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Alph-Art: Does Tintin die?

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Gayboy
Member
#21 · Posted: 2 Mar 2013 15:30 · Edited by: Gayboy
I think even if Herge did decide to kill Tintin off people would still rebel against his decision.
I'm kind of indifferent to it really, but look it like this. The dramaticism would be so intense to see how Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Madame Castafiore, and Snowy cope with Tintin's death.

Not meaning to sound slashy, but why do you think the story of Romeo and Juliet is one of the best stories of all times?

It didn't get its fame from its happy ending, and in life there is more tragedy than happy endings. I think it would have been extremely realistic for Tintin to finally die.
Then watch the aftermath as the rest of the characters fall into diminishment.
For a main character to die though I would want to see the hero die a death worth mentioning and all the other characters make a tribute so that in Tintin's world he would be remembered.



Also I would like to address someone who said that everyone and children all over the world would be devistated.

Come on, Tintin is a fictional character not to be insensitive. I think tragedy is more real, and the sense of loss would make it even more memorable. We all have to deal with loss at some point in our lives, whether it be our parents, friends, or pets. If Herge did decide to kill Tintin off then I could appreciate and respect the story just as well.
Afterall, death is part of life.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#22 · Posted: 3 Mar 2013 14:32
Gayboy:
I think it would have been extremely realistic for Tintin to finally die.
Then watch the aftermath as the rest of the characters fall into diminishment.

Leaving aside that this idea has arisen from speculation over some rough sketches of an unfinished story, I think Hergé was clever enough to add pathos in the adventures without having his main character die. It's effective enough to simply suggest that the main character has died, and allow the the other characters to react to it. The scenes in Cigars where Tintin is executed by a firing squad - to see Snowy's reaction as he runs through the street then says he's going to die on Tintin's grave is very sad. Then there's the sequence in Prisoners where Tintin falls into the waterfall - the Captain and Zorrino think he really is dead - but of course he's only fallen behind the waterfall. A brilliant scene. We also have Tintin's reaction to Haddock's death in the final pages of Explorers on the Moon, or to Chang's demise in Tibet.

But to have Tintin actually die? Way too extreme and unnecessary and not the kind of Tintin book I imagine many would want to read. Tintin is all about heroic adventure, it's not a tragedy like Romeo and Juliet, and neither is Tintin a flawed or tragic hero. I don't think it has anything to do with 'realism' either, despite what some people think. Tintin's adventures are filled with peril and danger, but he always wins through. That is what the reader wants to see, justice being done and the good guys winning in the end.
Gayboy
Member
#23 · Posted: 3 Mar 2013 15:47 · Edited by: Gayboy
Harrock n roll
...but you see Tintin didn't really die, you got an initial shock reaction from those characters. The real pain and sorrow doesn't hit until later.

Way too extreme? A parent who loses a child is too extreme but it happens...sorry for the example as a friend of mine lost her oldest son recently so the experience is quite real for me. How do you know what Remis wanted? At this point none of us do, we are speculating and discussing the 'What ifs' Tintin for all of his good qualities is not free of imperfection-- naivety is one example. I'm playing devil's advocate here, but I'm indifferent truly; so, if Remis did have Tintin die I could understand why. Tragedy is part of life in the real and not so real world, Explorers on the Moon, Dr. Wolfe (I think that's who) commits suicide... I know it was for a good cause but there is tragedy.

Whether we like it or not death is a theme that exists and is only step behind for all of us. Maybe Romeo and Juliet may be a different genre but the human experience is still the same.

Again, we are speculating everything and we are free to see things as we wish. Me personally I'm a realist/idealist but understand nothing lasts forever.
jock123
Moderator
#24 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 00:17
Gayboy:
Way too extreme? A parent who loses a child is too extreme but it happens...

Yes, but not in the middle of a Tintin story!

I think that this is a bit of red herring, really… People are dying all day, every day, everywhere (and I speak as someone who just lost a close family member), but it doesn’t make me think that the whole world is tainted or brought down by death, nor blind me to the fact that just as often (actually more often, even slightly outweighing deaths) we have births and new lives - and neither really has any bearing on Tintin as a comic-strip.

