Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Calculus Affair - The Adventures of Tintin 18 by Hergé

The Calculus Affair is the most overtly political of the Adventures since King Ottokar's Sceptre. Appropriately it returns once more to conflict between the fictional countries of Syldavia and Borduria. Yet whilst the earlier tales were making clear points about and jibes at contemporary political developments, this one instead just uses situations to provide a framework for the plot.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko: Mr. Pump's Legacy, Destination New York and The Valley of the Cobras by Hergé

As previously noted, much of Hergé's non-Tintin work isn't well known in English because so little is still in print in translated form. However, there is one other series with three albums currently available in the UK, which can often be found alongside The Adventures of Tintin in bookshops.

The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko are the tales of a brother and sister and their pet monkey. Hergé created them on request from one of his French publishers but ultimately only produced five complete albums. Two of the albums, The 'Manitoba' No Reply and The Eruption of Karamako, have only had a limited English-language circulation in a double-volume that used the overall story title The Secret Ray and is now out of print. Some of the depictions in them are controversial and were thus passed over by first Methuen and then by Egmont.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Explorers on the Moon - The Adventures of Tintin 17 by Hergé

"This is it! I've walked a few steps! For the first time in the history of mankind there is an EXPLORER ON THE MOON!"

When Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon he received many messages from all over the world. One that baffled him the most, so the story goes, was an illustration of him standing by the lunar module being greeted by three men and a dog in orange spacesuits, with a red and white rocket in the background. He soon learned that another had already visited the Moon in fiction.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Destination Moon - The Adventures of Tintin 16 by Hergé

This is the big one. Of all The Adventures of Tintin, by far the best known is the two-part story that begins with this album. Such is its prominence that a special display stand for the albums in book shops is even modelled on the rocket. It is arguably the second best known Moon landing of all time. However much of that is to come in the second part of the tale. For now we have the story of events at ground control.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Land of Black Gold - The Adventures of Tintin 15 by Hergé

It's surprising just how many of the Adventures were at one stage partially complete. Land of Black Gold began as the ninth and final Tintin story to be serialised in Le Petit Vingtième but the supplement and the parent paper, Le Vingtième Siècle, were shut down when the Germans invade Belgium in May 1940. Though the Adventures would soon resume, the content of Land of Black Gold made it impossible to carry on during the occupation. The tale might well have remained incomplete but then in the late 1940s it was revived as a filler, with the whole story restarted, redrawn and with some modifications to match developments in the series. It was changed again in 1971 for the English-language publication, changing the setting from the long out of date British Mandate of Palestine to the fictional Arab kingdom of Khemed.