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Tintin #23

Tintin and the Picaros

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Tintin hears in the news that Bianca Castafiore, her maid, pianist and Thomson and Thompson, have been imprisoned in San Theodoros for allegedly attempting to overthrow the military dictatorship of General Tapioca, who has yet again deposed Tintin's old friend, General Alcazar. Tintin, Calculus and Haddock soon become embroiled in the accusations, and, travelling to San Theodoros to clear their names, find themselves caught in a trap laid by their old enemy, Colonel Sponsz, who has been sent by the East Bloc nation of Borduria to assist Tapioca. Sponsz has concocted the conspiracy of which Tintin and his friends are accused in a plot to wreak revenge upon them for humiliating him in The Calculus Affair. Escaping, Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus join Alcazar and his small band of guerrillas, the Picaros, in the jungle near an Arumbaya Indian village.

Meanwhile, in a show trial orchestrated by Sponsz, Castafiore is sentenced to life imprisonment and the Thompsons are ordered to be executed by firing squad. Tintin enlists Alcazar's help in freeing his friends, but upon arrival at his jungle headquarters, finds that Alcazar's men have become demoralised drunkards since Tapioca started dropping copious quantities of alcohol near their camp. Additionally, Alcazar is continually henpecked by his shrewish wife Peggy, who nags him constantly about his failure to achieve a successful revolution. Fortunately, Calculus has invented a pill which will make alcohol unpalatable to anyone who ingests it (which he proves to have tested on Haddock, much to the latter's ire). Tintin offers to use the pill to cure the Picaros of their alcoholism if Alcazar agrees to make the overthrow of Tapioca bloodless. Alcazar reluctantly agrees, and as his men are cured, Jolyon Wagg arrives with his musical troupe the Jolly Follies, who intend to perform at the upcoming carnival in San Theodoros. Alcazar — with a little advice from Tintin — launches an assault on Tapioca's palace during the carnival by 'borrowing' the troupe's costumes and sneaking his men into the capital. He topples Tapioca, but on Tintin's urging, does not execute him, as is tradition; Tapioca is instead forced to publicly surrender his powers to Alcazar and is exiled, while Sponsz is sent back to Borduria.

Meanwhile, Thomson and Thompson are due to be shot on the same day as the carnival (although as naive as ever in their observations, the detectives show courage by refusing to be blindfolded). Tintin and Haddock reach the state prison in time to prevent the executions from taking place. Castafiore, her maid and her pianist are also released, and Alcazar can finally give his wife the palace he has promised. With everything back in order (or not), Tintin and his friends leave. As they fly home, Tintin and Haddock express gratitude about being able to go home, showing a more weary attitude towards travel than in earlier books.

The second to last panel shows a final, skeptical political message: as under Tapioca, the city slums are filled with wretched, starving people and patrolled by indifferent police. Nothing is different, except that a Viva Tapioca sign has been changed to read Viva Alcazar, demonstrating Hergé's view that even if regimes change, conditions do not improve.

64 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1976

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About the author


713 books1,749 followers
Georges Prosper Remi (22 May 1907 – 3 March 1983), better known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian comics writer and artist.
His best known and most substantial work is The Adventures of Tintin comic book series, which he wrote and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983, leaving the twenty-fourth Tintin adventure Tintin and Alph-Art unfinished. His work remains a strong influence on comics, particularly in Europe.

"Hergé" is the pseudonym of George Remí, making a game with the initials of his name inverted. Throughout the evolution of his star character, Tintin, we can see the progress of this author: from the first titles marked by the ultraconservative doctrine of the director of the newspaper Le Petit Vingtième, to the breaking of conventions embodied from The Blue Lotus , as well as the evolution of the society of his time. The research carried out by Hergé to historically contextualize his Adventures, as well as his implicit social criticism, have made Tintin a masterpiece of the 20th century.

Series on Goodreads:
* The Adventures of Tintin
* Quick & Flupke
* The adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 244 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
June 21, 2017
Tintin et les Picaros (Tintin, #23), Hergé
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 1978 میلادی
عنوان: تن تن و پيكاروها؛ نویسنده: هرژه؛ مترجم: اسمردیس حاجتی؛ تهران، زرین، 1380، در 62 ص؛ از سری ماجراهای تن تن و میلو؛ شابک: 9644072596؛ چاپ دوم 1381؛ چاپ دیگر: قزوین، سایه گستر، 1384، شابک: 9644072731؛ موضوع: داستانهای فکاهی مصور نویسندگان بلژیکی قرن 20 م
کاستافیوره، دستیارانش و دوپونت‌ها در حالی که برای اجرای یک برنامه عازم سان تئودور شده بودند توسط دولت کودتایی این کشور به رهبری ژنرال تاپیوکا که آلکازار را سرنگون ساخته‌ اند دستگیر شده و به همکاری با آلکازار متهم می‌گردند. کاپیتان هادوک و پروفسور تورنسل برای انجام مناظره با تاپیوکا عازم سان تئودور می‌شوند بدون اطلاع از اینکه دامی خطرناک برایشان پهن شده است. تن‌تن در میانه راه به آنها ملحق می‌شود و سرانجام با ملحق شدن به آلکازار و کمک به او در به دست گرفتن دوباره قدرت، موفق به آزادی کاستافیوره و سایرین می‌شوند. ا. شربیانی

Profile Image for صان.
396 reviews230 followers
July 2, 2018
می‌خوام شروع کنم به خوندن دوباره‌ي تن‌تن‌ها.

