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"Tintin in the New World: A romance": A novel by Frederic Tuten

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#1 · Posted: 19 Apr 2005 02:23
Author's destructive and negative depiction of Tintin (who is adored and loved by millions for his kindness, altruism, optimism, wanderlust, and clear thinking among other accolades) is dark, cynical, depressed, and down right disgusting. Tuten's Tintin at the end of the book becomes suicidal out of desperation and finally kills himself by first taking all of his clothes off and then jumping into a river! Amazingly, and sadly, there are even insinuations that Tintin is a homosexual. Other characters too don't fare better under the sick mind of the author: Haddock is portrayed as a loser, a no-good "has been" drunkard, and poor old Snowy (who saved Tintin's life many a time with his cleverness and intelligence which was part of Hergé's great admiration and kindness towards animals in general) has been reduced to a wise-cracker (in italic font) at best. What audacity and stupidity drives anyone to write and then print such garbage in the name of Herge and Tintin?! The writing is not worth the paper it is written on.

If the author was trying to create an "anti-hero" to distinguish himself as an "anti-writer" for sake of fame and/or fortune (which was unsuccessful even at that), then the name "Tintin" should have never been part of this book. The public is the best critic and did not even give a spit’s worth to this book, let alone granting fame and fortune to its author.

And isn't it in fact the author who is projecting his own feelings of angst, anger, resentment, disillusion, depression, and perhaps homosexual tendencies onto this book and onto Tintin's character? It is the author who should consult psychiatrist (or a team of them in this case) for his pent up emotional, mental, and sexual instabilities.

All in all, the book is a stupid and barbaric travesty. Shame on the author and the publisher for printing it. They have both insulted, and played with the emotions of millions of fans of Tintin (including children and teenagers). The author claims to have been Herge’s friend. One would hope that he was a better friend to Herge in life than now in Hergé's death. Fortunately though, the book was its own worse enemy and no one even bothered to look at it were it not for the misuse (read Abuse) of Tintin and Hergé's names.

I am sending a copy of this letter to The Hergé Foundation, as well as all my local libraries to take it off the children's books section. I encourage all fans of Herge and Tintin to do the same and expose this farce for what it is to the public at large.
#2 · Posted: 19 Apr 2005 06:58
Its in the children's books section? That's wrong! I've read it and I would have to say its philosophical garbage and makes a mockery of Tintin too. I don't believe Tuten would have been a good friend to Herge to print this - for lack of a better word, "crap!"
#3 · Posted: 19 Apr 2005 15:00

Tuten's Tintin at the end of the book becomes suicidal out of desperation and finally kills himself...

I never read that book but what you say about it leaves me speechless...
Another book of the kind is the 2005 condemned 'Tintin c'est moi', by Leon Degrelle, another friend of Herge who pretended Tintin was inspired by ...his own WWII Waffen SS 'adventures', and Snowy by ...a certain Adolf H.'s dog...

I'm afraid this kind of funny ideas about Tintin are to remain out of Herge's control for the time being...
When he commented about literature, thesises, research and human sciences studies made about his work, didn't Herge himself declare: 'In Tintin, everybody can see what he wants'?...
#4 · Posted: 19 Apr 2005 21:01
I remember in the mid-nineties in elementary school, when Tintin was really big and popular, that "Tintin in the New World" had just been made available to America. A friend of mine, anticipating a great book (and probably also thinking it was a comic), bought the "novel" for a pretty penny and was immediately disappointed by it. I read some bits and pieces of the text and decided, too, that the book was complete garbage. We went right back to reading the albums that were in my elementary school's library. Someday when I'm feeling bored, I'll waste a few bucks on a copy of "Tintin in the New World" and I'll read the whole dang thing.
#5 · Posted: 30 Apr 2005 09:30
I am absolutely appalled that this work made it into the children's section! It is clearly adult content. Unfortunately, I read this thing cover to cover and I was disturbed for a long time afterwards. The author obviously had no grasp whatsoever of the beloved characters so finely put forth in Herge's albums.
This trash depicts our hero as a hateful murderer, lusting after an aging, shallow, self-centered golddigger, who shows her contempt for him at every turn.
Anyone even slightly familiar with the characters of Tintin and Haddock knows they are incapable of such thoughts let alone acts.
I do not know who these personnages are, named "Tintin" and "Haddock", whom Tuten depicted in his book. They bear no resemblance whatsover to Herge's characters.
I was expecting a sweet, enchanting, positive, romantic, yet adventurous love story, not this bilge.
#6 · Posted: 30 Apr 2005 14:59
I found this book at the library some time ago, and even though I wasn't expecting anything good about it, I borrowed it. But I wasn't prepeared for the absolute garbage that thing was! It's one of the very few books that I've stopped reading.

