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Tintin in America: Black and white version next to be coloured for release

#1 · Posted: 19 Oct 2020 13:26 · Edited by: jock123
Following the creation by Moulinsart of coloured versions of the previously black-and-white album releases of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo, the next release has been confirmed to be Tintin in America.

Soviets appeared as a hardback album in standard and deluxe versions as a joint venture between Moulinsart and Casterman; Congo was not collected as an album, but produced as a boxed set of art prints. Both also had digital releases from Moulinsart.

At the moment, the America release appears to be digital only, and will be available via The Adventures of Tintin app from the Apple Store and Google Play Store, from October 30th, 2020. You can see the cover here.

According to the official Tintin website, America is the best-selling of all the albums, topping the charts in advance of Congo and Explorers on the Moon, which it says are next in sales.
#2 · Posted: 13 Nov 2020 23:39
The coloured edition of Tintin in America is now avalible, in book form, from the Tintin Shop!

They have two editions of the book on their website: an English edition with Tintin and Snowy at a campfire on the cover, and an edition in French or English which shows Tintin yawning. Both are hardback; the "sitting at a campfire" cover appears to be sold only in the UK.

"Herge, Tintin and the Americans" is also sold, in French and English.
#3 · Posted: 19 Nov 2020 14:54 · Edited by: number1fan
I ordered this version in English from BD Addik and dispatched from Spain and arrived quite quick.There is another release for Tintin in America in English with an alternative cover.I hope this is a continuing series of English language releases for the colorised b&w books.
#4 · Posted: 21 Nov 2020 04:33
I can't help but feel frustrated by the fact that Moulinsart is releasing an English hard copy of this version of America. Surely a hard copy of the colourised version of Soviets would attract more interest from English-speaking readers. But so far they have released that solely in French and Dutch. Does anyone have any insight into their strategy? Is it, perhaps, because Soviets falls within Egmont's licence, whereas this version of America (being quite different from the standard colour version) does not?
#5 · Posted: 21 Nov 2020 11:43 · Edited by: jock123
I can't help but feel frustrated

I'm slightly confused by this as a starting position, as the fact that there is an English book version of any of these colourizations is something to celebrate, surely? ;-)
the colourised version of Soviets would attract more interest from English-speaking readers

I'm sort of with you on that - I do think it should be available as a book, yes; however, the fact is that America sells more copies than Soviets worldwide, and does so apparently comfortably enough to warrant giving this book a hard-copy. It's disappointing to us fans, yes, but if the truth is that the numbers don't add up, then it's unlikely to happen.
Does anyone have any insight into their strategy?

There's no way of telling at the moment, but as you suggest, rights issues appear to be at the heart of it, yes.
The colour Soviets was made as a co-production of Casterman and Moulinsart.
The colour Congo was not released as a book, but instead came as boxed set of prints, which - not being a book, per se, might be seen as away of Moulinsart's having avoided involving Casterman, but could also be that Casterman did not want to be involved.
Now that there are the English and French editions of the America re-vamp, we see the problem of any speculation at all: there does not appear to be a bar on Moulinsart publishing books without Casterman, if this one is to be taken at face value, so the "prints are not a book" theory is harder to sustain for Congo. The availability of it in English seems to suggest that there isn't an obstacle to Moulinsart releasing it without Egmont. We should also remember that Soviets was initially a Sundancer property, not part of the Methuen line, and Last Gasp was involved in other facsimiles of the black and white books, so there are other examples of non-Egmont/ Methuen books which make for works in various hands; it is also possible that since the current standard edition of Congo in English is by Casterman, rather than Egmont, because Egmont didn't want to continue with it, that even more wrinkles appeared in who can do what, for whom, and where).
Anyway, the parties involved seem to be remaining silent on the procedures and protocols involved, so we may never know what the full story is.
The positives to take away from this are, as I see them, that the appearance of the colourized America in English is a good thing, and that, if successful, it might lead to colourized Soviets making an appearance in the future, with other titles to follow.
It could some day lead to the strange anomaly of colourized editions of things like the B&W Broken Ear and Ottokar coming out in English before the original versions!
#6 · Posted: 22 Nov 2020 21:53 · Edited by: RedVictory356
Yes, fair enough: 'frustrated' was too strong a word! I just meant that I am not very interested in a colourised version of the Petit XXe America, whereas a colourised Soviets in English would be a great companion to the standard English editions. And I'd forgotten about Last Gasp (I only have those books in French); that does put a wrinkle in my theory. Maybe they just thought America would sell better in English.