این قسمت اولین قسمتی بود که خوندم. جدا از شوخی‌ها و طنز محشری که داره، چنتا نکته‌ی سیاسی خیلی جالب هم داشت که وقتی می‌خوندی و متوجه می‌شدی از اینکه انقدر ظریف ایده‌هاش رو لابلای داستانِ ساده جا کرده متعجب می‌شدی. طنز‌اش و ماجراهاش قشنگ یک سر و گردن از آستریکس و اوبلیکس بالاتره. با این که اون رو هم خیلی دوست دارم و برام جذابه. اما در نهایت تن‌تن خیلی عمیق‌تر و با کیفیت‌تر هست از لحاظ طنازی و قصه‌گویی و عمقِ روایت.

فقط وقتی که هادوک می‌فهمه که چرا نمی‌تونه ویسکی بخوره :))))
Profile Image for Hákon Gunnarsson.
Author 29 books132 followers
September 24, 2022
Tintin was one of the comic book heroes of my childhood. I'm going to read my way through the series again as I listen to a radio program about him, and his creator, Hergé. Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, professor Calculus are back home, but trouble is on the horizon. Bianca Castafiore and entourage are arrested in a South American country. Soon enough the Captain gets into shouting match with the leader of the country in the media. Eventually the friends make their way to South America to try to free the famous opera singer, and her entourage.

I get the sense that Hergé was probably trying to modernize his hero with this book. One can see this in the pants Tintin wears which is more in line with what people were wearing at the time. I’m not sure if they really fit Tintin, but perhaps it is just that I’m more used to the old pants. Perhaps.

The other thing is that I think he finds his rhythm again with this one after two books that had been slightly off. It is clearly much better paced than the previous volume. It builds up slowly in the beginning, but takes off towards the middle. And the humor / action ratio is quite good. It is quite comparable with the best of the series in my view, funny with enough stuff happening to keep the plot moving.

One thing I read about this book is quite interesting. It was published at the same time as Tintin in the Congo was being republished. And according to what I read he got slammed from both the right and the left at the same time. The left attacked him for the racism in Tintin in the Congo, and the right attacked him for the politics of Tintin and the Picaros, and Hergé complained that he was only a storyteller, and people were reading too much into these books. I don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is true, then it does show rather well how difficult the question of Hergé’s politics can be.

I like this book. I think I always have. It may not be among the very best of the series, but it’s not far from those. It’s funny, and exciting, with all the lovable characters in good form. Professor Calculus using Captain Haddock as a guinea pig for a drug to get people off alcohol along is worth the prize of the book. What do you think happens when the Captain finds out? Well, I not even going to put that in here.

But it is kind of strange to think that Hergé was trying to modernize Tintin in this book, as it turned out to be the last Tintin book Hergé would finish. He would spend years working on the next book, but ran out of time. It is interesting to think what would have happened with this new modernized Tintin if Hergé would have lived, but then again maybe nothing would have happened. He was by this time starting to take ever longer finishing books, so one can’t say for sure if he would have even finished the next book. Still, Tintin and the Picaros would have been a good place to end anyway, but there is one more to go even though it’s unfinished.
Profile Image for Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore.
745 reviews164 followers
October 11, 2021
Politics and Conspiracy are at the heart of the twenty-third Tintin adventure (also the last one to be completed by Hergé), Tintin and the Picaros, which takes us to a fictional South American country, San Theodorus.

Our story opens in Marlinspike Hall, the ancestral residence of Captain Haddock, where Captain Haddock, Tintin, and separately Professor Calculus learn from the news that their old friend, the opera diva Senora Castafiore, who has been touring South America, has been accused in San Theodorus of conspiracy against the current head of state/dictator General Tapioca and imprisoned (and with her, her maid Irma, pianist Igor Wagner and detectives Thomson and Thompson). And if this wasn’t bad enough, Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus have been implicated in the conspiracy as well, a charge they vehemently deny in the media. General Tapioca is rival to their old friend General Alcazar (whom they’d met earlier in The Broken Ear). Alcazar now leads a band of guerrillas, the Picaros, who are seeking to topple Tapioca and take power for themselves.

Tintin, Haddock and the Professor are invited by General Tapioca to San Theodorus for a ‘full, free, frank and fair exchange of views’ but Tintin is suspicious that this is only a trap, and any claims of the General wanting to ‘seek out the truth’ false. But Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus decide to go all the same, while Tintin says he will stay where he is.

