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The Shooting Star: who did the colouring?

jock123
Moderator
#1 · Posted: 28 Jan 2005 09:47 · Edited by: jock123
Last year when I reported on the small exhibition of Tintin art held at the Institut Français in London, I mentioned that they had a nice display of the colouring work on The Shooting Star; these panels, according to the attached legend were coloured by Hergé himself.

However, in looking for information on the revisions to The Black Island, I noted the following on tintin.com:

Hergé turned out to be very demanding as to how color was added to his stories. He was helped by a young assistant, Alice Devos, who was entrusted with the coloring of L’Île Mystérieuse (The Shooting Star) which had just been released.

So I just wondered if anyone knew more accurately what happened? The possibility is of course that Hergé prepared some of the pages himself as examples, or that he split the work with Alice, or that he did certain elements such as the figures, or that the card was wrong, and Alice did it all.

These are the tiny points which niggle at the brain of a Tintinophile...!

Addendum: Again digging around, I came across a message from edcharlesadams saying that Shooting Star was re-coloured in the fifties, because Hergé wasn’t happy with the first attempt, although Ed seems to suggest that Hergé did the first version himself (apologies Ed, if I haven’t got this right).

The tintin.com article does continue, after the excerpt above:

Owing to this first experience, he had adopted a coherent color system.

Does this imply the following: Hergé entrusts the colouring to Alice, who produces a version he doesn’t like, which causes him to adopt a better process, and the later version of Shooting Star is done in this way;

or

Hergé colours the book, isn’t happy with his ability to produce consistent colour for reproduction, and hires Alice who is - and she does the later version??
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#2 · Posted: 28 Jan 2005 11:48 · Edited by: edcharlesadams
Annoyingly I don't have my copy of Chronologie 4 to hand, but I recall plenty of mention of Alice Devos being taken on as colourist.

From memory I think (and am very willing to be corrected on this point) that the job was a joint effort, with Hergé instructing on the composition and which colours to use, and Devos doing much of the actual work. Or perhaps Hergé did the characters and Devos the backgrounds - in a manner similar to his later method?

I suppose the first colouring was serviceable for the time, and perhaps Hergé was satisifed when it first came out - after all, it was a first effort. But ten or twelve years later maybe the printing process had evolved - the war was over and more money could be spent - and the Studios Hergé were well established, so perhaps Hergé felt The Shooting Star didn't stand up very well next to such recent offerings as the Moon adventures or the new Cigars of the Pharaoh.

As I say, much of this is supposition so any other theories are welcome!

Ed
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 28 Jan 2005 11:59 · Edited by: Moderator
Scouring the information I have it seems Alice Devos was involved with "the team" (Hergé and Jacobs) from 1942, when it was first agreed to colour the books. The books coloured were The Shooting Star, The Black Island, The Broken Ear and The Crab with the Golden Claws. Then, according to the first page of Chronologie vol 5, Devos left at the end of 1943 to have a baby and Jacobs continued with the work.

Some of the information you're after could be in Chronologie vol 4 (which I don't have) as it covers that early colouring period in 1942-43. However I'm not sure it's even known who coloured each specific book and it may have been that Hergé, Jacobs and Devos all contributed.

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