Do you find anything in the B/W Cigars of the Pharaoh which indicates that Hergé intended it to have a second part?
starts with Tintin in conversation with Snowy, discussing the fact that they are going to Shanghai, so it certainly looks from page one as if the intention was always that the adventures were going to be at the very least connected, if not one long story.
This is not just found internally in the books, but in the lead up to the start of Cigars
too. The Petit Vingtième
for December the 1st, 1932 (the week before his departure), Tintin was interviewed by a colleague, and when asked, he says he is heading off to China. A map was published to show his (planned) journey to the readers.
The following week, the cover announces "He's left! Follow from this week, Tintin's Adventures in the Orient"; the section we now know as The Blue Lotus
was initially called "Tintin in the Extreme Orient" - so the titles linked thematically, as part of a single journey.
While I agree that the two books are easily separable, and have discussed that before
, in light of how the first book came to be slightly reworked by the Studios so that it could become available to those markets (including the English-speaking world) which did not want to carry the second, that I think is as much a pragmatic choice as anything else.
The black-and-white books were already free-wheeling enough, and considerably longer than the colour books became, so there would have to be a break somewhere along the line to allow them to fit into books.
I think it entirely possible that he sent Tintin off without any truly specific idea about how closely the second half would connect to the first, but I'm sure he didn't anticipate them being so different.
Because what he certainly won't have factored in in 1932 was the effect of meeting Tchang, and the impact that that would have, on not just his art, but his approach
to his art.
In looking for someone who could help with the Chinese decor, scenery and calligraphy, Hergé found someone who taught him to take his work seriously: that if he was going to put a line on paper, it should be the best, most important line he could do; if he made a cartoon, it should be the best cartoon he could possibly make.
This new sense of purpose, and the wise counsel he received from Tchang to ground the story in a reality, rather than merely falling back on stereotypes and relying on gags to jolly things along when he didn't have any clear ideas, changed the direction I am fairly sure the book would have gone in if he had carried on in the vein set by Cigars
I'm certain he knew he had to continue the story after Cigars
finished, but bringing Cigars
to at least a partial conclusion made it easier to address story-telling in a new way in the later part.
So yes, Cigars
was intended to be the start of a two-part, globe-trotting adventure from the Middle to the Far East; what we got was something else entirely, due to the circumstances under which Blue Lotus