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Breaking Free

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#11 · Posted: 5 Jul 2005 18:53
This makes me wonder. If one believes that we are at least partially shaped by our environments, is it possible that the Tintin in "Breaking Free" is an example of what would have happened to him if he had grown up in an environment "opposite" the one he (hypothetically) grew up in to become the Tintin of the series that we all admire so much?

This could definitely be the case. It's been proven that we're all products of our environment anyway, and maybe that's the point. We're obviously members of our respective cultures because we speak, dress, act, etc. in certain ways. In fact, I'm someone who believes that your acculturation dictates everything from when you wake up to when you go to sleep, and even what you dream about. People do differ, of course, but that cultural base is always there, no matter how much someone changes. I've found that to be the case in my own life, to be honest.
#12 · Posted: 5 Jul 2005 22:10
It's been proven that we're all products of our environment anyway

I can’t think how this could be “proven” - surely the nature versus nurture question is as open as it ever was? You would need some sort of control to run an experiment, and as you could never look and see how someone would have turned out under different circumstances, it can’t ever be shown one way or the other...

Tintin to me is too much of a construct to be seen as belonging to a culture; however, I think that the Breaking Free book is designed to use the antithesis of the character as shown by Hergé, so the idea of the opposite environment comes pretty close.
#13 · Posted: 6 Jul 2005 00:42
Tintin to me is too much of a construct to be seen as belonging to a culture
He's actually very Belgian, and obviously European (to me anyway!)so that stands out in my mind more. I know for SURE that he's not Native American ^_^
I can’t think how this could be “proven” - surely the nature versus nurture question is as open as it ever was?
It's a given in human communication (my major.) We all have an "operating system," and environment definitely affects how it runs.
#14 · Posted: 25 Dec 2005 21:07
Well I received this book for Christmas (my only Tintinish gift) and I really thought it was interesting if nothing else. Fortunately I am quite old (24) and hence the swearing didn't have much effect on me but some of the social issues it raised were interesting.

It was extremely left-wing, pretty much calling all the working class to arms. Sort of like an opposite to The Turner Diaries.

I like the theory regarding nature vs nurture, perhaps had Tintin grown up on a London council estate he would have ended up the way he did.

Haddocks Beard
#15 · Posted: 13 Jul 2009 00:05
Too bad this thread has been inactive so long. I think Breaking Free is a brilliant piece of Anarchist Agit-Prop Parody (but then I was always a bit of a Left-leaning Anarchist myself so I could be biased ;) ). The artwork is spotty but captures the basic essence of the Tintin look in a Punk-Noir sort of way. No-one could possibly mistake it for an official product.

I picked it up in a local comic book store in the early 90s (it was "published" in 1989). It was clearly a part of the very early stages of the Anti-(Capitalist)Globalization movement which came to a head in Seattle. It's ideals were fairly broad, looking to bring Identity Activists, Labour Activists, and basically all Pro-Democratic/Populist Anti-Corporatists together into a mass movement. Which was building up a nice head of steam until the US used 911 as an excuse to frighten people away from organizing.

And actually it doesn't have misinformation about AIDS. A gay activist in the book openly challenges the Blue-collar Homophobe spouting that rubbish. It also has a clearly Anti-Fascist/Racist Agenda (no Nazi Skinheads allowed ;) ).

It's interesting that some other posters on this thread see the possibility that Tintin could have turned out like the depiction in this book if he had grown up in a different environment. I would like to point out that the "Nature vs Nurture" debate has been largely settled as most scientists agree that it is both Nature and Nurture; though Psychologists and Neuro-scientists still disagree as to which factor is more dominant *lol*.

In any case, Herge's political satire in the Tintin books before and after the Nazi occupation of Belgium shows an anti-authoritarian and anti-corporate streak that suggests Tintin could have been Radicalized under the right circumstances.
cigars of the beeper
#16 · Posted: 13 Jul 2009 01:09
I read Breaking Free a few weeks ago, and to me it came across as a rather laughable piece of anarchist propaganda with illegally copied Tintin art.

I even wonder if it was really intended seriously, with the artist aggressively showing Tintin smoking, and swearing and vandalizing.

(Anyway, and not to say ill of those who revive them, but I wonder if when a thread has been inactive this long if it would be better to start a new one? Since it has been gone so long, a discussion of Breaking Free would seem new.)
Haddocks Beard
#17 · Posted: 13 Jul 2009 03:28
Well I was searching for a discussion of this book as I expected it to be controversial (I enjoy controversial topics :D). And I am new to this forum and would have felt awkward starting a new thread when one already existed.

I agree it's a propaganda piece (but one that's up my political alley ;)). And I think you are right about it being a bit of a Parody too. And yes, it's clearly illegal in the sense that the group producing it were asking money for it. Although parody falls under the fair use clause, it is fairly obvious the book is also intended as a semi-serious take-off (definitely not legal, but that was the whole point of the book). But, as I said, no-one would mistake it for an original Herge.

I suppose the Radical Left/Anarchist politics might seem laughable to those more in the Liberal mainstream or on the Right (or even the doctrinaire Communist Left). But I think the views put forth in the book couldn't be more relevant to the times we live in what with the New Depression and all, whether one agrees with them or not.

Or maybe you meant the artwork was laughable. Spotty as it is, there are some very good panels...and it captures the Anarchist Punk spirit of the 70s and 80s. I thought the story and characterizations were quite well done, all things considered.
cigars of the beeper
#18 · Posted: 15 Jul 2009 00:51
Well, if you look at it carefully, it becomes evident that whoever drew it did hardly any original drawing. Most of the characters have been traced from somewhere in the real Tintin adventures.
#19 · Posted: 16 Sep 2009 13:26
Can anyone explain why Breaking Free, the anarchist take on Tintin has not been sued out of existence?
It is freely available on both the UK and US versions of Amazon and yet surely it is exactly the sort of thing Moulinsart tries to stop. Surely it is not authorised?
Does anyone know of the legal history of the book?
On a similar note, does anyone know if the "Tintin (Pocket Essentials)" book, also available on Amazon, is authorised? Or is it just careful about it's use of trademarks and copyright?

Moderator Note: Moved from another thread, as this one seemed more appropriate than starting a new one.
#20 · Posted: 9 Mar 2012 16:30
If you look at the characters and comparing it to the original characters made by Hergé, you'll definitely be disappointed. They are definitely far from the characters we've always been known (except Haddock, I agree he is the one that got the closest depiction). But if you view the story from the outsiders' view (not getting to involved with the characters), you'll get quite a story, if not a good one. Aside from disturbing notions (for some people), it is actually a good parody on anarchism. We later found out something essential for the anarchist, which is not like what we always think (half-spoiling it, sorry =_=).

The story is indeed so long and tiresome, but when you read it and understand it the story might gave you something interesting to think.

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