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English publishers who aren't Methuen

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Big Ren
#11 · Posted: 16 Jun 2004 21:51 · Edited by: Moderator
I don't understand why they don't use the Hyslop lettering computer font. This truetype font mimics Mr. Hyslop's style perfectly and is freely available to download. When they said the new facsimiles would be computer-lettered I rather assumed they would use that font.

Moderator Note: Well, apart from the intention of making other editions look more like the French originals, using one standard font for all the different editions is both economical and better for the publisher logistically: it means that the font is properly licensed from its creators, and therefore legal.

The Hyslop computer font has been made without consent from the work of an artist, and from which neither he nor his family gain any benefit, financial or otherwise. It would be unlikely that any publisher of merit would use such a thing, if only to avoid legal ramifications.

The Tintinologist Team
#12 · Posted: 16 Jun 2004 21:59
The new facsimile editions are now being computer set, and that is what I imagine happened with the Companion: the pages will have been laid out, using the pictures with blank balloons - no dialogue.

I'm certain you're right... my first thought upon seeing the lettering in Farr's book was that the letters looked a little too uniform to be natural. And yet it looked so familiar (from the French text) that I wasn't sure.

I agree, by the way, that the English font is better... I always loved the fact that Tintin was the only comic to use lowercase letters and proper punctuation (although the Petit Vingtième ones were all caps).
Moderator Emeritus
#13 · Posted: 17 Jun 2004 03:49
Mandarin and Octopus were used by Methuen/ Mammoth/ Magnet, but I thought they were over-seas (Australia/ New Zealand) distributors. Could be they were put out over here (UK) due to overstock, or by accident? Unless you are in the southern hemisphere?

Yes, I'm in Australia, though I believe the book was purchased in Thailand (fourteen years ago now, and I didn't keep track of this sort of thing when I was five...). I just had another look, and picked out this line which I missed before: "Reissued 1990 by Mammoth, and imprint of Mandarin paperbacks," etc.

It seems Magnet was a direct precursor to Mammoth -- the Magnet book is 1987, the Mammoth book 1990. This is referring to my brother's Stratoship H.22 albums.

I don't understand why they don't use the Hyslop lettering

Who was "Hyslop", and which font was his? I can't seem to find any reference to him on the internet...unless I'm just being dumb, of course. :p

#14 · Posted: 17 Jun 2004 08:29 · Edited by: jock123
Who was "Hyslop", and which font was his?

Neil Hyslop was a cartographic artist, found by Michael Turner, who hand-lettered all the Tintin books in their English versions. The distinctive look of the books' text is down to him. Using a "live" source allowed for more flexibility in what could go in a balloon, which in turn made for easier translation, as MT&LL-C did not have to slavishly stick to the French text on a letter for letter basis (which was otherwise roughly how they did it).

Apparently they had a few people try out a sample page, and Mr. Hyslop's was the one chosen. It is interesting to think that Stamfords' cartographic studio is at the end of Floral Street, where the London Tintin Shop is, and this might quite possibly be where he worked. It is the same place that Kenneth "Carry On" Williams trained as a cartographer in his youth...

So strictly speaking it is not a font, but there have been a few attempts at to imitate it in computer type-faces. I'd have liked them to use the look, but it doesn't seem likely we'll see it again. I was really disoriented the first time I saw a French album - the characters weren't just speaking in a foreign language - but in funny voices too!!
#15 · Posted: 17 Jun 2004 10:43
My first post!

I work in publishing (although not in this area sadly) and as far as I can tell both Mammoth and Magnet were Methuen imprints. Imprints come and go in publishing - companies will set up new ones if they want to promote a certain area of their publishing or if they want to relaunch a part of what we call the 'back list' - in other words reprinting/repackaging material that has already been published.

This is almost certainly what happened with Mammoth in the UK - every decade the publisher will relaunch Tintin to draw in a new young audience. They will spend a small fortune on marketing, but this will be for a short duration of a few weeks or months. The series will then be left to 'tick over' until the next relaunch. (Publishers love books like the Tintin series because they are perennial sellers and make them lots of money!) Anyone in the UK will probably have seen the Destination Moon rocket spinners in bookshops which have been around for a while. These would have been sent out to the bookshops at the last relaunch and are very successful because they are both eye-catching and instantly recognisable.

Illustrated books were printed with the use of film. Four separate colour films were created (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to produce a colour book. In Tintin's case, a fifth black film, containing the balloon text, would have been created by Herge. For the English language edition, a different fifth black film with Hyslop's text would have been supplied. Each piece of film (and there would have been one per double page) was expensive. By only needing to supply one extra piece of film for the balloon text, foreign language publishers avoided having to pay for the other, colour, films at the same time.

I think this is why the US edition mentioned above used the British version - it would avoid them having to pay for a new set of text films!

I don' t know, but it wouldn't surprise me if all the Tintin books were printed by the same printer, who ran the presses for 60,000 French copies, say, then swapped the text film and ran another 20,000 English language ones. The advantage being, of course, that the unit cost per copy is much reduced the more copies you print at the same time.

Sorry, that was far more long-winded than I thought. I hope it was of interest.
Big Ren
#16 · Posted: 17 Jun 2004 12:36
grenville24, thanks for your detailed post, yes it is of great interest and I think you're right about the printers being the same.
#17 · Posted: 17 Jun 2004 14:58
I’ve opened a thread on the subject of the font, so that it doesn’t get lost in the publishing discussion...
#18 · Posted: 22 Jun 2004 12:26
What about GOLDEN PRESS? The original 6 (1959-60) were NOT translated by LL-C & MC, but by Americans into American (not English). Anyone have these? I'll have to check to see if you can tell if they translated from the UK or French versions. They were the same year or a year later than Metheun.

Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#19 · Posted: 22 Jun 2004 14:11
Chris Owens (Harrock n' Roll) has researched these and will be able to tell you a lot more about them. I'm sure they were translated from the French.
#20 · Posted: 22 Jun 2004 16:44

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