• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

The Adventures of Tintin: Flight 714 (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

Towards the end of his Adventures of Tintin, you could tell that Hergé was growing increasingly experimental, taking the series well outside comfort zone of pulp thrillers and global adventures. Tintin in Tibet was an introspective meditation on hope and faith. The Castafiore Emerald was a combination of plot threads that never really managed to tie together into an adventure. Flight 714 reads as if it were a parody of a Tintin story, instead of one itself. It’s a collection of incredible coincidences, elaborate schemes and recurring villains, all written in a wry style that tends to divide fans. Some appreciate the tongue-in-cheek nature of the story, while other find the inclusion of aliens to be a ridiculously fantastical element. It’s certainly not a conventional Tintin story. And, to be honest, I think this poses a bit of a problem for the team handling the adaptation. They’ve done a stellar job tying together the more straight-forward entries in the series, but seem to struggle with some of the stranger instalments.

And this, I’m afraid, is very strange.

Departure lounging around...

Continue reading

Tintin: Tintin and the Alph-Art (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.

Tintin and the Alph-Art is a strange little story. It’s the last Tintin adventure that Hergé began before his death, more than fifty years after the intrepid reporter had debuted in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. I’ve also found something strangely wonderful in the idea that the final Tintin pages that Hergé drew threatened to close the series forever, with the boy reporter trapped in a polyester sculpture, entombed forever as a work of art – it’s not exactly a happy ending, but I’d argue it was a fitting one. There isn’t a definitive finished version of the story available – Hergé died leaving notes and sketches and half-formulated ideas, but there’s little real sense of how he wanted the story to end, or even how he’d get Tintin out of that one final death trap. Of all the “unofficial” Tintin works out there, and there are quite a few, Tintin and Alph-Art is perhaps the one most closely associated with Hergé, drawing from a story he never finished to try to cap off a saga five decades in the making.

And then... nothing...

Note: I am discussing the “unofficial” version of the story completed by Yves Rodier. I will also make reference to the annotated Hergé script released a while back.

Continue reading

Tintin: Flight 714 (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.

Flight 714 is an interesting Tintin book, if only because it’s the most conventional Tintin story we’ve had in quite some time, while also being one of the oddest books in the franchise. There have been comparisons made between Hergé’s penultimate completed entry in The Adventures of Tintin and the television show Lost, which should give you some inkling of just how strange things get during this particular trip. And, given Tintin’s been to the surface of the moon, things get quite strange.

Don't sweat the landing...

Continue reading

Tintin: The Red Sea Sharks (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.

The Red Sea Sharks is, I suppose, a fine adventure tale, even if it’s not an entry in Hergé’s canon that I’m particularly fond of. The nineteenth instalment in the series, the author uses the opportunity to tie a whole slew of open story threads together and anchor the long-term continuity of the series, but he also decides to deal with the issue of modern slavery – a controversial and topical issue, to be sure. However, while I have no doubt the author’s intentions were true, the story reads more than a little awkwardly in dealing with the topic.

Calculus gets his skates on...

Continue reading