You’re quite right, anything is possible, but not all things are likely; putting a scenario such as you suggest is always possible, but that doesn’t make it within the realms of what would happen - regardless of what we know about Hergé’s unfulfilled ambitions it makes about as much sense to me to say that he’d kill off the main character of a light-weight children’s series in the manner you outline, as to say that Shakespeare would have been happier to have a pie-fight as the ending to Hamlet to allow everyone to survive.
It’s the wrong register, it doesn’t fit the world-picture, the milieu of run away snow-ball-encased sailors, dipsomaniac dogs, levitating monks and wild fakirs, and would undoubtedly have been seen as bathetic, I’m afraid.
Gayboy
Member
#25 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 03:48 · Edited by: Gayboy
jock123
If in the middle of the story,maybe the rest of the story would be about how Haddock and Snowy find justice and avenge Tintin's death and the rest would be about the sad resolution and the hard lessons that can be taken from this.

I'll say though if I was Mr. Remis and I wanted to kill Tintin off and I knew I myself was dying... perhaps I would have put myself in the comic and revealed to Tintin that I was his father and try to save him but in the end fail and die with Tintin.

Well I guess we will never know what Mr. Remi was thinking. A plane crash where everyone but one person survives in a kids story is a bit much? In my opinion, like Harry Potter in some instances, the series gets a bit darker as it progresses in different aspects. Kids who mature fast can see the darkside of the series. Two people died in Explorers on the Moon, I know these aren't main characters but nevertheless it happens.

As the series goes on, it feels like it or seems to be geared more towards adults... a more cynical and mature Tintin in some aspects. I don't know if I would call the later books 'light weight' as they are fraught with angst. There are characters in games now and comics that die that are main characters (I know that's now).

My point in comparing Shakespeare's work is the impression it leaves when characters die and the lesson there is to be learned. I think in Mr. Remi's notes in Alph-Art Captain Haddock warns Tintin that his luck may run out as if he could have been foreshadowing Tintin's death. Mr.Remi could have been in a lot of pain in the days before he passed away, so I could see a despondent Mr. Remis writing such a book where Tintin has his final adventure. I'm almost 100% sure the thought of Tintin dying has crossed Mr. Remi's mind more than once.

Alas, since he didn't finish it we all can be thankful that we don't know either way; so we can say that Tintin lives to fight another day in the end.
jock123
Moderator
#26 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 09:21 · Edited by: jock123
Gayboy:
Mr.Remi could have been in a lot of pain in the days before he passed away, so I could see a despondent Mr. Remis writing such a book where Tintin has his final adventure.

It’s an elementary mistake to make, but Hergé wasn’t writing the book in the last days of his life - he hadn’t done any work on it (as far as can be told) for a few years before his death as (as I mentioned above).

There is nothing to suggest that he was despondent or down-cast in his work toward the end, he just became more interested in, and enthused by, the murals which now adorn the Brussels subway (where Tintin is very much hale and hearty, and not being mourned over).

Hergé just seems to have got bored with Alph-Art, and been a bit put out that he couldn’t see how the story was to work out - which again sort of mitigates against him wanting to kill Tintin.

If anything, the putting Tintin in peril was probably an attempt to spark an escape idea, and jump-start his creativity.

It’s only a myth that the frame of Tintin being led away was the last frame of Tintin: we simply don’t yet know what order the pages were done in, and this might have been a definitely abandoned outcome, or the page which frustrated him the most.

We don’t know in what spirit it was done either, but as I say, there really is no strong indication that he was thinking of killing Tintin this time any more than any other time Tintin had been led away at gun point. I even think it possible that the frame was done in high spirits, as a sort of joke - thumbing his nose at the character, as it were, or to surprise Bob de Moor, with whom he was working - and might easily have caused laughter at the time.

What we do know is that Hergé had several more years to live after he put the book down, where he happily drew and worked with the character with no sign of death and despondency in what he produced.
mct16
Member
#27 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 13:27
Gayboy:
If in the middle of the story,maybe the rest of the story would be about how Haddock and Snowy find justice and avenge Tintin's death and the rest would be about the sad resolution and the hard lessons that can be taken from this.

I really could not see that happening. Tintin would have found a way to escape his captors and capture the gang himself. I'm not sure how but that is the point: we would have to have left it to Herge.

You've compared the series to Shakespeare, but I would be more inclined to Dickens. (Someone once compared Herge to Balzac, Dickens' contemporary.) Dickens' final novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood", is similar to "Alph-Art" in that it was unfinished by the time of his death and leaves a lot of unanswered questions: what happened to Edwin Drood? Was he even murdered or did he survive and return in disguise in order to expose his would-be killer?

There have been many attempts, such as in film, TV and radio adaptations, to come up with a suitable ending, but I'm inclined to agree with others that nobody can guess what Dickens' imagination would have come up with had he lived to complete the story. Herge is a similar case.

