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Alph-Art: Reviews and Opinions

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#11 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 02:03
Hey, how come there's no finished script for Alph-Art, not even an outline at least?
Sure, the comic used to get published two pages at a time, and that allows a lot of change, but whenever I read about comic authors, I find that they must always write a whole script first?
#12 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 09:38
Because Alph-Art was really only at the planning stages, looking in my copy there are about 3 pages that are properly ready for coloring, the rest are mostly doodles and scripts.

#13 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 15:38
Yes, but, the script should be made before you start drawing or laying-out anything! What an unusual MO.

And Rastapopoulos again? Wasn't he already like two albums ago from Alph-Art?
Now that's running out of ideas if I ever saw it.
#14 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 15:48
It is clear from the book that Hergé had many different ideas for where the plot should go, and perhaps just started drawing pages to see where the story 'naturally' led him. The last pages of the new edition give some strange twists on the Tintin theme, such as Haddock's ridiculous get-up, but the more complete pages he drew had the captain in his usual garb, showing those last pages are doodles, to find the right idea .

One not entirely major but interesting point is that the first page has Haddock suffering bad dreams as a result of Bianca and whiskey, yet only the Bianca section is followed. Haddock is still left high and dry (apologies for the pun) as he cannot touch alcohol. Hergé does touch on this in the notes, and it would make for some comedic sequences, perhaps along the line of the Thom(p)sons, and their 'mints'.
#15 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 16:03
That's a very insteresting way of working. Doodle, and see whre it takes ya. I love it.
But weren't there editors or whatever that demanded to see scripts in advance? I'm sorry I keep asking about this, it just seems so unbelievable that he had all that power, if he could do whatever he wanted, like not writing a full script, for instance.
#16 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 16:25
To be honest I have no idea how he did it, but given that he was allowed a lot of freedom with Tintin, and his releative fame by thatr point I assume he had no particular publisher pressures. Given the frequency with which he produced the final books, he didn't appear to be in any particular hurry.
#17 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 17:04
He was his own editor, in effect. He was writing a book in his studio, which he both owned and of which he was the head, as an independent operative. It's like asking why doesn't George Lucas have to produce scripts in advance for Star Wars - he owns the whole shooting match! Why would he have to produce a script?

At the end there were only Hergé and Bob de Moor working on Alph-Art, so any questions would have been thrashed out over an office desk.

He was beholden to no one because the product he produced was hugely valuable - any publisher on the continent would have jumped if Casterman hadn't taken an album, and that never seems to have been likely.

Money does not appear to have been an issue, as his body of work continued to sell, and there was merchandising, advertising and other revenue-streams coming in (I imagine he got money from the Tintin magazine etc.).

It wasn't always like that, nor was it an instant thing. He was an artist with status and pedigree, and was aware of his worth, which arose from the seriously hard graft of his youth.
He knew what it was like to be under someone else's thumb in re: content and deadlines from his earliest days on Le Petit Vingtième; he wouldn't have dreamed of doing it if he'd been forced to comply with the rules of others.

[Post edited by Admin to include this interesting (but off-topic) note from Jyrki21: well, [George Lucas] actually did have to submit [a script] in 1974 for what turned out to be all three original movies, but I suppose that was before he was the big kid on the block. ;) (And no, I'm not a big Star Wars fan, but this comes up in a Canadian copyright case where a guy claims to have invented Ewoks...!)
#18 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 17:33
Still conversly he probably had less over-arching story ideas for the earlier adventures than he did for the later ones.
Yet he had time to go back a revise later drawings as he went along.
I think Alph-Art shows Hergé as a very free-flowing cartoonist, trying to keep his ideas fresh as he went along, but with an idea to the whole plot (or at a direction to head in).
#19 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 20:25
Thank you for that information, jock123; so do you think he had a plot poitn at least in his head already? Maybe he didn't really know what was going to happen next either!
#20 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 22:10
I think this is how Herge used to work. -
He is like an idea man sitting in his office or say someone else's house and an idea pops in his head while talking with someone about art. He thinks "how about I make a Tintin album where he stops forgery of art?". Then he thinks how he would portray, what ideas he can use, what meaning he can depict, etc. He then must think how it should start and he sketches them when he has a good strong short idea and sees how they look. I guarantee this cos artists cant wait putting the actual story on paper in form of pictures.

Besides, Herge once mentioned that he focussed more on drawings so that they depict the whole story just like a movie. So, no wonder he would not break his head on scripts. Then he keeps on sketching and fitting in ideas wherever they can be used. Surely, he must have devised this technique when he revised his old editions. So, in other words, he was not still sure with the ending of the album. But I think thats how he used to work.

Its an amazing technique and is implemented in a lot of places. In technological field, its called prototyping where the developer devises a prototype and keeps on reforming it till he is fully satisfied with it and releases it. Prototyping is expensive and time consuming. And since there was no hurry, Herge had full freedom to implement it.

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