When the Captain and Professor Calculus arrive, they are received by a Col Alvarez and whisked away to a house in the country on the pretext that the upcoming carnival will make staying in the city difficult for them. But the house in the country, while comfortable, is pretty much a prison, and the Captain soon realizes that Tintin may have been right. Tintin himself soon appears on the scene. The three are taken sightseeing etc. but always under heavy guard and the promised meeting with General Tapioca does not seem likely to take place very soon. Meanwhile, an old friend Pablo (also from The Broken Ear) appears and offers them an opportunity to escape, a plan he says was made by Alcazar and the Picaros. But as Tintin and his friends discover, they are once again caught in a conspiracy. How they escape and how Tintin manages to free Senora Castafiore, her entourage and the Thom(p)sons forms the rest of the story.

Alongside, right from the start, Captain Haddock has been having trouble drinking his favourite whiskey. Whenever he takes a sip, he finds its taste disgusting, but everyone else seems to be drinking it with no such trouble!

Reading this as an adult for the first time, I found so many things that I wouldn’t have noticed as a child, when it was yet another fun Tintin adventure. The book satirizes authoritarian Latin American countries with dictators seeking to effect coups, and the establishment of banana republics. Here of course, we have the two Generals, Tapioca, in power when the story opens, and Alcazar with his band of Picaros trying to overthrow the former. Not so subtly, Alcazar’s group is sponsored by the ‘International Banana Company’. Tapioca is not much different, and one can see his carnival is supported by Loch Lomond, Captain Haddock’s brand of whiskey.

Whiskey and drink more generally are prominent in the novel—Haddock is struggling to drink his whiskey right from the start, for which a fun explanation emerges. But whiskey also becomes a weapon of sorts in the battle of the dictators. Tapioca has been dropping cases of it generously all over to ensure that possible rebels are too inebriated to pose any real threat while Alcazar wants to use the hooch laden atmosphere of Carnival to his advantage, for his Picaros comprising only thirty individuals cannot take on Tapioca by themselves. Whiskey also provides us some humorous moments in our tale—the poor Captain’s predicament of course, but we also have Snowy getting a touch drunk on the Captain’s whiskey in Marlinspike, and a troupe of drunken monkeys in the forest. The poor Arumbaya tribe too are entrapped by the whiskey dropped by Tapioca, the Captain lamenting over what ‘civilisation’ has done to the poor “‘savages’”.

Alcazar might be a guerrilla, a gun-wielding leader of the Picaros (whom he is finding difficult to control because of the whiskey), but he is also the source of much humour in the plot. In his camp in the forest we find that Alcazar becomes a different person entirely for there is living his wife, Peggy, very much the ‘boss’. In Peggy’s presence, Alcazar meekly dons an apron and is set to do the dishes while Tintin works out a plan to rescue their friends. Here help comes from an unexpected arrival. And off they go, with Alcazar leaving a note for Peggy with spelling that sounds as though it came straight from the pen of William Brown—he tells her he is heading to start the ‘revolushun’ in a ‘borrowd buss’ after ‘witch’ she shall have her promised ‘pallis’.

As always, it is of course Tintin who comes up with the plan to help Alcazar succeed and rescue his friends. In this, he is perhaps only ensuring that power is transferred from one dictator to another (something which has been criticised by commentators; but in an earlier scene, we do have Calculus refusing to shake hands with Alvarez, for he ‘cannot shake a hand which grinds underfoot the imprescriptible rights of the human individual’), but he does make Alcazar promise to make the transition absolutely bloodless. No one is to be shot, not even Tapioca at which even Tapioca expresses surprise arguing that ‘it is contrary to custom’. But other than that, all that seems to change in San Theodorus is ‘Tapiocapolis being renamed ‘Alcazaropolis’ and perhaps a comparatively benign dictator in place of a ruthless one.

While (like some of my friends who’ve reviewed this one) this wasn’t my absolute favourite of his adventures, I still found it a very enjoyable read with plenty of fun touches. But more than that, it was the satirical elements that stood out in the book, including that slightly unsettling touch of reality which Hergé put into the last scene.

This is my first pick for the #1976Club hosted by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings (https://kaggsysbookishramblings.wordp...) and Simon at Stuck in a Book (https://www.stuckinabook.com/1976-clu...).
Profile Image for Sammy.
789 reviews35 followers
February 11, 2011
My review from Tintin Books:

"As Napoleon said, 'Think of it, soldiers. Forty centuries look down upon you.'"
-- Captain Haddock to Calculus

I hadn't read "Tintin and the Picaros" since I was a kid, so it's arguably the completed album I know least. Returning to it, I found much to love. After the creative misstep that was Flight 714, Herge was very much back on track.

