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Your Favourite "Tintin" Books?

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#71 · Posted: 22 Dec 2011 18:51 · Edited by: Moderator
Top favorite would be Tintin and The Picaros. It's simply awesome.
Most of the adventures have something new to offer, except a few of them, where I felt the creator must have dozed off to sleep while writing (or something).
#72 · Posted: 25 Dec 2011 01:05
Flight 714 to Sydney is my favourite book. Even if Tintin do's act kind of depressed, its pretty good. Cool atmosphere.
#73 · Posted: 2 Jan 2012 21:16
Hmm, let's see...

1. Tintin in Tibet will be my #1, always. This was my first introduction to the series, and I've mentioned elsewhere about how friendship ties--particularly Tintin and the Captain's--are my favorite aspects, so it left quite an impression on me. Seeing just how far Tintin was willing to go, and how far the Captain was willing to follow (despite his frequent rants that he wouldn't) was just so powerful--particularly when the Captain was willing to cut the rope without a second thought if it would save Tintin, despite meaning certain doom for himself.

2. The Inca duology would have to be my second-favorite. Again, we see the Captain's unwavering loyalty to his companions--both Tintin and Calculus, and even newcomer Zorrino

3. The Calculus Affair at #3--This is more for the spectacular plot. I love the twists and turns in this one.

4. The Moon duology--very heart-tugging character interactions and hurt/comfort moments in this one.

5. The Red Sea Sharks--between the Captain and Allan facing off for the first time since Crab (the Captain refusing the drink Allan offered was just plain awesome) and the Captain taking command of the Ramona at the climax (definitely one of his best moments), the second half of this book especially shines.

6. Tintin and the Picaros--Despite the changes, I did like this one a lot. I found the art style to be at its best. We get some priceless moments from the Captain (along with a bit of hurt/comfort from his amnesia), and a race-against-the-clock plot.

7. Flight 714--Aside from Allan, my favorite villain, literally becoming a toothless paper tiger near the end, he was pretty good up until that point. I never get tired of seeing him and the Captain face off; they're like counterparts--the Captain being the good, and Allan being the evil one.

8. Unicorn/Rackham--Expansion into the Captain's background is always welcome indeed.

9. The Castafiore Emerald--True, nothing really "happens" in this one, but it's a very interesting character study indeed--with priceless moments all around.

10. ...Crab With the Golden Claws, but on this stipulation: I prefer the Nelvana and Spielberg adaptations of Crab to the comic itself because of that cringe-worthy moment when the Captain KO's Tintin with the bottle in the book. That is not the Captain Haddock I've come to adore!
#74 · Posted: 7 Jan 2012 01:52
I'm gonna bump this thread up. ;-)

10. Land of Black Gold
9. Tintin in Tibet
8. The Crab with the Golden Claws
7. Flight 714 to Sydney
6. Red Rackham's Treasure
5. Cigars of the Pharaoh
4. Destination Moon
3. The Blue Lotus
2. The Red Sea Sharks
1. The Calculus Affair

Because of the action packed plot and the many twists and turns the characters make, I picked The Calculus Affair as my favourite comic.
Colonel Jorgen
#75 · Posted: 2 Feb 2012 13:45
Okay then... In no way a definitive list, as most of the Tintin books are all fairly equal in terms of (high) quality.

