Cigars of the Pharaoh
- Black & white facsimile / original version. Hardback.
- Colour facsimile / 1955 re-drawn version. Hardback. June 2008. Egmont. 64 pages.
- Colour / 1955 re-drawn version. Hardback. Paperback. 64 pages.
- Tintin © Hergé/Moulinsart.
Original French title
Tintin en Orient / Les Cigares du Pharaon
First published in Le Petit Vingtième between 8/12 1932 and 8/2 1934.
The book appeared in 1934 (B/W, 124 pages). Redrawn in 1955.
1971 - Methuen (London). Translated by Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner. Colour. 64p. 31cm. ISBN: 0416088309.
1990 - Mammoth (London). Translated by Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner. Colour. 64p. ISBN: 0749704640.
2006 - Casterman (Bruxelles). Translated by Michael Turner and Tessa Harrow. Black and white facsimile. Hardback. ISBN: 2203797037.
2008 - Egmont (London). Colour facsimile. 64p. 30x23cm. Hardback. ISBN: 9781405240710.
Scores of Egyptologists have tried to find the lost tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh; every single one has vanished. When Tintin and Snowy meet the eccentric Egyptologist, Doctor Sarcophagus, they are soon involved in the search themselves—and find that the tomb contains a more sinister secret than sand and mummies. Following the clue of a mysterious symbol on a cigar band Tintin and Snowy clash with a gang of drug smugglers are off on a dizzy chase to Arabia and India, plunging headlong into another dangerous battle of wits with an international gangster. [AR]
By Bruno Bollaert(?)
Les Cigares du Pharaon fully marks the transitional period towards Hergé's second stage in the development of Tintin. Although the setting of the album fits within the 'global cycle' of the first three albums (Russia, Africa, America, and now the Orient), the album title no longer refers to the geographical location of Tintin's adventures. When the new story was started on 8 December 1932 in Le Petit Vingtième, it was still entitled Tintin en Orient, but Hergé clearly wanted something else and turned to the more exciting and promising title of Les Cigares du Pharaon.
This album introduces Dupont and Dupond (Thomson and Thompson) although they have; already appeared in the background of the opening scene of Tintin au Congo. In Les Cigares du Pharaon the detectives did not have a name yet; but instead were referred to as X33 and X33bis. Several other characters make their first appearance in this album: Rastapopoulos, Allan Thompson, and Olivier da Figueira. Rastapopoulos and Thompson will become Tintin's mortal enemies; da Figueira - a very convincing salesman to say the least—will become one of Tintin's better friends. Finally, Philémon Siclone is the first prototype for the later Professeur Tryphon Tournesol (Cuthbert Calculus). In contrast with the previous albums, Les Cigares du Pharaon is more than just an amalgam of events. It is clear that Hergé tried to devise a proper plot, and the album even has a plausible ending. One of the weaknesses in the plot is the way in which Tintin travels from Egypt to India: in order to make this transition plausible, Hergé lets Tintin travel by train, where he meets, not only Philémon Siclone, but also our two detectives. Furthermore, in the 1934 version there are still some signs of sensationalism (Hergé needed a cliff-hanger for his weekly episodes), but in the redrawn 1955 version he made sure to remove all those irrelevant scenes.
The story was clearly influenced by the 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen by archeologist Howard Carter. The mysteries ssurrounding the tomb and Egyptian pharaohs would keep haunting Hergé, and led him to reuse some of the material for Les Sept Boules de Cristal. There was yet another influence: Paul Jamin (a friend of his brother's). When Hergé met him, he was so impressed with Jamin's artistic qualities and his sense of humor, that he hired him on the spot. Jamin helped Hergé with his work for Le Petit Vingtième, where, thanks to Jamin's dareness and humor, even Hitler got ridiculed!
- Album cover: The Mummy marked E. P. Jacobini is E. P. Jacobs. [TT]
- Album cover: The Mummy marked Grosgrab is Professor Grossgrabenstein from one of Jacob's books.
- Page 8, frame 1: The Mummy marked E. P. Jacobini is E.P. Jacobs. [TT]
- '55 edition: cover - one of the mummies is E.P. Jacobs named E.P. Jacobini. [TT]
- Page 9: one of the mummies is E.P. Jacobs named E.P. Jacobini. [TT]
- The scene Tintin interrupts is part of the movie Tintin will see in his next adventure in Shanghai (The Blue Lotus, page 33, frame 4, 5). [TT]
- Tintin meets Rastapopolous for the first time in this album.
But oddly enough, after his encounter with Rastapopoulos on the ship on page 4 (frame 5), Tintin says: "Rastapopolous?... Rastapopolous? Ah! I've got it: the millionaire film tycoon, king of Cosmos Pictures... And it's not the first time we met..."