Of all the albums in the "Tintin" ouevre, "Picaros" is less clearly aimed at children. (Even the formula-defying The Castafiore Emerald features a great deal of slapstick and mistaken identities.) There is a mature, autumnal feel from the first two frames, as Tintin arrives at Marlinspike in different clothes on his motorbike, amidst the barren, tilled fields, dark skies, dead trees and the constant presence of ravens. And there are SO many words! The early pages, during which Haddock and Tintin ponder their connection to the coup in San Theodoros, and whether to travel there to clear their names, is filled with frame after frame of news bulletin and lengthy debate. It's wonderful to see the two personalities going head to head, and for each to make a decision that truly reflects them. (While Tintin's ultimate desire to join his friends is in character, it feels a bit abrupt, it must be said.)

The sequence where Haddock and Calculus travel to San Theodoros must be the longest without Tintin in the canon, and allows them to shine. Here, Calculus is decidedly more subdued, and Haddock seems to have lost his taste for alcohol. (Incidentally, it's nice that many characters - including Nestor - drink, which evens out Tintin's own teetotalism.) Herge is clearly enjoying himself: the crowd scenes are still lively, and he decorates the jungle landscape much more than other recent works (it wouldn't be "Tintin" without a few encounters with the native wildlife), although - oddly - a lot of time is again spent in confined quarters. (Perhaps still echoing his growing interest in comedies of manners?).

There are many small things to enjoy - the comedy of Tintin and Calculus failing to eat the spicy food of the Arumbayas (themselves making a pleasant return after being the focus of The Broken Ear, and General Alcazar has never been more lively than he is here.

It's in the final third of the work that Herge steps things up a level. At first, he makes a point of how alcoholism has destroyed some native tribes, and continues to redress his characters - with Tintin comically forcing the stoic Alcazar to refrain from killing anyone if he wishes for help with his coup. And then we meet Alcazar's wife Peggy: a brash redhead in curlers (who, naturally, only Calculus finds attractive - shades of La Castafiore). Suddenly, the general is washing dishes in his wife's pink apron, and finding himself henpecked morning and night. Over the last 15 pages, Herge begins to deconstruct his own world. "Picaros" is a very personal story, with Tintin forced to step into the local politics to save his own friends. The alcohol mystery is only solved right near the end (when, in a neat bow, it becomes integral to the climax), and Herge delights with some of the later frames - the fire-lit silhouette of the Picaros' last party; the Viva Tapioca party (with wanted posters of the Thom(p)sons in the edge of the frame!).

There's something neat and perfect in the plotting too. Although not much happens (it takes a full third just to get Tintin to San Theodoros, and another third of chases), the climax genuinely feels climactic. There's a haunting sense in the last few pages, as the Thom(p)sons face death with a moving stoicism, while Alcazar cannot get through to the executioner: it's a scene that has played out in countless movies, only here, the soldier first deliberately dials the wrong number, and then gets a voice saying "The number you have dialled does not exist"!!. The delightful climax, in which Tintin travels in an inflatable parade balloon to save his friends, is breathtaking. And the penultimate page ends with an hysterical frame: Castafiore preparing to sing, and everyone she knows looking terrified. We don't even need to hear her sing anymore (and don't here, except on television): the set-up is now as perfect as the joke itself.

I feel like I've said a lot and yet not much. Well, in short, this is never going to be the most remembered "Tintin" album. So much relies on previous events, and - as biographer Michael Farr would argue - the involvement of Herge's studio assistants means that the frames sometimes lose just a little something. (Dialogue scenes, particularly, seem a little less artistically dense than they once were). But truthfully there's very little to criticise: all the supporting cast play roles here, but none overtake the picture. Tintin has developed considerably as a character, with his bike, his yoga and his peace symbol. The politics are clever, the guest cast amusing, and the logic taut.

Of course, it wouldn't be a review without commenting on how things end. Jolyon Wagg has shown up amidst a tour bus headed for the festivities, and Herge has a lot of fun showing these clueless tourists interacting with genuine people, but treating them as if they are some kind of cultural exhibit (perhaps reflecting a little on how readers of "Tintin" could portray themselves as post-racial, while accepting stereotypes and half-truths without question?). On the final page, though, things reach their most terrifying. As Tintin and friends jet off back to the safety of Belgium, they've re-instated Alcazar as General of San Theodoros. In reality, he's already being henpecked by Peggy while - in the album's penultimate frame - Alcazar's grim-faced soldiers patrol a garbage-strewn slum. A happy ending indeed.
Profile Image for Ehsan'Shokraie'.
589 reviews161 followers
December 23, 2020
صحنه زندگی زاغه نشینان یکبار در ابتدای کتاب با تابلوی زنده باد تاپیوکا,و بار دیگر در اخرین صفحه با تابلوی زنده باد آلکازار تکرار می شود,تصویر تلخی از واقعیت که جنگ و کشمکش قدرت هرگز زندگی تهیدستان را تغییر نمی دهد.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
510 reviews390 followers
December 22, 2020
Tintin and the Picaros used to be one of my favourite episodes of Tintin adventures. Funny, but having read it for the first time, I'm at a loss as to why I liked it so much. It is a good adventure story in itself, no doubt, but not quite on the level with the episodes that became favourites with this reading of the series.

