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The Blue Lotus: general discussion

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OJG
Member
#11 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 15:45
I really like the book. Right up there with the best of them. I can't quite put my finger on any particular reason though. I just love the feel the book brings when reading it. The artwork is different to the other stories as well, so that's interesting. You get to see a lot of China at the time (also interesting), an the story has a more serious feel to it than others. The story features politics, adventure, sympathy for Didi and Mrs Wang, some great characters in Mr Wang, Mitsuhirato and Gibbons (though very different), and the feel of a special bond between Chang and Tintin (even after they've only just met). There is something about it which I can't quite articulate that just makes it a great read.
snafu
Member
#12 · Posted: 18 Feb 2005 22:43 · Edited by: snafu
"The Blue Lotus" was definitely a special adventure. Herge had made friends with a Chinese friend who could offer him insights into the Chinese world. Herge was also very careful about his research after "Tintin in the Congo" (which I've never seen).

I consider "The Blue Lotus" one of his better-written works. It appears be quite thoroughly drawn and very accurate by western standards. The adventure is even more interesting because it is the only one that explicitly involves the political environment surrounding Japan's invasion of China.

I never realized that this was the few episodes where Tintin shows his emotions as a result of his friendship with Chang. No wonder why I am actually quite touched by Tintin's relationship with Chang but not when I follow Tintin's friendship with even Captain Haddock.

I think it was a good idea to include the Japanese Army in the story. It made the story more complex so Tintin had to deal with many more adversaries than usual (in most other adventures there was almost always only one set of villains). The Japanese presence in China was also an unavoidable reality, especially as Japan advanced through China following its 1931 invasion of Manchuria. Kudos on the historical commentaries made by Herge! This adventure is definitely a masterpiece. Only Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, and (possibly, for the sake of some amusement) Bianca Castafiore are missing!
OJG
Member
#13 · Posted: 21 Feb 2005 13:07
This adventure is definitely a masterpiece. Only Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, and (possibly, for the sake of some amusement) Bianca Castafiore are missing!

It is hard to imagine the story with those characters in, particularly Castafiore. I think the story is what it is largely due to the characters who are and aren't in it.
snafu
Member
#14 · Posted: 27 Feb 2005 20:05 · Edited by: snafu
It is hard to imagine the story with those characters in, particularly Castafiore. I think the story is what it is largely due to the characters who are and aren't in it.

Yet Herge managed to bring the Thompsons into the story. They didn't need to arrest Tintin at all. After all, even when the relationship between the twins and Tintin has not stabilized, there were many opportunities besides in "The Black Island" where the criminals could have called Interpol to capture Tintin. They weren't used. If Herge was able to bring characters as comical as the Thomsons into this serious story, then characters just as funny could have appeared as well. Only thing is that there would be a much longer adventure.
OJG
Member
#15 · Posted: 27 Feb 2005 21:43
snafu
If Herge was able to bring characters as comical as the Thomsons into this serious story, then characters just as funny could have appeared as well. Only thing is that there would be a much longer adventure.

This was a very small part of the story, and added what I think to be the right amount of light-heartedness to the story. Any more with Castafiore, Calculus, Wagg etc. and I think it would spoil the story. The focus is how it should be with the story as it is, IMO.
snafu
Member
#16 · Posted: 27 Feb 2005 22:10 · Edited by: Moderator
Captain Haddock, however, does have the potential to be serious (like in "The Shooting Star" or "Flight 714"). But I'm starting to feel that you're ultimately right, OJG, that the story is determined by who is present and who isn't (you caught me on Wagg, though. I don't know what he was doing in the first place in all these Tintin books).

There is actually a funny inaccuracy in "The Blue Lotus". For most of the story, Tintin is dressed in blue. But in one of the scenes where Thomson chases the train while it's pulling out of Hukow, Tintin is wearing green!! How very odd...

--
[Edited by Moderator (marsbar). Combined two consecutive posts.]
Kurvi Tasch
Member
#17 · Posted: 25 Mar 2005 15:28
The Cigars/Lotus suite is probably one of Herge's masterpieces simply because of two things: it is very adult, with the opium wars, rascism, and emotion (even Tintin sheds some tears), and the fact that it is the first book to create the "universe." The Thom(p)sons make an appearance, and we all know how confoundingly regular (and clumsy) they are. Gibbons, I believe, makes another appearance in the Red Sea Sharks, and Chang, as we all know, plays a major part in Tintin in Tibet. The art is just magnificent; Herge's prtrayal of a Chinese street with the Japanese soldiers is excellent, as is how firmly grounded the whole story is in reality. The Chinese even invited Herge to China to celebrate his stance in the Chinese/Japanese war. I believe that aside from Castiafore Emerald, The Calculus Affair, and the Moon suite, this is his best. And so early on!
snafu
Member
#18 · Posted: 25 Mar 2005 23:39
It is Dawson, not Gibbons, who appears in "The Red Sea Sharks"!! Gibbons was never really dangerous, but Dawson was the one in "The Blue Lotus" who could have sent Tintin to his death. It was therefore natural to have Dawson re-cast as a dangerous villain in another adventure, and Herge somehow found the chance to do so in making "The Red Sea Sharks"...Sorry if my tone is too condescending; I'm still trying to correct my on-line manners...
BlackIsland
Member
#19 · Posted: 29 Mar 2005 02:40
There is actually a funny inaccuracy in "The Blue Lotus". For most of the story, Tintin is dressed in blue. But in one of the scenes where Thomson chases the train while it's pulling out of Hukow, Tintin is wearing green!! How very odd...


Yes that was because of the colorization in a later printing. Take a look at the color of his tie towards the end of the Blue Lotus. I think it changes from red to black in a few frames.
snafu
Member
#20 · Posted: 29 Mar 2005 14:08
Interesting, BlackIsland. I wasn't able to see that because there are so many other wonderful things in each of the scenes. Although I remember Tintin very well (in fact, I often post by memory...I have no Tintin books with me right now), I can't remember whether the tie was really dark red. Then it would hard for someone, even for those who are not color-blind, to see those differences.

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