#7 · Posted: 3 May 2005 10:43
It's not the only one.

Jay Cantor wrote a similarly dense and metaphorical novel using Krazy Kat as a lift-off point, although one that seems to be more fondly regarded.

From the Literary Journal:
"George Herriman's old comic characters to explore the psycho-sexual underpinnings of the atomic age and the bomb's effects on personality and culture. Cantor turns the novel's central difficulty -- how to create complex characters from cartoon images -- into its central metaphor, using their two-dimensionality as a reflection of the contemporary psyche."


I wonder what kind of proposals these guys wrote to the Herrimann estate/ Moulinsart to get permission, which has to be obtained in advance. Surely the rights-holders would not have approved the final manuscripts.

Most times – usually for good, sometimes for bad - the writer (or team, or entity) who wants to create a new work based on an existing property, negotiates a deal in which the underlying rights-holders don't have approvals, otherwise you never get your work done.

You don't want to write a musical with someone who knows nothing about musicals looking over your shoulder.

But it begs the question as to why Moulinsart would give permission to Tuten for his novel, yet not authorize the creation of new Tintin stories (including novels) created and commissioned under the Moulinsart banner. See, that would be different, because, art though it may be, it would come under the heading of merchandising, franchise merchandising to boot… and that would be overseen by the parent company.

Yes, yes, I know, Hergé wanted the stories to stop with him, but, you know what? I love ya, Georges, I really do, but you were wrong.

Tintin should just keep going on, exploring the new decades and new issues with his old pals in tow. Appear to Mr. Rodwell in a vision, would you please, and get him off the hook?

Let him authorize new official stories, real stuff. True, they might not all be great (Captain Haddock would tell you, such a development might take a bit of time to find its sea legs) but some of them would be just plain swell, and we'd all be better off. Trust me on this.

Okay Georges?

UK Correspondent
#8 · Posted: 3 May 2005 14:47
I've developed a theory as to why this book was permitted to appear, and what role Moulinsart had to play in it. This theory is based only on the information to be found on the publication details page of Tintin in the New World. Anyway, here we go.

Firstly, this extract :

Chapters of Tintin in the New World first appeared in their entire form in Fiction (1975), Tri-quarterly (1975), Syntaxis (1984), Artform (1984), and De Brakke Hand (1984).

So the book was started whilst Hergé was still alive. We can therefore assume that Hergé and Tuten met, or corresponded, at some point so Tuten could explain to Hergé what he wanted to do. Presumably, Hergé agreed to it, since he could have brought legal action against Tuten if he didn't want the book to go ahead.

So Hergé must have given Tuten permission to write the novel, thereby negating anything the Fondation Hergé (for Moulinsart aren't involved at this stage) could say about it. The idea that the Fondation did not necessarily approve of the book can be witnessed in this mention :

With grateful acknowledgement to Fanny Remi and the Hergé Foundation for their permission to use images from Tintin on the dustjacket and frontispiece of this edition.

They gave permission to use images from Tintin - but not any drawings by Hergé. Roy Lichtenstein, the Pop Artist, drew the cover image and the inside colour sketch. Did the Fondation not want Hergé's drawings to appear on the book ? Also, the rather specifically worded "for their permission to use images from Tintin" rather than "for their permission to use the characters created by Hergé" suggests that they had little say in the matter - Tuten was propounding the fact that he had been granted permission by Hergé to write the book - almost a form of diplomatic immunity !

Of course, that might all be utter codswallop, but like I said, it's only a theory !
#9 · Posted: 7 May 2005 00:30
In Tuten's defense, his entire point was to warp the character of Tintin as we know him. His character isn't really supposed to be Tintin, that much is obvious -- it's using the shells of a couple of the characters we know (not many of them) and filling them with something entirely different.

The problem isn't that the book is offensive... Tuten was going for something completely different, and in that he succeeded. The problem is that the book just isn't very good as a piece of literature. It was quite boring and pretentious, and any dream sequence that lasts 30 pages isn't worth my time. :)

But I think there's no point in criticizing the work on the basis of how much it corrupts Hergé's characters... that's precisely the point.
#10 · Posted: 8 May 2005 14:12
I can't believe ANYONE could debase the characters in such a way. I had considered reading the book, but on the basis of the review, will give it a wide berth. If you are doing an adaptation of someone else's story you should at least show some respect towards the spirit of the work- something this Tuten (I haven't heard of him elsewhere) clearly doesn't have.

And sorry, Pelaphus, I think you're wrong. Creative copyright of a work should lie with their creator. If the creator dies and says they don't wish anyone to continue with the work after their death, their wishes ought to be respected. As a writer myself, I'm a strong believer that only the original author can, and what's more, should be able to write new pieces for their characters.

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