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Tintin and The Picaros: Do glaring mistakes show team at end of tether?

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glashab
Member
#1 · Posted: 21 Jan 2016 16:14
Hi All,
There are a number of glaring mistakes in a number of the Tintin books.
Do you think this was because of overwork? Surely a mistake like Tintin and The Picaros page 42, third box from left (Tintin's neck and shirt not fully inked) is a little too far where they had not finished the inking, especially as they had worked years on the books?
Was this that the team was truly at the end of its tether?
In all honesty I don't think that Herge would have ever finished Alph Art even if he had lived another 10 years. I think Picaros was the end even though it did not wrap it up with finality.
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 21 Jan 2016 18:57 · Edited by: jock123
Hi! This is such a wide ranging topic, and couched in such general terms, it's hard to know where to begin... :-)

With only one example, it's hard to make any sort of trend of "glaring mistakes" within the series, or at least hard to draw any conclusion that would link them to a cause. It's twenty-four books written over a period of more than forty years, so a mistake in Soviets is unlikely to have an origin similar to that of one in Flight 714.
I also have to say that I don't know the error you are talking about - I'm not sure what you mean by "case", but it can't be the third frame on page 42, as that is of Calculus alone, and if it's the the third row, then I don't see any error in my copy of the book.
It could be that your copy has damage due to a defective printing plate, but other than that, I'm stumped.
As for a team at the end of it's tether, I don't think so, as from Flight 714 onward, the bulk of the work was carried out by Hergé with assistance from Bob De Moor. I think that the studio team may have had some input, but not as much as you might be suggesting.
Sure, there are errors (there are numerous threads on the forums discussing them) but generally you have to know what to look for to even know they are wrong - the number of toes on a bird's foot springs to mind, but that just comes from someone not intuiting from a reference photo that such birds have a third toe which although hidden when the bird sits on a branch, should be shown when the bird leaves its perch.
As for whether Alph-Art would have been finished - who knows? We do know that he stopped regular work on it in around 1979, but he was under no obligation to produce a new book, and he wasn't exactly in good health.
He continued to collect reference material, and do research for future books, so it may have been that, with more time, he'd have got back to new Tintin adventures.
glashab
Member
#3 · Posted: 22 Jan 2016 15:56
Hi jock123,

Yes you are right I guess I am trying to brainstorm or theorize too much. I also didn't know that he had started Alph Art and went back to it and then started other projects. Do you mean Thermozero? Or was that earlier? Or do you mean 'a day at the airport'..where he wanted to start a story that takes place in the airport. Which do you think was the last real skecth he completed? Do you thunk is was the Greetings Card from 1982 (You can search that online and find it) or do you think it was something in 1979 and it ended there? I looked at the thread which do you think was Tintin's last drawing but I don't mean that as it was probably the rough sketch at the end of Alph Art perhaps

Sorry the panel I meant in Picaros was the 3rd to the right where Calculus, Tintin and Haddock are in the picture. If you look at Tintin's neck and shirt it is not complete. I looked online and the same mistakes seem to be there too! Thank you so much for your expertise to all of us!
jock123
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 22 Jan 2016 17:19 · Edited by: jock123
glashab:
I guess I am trying to brainstorm or theorize too much

Well, you've come to the right place - we've built a website doing just that... ;-)
glashab:
didn't know that he had started Alph Art and went back to it and then started other projects. Do you mean Thermozero?

He seems to have largely put Alph-Art aside when he started to work on the mural designs for Stokkel, a station on the Brussels underground railway. It's useful to note that while he seems to have been somewhat thwarted with the development of a satisfactory story for Alph-Art, the mural appears to have reinvigorated his interest, and raised his spirits with the Boy Reporter. Renewed enthusiasm may have led to a satisfying attempt at completing Alph-Art and further adventures, had he lived.

Le ThermoZéro was much earlier, and - in its Tintin incarnation - was being worked on as the Fifties turned into the Sixties; later work was done to transpose the plot to accommodate Jo, Zette & Jocko, but was also left unpublished.

glashab:
Or do you mean 'a day at the airport'..where he wanted to start a story that takes place in the airport.

As far as can be told, that was purely an idea he mentioned in an interview as being an ideal location for adventure, as it would turn things on their head from the normal: the characters would come from around to the world, and encounter Tintin, rather than the Boy Reporter globe-trotting himself.
I can't remember when exactly the interview was given, but if it was pre-Castafiore Emerald, it could be that the idea was subsumed into that, which has the single location similar to the terminal idea. If it post-dates it, he may in time have thought that that had used the same gag. Either way, it remained little more than a throw-away remark.

glashab:
Which do you think was the last real skecth he completed? Do you thunk is was the Greetings Card from 1982 (You can search that online and find it) or do you think it was something in 1979 and it ended there?

He kept drawing Tintin right up until the end - a hand-drawn and hand-coloured vignette of Tintin dressed as a Viking and done for his Scandinavian publisher as a birthday present recently sold at auction, and that was given within months if not weeks of his death. Chances are, we will never be certain of which drawing it was; in all likelihood however, it probably wasn't Tintin on his way to be plasticized in Alph-Art.

glashab:
I meant in Picaros was the 3rd to the right where Calculus, Tintin and Haddock are in the picture.

