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Do Hergé's characters live on in unauthorized books?

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#11 · Posted: 11 May 2005 16:36
I actually can think of very few tributes that are based around sex and violence, they're just the ones that people sadly want to read and are most commonly available.

There are plenty out there that try and live up to Herge's ideas

#12 · Posted: 12 May 2005 06:33
Tintin has been (for me at least) a constant in my life. I was probably about 7 years old when I started reading the stories. I am 50 years old now.

I recognize that Herge would not want any other "interpretations" of his work to live on after him. I don't feel, however, that he could stop the "what iffing" and surmising that true Tintin fans would be inclined to do. Especially since he created a larger than life character.

Much has been made about the lack of a third dimension in the life of Tintin (He hasn't appeared to get older, he has no family, etc. The only attempt that I have seen to give him this dimension was in Tuten's book. I think he missed the whole point but he is obviously welcome to his opinion.

I think that the only reason that there hasn't been a third dimension to Tintin is because no one has really tried to give him a plausible background. A true, well done, and plausible biography would be nice to see. Where did he learn journalism? What sports does he like? Where did he learn to fly fixed and rotary wing aircraft? As for age, I think he could pass for a youthful 30.

I could see some good story lines for realistic Tintin books set in the present. Since many of Herge's stories took place with true ("The Blue Lotus", "Land of Black Gold") or veiled ("King Ottokar's Sceptre", "The Broken Ear") historical backdrops, there are plenty of opportunities to place Tintin in world events while keeping the integrity of the characters.

I could see Tintin in Liberia, Bosnia, meeting the late Captain Sankara in Burkina Faso, or returning to the Congo. These sorts of stories could be fun to write as long as they were done for one's own personal satisfaction and no attempt were made to violate Herge's wishes in a commercial manner.

I don't believe that Herge could create a thought provoking and likable character like Tintin and expect some true fans not to want to respectfully carry the banner forward.
#13 · Posted: 13 May 2005 03:48
I don't believe that Herge could create a thought provoking and likable character like Tintin and expect some true fans not to want to respectfully carry the banner forward.

I could only wish that there was such genuine admiration out there. Too many people have used Tintin for their own ends, regardless of the way Tintin and his friends were in the original stories. Who would have imagined seeing Captain Haddock laid ("Breaking Free", "Tintin in Thailand"), or Tintin cheerfully killing off large numbers of people ("Tintin in Lebanon")? Any true admirer would see the obvious flaws in those books, and would have most likely tried to get permission from M-sart to get first.

I like the idealism, but it would be difficult to see find this in reality, even with careful searches...
#14 · Posted: 13 May 2005 04:10
I am not generally an optimistic person. I do believe, however, that there really does exist genuine admiration for Tintin and Captain Haddock.
There will always be stuff like "Breaking Free" and "Tintin in Thailand". That is the price of fame.
There are many opportunities for some good stories as well.
#15 · Posted: 13 May 2005 09:19
After reading 23 albums (not yet Alph-Art) I found Marmara Canavari (Marmara Monster), one of pirate editions. Bad drawings and being very far away from Herge’s soul, takes you for a walk almost to the edge of stomachache while reading.
I do not know the other editions but after Marmara Canavari, I can say Herge’s characters die in unauthorized Tintin books
John Sewell
#16 · Posted: 14 May 2005 23:35
I'm not too familiar with many of the parodies featuring Tintin and co, as I only really became aware of them after the MS clampdown on their online distribution. From what I have seen though, it certainly seems that some artists and writers take an almost perverse pleasure in twisting the characters and situations to fit their own sexual / political / whatever agendas.

That said, there's a good amount of stuff out there which at least attempts to capture the true spirit of Herge. Of the, admittedly limited, amount that I've seen, I'd say Harry Edwood comes closest. His Tintin and Haddock seem pretty well characterised in 'The Voice Of The Lagoon', and I admit I do find myself wishing that there were some stories to go with his covers for make-believe Tintin books!