1. Tintin in Tibet: Herge's own personal favourite of all of his books and it's not hard to see why. Breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, a great, simple story with no villain and a magnificent illustration of the bond between Tintin and Captain Haddock all combine to make this adventure not only a classic Tintin book, but one of the best comic books ever.
2. The Broken Ear: As a child this was my personal favourite among all the books and I still have huge love for it even now. The introduction of General Alcazar, the satire of the Gran Chaco War, a wonderful detective mystery for Tintin, the marvellous Arumbuyas and memorable villains all help to offset the rather disappointing, featureless pale green background to much of the jungle scenes.
3. The Calculus Affair: A great work, with its Cold War background and use of the those two magnificent fictional creations of Herge, the countries of Syldavia and Borduria combining with an excellent, cinematic plotline to make this a high point if the Tintin series.
4. The Castafiore Emerald: One of the few Tintin books that just keeps on getting better every time I read it. The use of comedy mixed with red herrings is masterly and Herge’s manipulation of his character’s traits brings forth hilarious results.
5. The Seven Crystal Balls & Prisoners of the Sun: I will count the double albums as just three adventures spread out, thus allowing me to have thirteen books in my Top Ten! This Tintin adventure is archetypical middle period Herge, filled with clever plotting and excellent art, aided by Edgar Pierre Jacobs. The superbly ominous scenes in Professor Tarrragon’s house in the first volume are worth buying the book for that alone.
6. Destination Moon & Explorers on the Moon: Prophetic and, in many aspects, astoundingly accurate, Tintin goes to the Moon nineteen years before Neil Armstrong and what an adventure it is! From those fabulous Bob de Moore moonscapes to the final tragic ending for Frank Wolff, these two books have everything that makes Tintin great in them.
7. The Secret of the Unicorn & Red Rackham’s Treasure: A hunt for lost treasure triggers the two most popular and satisfying books; the ari in the underwater scenes are fantastic, and so is the mystery that takes centre stage in the first part. The flashbacks to Captain Haddock’s ancestor are brilliant in themselves (imagine if Herge had done a complete, non-Tintin, pirate adventure?), and it is the first time he is allowed to become Tintin’s true friend and equal.
8. The Crab with the Golden Claws: Even if the burning desert vistas weren’t enough, you have the introduction of, after Tintin, the series most famous charcter: Captain Haddock (and a sparkling debut adventure for him it is too). Allan, the most durable villain alongside the nefarious Rastapopoulos, gets his entrance proper after his cameo-appearance in Cigars of the Pharaoh, and gives this outing its necessary edge with his taunting of the drunken Captain.
9. Tintin and the Picaros: The last completed Tintin book also displays the ability of Herge to deconstruct his characters that deepen them. The book has as well, along with The Blue Lotus the sharpest and most overt political comment of them all that also show’s Herge’s maturity with such complex issues.
10. Flight 714: One of the more divisive volumes with Herge’s use of aliens, this is, for me, a near-great, a flawed classic if you will. Everything up to the introduction of Mik Kanrokitoff is incredible, a triumph of Studio Herge and its style. Then, it goes down hill, only to pick up with the sobering final with the radio on the beach and the awful Jolyon Wagg pontificating on the occurrences with is equally terrible family watching the T.V.; but the material surrounding the alien stuff is so good I can actually get some enjoyment out of it.

Creating this Top Ten was hard; so many worthy Tintin books left out, like Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Blue Lotus, King Ottokar's Sceptre and The Red Sea Sharks that I feel like rewriting the list right now!
#76 · Posted: 11 Feb 2012 03:01
1. The Calculus Affair
2. The Black Island
3. The Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun
4. Flight 714 to Sydney
5. Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon
6. Tintin and the Picaros
7. The Red Sea Sharks
8. The Castafiore Emerald
9. Tintin in Tibet
10. The Secret of the Unicorn/Red Rackham's Treasure

#77 · Posted: 17 Apr 2012 22:23
Just joined the forum, could not resist making a rather detailed comment on this thread.

As a kid I had read most of the Tintin albums, in Spanish being that I am originally from Paraguay, but was more of an Asterix fan having collected the whole Asterix album collection.

Relatively recently, after moving to San Fransisco, I came across a great little store, Karikter, specialized mainly in Tintin and got the itch to re-experience the exiting adventures of Tintin. What a treat!. As an adult Tintin became even more compelling; the depth of the narrative, the weight of a heavy history, the underlying psychological traumas, the strength of the characters, the magnificent art... I can appreciate it as a truly magnificent body of work.

Of course I got to buy all of the albums, from soviets to alph-art, initially the re-drawn color editions but by now I have fetched even the black and white facsimile editions of America, Pharaohs and Blue Lotus, and different language editions of many of the albums.

I am most definitely now a Tintin fan, and Herge's work in my mind without a doubt surpasses even that of my childhood heroes Uderzo and Goszini.

It was hard but here is my ranking of the books, in order:

1 Tintin in Tibet: A magnificent work of art, strong narrative arch, charged with emotions and a masterful minimalism in the drawings. As the pages turn and the scenes become whiter and sparser, the tale of friendship becomes stronger. The vertigo inducing clifhangers provide a stark contrast to the ascending nature of the human will in Tintin. Haddock's role is even more impressive than Tintin's, embarking in an impossible quest he does not believe driven simply by the force of friendship. Willing to give his life for a greater purpose. It is Haddock greatest hour in the whole series.

2- The Blue Lotus: It could have been first in this list. I consider it a duology with Tibet. Here is when Tintin meets Chang, even though this book is written decades earlier. A gripping tale immersed in truly dire circumstances and with the added weight of history to back the story. Wonderfully researched, stunningly drawn, this album captures the sense of adventure in a far away land that would become a theme in the Tintin narrative, and does it even better than the earlier and very good Pharaohs. It stands as a work of art now, I imagine that in 1936 when it first came out it must have been a work like nothing else before it. It is easy to see from this book the influence that Herge undoubtedly had on future artists. I recommend reading both the redrawn color and the original black and white editions, both wonderful and quite different.

3 and 4 The duology of Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun: With most of the characters fully developed by this time this is probably the most exciting and fully fleshed out of all Tintin adventures. The first part is wonderful in its ability to create an erie atmosphere that sets up the adventure to come in Peru. The second part does not disappoint and takes us through a truly epic adventure . I always find the waterfall sequence the high point, beautiful and full of symbolism, two world separated by a thin watery veil. It plays with the notions of reality and dream a bit, a recurring theme in the series. No doubt Herge's work by this time had fully evolved in sophistication and hidden complexity.

