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Land of the Soviets: remake attempts?

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#1 · Posted: 3 Oct 2004 14:08
Has anyone ever tried redoing the land of Soviets into a full-color, 62 paged album, like Rodier did by finishing Alph-Art?
#2 · Posted: 3 Oct 2004 16:44
It has been (unofficially) transformed into a 62-page colour album, yes, but only by re-jigging the layout of the frames, and dropping some here-and-there; the artwork wasn’t re-drawn.

The colouring has been kept quite simple, with a rather muted palette being used, and from what I’ve seen the effect is generally pleasing.

I haven’t seen a completely re-worked variant, but at least one of the pirate albums has a “modern” Tintin running from some Soviet soldiers, rather than the original art (it’s pictured in the Le Monde d’Hergé book by Benoît Peeters).

I have wondered in the past what a re-worked album would be like. I think Hergé could have re-set it in Borduria, and played around with it as a counterpoint to “King Ottokar’s Sceptre”.
#3 · Posted: 3 Oct 2004 17:32
You could argue that that's what the Calculus Affair was...

I think the plotline of Soviets was so incredibly haphazard and elementary that color it as you may, there'd be a lot of difficulty making it feel like a 'normal' Tintin album...
#4 · Posted: 3 Oct 2004 22:38
I think the plotline of Soviets was so incredibly haphazard and elementary that color it as you may, there'd be a lot of difficulty making it feel like a 'normal' Tintin album...

True, true. However, I’d think that it really isn’t that far off the likes of “Broken Ear” in terms of it’s mix of slap-stick and politics, so were it to be worked up into the early-style Hergé of the colour albums, it might just work. But it is only a pipe-dream anyway, so the point is moot.
#5 · Posted: 5 Oct 2004 12:51
It would be nice to see it still set in the Soviet republic, since The Blue Lotus gains most of it's power by being set in a real location. It seems that only later did Herge start distancing his settings from real locations, such as using Syldavia and Borduria as a copy of European/Baltic nations.

Of course to go against my own arguement, Syldavic/Borduria/San Theodopolis were all early inventions. Still Borduria, does not seem similar enough to the Soviet Republic for the events occuring in Soviets.

I think the events in Soviets could be restructured, especially the sections involving the mass meeting and factory, into a story at least as coherent as America. In that story we have a similar Tintin theme, of people trying to kill him as soon as he's arrived before even doing anything.
#6 · Posted: 5 Oct 2004 14:06
BlueBlisteringBarnacles commented:
It would be nice to see it still set in the Soviet republic

Ah, but which one? Given that the Communist regime has fallen, the idea of setting it in a mythical place such as Borduria avoids the need a) to offend anyone, and b) invent a new one. I agree that Borduria as seen in the later books is different, but then again Syldavia changes between Ottokar and the Moon books, so I think it offers enough lee-way. But I am not married to the idea...

I think you are spot on in regards the potential of the story: America is a good example of a similar sort of story re-working.
UK Correspondent
#7 · Posted: 5 Oct 2004 23:28
I'm not sure that Borduria would work in the communist setting required - in "King Ottokar's Sceptre" it was a fascist state trying to annex its royalist neighbour, and in "The Calculus Affair" it was more of a Stalinist state as opposed to the post-revolutionary Soviet republic we have in the current "In the Land of the Soviets" book.

I think for a redraft it should still be set in 1920s Soviet Russia, and keep the political scenes (the rigged voting and the fake factory), but tie it in stronger to the time period, with more plot. That's what made "The Blue Lotus" so good - it was grounded strongly in the time period with the events that took place, but they were used only as a background for the story. It gave it a suitable degree of realism. Therefore, a reworked Soviets would be best suited to the time period it was originally attacking - although that said, a 1950s Stalinist adventure could be interesting, as long as it stayed at a good distance from Calculus Affair-esque situations.

How about one set in the late 80s ? After escaping from the clutches of Akass in his villa on Ischia, Tintin finds himself in the USSR when political unrest is at an all-time high, and the Soviets are desperately trying to crush the rebellions. Tintin joins a group of freedom fighters (avoiding any parallels with Picaros, hopefully), which may ultimately lead our hero to Berlin and the tearing-down of the wall ... it's an idea, anyway.
#8 · Posted: 6 Oct 2004 11:32
I agree with Richard that a 1920's era setting would probably be most appropriate, to keep with the adventure being an early Tintin Adventure, and more importantly to preserve the 'feel' of the book. Syldavia and Borduria did change throughout the series, but I think setting it back in the earlier days of Communism is best and actually in Russia (or USSR) as Borduria was initially a Fascist-esque state.

Soviets is currently very much about a new state trying to prove itself (in this case by lies and deception), rather than aggressively seizing other lands. Jock123 definitely has a point though about the changing roles of the countries, as Richard also points out.

I agree with Richard that if the scenes presented in Soviets were bound together with a more cohesive plot it would vastly improve the book. Maybe Tintin discovers something, or initially is shown round Russia by some Communists, but then sees through their lies (like the scene at the factory).

So far as a 1950's-esque Stalinist adventure goes, I think that would have to be a separate book (Tintin Back in the USSR!). I'm currently thinking of continued storylines for Le ThermoZèro, which, with its East/West Berlin basis, would be a great place to put those ideas into. Though the danger of straying into Calculus Affair territory is great.

Finally (after a lengthy posting) a Tintin adventure set during the collapse of Communism would lend a story a great backdrop, Tintin having to go on an adventure whilst the countries he's visiting undergo massive changes. Though it is similar to the ongoing change of leadership joke about San Theodoros.

(I think I'm off to make four unofficial Tintin books!)
UK Correspondent
#9 · Posted: 12 Oct 2004 21:35
As to telling the story itself, a country collapsing (and also an idealogy to an extent) would provide plenty of scope for an adventure. Tintin could be dragged along by events more believeably than in Picaros, for sure.

Just another thought on this - Tintin's first adventure took him to Russia where the Soviet Union was building itself up; the final adventure taking place when the USSR was crumbling would lead to a nice piece of symmetrical storytelling, meaning Tintin returns to his roots, going back to whence he came, and so almost presenting the "circle of life".
#10 · Posted: 13 Oct 2004 09:22
I really don't think they should remake it as who would they get to do it? The drawings wouldn't look right in my opinion as they wouldn't be Herge's interpretation, just someone doing their best to copy him (Rodier a good example).

But perhaps they could set it in a General Tapioca-controlled San Theodoros? His political leanings were never truly decided.


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