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The Adventures of Tintin: The Black Island (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’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for The Black Island. There are probably multiple reasons for this. Snowy is my favourite member of the Tintin ensemble, and The Black Island is as close as possible to a Snowy-centric adventure. I also tend to enjoy the pulpier stories in Hergé’s series, the ones that have aged so well that they perfectly evoke the serialised fiction of the era without feeling trapped in it – stories like The Cigars of the Pharaoh, which is in series competition to be my favourite Tintin adventure. The Black Island is undoubtedly a product of the thirties, with the German counterfeiting ring in England and the homage to King Kong, but it never feels that old. In a way, the bright colours and wonderful depiction of rural England (and other stereotypical elements like the police constables) always made me think of the British pop culture of the sixties. I think that’s the appeal of the adventure to me, in a nutshell.

And most of it made it to this animated adaptation.

Something to think about...

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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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