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Alph-Art: Does Tintin die?

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#41 · Posted: 3 Jul 2013 00:13 · Edited by: Gayboy
So the frescoes he did were about Tintin being alive? I'm not sure I follow you. Are you saying he was doing it as a tribute to celebrating life?
Either way, it still doesn't give us a definite "Yes, Tintin lives" answer. Maybe Herge was just ready to do different work; and, by ending Tintin's life and thus the series, it would leave him free to focus more on new endeavors?
It really does seem the point you make about Herge investing more into his earlier years has a ring of truth about it. When I watched the video of Herge and Tchang's reunion, I could see how much it meant to Herge. I kind of feel in the video where it showed Chang and Tintin together, I got the impression Herge was reliving a time when he and Tchang were much younger. From that video I surmised that Tchang left an impression on Herge that lasted a lifetime which brings both of their lives to a full circle as far as Herge is concerned.
#42 · Posted: 3 Jul 2013 08:29 · Edited by: jock123
Are you saying he was doing it as a tribute to celebrating life?

Not per se. However, the murals do show Tintin & Cº hale, hearty, and not dead. They were a project that Hergé was involved in up until his death, and are a better indication, I think, of his feelings towards the character at that time, than a rough, unfinished doodle made several years before, and which may not even have been the last thing he did for Alph-Art.
Either way, it still doesn't give us a definite "Yes, Tintin lives" answer.

No, but every probability says that he does: nothing in the notes or ideas for the book even hints at the outcome you are suggesting, with its lists of possible indignities to be heaped upon the Captain, its skewering of the pompous jet-set and their search for meaning in empty cults, and would rob the narrative of the crucial resolution of who was behind the plot.
Hergé was also still accumulating material for possible future adventures - if anything, that task far outstripped the work of actually producing a new book, as it gave him his reason for going into the office so that he could personally maintain his research.
He still had ambitions to set a story in Australia (the largest area of unused material in the files relates to that continent, according to Michael Farr), and the possibility was that Tintin would return to America so that Hergé could provide a more thoughtful view of the lot of the Native American peoples.
Maybe Herge was just ready to do different work

Perhaps, but again, there is nothing to show that this was the case - all his preparations show that, were he to actually apply himself to work again, it would have been to Tintin that he turned.
I also think that, although I don't think for an instant that Hergé would have considered that killing Tintin was appropriate for a children's comic-book, any more that I imagine that Walt Disney would have killed Mickey Mouse in a cartoon, or that the Coyote would get to eat the Road Runner, he was too much the pragmatist to rock the boat with an audience which loved his work.
He, personally, was not universally loved, as there was a section of society which held lingering resentment against anyone they deemed to be a wartime collaborator; however Tintin was, and it was Tintin to whom he owed his reputation as a graphic artist, and with it a very comfortable living.
Being the executioner of the goose which laid his golden egg would have risked also facing the wrath of his public, and I'm sure that that was not to be the case for a man already sensitive to how he was viewed.

Hergé was never necessarily good with children personally (he was a cold and distant figure to his niece and nephew, for example), but he cared immensely about them as a group, his audience, and was the first to worry that he might let them down. For example, against the advice of others, who suggested that the yeti would be a more impressive, more mysterious creature if it were never actually depicted in Tintin in Tibet, he insisted on showing it as to do otherwise would have been to disappoint the children.
Would a man who felt this way on something which had only a tangential impact on the series, and which was at most an artistic decision, be preparing to short-change the child reader by dispatching the boy hero in such a nihilistic way?I think not...

From that video I surmised that Tchang left an impression on Herge that lasted a lifetime which brings both of their lives to a full circle as far as Herge is concerned.