In this adventure, Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus are embroiled in a plot of revenge concocted by Colonel Sponsz. Bianca Castafiore and the Thomson Thompson duo are arrested as part of the coup. The threesome must come down to the enemy camp to free their friends and clear their names, or they may have to face the same peril themselves. But, we know how that ends, don't we? Tintin is unbeatable!

The story of this Tintin adventure is not Herge's best. Still, it is action-packed. There is almost every character here I've come to like in this series, including General Alcazar. I've always enjoyed the carnival scene and I found the same enjoyment reading it. I also liked the bravery demonstrated by Madam Castafiore and the two detectives in face of false allegations and condemnation. And Poor Captain, what nerve the Professor got, to make the Captain his guinea pig to experiment a pill invented to lose appetite for alcohol! :) All these scenes and overall action held my interest in the story, and I did enjoy it, but, sadly, it just had to step down from my favourites.
Profile Image for Ahmed Gohary.
1,067 reviews305 followers
May 1, 2021
مغامرات تان تان اغلبها سياسي عن الثورات والانقلابات العسكرية كعادة الدول النامية في فترة صدور السلسلة
Profile Image for Gary.
934 reviews201 followers
November 3, 2020
Bianca Castafiore, the 'Milanese nightingale' is arrested in San Theodoros, for allegedly plotting against the regime of General Tapioca, who goes on to accuse Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus of working with Castafiore to overthrow his government in support of their friend, General Alcazar.
Tapioca lures our friends to San Theodoros by inviting them to come there and prove their innocence.
There the plot thickens and they are forced to flee their hosts and join up with Alcazar and his band of rebels: The Picaros, in the heart of San Theodoros' tropical jungle.
Behind the machinations of the Tapioca regime is the henchman is the sinister Colonel Sponsz, henchman of Tapioca's ally, and the Bordurian dictator, Marshall Kurvi Tasch.
With much humour, excitement and colour, Herge captures well the flavour of a Latin American Banana Republic.
Profile Image for Sam Julian.
246 reviews60 followers
November 7, 2016
Pretty fun, though dismissive of serious topics (as Tintin is wont to do). The plot wraps up so cleanly it's borderline insulting, but hidden in the flippancy is some cynical and incisive commentary.

In the world of Hergé it's as if Tintin's goodness is so contagious that he makes the world better by his presence. He grabs a warlord by the ear and tells them to behave themselves and despite protest, they do. Thus Tintin can blamelessly aid a rebellious faction in an armed coup. No discussion of the differences between reigning power and rebel is considered or addressed (Tintin's reason for aiding Alcazar's cause is explicitly to rescue his friends from excecution), and that is arguably satirical commentary in itself.

The second to last panel of the book (shown above) is actually quite chilling considered in detail. As Tintin and company fly away back to the safety of white Europe, a billboard has already been erected to promote the propaganda of their 'friend' General Alcazar. In the forground the Picaros are seen patrolling, indistinguishable from the troops we saw earlier. Their swinging batons are a sobering reminder that Alcazar only promised to withhold violence and reprisals while Tintin was in the country. One warlord has been exchanged for another; the elite detective and his caucasian entourage care only in as much as it affects their reputation and self-image.
Profile Image for Dan.
131 reviews
August 2, 2011
The Tintin stories for anyone who has read them and understands their history can't be viewed as anything other than groundbreaking. The beginnings of these stories have been around as long as the Lord of the Rings, the illustration and environments in the Tintin books are accurate and extremely detailed. Anyone who has spent even a little time exploring Herge (Georges Remi) can see the painstaking research and adversity he worked through to compose the world around Tintin. His ideas were ahead of his time (Exploring the moon, Industrialization, South American political conflict, modern slave trade, extraterrestrial life) and he made certain every detail for every object would be realistic (after the third book at least). Herge's work can certainly be cited as an influence for any modern day graphic novel or comic book.
Profile Image for David Sarkies.
1,780 reviews301 followers
February 18, 2017
South American Revolutions
27 February 2012

This is the last of the completed Tintin books and in a way does finally tie everything up. Granted, nobody ever lives happily ever after, but I do feel that it does round off and complete what I consider to be a ground breaking series of books that are incredibly funny and very entertaining. This album seems to follow on after the Castafiore Emerald as there are a few connections with the events in the previous album, however it appears that Flight 714 occurred between the two albums. Now while this is possible (as Bianca Castafiore is on a tour of Latin America that she began at the end of the Castafiore Emerald) I feel that the events of Flight 714 should probably come afterwards.

As mentioned, Bianca Castafiore, with her entourage, are traveling through Latin America and arrive at the fictional country of San Theodoros (the same country from The Broken Ear) and she and her entourage (which includes Thompson and Thomson) are arrested immediately after the concert on the grounds of participating in a conspiracy to overthrow the leader General Tapioca. What drags Tintin and his friends into the fray (other than the fact that their friends are in danger) is that General Tapioca is aware that prior to her tour, she had stayed with Captain Haddock and Tintin at Marlinspike, and that it was while they were there that the conspiracy was hatched. This is a very clever plot device Herge uses, which creates continuity in the albums. However, the story of Alcazar and San Theodoros has been sitting in the background since The Broken Ear, and it is only resolved here, at the end.

