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Picaros: Tapiocapolis theory

#1 · Posted: 4 Apr 2007 15:42 · Edited by: alvarolino
Hi all,
Some time ago I got "The Complete Companion" by Michael Farr. Really a
comprehensive and indispensable work.
Nevertheless, let me get in a comment. The caption at page 195 reads as follows: "Hergé was largely inspired by Belo Horizonte, the Brazilian metropolis reclaimed from the jungle, for his views of Tapiocapolis. ...". The assertion is corroborated at page 197.
Well, I live in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais State (part of Southeast Region of Brazil). The Amazon jungle is situated in North Region, remote from here. Brazil is a large country with a diverse physical geography and maybe the arborized avenue shown at the picture lead him to a misinterpretation. This is a mountainous zone (note the mount at the background) unlike plain Amazon forest areas.
In spite of its mixing Spanish and Portuguese Latin American allusions (tabacos store, sombreros, Hotel Rio, Carnaval), the building on the left of the penultimate frame behind the sculpture (at page 11 in Tintin and the Picaros), is an accurate representation of the "Palácio do Planalto" (Palace of the
Plateau), the official workplace of the Brazilian President designed by Oscar
Niemeyer, an architect who is considered one of the most important names in
international modern architecture:
So, I think that Brasília (the federal capital of Brazil) was a key reference on the working up of the turbulent and exuberant Tapiocapolis.
Well, I'd like to submit this thesis directly to the Companion author. Could anyone help me?
#2 · Posted: 13 Apr 2007 14:18
Last Gasp are the American publishers of "Tintin the Complete Companion".

You can contact them at


They could put you in touch with Farr.
#3 · Posted: 13 Apr 2007 15:11
Thanks mct16,

I've already contacted Last Gasp but no replies yet.
Undoubtedly, "Complete Companion" is an amazing book and Farr is the top one concerning Tintin's world. So I intend to submit the question and try to help make future publications even more complete in the future.

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