As for whether Moulinsart will continue this series as far as Broken Ear and Ottokar, I'm not so sure. I imagine they might do Cigars. But after that, the differences between the Petit XXe versions and the standard colour versions (or, in the case of Black Island, the 1943 colour version) are pretty minor compared with the earlier books that were completely redrawn. It might not seem as worthwhile. Also, Blue Lotus is the only book that in my opinion is actually better in black and white.

Anyway, I am of course pleased that Moulinsart is giving more support to the English-language market. There is also Philippe Goddin's new monograph about America. I was surprised to see that the English translation of that is by Mark Rodwell (brother of Nick).
#7 · Posted: 27 Dec 2020 15:10 · Edited by: blistering_barnacles
I was lucky enough to get a copy of the new version for Christmas, and have eagerly been flipping through it. I've got copies of the 2004 english version and of course the redrawn colour edition. It makes it a bit difficult to read the story as I know it so well, and this original art doesn't have the finessing that Hergé applied to the redrawn version, so I ended up just skimming over it in many places.

They've done a fantastic job of neatening up the line work, which makes it look fresh. My 2004 edition looks like an old print, with dust and speckles in the ink, but here it's digitally fresh!

The colours are also great, very vibrant and good choices of pallete. There is a bit of spot the difference with the colours of the original version. Sometimes they use the same colours (such as the taxi at the start), sometime not even close (Cowboy Tintin with a red shirt). It's not even inspired by the colour plates from the black and white edition. Whilst clearly done on computer with block colours, thankfully there's only a few 'digital effects' in the colouring, a few clouds copying Herge's technique and colour, and the occasional gradient to add a bit of depth when Hergé didn't draw a background.

The translation though. I enjoyed Micahel Farr's Complete Companion, but there's a lack of life to this translation. I've not read his translations of the 'main' adventures so can't compare, but the language here feels like it's been run through Google translate in places! It's uneccessarily complex, and lacking character. The grammatical sturcture of the sentences feels like a direct translation, where swapping the order of the sentences often makes them read better. For example in Al Capone's opening speech:

'The Situation is quite clear: They've sent here the well-known Belgian reporter Tintin from the Petit 'Vingtieme' newspaper to battle against us.'

Hardly the language of adventure. The 2004 black and white edition had it as:

'Here's the situation.. Tintin, the famous Belgian reporter from 'Le Petit Vingtieme' has been sent to clean the place up.'

Shorter, more punchy, and much more characterful.

This was a Lonsdale-Cooper translation and is full of life and character, helping the story which is somewhat clumsily told (it is early Hergé). Unfortunately Farr's translation actually serves to hinder easy reading. I assume it's another rights issue with the translation, or a new trend in having Farr translate everything, but it's a shame in this case. Even the description on the back cover could do with a good edit.

My other niggle is there's a couple of printing errors in my copy, where the text runs out of the balloon, such as onto Al Capone's facemask on Page 10. How could that get past quality control?

On the whole it's clearly an edition for collectors like myself (who should know better). As such it looks lovely, but is let down by the errors, and the quality of the translation (Sorry Michael!). I'd recommend getting a copy of the 2004 black and white edition to read and use this to look at the lovely colouring!

I do find myself wondering if it's worth it.

The back cover blurb seems to go to great pains to point out (rather churlishly) who owns the rights to what, and that Moulinsart is separate to Casterman. Who's that written for?
#8 · Posted: 1 Jan 2021 00:39
Thanks for the interesting comparisons blistering_barnacles - it's curious to know that they used a different (and less readable!) translation for this new edition. Did they do this with the previous colourised editions?

Personally, I think they should have just colourised Soviets and left the other black-and-white books, seeing how there already are colour editions of the rest of the series, but it must be said that the colouring appears to have been carefully done in these volumes.

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