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The Books > #5: The Blue Lotus

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message 1: by Sammy (last edited Nov 01, 2010 01:11AM) (new)

Sammy (thecardigankid) | 72 comments Mod
The Blue Lotus by Hergé In The Blue Lotus, Tintin's Indian holiday is interrupted when he picks up new leads on the trail of the leader of a drug cartel, whom he pursued in Cigars of the Pharaoh. As Shanghai is invaded by the Japanese, Tintin finds himself playing a dangerous game of politics and detection.

After a polite request was made that Hergé be sensitive in his portrayal of the Chinese, the artist went to great pains to accurately render the culture of China (although his portrayal of the Japanese may still have warranted some chastisement). This cultural investigation led the author to a personal ideology of freedom and cultural acceptance which would inform his later works.

China's leader ended up inviting Herge to a state visit due to his pleasure with the album, and the public were also captivated. "The Blue Lotus" was crucial in ushering in a Golden Age for Herge, and for "Tintin". Herge's perfected artistic style, and the open-minded attitudes of both his comics and their leading character, combined of course with the carefree globetrotting atmosphere, meant that the albums were fascinating to young and old alike. Already, Herge was writing far above the standard required for children's works. He was creating a legacy that would be alive and thriving eighty years later.

"The Blue Lotus" was published in English by Methuen in 1983. It has been adapted just once, as part of the early '90s Canadian TV series. However, Steven Spielberg has hinted that it may be part of a future film in his big-budget trilogy of films, the first of which is set to premiere in December 2011.

Links:

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

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

24 Days of Tintin: http://tintinblog.com/2009/11/22/24-d...


message 2: by Sammy (new)

Sammy (thecardigankid) | 72 comments Mod
Facts and thoughts on this beautiful work (with thanks as always to Martin Farr's astounding Tintin: The Complete Companion

* Herge became fascinated with China and its history when he met - during the preparation for writing this album - a sculpture student named Chang Chong-chen, with whom he became a close friend. Subsequently, "The Blue Lotus" refutes many Chinese stereotypes that existed at the time (and sadly still pervade some minds today).

* This album plays an interesting role in the chronology of Herge's political interests. Earlier works only vaguely referred to real world happenings, and later albums would disguise real-world events through parody and satire. Here, however, current threats loom large.

(SPOILERS BELOW)

* Tintin is surprisingly emotional here, crying in two separate events (although both are warranted).

* Unlike "Cigars of the Pharaoh", this album required minimal cutting to fit the 62-page album, however there was plenty of amendments in the years between original publication and the colour update.

* Amazingly, given how his presence looms large in our mind, Rastopopolous is arrested at the end of this adventure and doesn't reappear for several more.

All in all, this is a beautiful album which clearly paves the way for Tintin's future adventures.


message 3: by Merry (last edited Oct 27, 2010 03:47PM) (new)

Merry | 34 comments Places visited and mentioned in "The Blue Lotus" (courtesy Wikipedia):

* Brussels, Belgium
* Southampton, England, United Kingdom
* Malta
* Gibraltar
* Port Said, Egypt
* Colombo, Sri Lanka
* Singapore, Singapore
* Shanghai, Republic of China
* Nanjing, Republic of China
* Pilchardania
* Poldavia

(Tintin's last trip to Egypt, and his only visit to Sri Lanka, Singapore and China)


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