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Which English editions are the best?

#1 · Posted: 2 Apr 2014 23:06
I just saw the Spielberg/Jackson movie and I want to read the books now. But I read a Wiki article that said some American editions censored the books to protect sensitive young readers. I don't want those.

I asked at the Tintin store and was told, "In my opinion the English translations first published by Methuen (now by Egmont and Little Brown), done by Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner, are the best !"

I am about to look for those books. But I thought it might not hurt to ask here.

- Leelan
#2 · Posted: 3 Apr 2014 13:05
The American censorship was more to do with the drawing than the words. For example, in "Crab with the Golden Claws", the black characters in the original version were replaced with whites and Arabs, and scenes of Captain Haddock drinking whisky straight from the bottle were also removed.

However, this change was passed on to other editions, including both the French and the British versions. If you buy the version most commonly available in the shops then that would be the "censored" version.

The original "uncensored" versions are available in what is known as the "facsimile" editions. However, I don't think all the "facsimile" editions are available in English at the moment. This would include the facsimile edition of "Crab with the Golden Claws".

The recommendation by the Tintin Store is valid. I say go for it and enjoy the stories. For the "uncensored" version try looking for the "facsimile" editions but note that not all of them are available in English.
#3 · Posted: 3 Apr 2014 13:46 · Edited by: jock123
For the "uncensored" version try looking for the "facsimile" editions

I think that that is by way of a wild goose chase! The majority of the facsimiles are just the same as the standard editions, with only a change in the paper stock and the use of old-style binding - the contents are the same (e.g. Prisoners of the Sun, Tintin in America).
The Black Island facsimile is of an earlier version than was previously out in English, but wasn't censored at any point; it's a matter of taste which you prefer, and why not get both?
Land of Black Gold in the French facsimile is substantively different from the current regular edition, which was revised, re-plotted and re-drawn due to the politics of the Middle East changing, so you might want to look for that, but it's not available in English.

As for which to get, you would actively have to seek out the older altered versions for the American market, as they are only available second-hand; Little Brown books are, as far as I know, identical to those of Egmont, in addition to which Egmont have Congo available.
#4 · Posted: 9 Feb 2017 04:21
I think that that is by way of a wild goose chase! The majority of the facsimiles are just the same as the standard editions, with only a change in the paper stock and the use of old-style binding - the contents are the same (e.g. Prisoners of the Sun, Tintin in America).

Surely the facsimiles do have a considerable number subtle changes such as, the portrayal of people from different ethnicities and the portrayal of cars and vehicles..? So to summarise surely getting a facsimile edition would be an uncensored version? Have they even censored these as well?
#5 · Posted: 9 Feb 2017 09:09
surely getting a facsimile edition would be an uncensored version?

No. There's no consistency to this, because there's no guarantee that there were changes made in the manner that you suggest, or that they didn't didn't take place before the book was put out.
I'm puzzled by what you mean by "changes to cars and vehicles"? I'm not aware of this ever having been made an issue.

I'd also ask that, given you have quite so many questions about facsimiles in general, rather than spread them over multiple threads, you perhaps either keep them in your original general enquiry thread, or that you maybe pace yourself, and limit the number of questions, which are often just a hair's breadth apart from each other? I'm getting quite dizzy keeping on top of them coming from all directions... I admire your enthusiasm, but this is a marathon, not a sprint! ;-)
#6 · Posted: 9 Feb 2017 22:22
I believe that what you essentially wish to know is whether or not there are any major differences between the facsimiles and the modern editions most available in the shops.

Basically both sets are the same: the facsimiles are just published on rougher paper and paler colours in order to give the look and feel of when they were originally published from the 1940s to the 80s.

As far as I know (and Jock123 and others may correct me on this), there are no major differences between the editions, facsimile and modern, the drawing and text being essentially the same.

However, there are exceptions:

the facsimile editions of "America" and "Golden Claws" feature black Americans and Africans who were replaced with white or Arab characters in the modern edition. A good example is the woman with the screaming baby in "America" who is black in the facsimile but white in the modern edition.

Another is "Black Island": the colour facsimile edition is that published in 1943 with the "cars and vehicles" and outfits being of the 1930s: for example, Muller's car is a black Humber Pullman and the trains are steam-powered. The modern edition, published in the 1960s, had Muller owing a red Jaguar MK X and diesel trains.

"Land of Black Gold" is set in the 1930s in the British Mandate of Palestine.

So if you want to just buy those facsimiles which differ in a major way to the modern editions, then I suggest you stick to the ones above.

You should also consider the black-and-white editions which have Tintin as he was published in the 1930s from "Congo" to "Golden Claws". Those are the closest you may get to see how his adventures were published in "Le Petit Vingtième". I do not know if they have been published in English but essentially they are the same general storyline and text of the modern editions so at least you will be able to enjoy the story while comparing how it was drawn in the 1930s and redrawn in the 1940s and 50s.

One exception is "Cigars of the Pharaoh" which includes many scenes in the 1930s edition which were not included in the modern version. I once made an extensive list of these differences in the Wikipedia entry but it has since been edited out.
#7 · Posted: 14 Feb 2017 18:42
While technically not a fascimile, a series called Hergé, le feuilleton intégral collects the original newspaper comics in 11 or so volumes. They are, sadly, quite expensive ($100+ here in 'Murica) and only in French. However, I think they are uncut as they are the original strips directly from the magazine in the 1930s-1940s.

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