Below are some comments from our readers:
a) There is nothing odd about Tintin's comment: Rastapopoulos has already made an appearance in Tintin in America (page 57, frame 5).
b ) Ah, but is that really Rastapopoulos in Tintin in America?
In the French original, Tintin says: "En effet, ce n'est pas le premier venu" (literal meaning: In effect, this is not the first coming; actual meaning: Indeed, he is no Mr Man-in-the-street). As a reporter, Tintin would obviously have heard of such a famous tycoon; therefore one cannot infer that Tintin and Rastapopoulos have met before. [AD, ET, GN]
c ) Simple: Tintin remembers that Rastapopoulos is a famous figure and realizes he has made a powerful enemy for himself. [JN]
d) You all think too much: Hergé changed the dialogue when he redrew the album in 1955, so that new Tintin readers already familiar with Rastapopolous would not be confused.
- The Mummy boxes reserved for Sarcophagus (Philémon Siclone), Snowy and Tintin are numbered: 20, 20A and 21. This indicates that the villains think that Snowy is Sarcophagus' dog.
- The Morse code on page 12, frame 7 says: "FKNEMDS(?)". [TT]
- Page 15, frame 13, Sheik Patrash Pasha shows Tintin a Tintin book. In the redrawn edition, the Sheik shows Tintin a copy of 'Destination Moon'. In the Petit Vingtieme version, the album shown is 'Tintin in America', and in the second edition, the album shown is 'Tintin in the Congo'. [BP]
- In the French version Tintin enlists under the name Beh-Behr. According to Marc Dufour of Montréal, Beh-Behr is simply a badly ortographed version of "Bébert", an
affectionnate french diminutive of "Albert"--just as "Tintin" is a
diminutive of "Martin". However, Hemutia, a Tintin fan from France, disagrees; he thinks Beh-Behr is a deliberate play on the name Robert.
In the English version, Tintin uses another name: Ali Bhai. This is pronounced the same as the English word alibi meaning an excuse or claim that one was elsewhere when an act took place in a certain location. This could have been added as a pun when the book was translated into English by someone other than Hergé (as suggested by Harry mundosmanATaol.com).
- How do Thompson and Thomson know where to find Snowy when the dog is about to be sacrificed to Sivah? Page 50, frame 9 to 12. [TT]
- The unknown villain falling to his death is Rastapopolous. Page 60, frame 3 to 4. He survives. The Blue Lotus. Page 57, frame 6.
- In the scene with the hollow tree, Hergé cut out a long scene where Tintin fights some snakes, when he made the coloured edition. [BP]
- Thompson and Thomson are introduced in this album. In the black and white edition they are called X33 and X33 bis. [BP]
- Ali Bey (real name: Doménec Badia i Leblich)was a Catalan spy-reporter-adventurer. He was born in Barcelona, in 1767 and died near Damascus in 1822. Bey, heavily disguised, managed to make the muslim journey to Mecca and even entering the more sacred rooms! After returning to the occidental world, he was wanted for treason and was almost discovered in Constantinople in 1807. But he luckily escaped to France. His book "Travels" was first published in French in 1814 and Spanish in 1836. [CK]
- Tintin gets hold of a single engine, propeller driven aircraft somewhere in the middle of the Arabian Desert, after the "Ali Bhai" (alibi) incident. He then escapes the chasing fighter aircraft and runs out of fuel, and crashlands somewhere in the Indian subcontinent. This whole sequence seems to last less than an hour, but the standard single-engine aircraft does not carry much fuel. Today, even wide bodied jets, such as the Boeing 747, take around four hours to fly from Saudi Arabia to the Indian subcontinent. So how does Tintin achieve a distance of over 2,000 miles, in a single-engine aircraft, in such a short period of time?
[UPDATE: 27 July 2006 - Eric Dehais writes to say that Muscat to Karachi is 560 miles (896 km) - a stretch, but feasible.]
- In the coloured edition, Allan—the opium smuggling first mate of Captain Haddock—appears as the captain of the boat that picks up Tintin and Sarcophagus's coffins. The black and white edition may be quite different.
