), but no one responds directly to him. Some of the situations Tintin finds himself in, like Jimmy Olsen, border on the absurd. Fast-paced and exciting.

So, you now will have seen Thompson and Thomson and Rastapopoulos.

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