5 The Calculus Affair: This I find the best of all Tintin's thrillers. In a perfect example of how Herge's work reflected the times he lived in; this is very appropriately a cold war spy story. The danger feels real, the stakes are high, the pace of the action is masterful and there is a plot twist at every turn. It seems to fit in the series just right after the Moon duology flight of fancy. A delicious pleasure, reading this album leaves me hungry for more.

6 King Ottokar's Sceptre: Written just before the start of the 2nd World War, this shows that Herge did not fancy the Nazis as sometimes is suggested. Here Borduria clearly represents a fascist country intent on war, with the leader Musstler a play on combining the names of Mussolini and Hitler. The invention of the eastern european country of Syldavia is remarkable in its scope, going as far as presenting us with history, traditions and even a tourist brochure!. As Indiana Jones also proves, there is nothing more satisfying than sticking it to the Nazis!. Later on Herge's work for the main newspaper during the Nazi occupation of Belgium has been cited as evidence of collaborationism. However his work during that time on the Unicorn-Rackham Treasure duo is more an escape from reality than collaborationist work, and an escapist dream was probably sorely needed to provide relief from the realities of war. In my mind Ottokar puts these collaborationist ideas to rest and would prove to be a fundamentally important album for the overall Tintin series narrative.

7 The Castafiore Emerald: It has been said that Tintin albums are a strong story that includes a few comic gags for comic relief, in contrast with the Asterix albums that are comic gag after comic gag connected by a story. Written in 1963 it comes 2 years after the first Asterix album, Asterix the Gaul. This album is indeed in a different style of writing and the only Tintin gag-fest. It may be also influenced by its contemporary and very comic Spirou. The writing is so masterful that it manages to keep the tension and its perfect comedic timing in spite of not much of anything really happening. There is no travel to far away lands, or villains, or much of the typical Tintin quest. It oddly reminds me of noir movies such as the Maltese Falcon, that prove that you don't really need a villain (or in Maltese Falcon's case to see the stolen object itself), but rather just the tacit threat of a sinister plot is enough to keep the story going. Noteworthy is also how Haddock overcomes his initial preconceptions about the Roma people (Gypsies), which just turn out to be just the result of his initial ignorance. This is important given Herge's own missteps in the past, such as the obviously colonialist and racist Congo and the conservative propaganda influenced Soviets. I think Herge is making a reference to himself here, making a point that initial preconceptions may be the result of the environment but what really matters is having the fortitude to change them, and I agree with him.

8 The Crab with the Golden Claws Here we meet Haddock for the first time, a character that through his frailties, mistakes and triumphs is to become probably the most interesting of all in the Tintin series. The ensuing adventure is simply wonderful and full of fancy, and the evolution of the interaction between Tintin and Haddock fascinating. I am also particularly fond of this album because it reminds me of an unforgettable trip I did with my wife to Morocco, which included a camel excursion in the Western Sahara. The album images of the town medinas are just wonderful. Another interesting aspect of this book is the possible double-entendres about the nature of Tintin and Haddock relationship. In a vignette in the bottom of a page with a wide vista of Tintin and Haddock walking on the desert, they appear to be holding hands. I don't want to start a flame war in this forum but I think a possible interpretation is there is more than just friendship there. I find that the possible closeted gay interpretation to the Tintin albums rather than detracting actually adds a lot of depth to the overall narrative.

9 and 10 The Moon duology I am a scientist by profession, a physicist actually, so my geek science fiction loving self had to include the Moon duo. It is remarkable how a decade and a half before the actual Moon landing Herge got so much right. Furthermore, the art on the albums is just top notch, the moon vistas are stunning!. Of all the great cars, planes, ships and vehicles of all sorts that exist in the Tintin world, the moon rocket is by far the more iconic and lasting image.

Just outside the top 10 honorable mentions: Paraoh (who can resist an adventure in Egypt, the middle east and India? ) , the Unicorn-Treasure duology (an escapist marine dream, as I pointed out before) and what I consider another decades apart duology, The Broken Ear-Tintin and the Picaros.