I'm afraid I'm still not seeing a glaring error as described anywhere on that page... If you start top left on the page, and work your way left to right along the row, then down to the next row, count the frames (where p. 42 top left is frame 1, and bottom right is frame 13), and give the number of the frame the error is in (there are four frames with the three characters in).

I would venture that you might be talking about frame 7, but the drawing is perfectly inked and coloured in my copy, to my eyes at least.

glashab:
Thank you so much for your expertise to all of us!

It's a two-way thing, honestly - I learn so much from these discussions! :-)
glashab
Member
#5 · Posted: 22 Jan 2016 18:16 · Edited by: Moderator
Moderator Note: Combined two consecutive posts

Hi jock123,

Thank you ever so much! I really tried working out what might be Herge's close to last piece and thought it might have been Alph-Art, it's actually good to know a real completed submission was done rather than just a squiggle which would be a sad way to end.

Thank you for the reference on Stokkel Station I had no idea he had done that so late in the day.

The Picaros frame I meant is frame 12... I hope I'm not seeing things! Thanks again :)

Also in the last frame of Flight 714 Calculus is holding a leather bag which he did not have boarding the plane.
Rastapopolous's watch as you most probably know changes from one hand to another in different scenes.
The pillow on the jet moves around mysteriously from one seat to another.
Maybe a number of the books have mistakes but ones that we can't tell as they might not as obvious as these! Or they were drawn in different orders or by different people and put together at some point. (I am not really sure how the comic drawing process goes but I can imagine it must be super difficult!)
mct16
Member
#6 · Posted: 22 Jan 2016 23:36 · Edited by: mct16
Drawing comics is a long-term project and can get complicated when working on stories that last dozens of pages. Errors are inevitable and artists may draw a scene which conflicts with another.

A good example, which has mystified me plenty, is on page 19, panel 7, of "Explorers" when Haddock who, for the past 8 pages, has been wearing his distinctive blue sweater, is suddenly wearing the overalls that he wore prior to his drunken space walk but is back in his sweater in the next panel.

glashab:
the pillow on the Jet moves around mysteriously from one seat to another

Looking at the scenes on the aircraft, I wonder if there could be two cushions: one at the far end of the sofa nearest the pilots' cabin, and one on Carreidas' side, but which, from the reader's point of view, is often obscured by him, his chair and the table.

glashab:
Also in the last frame of Flight 714 Calculus is holding a leather bag which he did not have boarding the plane

I've often wondered about that myself and I think that since he was attending an astronomical congress he would be taking a lot of notes with him which he would use while delivering lectures and attending debates. Since his original notes were likely lost on the Carreidas plane, he may have requested Nestor to send him some spare or rough notes from Marlinspike. Since these were incomplete he would want to work on them before and during the flight.
jock123
Moderator
#7 · Posted: 23 Jan 2016 15:15 · Edited by: jock123
Strictly speaking, at the end of Flight 714, other than their clothes, none of them should have anything that they had on an earlier flight, as that was lost on the island.
The abductees believe that the Carreidas 160 was ditched in the sea, so presumably that was either destroyed in the eruption, taken away on the space-craft, or dumped into the ocean by the aliens.

Therefore, the collar and lead on Snowy, and Tintin's flight bag are not the originals, but replacements. The caption on page 60 tells us that "several days" have passed, plenty of time for the new items to have been bought, and more than sufficient for the Professor to be in possession of a new portfolio, bag, parcel or whatever it is he's carrying. It even explains why Tintin is either for once wearing a blue shirt, or has adopted a raffish pre-Miami Vice style, and is wearing the sleeves on a blue windcheater jacket rolled up...
glashab
Member
#8 · Posted: 23 Jan 2016 18:58
That's right! I never thought of it that way. Those items would all be new. I never even noticed that it was a blue shirt!
jock123
Moderator
#9 · Posted: 24 Jan 2016 00:12 · Edited by: jock123
glashab:
The Picaros frame I meant is frame 12.. I hope I'm not seeing things! Thanks again :)

(I actually thought I'd answered this point yesterday or the day before, but it seems to have got lost...)
My book again has the lines and colouring all present and correct in this frame.
By the sound of it, if it's just line-work which is missing, it's probably going to be an error on a printing plate, which has been damaged or improperly prepared.
The original art will have been fine, and the proofs most likely will have too, so it has probably crept in at a later date.
The print runs on Tintin books are enormous, and printing plates come in for a lot of wear, so it's actually a sign of the care taken that that sort of issue doesn't arise more often.
glashab:
I never even noticed that it was a blue shirt!

I think that that is a more "glaring" error than most, so it shows what is one person's obvious fault will pass un-noticed by someone else; however, I think it also shows that they are also few and far between, rather than a symptom of over-all fatigue... ;-)
glashab
Member
#10 · Posted: 24 Jan 2016 16:45
I stand corrected!! You were right again. I had looked at 2 old copies. Finally I saw a 3rd brand new copy and it did not have the print error. So much for finding a mistake by Herge!

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