I would read "The Secret of the Swordfish" before most of the others.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that! It's the most static art, and deadly slow plot, of the series to me, and would have killed my interest dead in the water.
my problem was that it included references to previous stories which I had not read
I know that you are not alone in that respect, but I've honestly never had a problem with that, in any series of books I've read - in fact I am pretty sure that I have probably read most series of stories from after the first book, just due to happenstance as much as anything.
With Tintin, my first book was Prisoners
, neither the first published, the first translated, nor even the first part of the story, simply because it was the one that the library had at the time. I didn't see, let alone read, Crystal Balls
until a good five years later. But that's a digression...
I'd recommend any other of the Jacob's tales simply because I think that they show what he is capable of; had Swordfish
been his only comics outing, I don't think it would be much more than a footnote on his biography, perhaps because of his now very dated depiction of Eastern culture (a subject better handled by the time he gets to Sato
(I note with interest that you put an acute accent on the "o" (I think it's actually sometimes given a macron, "ō", to denote a "long" vowel, but in many (most) cases of use in English it's not given - so, "Tokyo" rather than "Tōkyō", "Osaka" rather than "Ōsaka"), while still never accenting "Hergé"... ;-) ).
I also take it that you've translated the list directly from French yourself. Just to keep the record consistent, the Cinebook versions use the following variants for titles and subtitles, which it might prove useful to adopt for ease of reference:
5. The Mystery of the Great Pyramid
, Volume 1: The Papyrus of Manethon
16. The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent
, Volume 1: The Global Threat (1958)
17. The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent
, Volume 2: Battle of the Spirits
22. The Affair of the Necklace
Just as another aside, it seems odd to me that Jacobs bothered to give S.O.S Meteors
a subtitle, as it's only a single volume, and also chose to call it "Mortimer in Paris", given that the story starts with him leaving
Paris and going to Jouy! Blake
spends more time in Paris than that!
I have moved "S.O.S. Meteors: Mortimer in Paris" up the list
I'm not sure that introducing another
order - and another set of numbering - to the series is particularly useful, certainly not more helpful than having Jacob's stories contemporary to the years in which they first appeared!
Olrik isn't needed in the intervening books, and as nobody comments in Necklace
that he was only recently sent to prison, we can safely assume that he's been incarcerated between 1957 and 1964. In fact there's an exchange on the first page of Necklace
in which Blake tells Mortimer that Olrik is studying, and has allegedly read every book (on Parisian archaeology, at least) in the prison library, suggesting that he's had the time to do this, so a significant period of time has elapsed.
It also usefully explains why Olrik isn't
in the intervening books; with the unaltered timeline, he can be accounted for - he's in La Santé, getting his plan together for Necklace
; if you move S.O.S.
, Olrik just disappears, and becomes a non-entity for several volumes, before re-emerging in S.O.S.
. The former to me seems better and neater.