- On page 16, frame 11, Snowy takes off chasing one of the actors away, but the dog is back standing next to Tintin in frame 12. On page 17, frame 3, we see Snowy return from the chase, carrying a piece of the man's cloak in his mouth. [G]
- On page 23, in frame 3, Tintin is attacked in the desert. He drops his flask. Tintin ducks for cover from enemy fire without his flask. However, the flask is back in sight with its strap under Tintin's elbow. [DT]
- On page 23, in the French edition, the sign on the door reads "Bureau de recrutement" and in another frame, it reads "Bureau du colonel". [ET]
- On page 54, frames 3 to 5 - Tintin grabs the seventh brother in the "jungle Ku Klux Klan" and assumes his identity in order to infiltrate the meeting of the gang. This person's identity is never revealed in the revised edition. Relatedly, in frame 4 on page 56, six of the members of the opium gang are shown unmasked - what happened to the seventh member, the one whose robes Tintin is wearing? [AD]
- Hergé deleted all of the cliff-hanger endings from his original version when he redrew this story. [AD]
- In the original version, the captain of the ship on which the coffins containing Tintin, Snowy and Professor Sarcophagus are loaded is never seen. [AD]
- In the original version, Rastapopoulos sends Tintin to the dhow in order to investigate it. In the colour version, the captain is waiting for Tintin to return to his sailboat. [AD]
- In the original version, Tintin arrives at Mecca, the holy city of the Moslem nation. In the colour version, he simply arrives at an Arabian town. [AD]
- Several scenes are lengthened in the colour version, including the sequence in which the coffins are loaded onto the ship. It is in this version that Allan appears as the captain. [AD]
- In the original version, after crashing in the Indian jungle, Tintin does not get the first aid kit or the manual, as he does in the colour version. [AD]
- On chasing the Fakir into the well under the hollow tree, Tintin - pistol in hand - enters a room in which a statue of Vishnu rises from the ground and cobras slither out of a hatchway in the statue's pedestal. He throws a chocolate bar at the cobras to distract them and escapes, narrowly avoiding a fall into a pit of crocodiles. It is after this that he grabs one of the drug ring and steals his hooded costume. This sequence was entirely omitted in the colour edition. [AD]
- In the original version, there are eight members of the ring assembled in the meeting room, instead of seven in the colour version. [AD]
- In the original version, when unmasked in frame three of page 110, one of the members of the ring is a Moroccan boatman seen earlier in the story. He is deleted in the colour version and only six of the gang are shown. [AD]
- In the original edition, the Fakir escapes and tells Tintin and the Thompsons that in three minutes they'll be blown sky high, but by the time they manage to pry the door open and escape, Snowy has urinated on the fuse attached to the barrels to put it out. This was also eliminated in the colour edition. [AD]
- In the original version, in the final deleted sequence, the Fakir sneaks a cobra through Tintin's window as he sleeps, but Snowy puts on a record called The Snake Charmer that charms the snake, whereupon Tintin turns on the light and shoots him! Also deleted. [AD]
- In the orginal version of the story, Tintin implies that Professor Sarcophagus is one of the gang in the last frame of that story; he added new scenes featuring the Professor in a floating coffin on the Arab Sea to the sequence in which Tintin awakens in his own floating coffin. The reason for this alteration was that the Professor was probably going to appear in The Blue Lotus as one of the gang members; The Blue Lotus did not go as Herge originally intended, and so Tintin's question about the Professor being one of the gang is thus rendered meaningless. [AD]
- According to reader Soumitra Nath, the Indian women featured in this album are wearing the traditional saree in the wrong fashion.
Title in other languages
- Basque - Faraoiaren Zigarroak
- Bengali - Faraoer Churut
- Bernese German - Em pharao siner cigare
- Breton - Segalennoù ar faraon
- Catalan - Els cigars del faraó
- Chinese - 法老的雪茄 (Falao de xuejia)
- Czech - Faronovy doutniky
- Danish - Faraos Cigarer
- Dutch - De sigaren van de farao
- Farsi/Persian - Sigar, hayi fir'awn
- Finnish - Faaraon sikarit
- Galician - Os xarutos do faraón
- Georgian - ფარაონის სიგარები
- German - Die Zigarren des Pharaos
- Greek - Ta Poura tou Farao
- Hebrew - Ha'sigarim Shel Ha'paronim
- Icelandic - Vindlar Faraos
- Indonesian - Cerutu sang faraoh [Indira edition title] / Cerutu Sang Firaun [Gramedia edition title]
- Italian - I sigari del faraone
- Japanese - ファラオの葉巻 Pharaoh no hamaki / Farao no hamaki
- Latin - De sigaris pharaonis
- Lëtzburgesch - Dem Pharao seng zigaren
- Norwegian - Faraos sigarrer
- Polish - Cygara faraona
- Portuguese - Os charutos do Farao
- Russian - Sigary faraona
- Serbo-Croatian - Faraonova cigara
- Slovenian - Farao nove cigaro
- Spanish - Los cigarros del faraon
- Swedish - Faraos cigarrer
- Turkish - Firavunun Purolari
- Vietnamese - Nhung dieu xi ga cua vua ai cap co bai