The Broken Ear hits particularly close to home for me because it is based on a 1930-1935 war in the Gran Chaco between Bolivia and my native country of Paraguay (San Theodoros and Nuevo Rico in the album). I think Nuevo Rico is Paraguay because San Fancion sounds a lot like my native town of Asuncion, San Theodoros towns though look more similar to Paraguayan towns than Bolivian towns, and there are a number of things that do not fit either country. Both of my grandfathers fought in that war, and it was indeed because of what where thought at the time to be vast oil fields, which turned out not to be there. The war was also about Bolivia's desire to have access to the Paraguay river giving them an access to the sea through the river, both countries being land-locked in contrast with the album. But well I should leave further discussion of The Broken ear for another post.
#78 · Posted: 18 Apr 2012 04:21
Oh, this is so hard... :/ All the books are great in their own way but here are my top ten :)

1.The Moon duology- I love love love the espionage plot and the suspense at the beginning. There are also some very touching moments, like Tintin's injury and how angry Haddock was at the people who shot him. And the ending just chokes me up every time, Snowy's broken leg, Wolff's sacrifice (I cried..), even Jorgen's death was kinda sad. I love these books!

2. Tintin in Tibet- Again, pretty much the entire book is touching and really beautiful. Hergé's depictions of India and a free Tibet were superb, showing that he had truly come a long way from his Congo days.. I loved the monks, the mountain landscape, and, of course, the strengthening of friendships (Tintin and Chang, Tintin and Haddock, Chang and Yeti, even Tintin and Snowy). A great album :)

3. Castafiore Emerald- Some may call this album boring, but I can read it again and again and never tire of it. Probably the funniest of the albums and there are red herrings around every corner. I also loved the anti-climatic ending and of course the Diva herself, who was at her best here :)

4. Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun- A great mystery story and a terrifying mummy (admit it, he scared all of us, right?) I loved the train scene and the waterfall scene. Great adventures!

5. Calculus Affair- The cold war setting and the kidnapping plot make for a great read. The introduction of Jolyon Wagg and the sticking plaster scene added some humor to balance things out. I loved Tintin trying to drive the tank.. :)

6. Black Island- I love the Scottish setting of this book as well as the mystery of the Black Island. Poor Tintin seems to get hurt a lot more in this album than in any others though, ( getting shot on the first page.. Must be a new record!) And I adore trains, so having trains as a big part of the story was a plus for me, not to mention Tintin's kilt.. Hahaha.

7. King Ottokar's Sceptre- Probably my favorite solo Tintin book, the satire of the Anschluss is one of the best arguments against Hergé's nazi collaboration. Hergé's creation of Syldavia and Borduria are fantastic as is the mystery in the plot and the chase to the Borduian border.

8. Red Sea Sharks- The captain is at his best on a boat and when he takes over the
Ramona was one of his finest moments. I also enjoyed the Abdullah subplot, the introduction of Skut, and the captain's best enemy Allan.

9. Red Rackham's Treasure- A fun treasure hunt with a twist ending and some great comical moments

10. Blue Lotus- Hergé's depiction of China and the evils of Japanese and European colonialism are spot-on. The introduction of Chang is another high point as well as the intriguing plot and historical background.
Paree Haddock
#79 · Posted: 14 Dec 2013 09:36 · Edited by: Moderator
My top 10:
1) Cigars of Pharaoh
2) The Blue Lotus
3) The Calculus Affair
4) & 5) The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun
6) The Red Sea Sharks
7) Land of Black Gold
8) Tintin in The Congo
9) Tintin in The Land of The Soviets (humorous)
10) The Broken Ear
#80 · Posted: 17 Jan 2014 17:51
1, The Blue Lotus - Unquestionably
2, Cigars of the Pharaoh - Forms a two part story with Lotus and is amazing
3, Picaros - Each frame is a work of art
4, Red Sea Sharks - All the characters!
5, Flight 714 - A laugh like Red Sea Sharks, great book
6, The Black Island - I am scottish =P so its cool to see Tintin in tartan!!
7, Tibet - One of the better Tintins story wise
8, Castafiore Emerald - Amazing Herge manages to make the story take place in one setting. There's a word for that... it's an interesting experiment and it pays off well!
9, Unicorn/Rackham (If we consider it one volume, as per the film!) - Good old treasure hunt... I do feel the film captures the essence of the story better than the two books, which do plod along at times and only get resolved at the very end. If we take the story as the film does, it deserves to be in the top 10.
10, Shooting Star - But we still need room for this!! A strange Tintin, but a good one!

Other good Tintins : Broken Ear, Crab w/ Golden Claws, Calculus Affair , Ottakar's Sceptre , Prisoners of the Sun .

( Sorry 7 Crystal Balls doesnt do it for me... NOTHING happens!) Alph-Art and the Soviets don't really count as proper Tintin stories...... In my humble opinion neither do America or the Congo, to be honest.

Not very good Tintins : Black Gold, the two Moon stories , particularly Destination Moon which is just dirge! Sorry, re-read it the other day and literally gave up at about page 20. The only action is like, Snowy chews up a pencil or something and it takes like 5 pages to resolve. This definitely should've been one book, particularly because nothing really happens in the Explorers on Moon anyway.

It's obviously very well drawn and well researched, but, I'm sorry to say it, Destination Moon is just plain boring.

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