Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Covering Complete Tintin Adventures

Collage of covers of The Complete Adventures of Tintin

The cover pages of all The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé, real name Georges Remi. The images are in chronological order of their release. Cover Tintin and the Lake of Sharks had been left out, as it wasn't drawn by Hergé. The last image is of the back cover of a version of Tintin and Alph-Art - The twenty-fourth adventure of Tintin which was left unfinished at the time of Herge's death

The complete list:

1. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1929–1930)
The first adventure appeared in 1929 in a children's supplement to a Belgian daily newspaper, Le Vingtième Siècle. Hergé was just twenty-three. In this adventure, Tintin and Snowy travel to communist Russia and get chased around by its infamous secret police.

2. Tintin in the Congo (1930–1931)
The infamous second by Hergé.The one not for the kids. Tintin  is in Congo and a henchman of Al Capone, who has diamond interest in Congo,  tries to kill him off.
Not only is this publication racist, an attempt at glorifying colonialism, but it is also not funny - unless of course if you think blowing up a rhinoceros with dynamite is funny.

These two first adventures of Tintin aren't much read, least availabe and are quite different from what made Tintin famous. Tintin,  as he is recognized around the world, first evolved in:

3. Tintin in America (1931–1932)
 Hergé, with his sketchy knowledge of America set up Tintin against Al Capone. Also, in this one Tintin takes up the cause of American Indians. It was the first time that he took up the side of an underdog.

4. Cigars of the Pharaoh (1932–1934)
Tintin travels to Egypt to look for the tomb of Pharaoh Kih-Oskh and we are introduced to his arch-enemy Rastapopoulos and to the bumbling duo:Thomson and Thompson. By the end of the adventure, Tintin also pays his first visit to India, travels as far as the Himalayas, fights off a slimy fakir who darts out Rajaijah juice - poison of madness. Tintin makes friend with Maharaja of Gaipajama. A gai and a pajama, what a word! Also, Snowy manages to upset a holy cow and almost gets lynched. 

5. The Blue Lotus (1934–1935)
Tintin again acts as the spokesman for the underdog. Only this time, the underdog is China. From India, Tintin travels to Shanghai, China, to take on the assassins of the opium consortium run by Rastapopoulos  with the support of a Japanese secret agent. Also, in this one Tintin makes a friend for life - Chang Chong-Chen. Character of Chang was actually based by Hergé on a friend of his named Zhang Chongren. This friendship later led Tintin in Tibet - perhaps the most loved adventure of Tintin.

6. The Broken Ear (1935–1937)
 Tintin travels to the fictional South America republic of San Theodoros to recover a stolen artifact/idol (fetish is a unfunny word for children's comic!) and finds himself in the middle of a revolution, unwittingly supporting a coup by one General Alcaza. Corruption, Bribery, capitalist bad western businessman, it was a familiar world.

7. The Black Island (1937–1938)
This one reads like a thriller set in Europe.Tintin uncovers the secrets of a ruined castle on the the Black Island off the coast of northern Scotland. Dr. J.W. Müller needs to be stopped.

8. King Ottokar's Sceptre (1938–1939)
The plan is simple: If the king does not carry King Ottokar's sceptre in the royal procession he will lose his throne, and the sceptre goes missing. Tintin saves the kingdom of Syldavia from the ferocious plans of a man with a sinister name - Müsstler. Anti-Nazi, and Anti-Blackshirt adventure featuring Tintin.We are also introduced to Bianca Castafiore ( who reappears in The Castafiore Emerald ) and Colonel Boris (who reappears as Jorgen in Destination Moon and in its sequel Explorers on the Moon.)

9. The Crab with the Golden Claws (1940–1941)
Herge had to give up writing Land of Black Gold because of the heightened political atmosphere surrounding World War II. Instead he wrote a new adventure about an Arab who uses tins of crab meat to smuggle opium. Tintin to the rescue. In this adventure we are introduced to whiskey loving Captain Haddock for the first time ever. What an ectoplasmic character! He partnered Tintin in a number of later adventure and played an important part in Tintin in Tibet.

