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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...

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Tintin in Tibet (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 in Tibet is a highly regarded book. In fact, it’s arguably the most highly regarded book in the entire Adventures of Tintin collection, and it’s easy to see why. While I could recall the events of some of the stories I’d read as a child almost word-for-word, and while I harbour a deep affection for particular adventures in the series, I don’t think I was looking forward to revisiting any of the classic Tintin stories nearly as much as I was anticipating flicking through Tintin in Tibet. I remember the book filling me with a tremendous sense of optimism and hope as a child, a story of faith and hope against impossible odds, deeply moving because of its relative intimacy.

I was not disappointed.

Whiteout...

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Tintin: The Black Island (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 Black Island is a fun piece of pulp fiction, which wonderfully feels like Hergé was drawing on whatever pop culture reference was closest to hand at the time. In a way, this strange blend of influences mixes to produce a cocktail that fits surprisingly well against this instalment’s British background. It also features some of Hergé’s strongest artwork, in my own very humble opinion. It might lack the sort historical and political context that defined The Broken Ear and The Blue Lotus, but it’s still a more-than-worthy entry in the series.

Well, don't they have egg on their faces...

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Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh (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.

This is more like it. I think Cigars of the Pharaoh is the first quintessential Tintin story. It really feels like Hergé has figured out the kind of stories he wants to tell, with a weird blend of various pulp genres from crime to mystery to horror, all mixed with a healthy dose of comedy. It’s also the first adventure in the series (and I’m including Tintin in the Congo) that feels truly exotic as our hero travels the world to unearth the central mystery.

Tintin's first glimpse of a Red Sea Shark...

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Tintin: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (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 two earliest Tintin adventures, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo, are looked back upon as the black sheep of the Tintin novels produced by Hergé. While Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is shameless anti-Communist propaganda (and does contain a hint of the foul racism we’d see a lot more of in Tintin in the Congo), one can detect a lot of the charm that Hergé brought to his iconic creations, scattered throughout the work, from the surreal sense of humour to the writing style to the love of ridiculous suspense, seemingly for the sake of suspense. The best was definitely yet to come, but it all started here.

The collection isn't Tintin at his finest...

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