Herge does deal with alcoholism, particularly among native populations, in this album. We once again meet the Arumbaya and the white anthropologist who has decided to live with them. However, as a way to keep the native populations and the rebels suppressed, General Tapioca has been parachuting crates of alcohol into the jungles. This is important, and shows how skillful a storyteller Herge is, because right from the beginning Captain Haddock has suddenly lost his taste for alcohol. In fact, it is very amusing watching the Captain swear that he is being fed poison while everybody else is amazed at how wonderful the whiskey is. I won't mention what is going on because it will destroy a very subtle plot device.

This story is much greyer than many of the others because we have Tintin being involved in an attempted coup, however true to his character, he refuses to allow anybody to be killed, despite tradition being that after every revolution, the previous ruler and his inner circle are supposed to be killed. This is not always the case though, since many go into self imposed exile. We are see the dichotomy of the South American countries, as they fly into Tapiocapolis, they fly over a modern central business district, and then over the slums being patrolled by disinterested police. However, the catch is that after all has been said and done, when they are leaving, the fly back over the same slums, however the only difference is that the sign, instead of saying 'Viva Tapioca' it says 'Viva Alcazar'.

Sometimes I wonder why Alcazar is really Tintin's friend. He is not really the type of person that Tintin would really throw his lot in with. In the Broken Ear he was made Aide-de-Camp, however this was to enable him to complete his mission in locating the stolen fetish. Other times Alcazar seems to be more interested in other things, and in particular, in the Red Sea Sharks, is involved in shady business dealings with Dawson, one of Herge's villains. It is clear in this album though that Tintin has not come over to San Theodoros to put his friend back in power, but rather to rescue friends who have been locked up on bogus charges. Unfortunately, what is required is a change of government, so true to Tintin, he looks for a plan that will succeed with little, and preferably no, bloodshed.
10 reviews2 followers
August 22, 2012
Part of the interest in reading Tintin is thinking about how Hergé's attitudes changed over time. His rejection of some of his earlier portrayals (he is on record as categorizing "Tintin in America" as an "error of his youth") allow a reader to see this series as a product of a specific time and place--a product created by a writer who became more politically sophisticated as he gained in years and wisdom.

(re) Reading this episode directly after revisiting "The Broken Ear" is a case in point. Hergé did not stop skewering the political culture of South America, but between 1937 (Broken Ear) and 1976 (Picaros), there had been great changes politically in the world, and the later work acknowledges them. "Picaros" is set in a far subtler, nuanced world--though, as in the earlier book, Hergé holds to the view that leadership, in the imagined South American country of San Theodoros, has little to no impact on the general populace (note the unchanged lot of those living on garbage heaps near the airport, as Tintin, Haddock et al fly in and out of the country).

This said--the verve of adventure, the delight in clever twists, the pleasure of watching familiar characters interact, and the humor are all there. My greatest pleasure in all the Tintins is that they are a delight to reread. This one counts, if not as my favorite Tintin, as one of the most tightly written and best fun.

The Jolly Follies are a brilliant touch.

Profile Image for Hessam Ghaeminejad.
134 reviews12 followers
May 9, 2017
سیاسی ترین اثر هرژه در مجموعه ی تن تن که به کودتا و انقلاب در کشورهای آمریکای جنوبی می پردازد؛ نگاه هرژه از نگاه یک استعمارگرد در کتاب های اول مجموعه مانند تن تن در کونگو یا سرزمین شوراها به یک ایدالیست در این اثر تبدیل شده به گونه ای که درجایی تن تن از آلکازار میخواهد تا بعد از پیروزی انقلاب کسی را عدام نکند؛ درسته اثر از نظر کشش مانند راز اسب شاخدار یا گنجهای راکام نیست ولی مضمونی قوی تر دارد
Profile Image for سارة درويش.
Author 6 books5,440 followers
July 31, 2010
:)) كل شخصية في المغامرة دي محفورة في دماغي مش راضية تطلع

برجل بعبقريته ودماغه اللي مسافرة :D

والجنرال والمغنية المزعجة والكابتن هادوك :))
Profile Image for Abián Torres.
223 reviews6 followers
February 14, 2020
Terminado! Creo que usaré esta reseña para exponer mi opinión global de la saga.

Una saga que he disfrutado bastante. Creo que 4 estrellas sería una buena media para la saga así en global. Me han sorprendido gratamente dos cosas: los dibujos y las tramas. Los dibujos, porque qué chulo ese estilo sencillo y a la vez complejo que con los años se ha convertido en la marca Tintín. De vez en cuando el cómic te deleita con planos de paisajes impresionantes. Hay mucho de lo que aprender por aquí. Por otro lado, las tramas, complejas, enrevesadas. Si lo hubiese leído de chico, creo que en la mayoría de los casos no me habría enterado de nada jajaja. Un contraste muy interesante entre lo maduro y lo inmaduro.

