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Tintin au Pays du Canard enchaîné: Academic article on Tintin used as political satire

#1 · Posted: 18 Feb 2013 13:26
I've just been reading a fascinating article by Matthew Screech, entitled "Tintin au Pays du Canard enchaîné: Hergé’s Hero Reinvented in Political cartoons of the 1950s and the 1960" [Belphégor (Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia), X.2 (August 2011), 22 pages, ISSN 1499-7815] (the first part of the title translates as "Tintin in the Land of the Canard enchaîné"). Dr. Screech is a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The "Canard enchaîné" is a French satirical newspaper similar to Britain's "Private Eye".

In the 1960s, the "Canard" published a number of cartoons featuring Tintin and co in a number of situations that satirised French politics. Haddock, for example, represents then-President Charles de Gaulle and is sometimes called "Ad Hoc" in reference to Ad Hoc committees which were common at the time.

What's wonderful is the way in which Escaro the artist recreated Herge's original panels (albeit in a very crude way) but made some notable changes such as Haddock being given a huge pointed nose in reference to De Gaulle's.

One great set is based on the scene from "Shooting Star" when the "Aurora" barely avoids being rammed by the "Kentucky Star". Escaro used it to depict how closely François Mitterrand came to defeating de Gaulle in the 1965 French Presidential election. De Gaulle is shown yelling expletives in the same way as Haddock, including "Jealous" (he and Mitterand were bitter rivals) and "Soviets" (Mitterand was a socialist while de Gaulle was right-wing).

Moderator Note: It’s useful to make some sort of indication as to where an article is sourced; as it happens, the article is available to read for free on the Dalhousie University web-site (the publishers of the text), and so a link has been added. The proper academic citation has also been appended, should anyone wish to follow up and find the print version of the journal.
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