10. The Shooting Star (1941–1942)
A star is on its way to Earth. Philippulus the crazy Prophet declares: "The end of the world is at hand!" Sadly, the star misses it mark and only manages to leave behind a precious meteorite in the cold Arctic waters. A race begins. A banking cartel would stoop to any level to get it. Tintin and friends must get to it first.

11. The Secret of the Unicorn (1942–1943)
We get to know about Captain Haddock's ancestry. A story of a ship named Unicorn, and a lost treasure in the caribbean sea . It's the story of:

12. Red Rackham's Treasure (1943–1944)
Tintin and company sets off to find the long-lost treasure of Red Rackham the pirate. Professor Calculus makes his first appearance.And we get to see a Shark shaped sub-marine. Cool!

The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure are being made in a film by Steven Spielberg. It would probably release in 2010. Great!

13. The Seven Crystal Balls (1943–1948)
Ah! The Ball of fire!
Tintin investigates the case of a missing mummy (Tutankhamun kind of story) and hysteric explorers . Tintin follows the clues to Peru for a new adventure...

14. Prisoners of the Sun (1946–1949)
Professor Calculus needs rescuing. Tintin comes across a undiscovered Inca tribe and  Christopher Columbus's famous solar eclipse trick

15. Land of Black Gold (1948–1950)
The oriental framed look and the colorful beard of Thomson and Thompson flowing in the air, bubbles blowing in the air.  I love this cover, my personal favorite.
The story is set in Middle East and naturally involves oil. German Dr. Muller of The Black Island returns as tanned Professor Smith blowing up oil pipelines to disrupt oil supply to Europe and contaminating other oil supplies with special tablets called "Formula 14". These tablets  increase the driving power of the contaminated oil causing car engines to explode. Tintin is called in to investigate. This adventure also introduced to us Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab and his bratty son Abdullah (complete name in Arab tradition Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab et Abdallah). They later return in the adventure titled The Red Sea Sharks, so does Müller.
The funniest thing in this adventure involved the detectives duo of Thomson and Thompson. They somehow manage to "Formula 14" pills that causes them to sprout color changing immensely toe touching beards. Their condition gets better by the end of this adventure, but again returns in the later adventure Explorers on the Moon.

16. Destination Moon (1950–1953)
A spying thriller set to the space race. Professor Calculus is trying to send a rocket to moon. Tintin investigates espionnage. By the end of the adventure, events are set in motion that lead Tintin, Snowy, Haddock, Calculus,  Thomson and Thompson on to the ultimate adventure - a journey to the Moon.


17. Explorers on the Moon (1950–1954)
 Thanks to Thomson and Thompson, Tintin, Snowy, Haddock, Calculus and his assistant for the project Frank Wolff end up on a rocket to Moon. This was the ultimate adventure. In space, Thomson and Thompson suffer a relapse of ill-effect of ingesting "Formula 14", Haddock enjoys his whiskey in space and does a space walk around an asteroid. Tintin detects a spy on Moon and an old enemy. They count their oxygen. The adventure ends with a great sacrifice by a fall guy.

18. The Calculus Affair (1954–1956)
 They decide not to have an adventure. But.
Professor Calculus is working on a new device, an ultrasonic device. The device can be developed into a great weapon of mass description. Hence the danger to his life. Tintin must save his friend and his wonderful invention. Another thriller! 

19. The Red Sea Sharks (1958)
Old enemy Rastapopoulos returns as Marquis di Gorgonzola, a media baron, a airline owner, and a arms dealer who uses the pilgrimage to Mecca to capture and enslave African Muslim travellers. Tintin's old friend from Land of Black Gold, Emir Ben Kalish Ezab threatens to expose this for personal reasons, Rastapopoulos engineers his overthrow in favor of the Emir's enemy Sheikh Bab El Ehr. Tintin's other enemy Doctor Müller, returns as Mull Pash. Tintin must stop this evil slave trade!

