Here's something interesting. I recently met a guy who had copies of Tintin magazine from its earliest years and included the version of "Land of Black Gold" as it was published in Tintin Magazine in 1948-9.
The first half of this version is pretty much the same as it was published in the Petit VingtiÃ¨me
: it features the same panels, but much smaller and in colour. There is no sign of Haddock or Nestor and even no mention of an impending conflict (a sub-plot also missing from the Petit VingtiÃ¨me
When Tintin interviews the head of the oil company, the discussion is entirely on the economic consequences of the exploding oil, no mention of the military side.
When Tintin listens to the news on the ship and on de Figueira's radio its all about the exploding cars, no mention of an imminent war.
It's only at the end, when Tintin is debriefing Haddock and the Emir over the papers he obtained from MÃ¼ller, and they and the Thom(p)sons are listening to the radio, that there is a mention of a possible conflict and that it was MÃ¼ller's mission to disrupt the oil supplies.
Curiously enough, the Tintin
magazine version also includes the scene of Tintin discreetly picking up a leaflet while Bab El Ehr has his back turned, but it is not referred to again in the story. And this time the Thom(p)sons meet Tintin in the sandstorm before they fall asleep, crash into the mosque and get thrown into jail.
How I hate loose ends.On different note:
in the magazine version, when exploring MÃ¼ller's bunker, Tintin compares it to the secret British base which appears in the latter half of the Blake and Mortimer adventure "The Secret of the Swordfish". A rather charming remark; I can't think of many instances when Herge refers to other comics. In the book version (in French) Tintin compares it to the Maginot line
, an elaborate but ultimately useless series of fortifications designed to protect France from Germany between the wars.