Después de tantos tomos, me da un poco de pena ver terminar las aventuras de este superhéroe cuyo superpoder es la suerte. Además, no tiene final ni nada.

Los mejores, los de en medio (probablemente mis favoritos sean la aventura de la Luna y la isla misteriosa). Los que se componen de dos partes, por su complejidad. Los peores, los primeros sin dudarlo.

Me parecía una lectura necesaria para todo amante del cómic. Ahora veo muchísimas referencias a Tintín en el estilo de autores actuales, y es normal. Muy recomendable. Qué bastinazo.

Y bueno, se consolida Milú como el mejor personaje, seguido de Hernández y Fernández. Aunque aún diría más, ¡viva Sevilla y viva Triana! ¡Olé!
Profile Image for Elessar.
217 reviews48 followers
January 21, 2022

Tintín y los Pícaros es la última historia de Tintín publicada en vida de Hergé. Se retoma el escenario de América del Sur, concretamente la república ficticia de San Teodoro. Creo que esta área geográfica es la más recurrente de todos los cómics. En esta ocasión, Tintín se mostrará en un principio reacio a acompañar a Haddock, quien partirá hasta allí con el objetivo de rescatar a Hernández y Fernández y a la Castafiore, acusados de organizar un complot. La trama gira en torno a la voluntad del general Alcázar de hacerse con el poder por medio de una revolución.

No es de los mejores álbumes, pero está bastante bien para ser el último. Al llegar aquí me invade la melancolía propia de estas situaciones, la cual logro calmar, ya que siempre podré revivir estas historias en el futuro. Tintín es inmortal.
Profile Image for Vicente Ribes.
666 reviews96 followers
December 29, 2022
El último tintín que me quedaba por leer y la despedida de Herge. En este tomo Tintín, Haddock y Tornasol viajan a una República sudamericana donde se encuentran retendios Hernandez, Fernandez y Bianca Castafiore. Junto al general revolucionario Salazar y su ejercito de pícaros intentarán dar un golpe de estado para salvar a sus amigos.
En este tomo Herge aprovecha para criticar de nuevo las dictaduras de los paises suramericanos y como estas impidieron un mayor avance y progreso en esos paises.
A destacar los gags humorísticos de un Haddock a quien el alcohol le sabe a rayos por unas pastillas ingeniadas por Tornasol.
Ha sido un viaje bonito :)
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,574 followers
March 30, 2022
سأفتقد فعلا قصص وعالم تان تان

فالبيكاروس هي تقنيا أخر قصة كاملة لتان تان كتبها ورسمها هيرجيه وللاسف بعد غياب بضع سنوات عن رحلة سيدني
بالنسبة لي تلك القصص الاخيرة اكثر نضجا واعجبتني اكثر في تسلسل خط سير قصصها
تجمع هنا عدد كبير من الشخصيات الفرعية، الكازار اخيرا يحصل علي حقه الشرعي في حكم بلده بامريكا اللاتينية بثورة بيضاء ، اي بدون دماء واحكام اعدام كما طلب تان تان
يظهر ايضا المطربة الجميلة كاستافيور ، تيك وتاك والعالم برجل والذي يخترع مفاجأة ستفيد جدا في سير الاحداث وايضا تكشف عن سر اصاب الكابتن هادوك بحيرة

الرسومات جميلة فعلا والقصة ممتعة

ساقرأ لاحقا اخر عددان لتان تان متاحين، بحيرة القروش والتي تسبق هذا العدد في الصدور وهي عبارة عن صور من فيلم بنفس العنوان وليست كوميكس اصلي
ثم القصة الغير كاملة لتان تان والتي كتبها هيرجيه ولكنه لم يكمل نهايتها بسبب وفاته....وهناك لنا حديث اخر

محمد العربي
في 29 مارس 2022
Profile Image for Derelict Space Sheep.
1,056 reviews17 followers
December 4, 2020
The most mature of Hergé’s Tintin adventures, Picaros is a neatly plotted political commentary on South American despotism, serious in tone and light on improbable escapades. Hergé remains committed to background detail but cuts back (perhaps too far) on the physical comedy.
Profile Image for Jefi Sevilay.
573 reviews51 followers
February 24, 2023
Her zaman olduğu gibi nefis çizimlerle ve detaylarla dolu, geçmişten olayların ve karakterlerin baskın olduğu, aksiyonu bol bir Tenten kitabıydı. İnsanların yazdığı yorumlara bakıyorum da ben dahil olmak üzere herkes gençliğinden bir hevesle seriye başlamış ancak gençliğinde aldığı tadı bir türlü alamamış.
Profile Image for Wout.
44 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2021
Een meer dan waardige afsluiter van de Tintin-reeks, ook al was het niet de bedoeling dat dit het einde was, maar ziekte en gezondheid hebben hier anders over beslist.