20. Tintin in Tibet (1960)
Hergé's favourite of the Tintin series ( his previous favorite being The Secret of the Unicorn). His White Album. High in emotional content, the adventure starts with a mystical experience and ends with a mystical experience. Tintin has a telepathic vision that his Chinese friend Chang Chong-Chen (from The Blue Lotus) is in serious trouble having just survived an airplane crash in the Himalayas. Tintin plans a rescue. High up in the white mountains, Yeti makes a lasting impression.  

21. The Castafiore Emerald (1963)
The only cover in which Tintin is looking at you. This was a strange one.
Bianca Castafiore's pay's a visit and her most prized emerald goes missing. There are Gypsies in town and so, natural suspects. Eveyone tries to find it. It is found. Lost. And found again. nothing actually happens in this adventure.

22. Flight 714 (1968)
The plot involved a hijacked private jet, a millionaire named Laszlo, an old enymy - Rastapopoulos, a secret Swiss bank account and a mysterious Pacific island. In the end, in an  Erich von Dänikenian twist all the bad guys get extradited out of this planet.

23. Tintin and the Picaros (1976)

Tintin and friends travel to the (fictional) South American country of San Theodoros where Bianca Castafiore, her maid Irma, pianist Igor Wagner, and Thomson and Thompson  have been imprisoned for allegedly attempting to overthrow the military dictatorship of General Tapioca, who has again deposed Tintin's old friend, General Alcazar (newly married to a dominant woman). Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus join Alcazar and his band of guerrillas, known as the Picaros, in the jungles near an Indian village and try to set the record straight. But there is a problem. Tapioca keeps parachuting crates of whiskey into the area and Alcazar's men end up getting too drunk to be able to carry out a coup. Calculus invents some tablets which put people off alcohol, hence paving the way for a revolution. It's the final complete adventure drawn by Herge and memorable one.

24. Tintin and Alph-Art (1986, 2004)
Published posthumously. The twenty-fourth adventure of tintin, "Tintin and Alph-Art", was left unfinished at the time of Herge's death on the 3rd of march, 1983. Herge was aged 75. Remember, he was 23 when he started the Adventures of Tintin. It's a long time.
Since then, several artists have tried their hand at finishing this ultimate adventure of Tintin. Presented in the image at the top of this write up is the version drawn by Yves Rodier, a Canadian artist, in an English translation by Richard Wainman.
You can read this version of  Tintin and Alph-Art here

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* Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (1972)
 It's cover is missing in the image above as this one was not drawn and written by Herge. Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (originally known as Tintin et le Lac aux Requins) is a Tintin animated film, directed by Raymond LeBlanc (1972). It was created by the Belgian comics creator Greg (Michel Regnier), a friend of Hergé.  Hergé did supervise this creation. It was later adapted into a comic book in which the illustrations were drawn to look like still images from the film, hence a certain different glossy look and feel.

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4 comments:

  1. I don't know how many hours of my childhood I had spent with Tintin comics. Have read them all except for Tintin and Alph-Art (even read the notorious Tintin in Bangkok). Now that your post reminds me, I'll get it. Though I don't anylonger have my Tintin comics with me (friends borrow but never return) I do have a collection of the animated series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Forgot to mention. In school I had created my own Tintin comic - titled "Tintin in Shilliont". Shilliont was a fictional city based on my hometown Shillong. But had misplaced the copy somewhere.

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  3. Just like in the case of Tintin in Bangkok, a couple of years ago there was a lot of talk about Tintin and Alph-Art. That's when I looked it up. It's easily available online (check the link in the post). Also, there is an anarchist parody of Tintin quite aptly titled "Breaking Free".

    Tintin in Shilliont, now that would have been fun!
    I used to borrow all my Tintins (and Asterix) from a cousin. I always used to return them. :)

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  4. Such a great series. So many happy memories.

    ReplyDelete

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