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Tintin in the Land of the Soviets: Will a physical color book be released in English?

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#1 · Posted: 20 May 2017 15:55
Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any information on when the new Soviets colored version is going to be released in English?
I know that it has been released in English for Kindle, but I haven't been able to find any information on when it will be published in paperback or hardcover.

Any information will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
#2 · Posted: 20 May 2017 20:32 · Edited by: jock123
Last time I asked "people in the know", there was no plan for a physical release of the colour book in English.

I was not able to ascertain what the reasons were for this, and speculation on why is therefore pointless.

This is disappointing, and I would welcome a release; it is possible that something will happen in the future, but at the moment it does not look likely to happen any time soon.
#3 · Posted: 20 May 2017 21:31
Darn well that's disappointing. Thanks for the quick reply! I hope they change their mind and release it in English!
I guess I'll buy the ebook version...
#4 · Posted: 23 May 2017 02:03
Aw, that's a shame. I was hoping to get one to finish my (Alph-Art-less) collection with a colour version...
Jon God
#5 · Posted: 3 Sep 2017 19:44
Oh, that's too bad. :( I was waiting for an English release of this! I hope they do reconsider, because I will be there for a copy day 1.
#6 · Posted: 7 Oct 2017 08:53 · Edited by: Moderator
Well, Hergé did not want the book to be published in the first place and when it was published, it was in black and white.
Hergé did not want to rework the book again and let it remain in black and white.
The colour version of the book sounds exciting but if it is in between the coloured version and the black and white version, I will prefer the original...
#7 · Posted: 10 Oct 2017 10:44 · Edited by: jock123
Hergé did not want the book to be published in the first place

I don't think there is anything that says that that is the case - I can't think of a reference to him objecting at the time.

Hergé did not want to rework the book again

While this might have been the commonly held opinion, recent researches have presented a different and contrary story, with quite compelling evidence. There's a fuller discussion in this thread, but here's a precis of recent developments, including a link to Benoît Peeters' article.
Hergé would have happily let the book stay in print, but for technical issues - when the book was to be reprinted, the printing plates were deemed to be be too damaged to reuse, and Hergé would have personally had to pay for a complete set of new ones, which would have been costly; added to this, the original art was mislaid, thought lost, and that further impeded progress on a new edition, and likewise made it difficult to produce a colour edition (Hergé was not against it, he just never got around to making one, given that he had new books to write, and old books for which he did have the artwork to make into colour books, which used up the time).
Hergé found at one point that he didn't even own a copy himself, and went to great pains to find and purchase a mint copy of the first edition for his collection.
Over the years it was Hergé who tried to get Casterman to re-print it, and Casterman which didn't want to.
It reached a point where Hergé threatened to take it and any new books to a different publisher, and it took the preparation of a 50th anniversary special edition in 1969 which Casterman made for Hergé to give as gifts (an edition with which he was delighted), that things settled down.
The re-discovery of the original art in a studio cupboard and the preparation of the Archives Hergé volume which brought the first three stories back into print, showed that there was potential for the early editions, and the facsimile books, and eventually the re-adoption of Soviets as the first book in the regular series followed.
Of course, Hergé produced two colour pages of Soviets for the Christmas edition of Le Petit Vingtième, and had the Studios colourists hand-colour a page which was reproduced as a lithograph sold for charity.
I really like the colour Soviets - it's very nicely done.
They have only coloured white space, not the black inks, which some have criticized - for example, the star on the Russian 'plane is always black, because Hergé drew it as solid black - but I think that that is a minor quibble, and shows sympathy for the art.
#8 · Posted: 10 Oct 2017 18:07
Thanks, did not know about that.
#9 · Posted: 6 May 2018 13:32
I am sorry to say that the colorized version of 'Soviets' does not include the well-known 'missing page' 102 (or 100, depending on the edition you have). That page was published in 'Le Petit Vingtième' (Christmas edition 1929) but subsequently 'forgotten' when the album was printed in 1930. Obviously, this was a mistake. The page fits the continuity of the story. On the last frame on page 101, Tintin opens the door of the cabin, and struggles with the storm outside. On the first frame of the missing page 102, Tintin reflects on his situation, and on the storm. Next, he encounters a jack-in-the-box skull, which gives him a bloody nose, and meets with a painting that falls on his head. In the first frame of page 103, Tintin still has that bloody nose. Whence did he get it, the reader may ask, if page 102 is left out?

I really believe that Hergé wanted this original page to be included in the story. He was a perfectionist, as we all know. So why did Casterman leave the 'missing page' out of the new release? I don't understand.
#10 · Posted: 6 May 2018 23:58
the well-known 'missing page' 102 (or 100, depending on the edition you have)

I'm not sure which versions you are referring to here, but it doesn't actually appear as those pages in the copies I have to hand - in the first English facsimile, for example, it is included as page 97a; in the 1973 Archives Hergé it appears as page 140.
Sticking with 97a seems to be the best bet, as it therefore doesn't affect the order pages in editions in which it does or doesn't appear.

The whole numbering of the book is a minefield, as the facsimile editions place no page number on the first left-hand page, and put "1" on the right-hand page.
The "standard edition" which came out from Methuen makes the "first" page page 4, which was unusual in UK books, as it counts from the front cover (this has actually become more common in recent years, thanks to computer publishing software often defaulting to the cover being treated as page 1, whereas in the past the cover wasn't included in the numbering scheme).
The new standard French colour edition doesn't number the first (left-hand) page, and puts page 1 on the first right-hand page, in the manner of the facsimile, even though it would be (including the cover) page 11 in a strictly numerical sequence.

Obviously, this was a mistake.

Can we be certain of that? It's not difficult to overlook the jump, given the fact that the story isn't the most straight forward tale to begin with; the standard Methuen edition I have doesn't include it, and I can't say I'm aware of complaints that it's difficult to follow because Tintin gets a bloody nose (I mean, he loses a black eye early in the story between standing outside a tailor's shop, and going into the shop and being served - is that any more confusing?).

I really believe that Hergé wanted this original page to be included in the story.

It is absolutely fine for you to believe this, but I would need proof. He was responsible for getting the plates prepared, so he may have been aware from the outset. It was damage to the printing plates, and Hergé being unable to afford new ones which was one of the reasons that the book went out of print to begin with; perhaps the loss of a page made sense financially to him, if it reduced his overhead.

why did Casterman leave the 'missing page' out of the new release?

Well, if Hergé was the one disinclined to include it, and had authorized the removal in the original edition, then perhaps they didn't see it as appropriate to do so?

The page has been coloured, and was included as a bonus print in the deluxe numbered edition, which also featured an alternate colour cover design, so perhaps at some time it will be re-included.

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