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The Books > #1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets

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message 1: by Sammy (last edited Nov 01, 2010 01:08AM) (new)

Sammy (TheRebelPrince) | 72 comments Mod
In The Adventures of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Reporter Tintin leaves his comfortable Brussels apartment, accompanied by his dog Snowy, to go undercover in Soviet Russia. His attempts to research his story, however, are compounded by the bureaucrats and Moscow's secret police.

While Hergé would come to be known for his utterly meticulous research - right down to the styles of buttons and telephone receivers - this book picked liberally from fact and fiction about Soviet life. Already, though, Herge was experimenting with the form: pushing for the 'American' style of comic drawing in which characters literally spoke the words in bubbles. Herge himself recounted, meanwhile, that in learning the process of writing a weekly strip, he would often lie at wake trying to figure out how to extract his hero from his end-of-panel predicaments. Michael Farr opines that, due to its lack of credibility, 'Tintin in the Land of the Soviets' is undoubtedly the weakest adventure.

"Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" was finally published in English in 1989 by Sundancer, but the current hardcover edition was finally published in 1999 by Methuen. It is one of only two complete albums (the other being "Tintin in the Congo") which has never been adapted for any other medium.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tintin_i...

Tintinologist: http://www.tintinologist.org/guides/b...

24 Days of Tintin: http://tintinblog.com/2009/11/18/24-d...


Merry | 34 comments I've just started to go back and re-read the Tintin books in order. Read them all as a kid, and for years I had pictures on my walls. LOVE Herge's artwork.

This is a really strange comic: Herge was writing propaganda, and it's hilariously over the top! Factories are just a facade and some dudes banging metal on metal, and elections are rigged by villains with mustaches.

It's weird to think that the series came from this, and I reckon this is the worst story just because there is no ambiguity in any of the characters. Even Tintin is really boring. He's kind of like a narrator who just points things out.

I'm glad we have this though, and apparently Herge was really ashamed of his early xenophobia?


Sammy (TheRebelPrince) | 72 comments Mod
Thanks for joining, Merry, and welcome!

To me, there's something messily beautiful about Herge's boyish scrawl. It's not polished, true, but that pudgy little potato boy and his scruffy dog make for delightful heroes, even if - as you say - they barely do anything individual here at all. I completely agree with you about the lack of ambiguity. It's certainly a trademark of Tintin that henchmen concoct elaborate schemes to bring him down, but most of the time he seems to slip out of these by chance in this book.

It makes sense though, since this book was published as a serial not one album, of course. Still a fascinating insight into how much Tintin himself doesn't really change: he becomes no less ambiguous in his nature and personality (a blank slate, I fear) but his investigative skills certainly do get better.

Even here, Herge is managing to capture atmosphere in his panels very well; it's just a pity that the atmosphere is so rigidly stereotyped.


Isabelle (napabelle) | 3 comments WOW ! I grew up with Tintin, and never saw this one ! OK, its on my list of gifts for Xmas ! I have all the others, some in French, others in English.


Sammy (TheRebelPrince) | 72 comments Mod
Isabelle, I hope you'll enjoy it! Herge wasn't happy with how much of it was propaganda, so he never did a colour version. But in the '70s, people started circulating pirated copies of the book because EVERYONE wanted to read it, so Herge finally gave in and allowed it to be published. Enjoy!


message 6: by Merry (last edited Oct 27, 2010 03:42PM) (new)

Merry | 34 comments Places visited and mentioned in "Tintin in the LAnd of the Soviets" (courtesy Wikipedia):

* Brussels, Belgium
* Berlin, Germany
* Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union
* Belarus, Soviet Union
* Stolbtsy, Soviet Union
* Second Polish Republic, Poland

(Tintin's only visit to the Soviet countries or Poland, and his first recorded trip to Germany)


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Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (other topics)

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Hergé (other topics)