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Land of Black Gold: The four versions

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mct16
Member
#21 · Posted: 15 Mar 2010 01:03 · Edited by: Moderator
Here's an article which links to a page from the very first version. This is how it was published in a French newspaper just after the war, though it is still the version that Hergé was working on before the Occupation of Belgium meant that he had to suspend it. Gives you some idea.

This pre-war version was different to the one Hergé published in 1950: the 1950 version had more detailed backgrounds and the man who visits the Rabbi and says "Salut" or "Hiyya" looked less unpleasant.

Moderator Note: Another thread relevant to this topic:
Black Gold: Palestine version? discusses the notion of a facsimile/ translation of the original.

It is also better form, if linking to an image that is posted for use by another site, that you link to the site itself, and let the user click to the image, rather than directly to that image. It’s unfair to piggy-back onto the work of others, if they themselves have made all the effort for another purpose.
If the parent site of the image is in and of itself unsuitable for linking to from Tintinologist, then it is better to do without the image. The link to the early version image has been changed accordingly.

The Tintinologist Team
BlackadderFan
Member
#22 · Posted: 3 Dec 2012 18:09
Why were there so many editions of this book? Don't tell me Land of Black Gold is racist as well!
mct16
Member
#23 · Posted: 3 Dec 2012 20:24
It is not racist, the problems were mainly political.

The first version was being published in the Belgian newspaper "Le Petit Vingtieme" just before the start of World War Two. When the Germans occupied Belgium, Herge decided to stop the story in mid-adventure (just when Muller has identified the unconscious Tintin in the desert) since its political contents - the conflict between the British, the Jews and the Arabs in the British Mandate of Palestine - would have been frowned upon by the Germans.

After the war, Herge founded the weekly Tintin magazine and a second, completed, version of "Black Gold" was published, again set in the British Mandate of Palestine. In this version, as far as the first half was concerned, Herge used the same drawings as he did in the pre-war version but they were smaller and in colour ("Le Petit Vingtieme" version had been in B&W and much larger).

When the book version was published soon afterwards, Herge redrew the first half completely in order to include a scene where Tintin talks to Haddock over the phone and a sub-plot in which everyone fears an imminent war. (In the previous versions, when Tintin interviewed the head of the oil company, his main concern was the economic consequences of the exploding oil. There is no mention of the military aspects or of an impending war.) Again, the main story took place in Palestine.

By the time the book was due to be published in English in 1972, the state of Israel had long been up and running, thus the scenes in the British Mandate of Palestine - with British troops, Jewish Zionists and Arab fighters - were somewhat dated. The British publishers insisted on an update and Herge therefore redrew a dozen or so pages in order to reset the action to the fictional kingdom of Khemed.

I hope this clarifies things.
Mikael Uhlin
Member
#24 · Posted: 4 Dec 2012 21:56 · Edited by: Mikael Uhlin
mct16:
When the Germans occupied Belgium, Herge decided to stop the story in mid-adventure

It's also worth noting that in this first, uncomplete version, Tintin never met the emir Ben Kalish Ezab. Also, the Thompsons crashed into the mosque BEFORE Tintin encountered Muller in the desert, which means that they (the Thompsons) weren't at hand to save Tintin. And finally, Tintin hadn't even met Haddock yet! All in all, this means that the story would have developed in another direction if it was completed in 1939.

mct16:
After the war, Herge founded the weekly "Tintin magazine" and a second, completed, version of "Black Gold" was published, again set in the British Mandate of Palestine. In this version, as far as the first half was concerned, Herge used the same drawings as he did in the pre-war version but they were smaller and in colour ("Le Petit Vingtieme" version had been in B&W and much larger). When the book version was published soon afterwards, Herge redrew the first half completely in order to include a scene where Tintin talks to Haddock over the phone and a sub-plot in which everyone fears an imminent war.

Well, Hergé didn't redraw the first half completely to include the phone call with Haddock, he just replaced some panels on page 3 and re-arranged the same page. He did redraw page 1, though, and he also shortened the story a bit on pages 23 and 24 (which appeared on three pages in the Tintin-magazine and included a cut scene where Tintin drinks from an oil-infested well).

mct16:
By the time the book was due to be published in English in 1972, the state of Israel had long been up and running, thus the scenes in the British Mandate of Palestine - with British troops, Jewish Zionists and Arab fighters - were somewhat dated. The British publishers insisted on an update and Herge therefore redrew a dozen or so pages in order to reset the action to the fictional kingdom of Khemed.

Yes, it was at this time that Hergé (and Bob de Moor) completely redrew and/or re-arranged pages 7-20. And Khemed was of course originally invented for Red Sea Sharks, even if that story takes place after Land of Black Gold.
mct16
Member
#25 · Posted: 5 Dec 2012 11:47
Mikael Uhlin:
All in all, this means that the story would have developed in another direction if it was completed in 1939.

Which we have debated at Land of Black Gold: The 1939-1940 publication thread.

Mikael Uhlin:
included a cut scene where Tintin drinks from an oil-infested well).

Which he finds by using the rods of an abandoned umbrella which he very conveniently trips over while walking in the desert.
Aprilia
Member
#26 · Posted: 10 Jun 2013 19:42
Land of Black Gold has always been one of my favourite Tintin adventures, it may have been the first story I read as a child actually.

I've just sent for the facsimilie of the 1950 edition (in French of course) so I'm very much looking forward to reading it in that format with the Palestine scenes.
nehemiah
Member
#27 · Posted: 21 Dec 2017 16:36 · Edited by: Moderator
Try this link

Moderator Note: Link removed
We cannot link to the site you suggested, nor allow discussion of how to get there, because of our site's policies on copyright. Thank you for your cooperation.

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