Friday, August 26, 2016

In Which Comics Return to My Lady Bibliophile

 I now have six Tintin comics under my belt.

I have no doubt, when I return to the library to pick up the Tintin movie and return some books, that I will be tempted to get more.

I will endeavor to show restraint.

In other words, the Great Comic Experiment was a success.

The Book 

The Calculus Affair--When glass starts mysteriously shattering around Marlinspike and wounded men are found in the bushes, Tintin and Captain Haddock know something's up. Their friend Professor Calculus is called to a congress in Geneva, but when an armed robber breaks into his workshop while he's away, Tintin and the Captain follow after him to warn him of impending danger. Too late, they find that Professor Calculus has been kidnapped, while the secret service of Borduria is planning to use his newest invention for nefarious schemes. Will Tintin rescue Calculus and capture the villains before they use this new weapon to gain world domination?

seriously tho, I hope it turns out all right 

The Red Sea Sharks--A chance meeting. A lost wallet. Innocent things in themselves, but when Abdullah shows up at Marlinspike with a dire note from his father, Tintin and the Captain find themselves in the middle of another escapade. When smuggled armaments give Bab El Ehr the power to thrust Abdullah's father out of power, Tintin and Captain Haddock leave for Khemed to help Ben Kalish Ezad. But someone is determined to keep them from Khemed at all costs--even if it means killing them.

Tintin in Tibet--When Tintin hears of the death of his friend Chang in a tragic airplane crash, he's devastated. But something inside him can't let go of the idea that Chang is still alive and needs help. Setting off for Tibet with his trusty dog and Captain Haddock, he braves everything to get to the snowy slopes of Tibet and find his missing friend. But even if Chang survived the crash, there's an even greater threat--the Abominable Snowman--that's haunting the mountain where the wreckage lies. Will Tintin find his friend? Or will the perils of avalanches and a mysterious yeti creature make this his last adventure?

My Thoughts 
While the last volume of Tintin comics felt new and sometimes confusing or hard to connect to, these Tintin comics were easy to read and enjoy. They didn't have elements of suicide that the other ones did. These comics are pretty clean action flicks with a lot of humor (the captain trying to decide to sleep with his beard over or under his blanket was priceless) and I loved Snowy's grumpy snark. I think he's my favorite "naughty" character and Tintin's boy scout honor makes for a nice main character.

Two things I'm still not happy with as I read them that make it hard to decide how deeply I want to get involved are Captain Haddock's drinking habit used for humor. You can tell the guy struggles with it, and while it's not a good thing, it's used as humor, but there's no upward character arc of either struggling with it or overcoming it. The more I read Tintin, the more I skimmed the drinking parts. Also, I'm not fond of the fact that the villains constantly use interjections about the devil, though for the most part it sticks to the villains, so that's a positive.

Captain Haddock, aside from his drinking, is a a priceless and well-crafted comic character, with the plethora of insulting nicknames he comes up with for the bad guys, and his propensity for bumping into things. I love his and Tintin's unlikely friendship very much, and in The Red Sea Sharks and Tintin and Tibet, I really liked the addition of "good conscience/bad conscience" fights in his mind when he's facing temptation. I think that clarifies it well for young readers.

While The Calculus Affair and The Red Sea Sharks were great fun, Tintin in Tibet offered food for thought and consternation. It's a weird story, with the characters experiencing visions at multiple points. It also includes an ambiguous
*spoiler* bittersweet ending with Tintin and Chang discussing whether the Abominable Snowman has a soul. *end of spoiler* The Wikipedia literary analysis of this comic is fascinating, talking about how Herge's struggle with love, divorce, and purity play into Tintin's purity and faithfulness in his self-sacrificing search for his friend. It helped me appreciate the themes a lot, though I'm still reluctant to read the later comics in the Tintin series.

I'd like to catch more of the early ones though--including Tintin in America. I heartily enjoyed discovering this new literary form as part of my summer reading stack.

well that was a formal ending, my lady bibliophile 

say it was totes fun, why don't you


  1. So glad you're enjoying them! I love Captain Haddock too (and the insults! They're so funny). Have you read Secret of the Unicorn or Red Rackham's Treasure yet? Those are set before these ones, I think. Red Rackham's Treasure was my first introduction to Tintin. :)

    1. Yes, they're hilarious. XD I can't pronounce half the words. :P

      I haven't yet! But I'd love to, especially because I think the movie is based off them?

    2. Yes, it is! It's partly from Secret of the Unicorn, partly from Crab with the Golden Claws, and I think a little bit from Red Rackham's Treasure.

  2. Sometime when my TBR dwindles (*laughter in the distance* who am i kidding) I'll have to return to these.

    1. *laughs with you* You totally should. They're quick reads, so that's a plus!

  3. BLUE BLISTERING BARNACLES! I'm glad you're enjoying reading the Tintin comics, Schuyler! They're such fun, aren't they? I love Captain Haddock and Snowy but Professor Calculus is a gem too. :D

    We've as a family watched just about all the Adventures of Tintin (a French-Canadian animated television series based very closely on The Adventures of Tintin, with 39 half-hour episodes which were produced over the course of its three seasons.) I highly recommend the Destination Moon one, Explorers on the Moon, and Tintin in America for good ones, though they're all such fun!

    Here are some that are on youtube:

    But the movie is heaps of fun too. Hope you enjoy them!


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