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The Best Tintin Book to Start With?

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#1 · Posted: 24 Dec 2005 17:15
Moderator Note: The contents of this thread now combine more than one original thread on the same subject.

I have read comics and cartoons for many years, but know nothing about tintin but am very curious. I'd like to be sure and start learning about tintin and reading the comic in the best way. What available editions would you recommend? Also, to generally learn about tintin, I would appreciate recommendations so I can understand it better within a context. I must confess that I never knew about tintin until the least few years, and I stayed away out of ignorance, but now curiousity is getting the better of me! Thanks...
#2 · Posted: 26 Dec 2005 05:48 · Edited by: derdup
Hi Trishymouse,

Lucky you, 23 wonderful Tintin adventures just waiting to be discovered.

The adventures of Tintin were written over a fifty year period (1929 – 1983), and began as weekly installments (two pages at a time and in black and white) in a newspaper supplement for children, in Hergé's native Belgium.

The stories gradually became available in book form from 1930 onwards. Many of the early stories were redrawn and revised slightly when Hergé switched to colour in the early 1940’s.

The adventures became more sophisticated over time and new characters were introduced along the way. Tintin's main companion (along with his dog ‘Snowy’) is the character named ‘Captain Haddock’, a long suffering sea captain who (sometimes reluctantly) gets swept away with Tintin when a new adventure beckons.

I’d suggest a good Tintin adventure to read first would be ‘The Secret of the Unicorn’.
This book is part one of a two part story (‘Red Rackham’s Treasure’ is part two). I find these two books have all the elements that add up to a great Tintin experience ... mystery, intrigue, travel, and plenty of comedy.

Whichever book you choose to read first, you’ll be guaranteed to find page after page of delightful artwork.

Happy reading!

(Be sure to check out this websites guides/lists and articles sections – lots of information about the world of Tintin there)
#3 · Posted: 5 Jan 2006 19:27
To find out about Tintin books and Herge's life you could read 'Tintin the complete companion' by Michael Farr, 'Tintin and the world of Herge' by Benoit Peeters or 'Tintin the pocket essentials', available cheaply on Amazon.
#4 · Posted: 28 Mar 2007 09:44
I have never read a Tintin book although I've heard of Tintin and seen the books from time to time all my life. I have however read almost every Asterix book and have been an Asterix fan since a childhood days.

Now I'd like to get into Tintin but don't know where to start. Which one book would you recommend as a first buy?

#5 · Posted: 28 Mar 2007 10:00
Probably The Calculus Affair or The Secret of the Unicorn. But all of them are varying levels of great (except Soviets, Congo and America).
#6 · Posted: 28 Mar 2007 10:29 · Edited by: Balthazar
It depends if you like reading series of books in chronological order or not. Mind, even if you do, I'm not sure I'd start off with the very early ones (Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo, Tintin in America) as they're not as well plotted as later ones and might put you off.
Maybe you should start with the fourth Tintin book, Cigars of the Pharaoh, which is a great Tintin adventure set in Egypt, Arabia and India, and then go through the series in order from there. (You can see the order they go in from the laid-out covers on the backs of the books). Then, once you're fully converted, go back and read those first three early ones I mentioned!

But if you don't care about reading them out of order and want to just dive into a book from the middle of the series, I'd just choose one you like the look of from the cover and from flicking through, depending on what genre or locations excite you. They're all good!

If you prefer an adventure without any baddies, Tintin in Tibet might appeal. (Many adult Tintin readers seem to like it, as it has more emotional depth than most of the adventures.) If you prefer a more domestic story without any baddies and without any real adventure either (like some of the village-based Asterix stories), you could try The Castafiore Emerald. (Very funny, technically brilliant, and surprisingly gripping.) Apart from The Castafiore Emerald, all of the Tintin books have plenty of adventure and travel, which might appeal more if you're the kind of reader who prefers the Asterix books where they leave the village and journey to somewhere.

Some of the Tintin adventures are spread across two books, so you probably wouldn't want to start with the second book of any of these two-part adventures without having read the first part.
The double-album stories are:
Cigars of the Pharaoh & The Blue Lotus;
The Secret of The Unicorn & Red Rackham's Treasure;
The Seven Crystal Balls & Prisoners of the Sun;
Destination Moon & Explorers on the Moon.

Hope that helps!
#7 · Posted: 5 Sep 2007 12:31
If you want to be a TinTin hardfans...

I tell you...

You must start from Tintin in Congo.
#8 · Posted: 19 Dec 2007 22:16
I agree 100% with Balthazar. If you start from Tintin in the Congo and The Land of the Soviets, you might be discouraged from Tintin's good intentions, as those stories are somewhat controversial.
#9 · Posted: 20 Dec 2007 08:08
I say start with Soviets then work your way to the last book.
Read them in order.
A lot of people say they are controversial, but personally I don't think they are, it was just what was acceptable at the time; what's in Soviets and Congo really doesn't bother me in the least.
Your fellow Tintinologists should encourage you to start where it all started - a train station in Belgium, and a train that goes to Russia.
From there it's non-stop all the way through to Picaros.
Alph-Art, the un-completed book is worth a read as well.
#10 · Posted: 20 Dec 2007 10:50
The Crab with the Golden Claws of course; that was my starting book and I got a good introduction to all the characters. You also get a good story of how Tintin and Captain Haddock first met.
After that read Secret of The Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure: in the latter you will get a good introduction to the third major character - Professor Calculus!

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