Gayboy:
I'll say though if I was Mr. Remis and I wanted to kill Tintin off and I knew I myself was dying... perhaps I would have put myself in the comic and revealed to Tintin that I was his father and try to save him but in the end fail and die with Tintin.

Sorry, but that sounds too much like a fourth-wall breach to me, which is not very "Tintin". There's his "wink-to-the-camera" on the last page of "Ottokar's Sceptre" when the Thompsons laugh at the fact that they have forgotten that they are on a seaplane, but I cannot think of any others.

One of the appeals of Tintin is that he has no family, background or friends from his pre-publications years. Other characters may get re-acquainted with old friends they knew before they met Tintin: Haddock and Chester ("Shooting Star"), Calculus and Hercules Tarragon ("Crystal Balls"); but all the friends Tintin makes are in the course of his adventures, he is not called up by a previously unknown aunt or uncle or old school friend to come round and help in some trouble they are involved in.

Gayboy:
In my opinion, like Harry Potter in some instances, the series gets a bit darker as it progresses in different aspects. Kids who mature fast can see the darkside of the series.

Maybe, but Herge still drew the line at putting too much emphasis on death. "Flight 714" and "Picaros" for instance do have the potential for several gun battles like in a jungle war film like "Bridge on the River Kwai" but nobody gets injured or killed in the crossfire. In fact "Picaros" itself ends, at Tintin's insistence, in a bloodless coup d’état.

I think that the deaths in "Explorers" were intended because having Boris/Jorgen disarmed and returned to the hold would probably have just seemed like a repeat of how Tintin captures him after the failed attempt to launch the rocket from the moon. Wolff's sacrifice also gives it a moving touch with a guilt-ridden man trying to redeem himself for all the harm that he has caused.

Without reading "Alph-Art" again, I believe that there are a couple of deaths (maybe murders) but these are in order to build up the plot and, as has been pointed out, this was still the very early planning stage: Herge may not have included them in the final story, just focused on the art smuggling and cult worship, if at all.

I have been reading comics in which the main characters have been killed off, but it is really in order to bring an end to the series - the writer or artist being keen to end it and move on to something else. Conan Doyle killed Sherlock Holmes in "The Final Problem" because he wanted to focus on other works like historical romance. But these writers are still in the early stages of their careers (in their 30s or 40s; Conan Doyle was about 34). Herge was in his 70s when he was planning "Alph-Art". I cannot see him deciding to kill off Tintin just in order to create or focus on another series.

If Herge had intended for Tintin to die at about the same time as himself as a sort of finale then he would have known that the outrage from the fans would have been unforgivable and somehow I cannot see him doing that.
Gayboy
Member
#28 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 14:54
jock123

That fact of when Remis wrote some of the Alph-Art is one I really don't know the exact date. I looked on your link and read your post and couldn't find it. So I will research it more before I comment more about it.

Even a person in good spirit could see the potential for things to go horribly wrong for the good guy. Since we don't know what spirit it was done in, I think the ending to me is a 50/50 either way... good or sad ending. The more I discuss it the more I almost side with the sad ending just because it would be more powerful; juxtaposed with the fact no one will ever really be able to write another Tintin story that the entire Tintin fandom all around would accept. By Tintin dying this ends all possibilities.

I've read some stuff about Remis last days, according to a couple sources I read he caught HIV from a blood transfusion and it took him fairly fast afterwards.

[b]mct15[b]

That is just it, Tintin has always found a way, but as Haddock told Tintin, his luck may run out... a bit of foreshadowing a possible death. By the way I haven't read the last Charles Dickens book, it sounds interesting. I like Oliver Twist personally and could almost see a child like Tintin like a Oliver, anyways I'm digressing here, but as you say we don't know so as I mentioned to Mr. Jock, it could go either way really whether people feel more inclined to one decision as opposed to the other. Since most folk are Tintin fans we would obviously be more inclined to say that he lives.

Well I only mentioned that because the cartoon series/and the movie seem to give Remis a cameo appearance. I think the story could have taken a more serious turn had Remis revealed Tintin's past. It's possible that maybe one day he would have which could be a part of an argument that Tintin lives.

That's true about Picaros, but you can see he flirts with death a lot in his stories. When the Thom(p)sons think they are about to die, you see them as act knowing those could be their last moments on earth.

Remis could have decided to lay Tintin to rest for other reasons, again we just don't know and anyhting we say is all speculatory. If Remis did do a finale, the fans' reaction would have been of little consequence for obvious reasons. Dealing with death, that would be a normal reaction for people attatched to characters living or non-existent.

