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“Voir et Savoir”: Tintin-themed history books?

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#1 · Posted: 28 Nov 2006 18:57
I have seen on an internet site two books about aviation featuring Tintin.
Does anybody know anything more about them?
#2 · Posted: 28 Nov 2006 21:17
Yes - a rare bunch.

They are the 1979 Septimus "Voir et Savoir" books (“Look and Learn”).

More than often - the original versions of these (I believe from the 40's) pop up going for about 200-300US dollars. The 1979 versions usually go for half that.

The plates are sold individually or in collections of 6 I believe… Best place is eBay France/UK

Moderator Note: The books come from the 1950's, not 1940's, although the chromos started around 1946; the chromos, what you call the “plates”, were separate collector prints which were produced by Tintin magazine, rather than taken from the books.
#3 · Posted: 28 Nov 2006 21:31
#4 · Posted: 22 Jun 2007 23:34
My dad has turned up a bundle of these prints.

Have they been pulled from books or are they ment to be in an album
#5 · Posted: 25 Jun 2007 05:06
Man, those are cool. Hergé did a lot we have not seen in the US.
#6 · Posted: 9 Oct 2012 10:41
(hi all, I'm new to the forums!)

So THAT'S where those old drawings of Tintin in Nazi getup are from!
In fact, I wanted to ask about why Tintin was drawn like this in this Chromo Herge book...
I've seen about 6 images of Tintin and Snowy dressed in Nazi clothing with German planes in the background. These are drawn by Herge, right?
While I'm convinced that neither Tintin nor Herge were Nazi sympathizers (read In Defence of Hergé), these pictures actually disturb me. Does anyone know why Herge drew Tintin like this? (like, was he being forced to draw these during WWII when he worked for Le Soir?)
Anything on the information behind these drawings would be much appreciated!
#7 · Posted: 9 Oct 2012 11:14
Hi cakes2000, and welcome to the forums!

As you can see, the prints of which you talk have been mentioned before, so your post as been moved here.

Yes, these images can be a little disturbing (and that’s before you’ve see Tintin drawn as a Japanese pilot!), but the intention was never more than benign.
The team at Hergé’s studios contained experts in the depiction of various types of craft - boats, ’planes, trains, cars, etc., and the Tintin magazine was to a large extent educational; somebody somewhere obviously put two-and-two together and came up with the idea of doing a themed series on the history of transport. These appeared as a series of collectable prints, called “chromos”.
I’m a bit hazy on how they were distributed - I think you sent off for them, rather than them being supplied with the magazine, but I can’t say for certain.

Each print was provided with a detailed illustration of an appropriate vehicle, and a text section covering its rôle.
Furthermore, each was accompanied by a picture of Tintin in appropriate costume of the era, often posed humorously; if that meant showing him in Luftwaffe uniform, then that is what he wore, but he’s also shown in other pictures as a Japanese pilot (as I mentioned), a USAAF pilot and a handle-bar mustachioed RAF wing-commander, depending on the aircraft depicted.
So, no need to worry, it’s nothing to do with politics one way or the other, just an attempt to dress up history as an entertaiment for young folks.
The chromos were later collated and brought together as books, and these themselves have become collectable.

Update: cakes2000 edited the original post while I was answering; so the above answer may not reflect the post as you now see it!
#8 · Posted: 9 Oct 2012 11:28
Wow, thanks a LOT for your information! That is exactly what I wanted to know, what a relief!
Hahaha, Japanese pilot... oh dear, I get it now.
This is interesting. Thanks again.
#9 · Posted: 9 Oct 2012 11:58
Many of these prints are available on ebay.
#10 · Posted: 9 Oct 2012 23:16
A bit more time, and a bit more research! What I have gathered so far…

Voir et Savoir (“Look and Learn”) was a feature in the Tintin magazine more or less from its inception in 1946; Captain Haddock had a column in which he was “interviewed” about naval history, while the history of flight came from “Major Wings”, who had been the pilot of the hydro-plane seen in The Shooting Star. These two features alternated on a weekly basis.

From 1950, the publisher of the magazine, Lombard, re-published this material as the colour chromos, which could be got in exchange for “Timbres Tintin” (“Tintin stamps”), which could be collected both from the magazine and a range of other products such as soaps, then sent in for redemption.

Under the “technical and historical direction” of Edgar Jacobs, the first series of chromos were thirty-six prints, in six sets of six, on the history of airships (balloons and dirigibles).
This was followed by a history of trains, which for some reason I haven’t yet identified, was abandoned after just one set of six chromos had been made available. Interestingly, the Benoît Peeters book, Le Monde d’Hergé includes images of two of these trains, but only as black and white line art, although they were published in colour in the set that was released.
Jacques Martin then took over the direction of the series, and under his guidance a further five sets of sixty chromos each were produced. These were:
A History of the Motor Car from its origin to 1900;
A History of Aviation during the War 1939-1945;
A History of Aviation from its origin to 1914;
A History of the Ship from its origin to 1700; and
A History of the Ship from 1700 to 1850.

Lombard started collecting these into books, which were published between 1953 and 1963.
These were re-published in 1978 by Editions Septimus, together with a sixth volume:
A History of the Airship from its origin to 1940.

Each of these books also had a new, otherwise unpublished cover image by Hergé appropriae to its subject.

Further series are said to have been planned, including a history of warriors through the ages, and one on historical costumes, but these were never published, and the work hasn’t been seen anywhere.

Update: The chromos of the birth of aviation were issued as a promotional item by a chain of Shell petrol stations in Italy, together with an album in which to keep them. For this release a further three images of Italian aeroplane pioneers were substituted for three of those which had been released in the original set.

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