Opnieuw maken Tintin en zijn "roommates" Haddock en Tournesol de oversteek naar een ver land. Voor Tintin is het een terugkeer naar bananenrepubliek San Theodoros (een naam die door Jef Nys bedacht zou kunnen zijn). We weten intussen dat onze doorwinterde globetrotters enkel nog het avontuur in duiken als ze hiertoe uitgelokt worden. Deze keer is het de dictator van San Theodoros, Bolso... euh... Tapioca, die hen met een list naar Zuid-Amerika lokt: niemand minder dan La Castafiore werd gevangen gezet en beschuldigd van deelname aan een complot waar ook de Moulinsart-jongens deel van uit zouden maken. Vreemd genoeg is het dit keer de doorgaans naïeve Tintin die de boot afhoudt en aanvankelijk niet mee wil gaan. Uiteindelijk vindt hij net op tijd zijn gezond verstand terug en stapt hij een dag later ook het vliegtuig op om te gaan delen in de klappen.

Na een paar keer - hoe kan het ook anders - aan de dood te ontsnappen, komen Tintin en co terecht bij onze favoriete ex-generaal Alcazar, die met een bende dronkelappen een contrarevolutie voorbereidt in de jungle. De Arumbaya's zijn ook terug van de partij, maar het is een nieuw personage dat de show steelt: Peggy, het duifje van Alcazar, die haar echtgenoot psychologisch terroriseert - zoals we van een goede stereotiepe vrouw in het Hergé-universum verwachten - maar hem om de een of andere reden toch niet tutoyeert (zie ook: hoe boezemvrienden Tintin en Haddock elkaar aanspreken).

Uiteindelijk, spoiler alert, lukt het de Picaro's om Alcazar terug aan de macht te brengen, zonder bloedvergieten dan nog (dank u wel sjw Tintin) en dankzij de hulp van een autobus vol verdwaalde Belgen (of West-Europeanen, zo u wil). Een van de grappigste momenten van misschien wel heel de reeks vindt plaats op het einde, wanneer Tapioca verontwaardigd reageert als hij hoort dat hij niet geëxecuteerd zal worden. De jeugd van tegenwoordig heeft geen respect meer voor de traditionele normen en waarden...

En zo heb ik de Tintin-reeks in het Frans na ruim een jaar tot een einde gebracht. Jammer dat het voorbij is, maar ik heb er toch hard van genoten.
October 19, 2018
جذاب ترین تن تن از نظر من اینه.
در سرزمین پیکارگران پر از ماجرا و اتفاق و هیجان.
Profile Image for Michael.
539 reviews119 followers
June 21, 2015
The final Tintin story (not counting the incomplete Alph-Art) goes out on something of a anti-climax. It's not a bad story in the Tintin canon (though not one of the best, either), but somehow I wanted something more from it. That said, I suppose the lack of a crescendo means that Tintin still lives in the mind, unchanging and ready for new adventures that I'll never see. Hmmm - that thought is actually quite comforting.

The most striking and thought provoking panel in the book (I think this might be a spoiler if you haven't read it yet!) is the penultimate one. Following Alcazar's bloodless coup, Hergé leaves us with the image of Tintin's plane whisking him back to European comfort, whilst below two armed, military police officers swagger past a shanty town. Over the rubbish heap bordering the slums, two emaciated faces stare hopelessly out, next to a sign reading "Viva Alcazar". Has Tintin's involvement in South American revolutionary politics really made any difference to the people of San Theodoros? It appears not.

I've enjoyed reading the Tintin books, though I'm not entirely sure why the adoration of the stories has arisen. Maybe I came to them too late in life and would have found them more compelling as a child. Now that I've completed them in order, I can go back and dip in where I will and see how they stand up to re-reading.
Profile Image for Kevin Quinley.
46 reviews6 followers
March 16, 2008
**-plot details for this review are borrowed from Wikipedia in the interest of full disclosure. I read this as a child but possess a lucid, while not photographic, recollection of the story.

Fitting end to the Tintin saga as the gang delves into a thorny political struggle in Latin America, emerging unscathed but finding no easy resolution. Here, the young reader is challenged to consider whether Tintin really embodies the hero saving his friends while massive corruption ensues. Herge superbly interweaves difficult topics like alcoholism (seen through Haddock's sobriety and Alcazar's men) and unsettling political unrest while vividly capturing the local spirit seen through the climatic festival. While unfortunate, I must capture the relevant passage from Wikipedia as it is crucial:

"The second to last panel shows a final political message: as under Tapioca, the city slums are filled with wretched, starving people and patrolled by indifferent police; the writer taking the view that even if regimes change, everything else stays the same, even though Alcazar had promised improvements in the standards of living in his takeover speech."
11 reviews10 followers
August 16, 2012
The whole series of Tintin is very entertaining, thrilling and full of adventures with engaging stories and funny characters. My favorite is Captain Hadock
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