Oh yes! Welcome to the forums, rjm49; you've hit on a common question, and indeed there is an answer.Well, actually, there's an answer if you mean Cigars of the Pharaoh
The potted history is thus: the books, when brought to foreign markets, tended not to be translated in publication order.
The first attempt at English was in 1952 (amongst other languages), when Casterman chose Ottokar
and Red Rackham
to break into the international market. In English Ottokar
was serialized in the Eagle
comic, and the other two were released as books: the experiment was not a success, and the series foundered.
Moving along to 1958, and Methuen stepped in, and took on the series. It was a gamble: the lack of success of the earlier attempt made the endeavour risky, and there was no established habit of comics appearing as what amounted to what we'd call graphic novels - there were comic annuals, of course - such as the Eagle
, etc. had, but these had a distinct shelf-life, and were really glorified periodicals.
It is not clear who decided what books came out when - it might have been controlled by Casterman, it might have been the decision of the regional publishers, it might even have been at the behest of Hergé - but it was decided to give the series a second chance, again focusing on what were seen as the stronger titles.Soviets
was by then out of circulation (this was
at Hergé's request*); Congo
was seen as problematic, as was Blue Lotus
, so it appears that Cigars
wasn't looked on as a contender for publication at this time either, being thought of as a companion piece to Lotus
So, anyway, the books started being translated: with the full series not available, and the possibility that each new title might be the last if the 1952 experience were to be repeated, emphasis was placed upon introducing what were seen as the strongest books first - to establish the series - and on making the internal continuity fit the order in which the books were being brought out.
After a while (as I mentioned here
) a means of getting Cigars
into the series without the need for Lotus
was worked out, and that too became available (in its revised 1955 re-drawn version).
Therefore, when Snowy makes his remark, Marlinspike was
already in the series, because Red Rackham
was one of the first books to be translated, and thus "pre-dated" Cigars
In some ways this actually was a benefit, because - following the re-vamp of its content - it was clearly drawn in a more modern style than the chronologically early books with which it had once rubbed shoulders, and also now included the otherwise anachronistic depiction of the cover of Destination Moon
, placed there by Hergé to promote that book.
By making it textually a later book than Rackham
and Destination Moon
those problems that the new-style art and Moon
book causes to the time-line are smoothed over to an extent.*No it wasn't!
While that might have been the best interpretation available when this was originally written, later research (in the run up to the colour edition of Soviets
) proves conclusively that, not only did Hergé repeatedly request Casterman to re-release Soviets
over the years, he even threatened to take it to another publisher if they didn't. It was only the fact that the original plates were damaged, and the artwork mislaid which thwarted him, and prevented him reworking the book for colour himself. He was delighted when Casterman produced a limited run for him in 1969, and the rediscovery of the artwork paved the way for the book being released in facsimile.