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The Adventures of Tintin: Tintin in America (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.

I remember catching a few of the animated Adventure of Tintin when I was smaller, and really enjoying them. They were a series produced to adapt Hergé’s stories into easy-to-digest half-hour instalments for kids. Naturally, the early adventures (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo) weren’t deemed suitable for this form of adaptation, so the series jumped right in with the third entry in Hergé’s long-running saga. Which is grand, because I started reading The Adventures of Tintin with Tintin in America.

Tintin gets animated!

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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...

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Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun (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.

I have to admit to really liking the two-part Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun adventure, to the extent that I’m actually eagerly anticipating Peter Jackson’s adaptation that may never materialise. The two-parter really just takes the best aspects of Hergé’s Tintin mythos, brewing up a pop culture stew that can be served as a mystery story or an adventure into a mystical and unknown world. The idea of discovering a long-lost tribe of ancient Inca is certainly an appealing one, and would make for a gripping turn-of-the-century adventure. Using that premise as a starting point, Hergé leads us and Tintin in the heart of Amazon, filled with excitement and danger and mystery.

Tintin, why don't you come Inca?

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Tintin: Red Rackham’s Treasure (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.

I have to admit to being just a little bit lukewarm to The Secret of the Unicorn as an entry in The Adventures of Tintin. However, the second part in the adventure, Red Rackham’s Treasure, is a much stronger instalment, standing on its own two feet. Part of me has always liked the more exotic Tintin adventures, but I reckon a large part of the appeal of this instalment is seeing Hergé resurrect a genre that has been left fallow for quite a few decades: the good old-fashioned treasure hunt.

Are Tintin and Haddock LOST?

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Tintin: The Blue Lotus (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 Blue Lotus is regarded as something of a turning point for Hergé’s boy reporter. The cartoonist, apparently urged by those close to him, decided that – rather than basing his depiction of China on a collection of pop culture stereotypes (as he had done in Tintin in America) – he would undertake a considerable amount of research in order to ensure that the story was as respectful and faithful to Chinese culture as might have been possible. Indeed, the Chinese boy who Tintin befriends, Chang Chong-Chen, is named in honour of one of the students who helped him in coming to understand the Far East.

East of Eden...

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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 America (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 America was the earliest Adventures of Tintin book I read as a child, and I owned the entire collection from this point on (for obvious reasons, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo were not recommended childhood reading). That said, I’ve always regarded Tintin in America as one of the weaker entries in the series, perhaps because my childhood imagination yearned for something relatively more exotic than a trip to North America, or perhaps because the saturation of American pop culture made all the elements Hergé was spoofing seem like old hat. I’m not entirely sure, but I have to admit that the story hasn’t improved too much on re-reading.

America, %&#! Yeah!

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