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Tintin: Tintin and the Picaros (Review)

In the lead-up to the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, I’m going to be taking a look at Hergé’s celebrated comic book character, from his humble beginnings through to the incomplete post-modern finale. I hope you enjoy the ride.

So, here we are. Hergé’s last completed Tintin story. The month flew by reading and (in most cases) re-reading the stories that I grew up with. It’s interesting to return to the stories you read as a child, discovering new depth and complexity in what had previously been entertaining little diversions. Since The Red Sea Sharks, Hergé seems to have been toying with the popular franchise he has created, playing with and subverting a formula established over twenty-odd adventures. The Castafiore Emerald reads almost like a deconstruction of a typical Tintin adventure, with the a variety of threads that refuse to add up to a mystery. Flight 714 was almost a parody, relying on contrivance to the point of ridiculousness. And so, with his last complete story, Tintin and the Picaros reads as a criticism of the hero himself, poor and innocent Tintin, who proves to be quite an impotent little character.

Fly-on-the-wall look at San Theodoros?

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