I remember when Robin died in Batman, a death in the family. It caused a ripple affect on a lot of readers, but it was powerful. As I mentioned to Jock, no one will be able to write another Tintin book that the entire fandom as a whole will accept and so to give Tintin his final adventure seems to be a good argument for his death and the fact that I've heard Remis didn't want others to write about Tintin.
mct16
Member
#29 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 17:01 · Edited by: mct16
Gayboy:
I remember when Robin died in Batman, a death in the family. It caused a ripple affect on a lot of readers, but it was powerful. As I mentioned to Jock, no one will be able to write another Tintin book that the entire fandom as a whole will accept and so to give Tintin his final adventure seems to be a good argument for his death and the fact that I've heard Remis didn't want others to write about Tintin.

And that Robin (aka Jason Todd) is now alive and kicking again, having been brought back from the dead by some "reality-distortion" or what-have-you. Denny O'Neil, an editor at DC at the time, is quoted as saying that bringing him back would be "sleazy" and yet it has happened.

If Herge had killed Tintin (and I'm still thinking he wouldn't have) it's not impossible that others would have brought him back from the dead as a clone or something equally twisted.

There is a series called "Lefranc" which is similar to Tintin but more in the vein of Blake and Mortimer. Current writers and artists have continued the series in the form of prequels or set in the original continuity. Imagine new stories being set not after "Picaros" but somewhere between "Calculus Affair" and "Emerald" when the popular characters and locations such as Marlinspike are well established.

Gayboy:
I think the story could have taken a more serious turn had Remis revealed Tintin's past. It's possible that maybe one day he would have which could be a part of an argument that Tintin lives.

Remis (Herge) was in his 70s by now and was already introducing new books at a very slow pace. The 1950s had seen at least five books, the 1960s three, and the 1970s just one. Even if he had completed "Alph-Art" I doubt if he would have been able to continue.

Gayboy:
I've read some stuff about Remis last days, according to a couple sources I read he caught HIV from a blood transfusion and it took him fairly fast afterwards.

I don't know anything about that. Mind you, it would have made a great Tintin story, giving it an element of a medical thriller by Robin Cook (the US doctor and novelist, not the Scottish politician). Some politicians, including a former French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, were put on trial for allowing AIDS-contaminated blood to be used in transfusions which led to the deaths of several people, but acquitted and Fabius is now back in the French cabinet.

I always thought that he got away too easily. If this is true then maybe this would release the wrath of the Tintin fans and finally see him get his comeuppance.
Gayboy
Member
#30 · Posted: 4 Mar 2013 18:42
mct16
Fans try to dictate the story of popular series these days. I know one instance of a series I can't remember. Now this is going to sound weird coming from me, but it was two male characters who were really good friends that seemed to be quite heterosexual acting and have a stated interest in the opposite gender but because fans wanted them to be gay the creater decided to make them gay which to me was absurd; but, it's his series and he's the one making the money.

My point, bringing Robin back was definitely a horrible attempt to revive a character from the dead. If that was the original goal it should have been done by the original author within a short time. Say for instance Batman goes into the realm of the dead to bring Robin back? (Just saying) To me, Robin is dead, that's canon. It's like in Final Fantasy VII when a main character named Aerith died. Rumors were rampid online she could be brought back, but they were lies.
I remember a comical signature a user did. She took a few photos in succession with a small caption each saying... "Aeris (photo) Is (photo) dead!(photo) Get over it!(photo). Or I could see fans going after Remis for killing Tintin off like in the movie Misery.

Maybe he could have just written the plots out and had other artist do the art for him. He was rich enough by that point. We have 24 original stories he wrote and three others that a lot of folk consider canon since I think they had his blessing ( Golden Fleece, Blue Oranges, Lake of the Sharks -- and I love all three of them!)

I don't know too much of the details, as I still read different sources about Remis' life, because I almost find his life more fascinating than the Tintin series believe it or not.

Well anyways I've really digressed a lot. Being a member of one group of fandoms in the fanfictions there are tons of stories where Alph-Art is finished and almost all of them Tintin survives. Most of the stories are about Tintin falling in love with a woman.
You have the Hetero fan community,
then the slash which I'm right there,
then the Purist who go with the asexual Tintin.

In conclusion with this post, Tintin is very much alive and will always be, all I am saying is Remis could have surprised us all with Tintin's death, whether likely or not is a matter of opinion in the end.

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