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Print quality: Matt or glossy paper?

#1 · Posted: 26 Oct 2006 21:08
Moderator Note: Combined more than one thread

Im not sure if this has been covered but anyone notice how bad the glossy paperback Tintins look compared to the old matt hardcovers? Are they still printing hardcovers or is this it? The color look so bad and the lines just dont feel right...

If I didnt know about tintin and saw these books compared to a nice hardcover with the original matt pages -(forgive me for this) I think I might just keep walking...
#2 · Posted: 27 Oct 2006 08:09
Personally I prefer the newer editions. When paying $18 Australian a comic I want good quality.
#3 · Posted: 28 Oct 2006 22:42
I agree with thmthm. I don't think the glossy finish works well at all for Hergé's flat colour style. The new editions just don't look right. I can't believe Hergé would have apporoved.

And, almost as importantly, the new editions don't smell right either! The scent of a newly-bought Tintin book used to be one of my favourite smells. If I press my nose hard enough into one of my old copies (the smell fades with time) I can recall the childhood excitement of finding a new Tintin adventure in the bookshop and taking it home to read for the very first time.

All that said, Tintinrulz has a point about the need for quality. Some of the old editions were printed on paper so thin that the overleaf page showed through behind. And on some pages, the colour had sometimes slipped out of place from the black line, giving a blurred effect.

Maybe we Tintin fans should persuade Egmont to bring out a set of really top-quality hardback editions, printed with the old matt finish but on good thick paper and with all the printing spot on. You see that sort of quality in some of the Tintin desk diaries etc (different publisher, I know) so why not in the actual books?
#4 · Posted: 23 Jun 2007 21:14 · Edited by: cafe_noir
Hi there
I've just started out collecting the Tintin books. I've bought a couple of the newer edition hardbacks, and a couple of older ones from the sixties and seventies from ebay. I noticed a difference in the paper quality. The older editions are printed on matte paper while the newer ones are printed on glossier paper.
Personally I prefer the matte look -especially for the older stories -it's less modern and more in keeping with when they were created.
Can anyone tell me from what year did the paper turn glossy? Maybe it's not such a straightforward thing to answer but I thought I'd ask anyway as I like to be sure when I buy an older copy of one of the books that's it's a 'matte' version. If theres a particular year when it changed to glossy, that'd be very useful to know. Nerdy question, I know, but any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
#5 · Posted: 30 Oct 2008 21:04
I have really no idea, but I have both old and new Tintin books.
My "newest old" Tintin book is from 1987 and it's not glossy. My other "new new" Tintin books are from 2004, so they are glossy.
#6 · Posted: 30 Oct 2008 22:13 · Edited by: robbo
I believe the glossy paper started with the publisher Egmont in 2003.
Although even the original publisher Methuen used thinner smoother paper from the 1980's onwards - the French Casterman editions are the same.

So if you want the more authentic feel go for 1970's and earlier Methuen editions. You can spot these by looking at the back cover.

(Apologies - just noticed date of original question - but may be of some use anyway)

#7 · Posted: 25 Nov 2018 14:29
What is wrong with the glossy paper's lines and colors? Could someone explain the difference to me?
#8 · Posted: 26 Nov 2018 12:21
What is wrong with the glossy paper's lines and colors?

It really boils down to a matter of personal taste, so there is no definitive answer, but in general, some readers prefer the way that the artwork looks when printed on matte paper, rather than glossy, because it influences the brightness of the colour work because of how the ink is absorbed into the paper (and to a certain extent how the paper feels to the touch).
There is a feeling that the colours (certainly at the time this thread started) were too saturated, too vibrant, compared to earlier versions of the books - like a badly adjusted picture on a TV screen.

To be honest, I think more care and attention has been taken recently (well in the ten years since this thread started!) to improve the look of the art, and to have it better adjusted to the paper and inks in use.

This isn't limited to the actual original books either; there was a period when images used in other books (reference titles, etc.) seemed to be being recoloured in very flat, bright colour, and it wasn't always very successful.
But recently we have been treated to some spectacular success, such as the Tintin: Hergé's Masterpiece book, and the Tintin: The Art of Hergé volume, both of which have been beautifully produced to make the art appear at its best, by combining the black-and-white line art with high resolution scans of original colouring pages from the archives, which really gives a sense of what Hergé himself would have seen and approved of in preparing them.
#9 · Posted: 27 Nov 2018 04:56
I had started buying the English books from 2006, so I was pretty much always accustomed to glossy papers. However, I also have a large number of Bengali books printed in Matte paper. The paper was very thin and their quality is not very good.

Figure this, almost all my Bengali Tintin books have a tear in somewhere in their pages while none of the english books have any.

So, naturally, I came to regard the English versions is of better quality. A more recent purchase of a Bengali edition showed me that they have also shifted to the glossy format.

Personally, I prefer the glossy format, although the recent editions do not gloss that much to suffer scrutiny, as jock123 said.

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