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Tintin in America: Changes to frames in the colour version?

#1 · Posted: 4 Dec 2004 07:26

I am new to this board (what a great find this place is! I've been a Tintin fan since I was a boy) and I am really glad to be able to discuss Tintin and ask questions about Herge with other people who know and love the subject.

I have a question about a hard cover (Methuen Children's Books London) copy of Tintin in America (published circa 1978) which is in good condition. I have noticed that instead of the changed frame on page 47 that currently shows the Caucasian mother and child when Tintin rushes up the stairs at the sound of the wailing baby, that this copy has the African American mother and baby. I was very surprised to find this as I understood that the english version was only published with the Caucasian mother and child because of American objections to this frame.

Could some wise luminary please tell me if this is a rare book? And if so how much is it worth? I have a normal copy of the book that is available every where these days but would be interested to find out how much this is worth in financial terms. I look at it as a rarity and something a bit special, but maybe there are numerous copies of this floating arounf the place?

Thanks for your time..
Warm regards
#2 · Posted: 7 Dec 2004 03:38
Hi Kamael,

My hardback copy of Tintin in America, purchased in the late 1970’s, also features the African American mother and child.

I’m no expert but I don’t think you have a rare item. However, in the future I expect collectors will begin to seek out those copy’s containing Herges original work.

The drawing on page 29, bottom left frame, originally showed an African American (wearing the doormans uniform). In my copy he’s been redrawn as a white man.
You can see the original drawing at the following fan site:


Harrock n roll
#3 · Posted: 12 Dec 2004 20:31
This highlights how American censorship had changed in 20 years or so. In the late 50's black charcters were replaced by white ones in The Crab with the Golden Claws as the US censors then didn't like to portray blacks and whites together. In the more PC 80's when changes made to America it was because of what the censors regarded as a questionable portrayal of blacks - the black character on the first page has had his lips made thinner and the doorman,mother and child have been replaced by whites.

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