Again, I'm not so sure.
The search for Tchang was a search for better days which never really existed; when Hergé was unhappy he believed that life had been more enjoyable in the past.
But, as is often the case, the golden age was in his mind: yes, he and Tchang had been friends, but he'd obviously made a lot more of it in his mind than had actually been the case.
When he did finally meet Tchang again it left him somewhat deflated: it didn't leave him feeling over-joyed, as they were now just two old men who really didn't know each other after more or less a lifetime apart, or prove to be his ticket back to some mythical golden age.
It also robbed him of the dream itself, which had at least allowed him to think that re-connecting with Tchang and his youth would dispel his demons, and that was probably the greater problem.
#43 · Posted: 10 Jul 2013 03:09 · Edited by: Gayboy

Wow Jock! I give you credit, you must have been on a debating team! :)

Well Your point about Herge doing some murals (possibly as a way of celebrating life) wouldn't necessarily indicate that he lives 100 percent; on the contrary, when others pass away some choose to do a celebration of life rather than have a dreary funeral. When my best friend lost her son in a car accident a few years ago, we had a celebration of his life (He was 18).

Perhaps the main character dying does rob a cult, but it wouldn't necessarily mean that it's the end of the series. He could still do previous adventures that they could have had, or he could focus on the elusive past that so many Tintin followers are 'dying' to know. Furthermore, Herge could also have written a comic narrated by Tintin himself since after all he is a reporter. He would still have Quicke and Flupke which some of us consider cousins of Tintin in a author's sense.

Characters did get killed off in the Tintin series. Redrackham, Jorgen, and the man in Tintin in the Congo who fell into a river to be eaten by crocs. I kind of feel children don't understand the full meaning of some of the underlying meanings in these books and so are innocent of what's actually happening. Now this is my opinion, but I feel the series has a real adult side to it.

In all fairness, I think comparing Mickey Mouse and Tintin is like comparing oranges to apples. Tintin comes from a more realistic world, where Mickey Mouse comes from a world of talking animals personified, magic, and full slapstick almost similar to Looney Tunes. Some of the fairy tales they derived their movies come from horrific stories "Grimm's Fairy Tales?". Herge may have been a pragmatist, but I wouldn't be surprised if the thought did cross his mind.

Artist are in the business of making money yes, but some artist do art for art's sake. If Herge would have decided that Tintin died, he wouldn't have been around long to face the public's wrath anyways.

The reality to Herge was not like the dream as you say most likely. I'm sure Tchang probably thought in the back of his mind, "If we were such good friends, why did we not stay in contact?" (I'm sure that's a question only Herge or Tchang could answer)
It's true, a lot of people think the past is better forgetting that it wasn't a bed of roses either. Perhaps seeing Tchang, even if it did deflate the dream, was like a highlight he looked forward to as one of his final chapters. I think he may have been disappointed had he not got to see Tchang again. To conclude this thought, we all know that life can be full of disappointments and doesn't always go the way it should, but perhaps the person or persons in question may understand the reason (if there is one that applies) why things are they way they have become.

Anyways, thanks for this very insightful debate Jock, I can tell you're a sharp individual!
#44 · Posted: 14 Sep 2013 17:30
I just can't seem to bring myself to believing that Tintin died. Sure, Hergé meant to make Alph-Art to be his last Tintin book, but I don't think that Hergé would kill Tintin to finish the series.
#45 · Posted: 7 Oct 2013 05:35
In the end, none of us really know what Herge intended and is all purely speculation. To be fair, it would be a 50/50 toss up. He did say he wanted no other Tintin books written.
#46 · Posted: 29 Oct 2013 18:08
Herge had defined Tintin and streamlined the whole series so much, it took him years so it's highly unlikely that he would just kill off a character.
#47 · Posted: 8 Oct 2016 08:36
Who knows? we will never know. like Gayboy said it's a 50\50 chance.

Honestly it would be too sad if Herge' was planning to kill Tintin. Just imagine how all his friends would take it. Not only his friends but his fans too. I know I would be hurt. But if that's what was Herge' planning. I wouldn't be surprise because he didn't want anyone doing Tintin when after he pass.
#48 · Posted: 4 Mar 2017 14:12 · Edited by: snowybella
can anyone who knows this version and understands French give a short explanation about Tintin's escape (or not?) from the polyester casting?

There is an English version of the book. Just when the polyester casting machine began, Captain Haddock and Snowy came into the scene and forced Akass and his henchmen to open up the wooden crate keeping Tintin. His henchmen opened it up and Tintin is saved (for a few brief minutes or so).

Update: I just realised I misread your comment and thought you wanted to know about Yves Rodier's version! Sorry about that.

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