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The Blue Lotus: Why are the opening pages redrawn?

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#1 · Posted: 4 Aug 2004 20:27
Has anyone else noticed that in The Blue Lotus, the drawings of Tintin up to page 5 are different to the ones that begin on page 5. Presumeably the first 4 pages were re-drawn. I also noticed that the largw frame on page 6 with Tintin being carried by the Rickshaw man shows Tintin in the 'newer' style of drawing. I guess this is because this picture has been (and still is) used for posters and general publicity many times.
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#2 · Posted: 4 Aug 2004 21:14
The original black-and-white 1934 version of this large frame on page 6 is only the size of the rest of the small frames on that page, and in fact shows Tintin riding in the rickshaw from behind. This was deleted and the new larger frame substituted in 1946 in order to fill up the page when the drawings were placed in the new format.
#3 · Posted: 14 Mar 2006 15:02
Hi all!

This is my first post and is aimed at - maybe - the experts here.

I re-read The Blue Lotus the other day, and realised that the first four pages of the book are drawn in Hergé's later style. The rest in his earlier style.
The main question is, why?

Thinking about it I came to a few of my own conclusions that I'm hoping someone can substantiate:

Were the first 4 pages redrawn just before Hergé's death, with the intention of redrawing the whole book? This would have nicely brought up to date the 2nd part of Cigars of the Pharaoh which he had already reworked. This would coincide with the first publication date, which was in the same year that he died.

Or were they redrawn at an earlier time, just to bring those pages up to date, with no intention of completing the book?

Or was the content of the original four pages politically incorrect, requiring a redraw?

I've got Farr's Complete Companion book, and he doesn't even acknowledge the updated pages, which to me seems strange.

Can anybody help?

Thanks (great site, BTW).

#4 · Posted: 14 Mar 2006 23:45
Hello Mike -

Nicely spotted (not everyone notices that, even though it seems obvious once you have). I seem to recall this being discussed before and found this, which I hope you find of interest.
#5 · Posted: 21 Mar 2006 15:51
tybaltstone - thanks for the reply and link.

That sort of clears that up. I'd like to know when the artwork was redone.

Thanks again.

#6 · Posted: 21 Mar 2006 16:08
Do you mean the first few pages of Blue Lotus? The thread linked above has the answer - both edcharlesadams and myself give a date of 1955 - I think that's the correct date (I'd trust Ed more than me, but he seems to agree :-))

Sorry if that's not what you meant.
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#7 · Posted: 21 Mar 2006 21:45
both edcharlesadams and myself give a date of 1955 - I think that's the correct date (I'd trust Ed more than me, but he seems to agree :-))

Thanks for the vote of confidence Garen! But actually I was referring to the redrawn Cigars of the Pharaoh from 1955. I believe the colour version of The Blue Lotus came out in 1946, with the redrawn first four pages dating from then.

Incidentally the 1933-4 format of The Blue Lotus was colourised by the Studios Hergé and published in Tintin magazine in 1980, though not in book form.

#8 · Posted: 21 Mar 2006 22:12
That's excellent, Ed, thanks (I knew you were the reliable one!). I guess I must have got 1955 from the Cigars redraw and assumed the first 4 pages of Lotus came from the original Cigars - but I've just actually looked in my Cigars facsimile and find that's not so.

Sorry for the wrong information, studiox19.
#9 · Posted: 30 Mar 2008 19:50
Hi there

As this is my first post I briefly like to express my amazement about your vivid tintin community. I was not able to track such a forum within the German speaking web. (Yes, I am located in Germany - sorry for my mistakes).
Is this site here located in the UK or US?
If you guys reside in the US mainly, I really had no idea that tintin was actually known there.

Here comes my main question. Sorry if it's a re-post.
I just read 'The blue Lotus' again and wondered once again why there is this remarkable change in drawing quality from page 6 to page 7 till the end of the book. Means the quality is somewhat better on the first pages and then slides down a bit starting at page 7 and then sticks to this level. I know that there have been various versions, means improvements on several books done by Hergé and his team themselves during the years.
Take 'The black island' for instance. Here the change of the old version versus the new version is immense. Nearly two different books.

I figured maybe the quality of the first six pages have been originally *worse* then the rest of the book by chance. And after some years passed by Hergé decided to improve exactly these six using the style he has developed in the meantime so they came out a little better than the rest. But this is a mere guess.

Did anyone of you noticed this? And what are your thoughts / your knowledge on this?

Many thanks

Moderator Note: Welcome aboard, André, and thank you for the very kind words! As it happens, the site is actually based in Australia (which I'm sure would have been your third guess!), but staff are located here and there around the globe.
As for Tintin being known in the U.S., well he may not have the profile that Tim does in Germany, but the books have been available there for many years, Children’s Digest carried his adventures for many years, many of the “Belvision” episodes were made by Larry Harmon, and of course he has devoted fans such as Steven Spielberg to take his profile even higher!
You should also find the answers to your question given in the thread here.
The Happy “Tim”ologist Team
Henry 54321
#10 · Posted: 22 Aug 2011 12:29
In The Blue Lotus the first couple of pages are the same style as the drawings in Cigars of the Pharaoh, but after the first few pages when he arrives in Shanghai I think Hergé changed the facial expressions on Tintin.

For instance on page 10 of The Blue Lotus, Tintin runs with a gun to see who shot the pot of tea he was about to drink just before he bumps into a Shanghai policeman: how Hergé draws Tintin's face then is massively different from how he draws it in Cigars Of the Pharaoh, and how he normally draws it in all the otherstories.

Did Hergé to try to draw Tintin in a different style?

Moderator Note:
Hi Henry! You’re not alone in wondering about this - it’s puzzled a few people! You’ll find it discussed in this thread your message has been moved to, so hopefully this will provide you with the answer> The quick answer is that Lotus was originally in black and white, and the first few pages were re-drawn at a later date when it was put into colour, by which time Hergé’s style was a little more sophisticated!

The Tintinologist Team

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