Problem with most of them is that the real "feel" is quite elusive. The change of tone and pace in Rodier's 'Alph-Art' is quite marked after he runs out of Herge material to adapt and has to start making it up himself (though, to be fair, he was relatively young and inexperienced at the time, as the occasionally shakey artwork also shows. His later work looks a lot more convincing).

Admission time here! After finding out about the many parodies, via the internet, I actually started writing my own script for a Tintin story - It was called 'The Swords Of Avalon' (probably spurred by my moving to a new job near Glastonbury) and had a post-Alph-Art Tintin and Haddock holidaying in Britain and becoming involved, via Cuthbert's secondment to the British Museum and use of his dowsing skills in exploring prehistoric sites, in an plot to steal a nationally important Sutton Hoo-like treasure. I could picture how it would look in in the ligne-claire style in my head (Even right down to them arriving by Eurostar!), but I'm afraid my artistic skills wouldn't be up to the job, so fortunately, I gave up after a while!
#17 · Posted: 15 May 2005 02:52
I think that the best approach, even though it might be quite difficult, would be a novel-like tintin story. The problem with an illustrated approach is that there was only one Herge. The Tintin books are very visual and the incongruity between the quality of Herge and the possible dubious quality of a well meaning author would detract from the story line. We all have an idea of what the characters should look like and if someone were to attempt a good Tintin story the substandard drawings would get in the way. It would be better to keep the visual element in the reader's imagination.

The real problem would be to create the right dialogue style that would keep the original atmosphere of the books while lacking the visial element. I am sorry that this is not very eloquent.

I ususally don't visit forums or chat rooms but this website is an exception. This is a great website!
#18 · Posted: 15 May 2005 14:07
John Sewell
After finding out about the many parodies, via the internet, I actually started writing my own script for a Tintin story - It was called 'The Swords Of Avalon' (probably spurred by my moving to a new job near Glastonbury)

I am pole-axed!
I have once in my life thought about writing a Tintin story, and I kid you not, I called it “Tintin and the Sword of Avalon”!! Singular I know, and yours is plural…

This is such an odd coincidence, I am virtually speechless!
I gave up on it as I decided that were I ever to do anything with it a) I’d need a better plot, and b) I’d write my own characters…
#19 · Posted: 14 Jul 2005 23:36

It is rather strange: 99% of all unauthorised Tintin comics are based around sex and ultra violence. Themes completely missing from Hergé's work.

Well your statistic will have to ride, as I can see no way of proving or disproving it one way or another - personally I think you have over-emphasised it, as there are plenty of attempts at “Hergian” stories too.

As to the second point, I think it explains your first: people will write the sex‘n‘violence stuff - or just stuff which generally lampoons Tintin’s somewhat prissy image - because it has a comedic/ satiric potential, and that’s what the authors are looking to achieve (I’m not saying they do, mind you).

Well, I was exaggerating, Jock. But if you have ever read "Tintin in Switzerland", or "Tintin in Paris", or "La vie sexuelle de Tintin" etc. etc. I challenge you to find any kind of comedic or satiric potential in them.

My point is: one is not funny or satirical just because one undresses Tintin and makes him having violent sex with another character. It's completely absurd. Imagine Winnie the Pooh in the same situation? It just doesn't work for these kinds of characters.

I would like to see good, quality stories - certainly critical or parodical, but with some genuine talent behind them. I think Rodier comes pretty close, as does Harry Edwood's stuff. But there is still a lot to be done! To this date, no one has to my knowledge created a well-written and well-drawn adventure of 62 pages in the same vein as Hergé. There's a challenge for all aspiring artists and fans of Tintin!
#20 · Posted: 15 Jul 2005 14:16
The only time I can think of where an author has taken another person's creation and placed them in this sort of scenario and it's paid off is in the Flashman books, where the repellent bully of Tom Brown's schoolboys is made into a loveable philandering rogue. This worked partly because Flashman had the potential to be that sort of a character anyway, but with Tintin, where no such tendencies are apparent, it doesn't work.

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