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Tintin in America: Error in Tintin’s hair colour?

GSC
Member
#1 · Posted: 13 Nov 2011 00:43
I've just been reading Tintin in America, and I noticed something.

On page 53, frame 4, you could plainly see that Tintin's hair colour is sort of a dark-blond colour. Then on the next frame (frame 5), Tintin's hair colour is yellow, then later on frame 8, his hair is dark-blond again. Does anybody know if this was an error made by Hergé or by the printer?
calculite
Member
#2 · Posted: 21 Dec 2011 23:12
For King Ottokar's Sceptre the original cover was meant to have Tintin with dark brown hair, but it was changed to yellow. Accounts I've read say that Hergé meant for Tintin's hair to be yellow. So I think the error is probably the painter's.
meobeou
Member
#3 · Posted: 23 Jan 2019 02:30 · Edited by: Moderator
26 Jan 2019 12:26 - Merged topic:
Tintin in America: Error in Tintin's hair colour?

I've just been reading Tintin in America, and I noticed something.

On page 53, frame 4, you could plainly see that Tintin's hair colour is sort of a dark-blond colour.
Then on the next frame (frame 5), Tintin's hair colour is yellow; then later on frame 8, his hair is dark-blond again. Does anybody know if this was an error made by Hergé or by the printer?

Lee!

Moderator Note: Hi Lee! Please note that your post has been edited to remove the link which you inserted to take readers to another site; normally this would be seen as advertising or self-publicity, which would result in the post being deleted. In this case, we will take it that the mistake was an error made in good faith, but in the future, please refrain from adding such links to your post.
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snowybella
Member
#4 · Posted: 23 Jan 2019 08:42 · Edited by: snowybella
Good question!

This is just a guess, but I have three theories:

The first is that that the painter - or colourer, whichever you choose - almost finished his or her shift and there wasn't much dark-blonde ink anyway, so instead of getting a new pot, (s)he grabbed for the nearest pot of yellow ink and used that instead.

The second theory is that some parts of the frame was digitally re-coloured. We can deduce this from the uniform painting style of the pink-y red of the wall behind him, some parts of the sky, the machinery and Tintin's yellow shirt, as well as the lack of a slight blush on Tintin's cheek, which is visible in the other frames on the same page.

The third, most plausible one is that it's like how you speculated - there was an error at the printer's, making most, if not all, of the copies show his hair coloured as that odd yellow, and his face the somewhat pastel-y pink.

I'm 99.9% sure that Herge didn't paint the albums in-person. However, he did the lettering for the early black-and-white versions of the albums.

Also, welcome to the forums!
jock123
Moderator
#5 · Posted: 23 Jan 2019 13:19
It's a fractional difference in a very old book; looking at the rest of the page in my Egmont copy from 2003, there is a lot of evidence that the colour separations are quite worn - look for a red "fringe" around the sleeve of the leader of Kidnap, Inc. when he's on the 'phone, and the white fringes on the fifth panel around the factory chimneys and the bonnet of the scrap car in the railway wagon of scrap, as well as at the side of the head of Maurice (the factory executive showing Tintin around), where the blue of the sky is missing.
My best guess is that this is the result of using the same separations for years, and the colour variations are merely signs of that, rather than any actual mistake.
The Black Island - a relatively recent book, considering it was remade in the sixties - had suffered similar problems, which led to a full scale "digital remastering" operation, to repair the flaws in the colouring, and produce new plates, an operation which used to be covered in great detail on the official Tintin site, but which seems to have been removed. Perhaps Tintin in America will come in for a similar treatment, if it hasn't already happened.
snowybella
Member
#6 · Posted: 26 Jan 2019 00:29
Hang on...I've been sifting through the forums, and I found this. I had a quick look, and it seems to be word-for-word the same query. Can a moderator merge this thread with the old one?
RicardoOlcese
Member
#7 · Posted: 26 Jan 2019 02:14 · Edited by: RicardoOlcese
In my Spanish version, both colours seem identical. Or 99,99% identical. You know, I am blond too, or very light brunette, and my hair colour changes from the angle you see it, especially if I am directly under the sun. Which appears to be the case in those frames, where Tintin is in the open in plain day. So, perhaps they draw him from different angles in the two frames, and the artist actually saw two different colours.

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