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Tintin books: colour of album spines

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snafu
Member
#11 · Posted: 5 Apr 2005 16:46 · Edited by: snafu
Most of my Tintin paperback books came from Joy Street, Little, Brown, or Joy Street-Little, Brown. These were the colors:

Tintin in America: Red
The Blue Lotus: Blue
The Black Island: Red (The same holds true for a Methuen edition)
King Ottokar's Sceptre (Actually from Methuen): Blue
The Crab with the Golden Claws: Red
The Shooting Star: Yellow
Red Rackham's Treasure: Yellow
The Calculus Affair: Green
The Red Sea Sharks: Yellow
Tintin in Tibet: Red (?)
The Castafiore Emerald: Yellow (?)
Flight 714: Yellow (?)
Tintin and the Picaros: Yellow (?)

It will be months before I will be able to verify the ones with the question marks (I am hundreds of miles from my Tintin collection)

Apparently: Most of the books have either red or yellow spines (these became more frequent during later editions). I am not sure about a pattern for the color-coding, though. That would be interesting information.

I do not know the information for the other books because they were in those 3-in-1 volumes. I saw "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" in hardcover.
OJG
Member
#12 · Posted: 5 Apr 2005 17:20
I'm pretty sure that there is no pattern or logic to the colouring.

snafu

The colours you've listed are the same as the British ones, and I assume that this is the case for all versions that have a coloured spine at all. I think you'll find that Flight 714 has a red spine though.
yamilah
Member
#13 · Posted: 6 Apr 2005 12:08 · Edited by: yamilah
snafu
I suppose your Red Sea Sharks is a softcover, isn't it?

The original albums received their definitive colour spines by 1965.
As Herge was quite pernickety about every single detail of his work, can one imagine he left other people decide about the choice of his books' spines??
jock123
Moderator
#14 · Posted: 6 Apr 2005 13:24
yamilah
The original albums received their definitive colour spines by 1965.


Hmmm… that sort of contradicts Harrock’s date of 1968; didn’t the albums still have either the red or yellow cloth-strip bindings in 1965?
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#15 · Posted: 6 Apr 2005 13:57
Actually, I didn't make it very clear as it's even more complicated than anyone would probably care about...

Casterman began to issue their printed spines for some of the books from 1964 (according to BDM) but the cloth spines were also still available. By 1968 only the printed spine versions were being produced.

Clear as mud?
yamilah
Member
#16 · Posted: 6 Apr 2005 14:07 · Edited by: Moderator
Before 1965 there was no 'rule'. If you pay a visit to special bookshops or read the BDM you'll see the original edition spines were either red or yellow for some years before 1965 indeed, but during the 1940's and possibly the early 50's (I don't have the BDM here) the publisher had to bind with what he could find, alternated red and yellow, and even used colours like burgundy or grey...
In that context, quite strange is the definitive stabilization of these colours and the 1965's appearance of two more -blue and green- as if they were ...err ...kind of a 'code'...

--
UPDATE - posted: Apr 11, 2005 16:37:04
Harrock n roll wrote: Golden Press in the meantime had given their books printed spines from 1959 and these were on a colour background (reddish-pink for Rackham, light green for Explorers, etc.)

As there were actually only six Tintin albums printed by Golden Press (see your 'Golden Press Affair' on this site), I do not think these few US bookspines can actually be compared with the original definitive ones - where Rackham's printed spine is yellow.

Casterman says its definitive yellow and red spines were attributed by Herge, but the origin of the other two still remains unclear for some obscure reason, which sounds rather strange considering the author used to decide for every single detail in his work, particularly regarding his original book series, as it was printed locally...
--
[Post edited by Moderator (marsbar). Merged two consecutive posts.]
yamilah
Member
#17 · Posted: 27 Apr 2005 21:36 · Edited by: yamilah
In the English hardback versions, do these books spines bear ciphers as they do in the French ones since a few years?
Richard
UK Correspondent
#18 · Posted: 27 Apr 2005 21:51
No, even the new editions, including Alph-Art and Soviets, don't have any numbers on the spines at all. I suppose once Congo gets its English colour release, we'll see numbered editions, but until then, there's not a number in sight !
yamilah
Member
#19 · Posted: 27 Apr 2005 22:04
Thanks Richard for your answer.

The French versions start on with 'Soviets' as #1 and end up with 'Alph-art' as #24, these 24 ciphers being printed on top of the 24 spines, despite the odd fact that for some funny Tintin specialists 'Land of the Soviets' strangely does not belong to the corpus...
jock123
Moderator
#20 · Posted: 27 Apr 2005 22:18
yamilah
do these books spines bear ciphers

Not if you mean by “ciphers” you mean what it means in English, a message written in a secret code

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