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Tintin: The Castafiore Emerald (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 Castafiore Emerald is famous as an example of Hergé playing with the reader’s expectations of a Tintin book. It’s essentially an exercise in creating suspense out of nothing, with the mystery of the eponymous jewel ultimately turning out to be a rather mundane affair, and instead allowing for all sorts of hilariously mundane hijinks to befall Hergé’s cast with relatively little point to it all. Then, after all, this is fiction, as Tintin seems coyly aware of on the cover, staring our at us with his finger on his lips, smiling like he knows something none of his castmates do. If you can embrace the central pointlessness of it all, and enjoy it as a collection of wryly observed scenes, The Castafiore Emerald is another rewarding addition to a series growing gradually more experimental.

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