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Wanted: Tintin books with original lettering

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#11 · Posted: 14 Jan 2012 09:49
Sorry, I have one more question - will Mammoth/Methuen/Magnet continue to publish Tintin books?
#12 · Posted: 14 Jan 2012 11:00
will Mammoth/Methuen/Magnet continue to publish Tintin books?

No. Tintin (like most books) has only been published by one publisher at a time in any given country, rather than the same books being published by all these publishers and imprints simultaneously. It's just that for a while after a new publisher has taken over a book (or an entire backlist of books) you can sometimes find older copies in bookshops that were published by the previous publisher. The only copies you're likely to find of the Methuen, Mammoth or Magnet editions now though will be second hand copies.

Publishers are often part of conglomerates and often get bought up and absorbed into other conglomerates, either keeping their original publisher's name or changing, or using imprint names within a publishing group, so it can get very confusing!

From what I can gather from Wikipedia and memory, Methuen (already part of the Associated Book Publishers conglomerate) published the Tintin books under its own name between the late 1950s and the late 1980s. Then, around 1987, I believe, Associated Book Publishers was bought up by the Thompson Organisation, who promptly sold Methuen (along with other ABP publishers) to Reed International's Octopus. I think it was shortly after this that the Tintin books were published under the publisher names of Mammoth and Magnet, which I think were children's book imprints (ie: divisions) of the Reed group (unless I'm misremembering that and Magnet was an earlier imprint of Methuen!)

Apparently Reed sold off its trade publishing to Random House in 1997 (with Methuen buying itself out in 1998), but at this point (I think!) the UK rights to publish the Tintin books were acquired by Egmont Publishing.

Egmont continued to use the Hyslop lettering from the Methuen days for some years, until the new font (and new shiny printing) began to be brought in, I think as part of an international standardisation of the Tintin book lettering style (and a new printing technique) rather than anything that can be uniquely blamed on Egmont.

I hope that's more or less accurate!
#13 · Posted: 15 Jan 2012 04:40
Thanks so much for the update, Balthazar :D

It is such a shame about the change :( I will miss the classic style dearly. At least I still have my precious Mammoth edition of Tintin In Tibet *clings*

Second-hand Mammoth editions are currently rather hard to find on Amazon/eBay, and those that appear are quite expensive. I have decided to simply purchase the new editions (around $8 each).

I was quite cross upon first realising that the font change is here to stay, but have since grown to accept it xD I suppose it is a fairly nice font, the more one reads it.

Another note: the online previews of the Tintin books (on Amazon) contain the Hyslop lettering; but according to the customer comments, the purchased product has the new font. So I think we can assume that Little, Brown books have also updated the look :(
#14 · Posted: 15 Jan 2012 12:40
The font itself is acceptable. What troubles me is the way in which the onomatopoeic sound effects are lettered. Witness that HIDEOUS jagged lettering which clashes with the books' "clear line" style. Herge would never have approved of it and I cannot understand how Moulinsart - so keen to "protect" the oeuvre - could possibly have allowed this to happen. They are forever going on (ad nauseam) about not distorting the graphic dimension of Tintin, forever bandying around the word "respect" (again, ad nauseam) and yet this is what they produce (or allow to be produced). It is an abomination of the first order !
Harrock n roll
#15 · Posted: 15 Jan 2012 13:37
The font itself is acceptable. What troubes me is the way in which the onomatopoeic sound effects are lettered.

I quite agree, luinivierge2010. It wouldn't be such a bad thing if only the main lettering had been altered, but the changes made to the sound effects is, for me, quite unforgivable. For instance, on page 61 of Tintin In Tibet, look at the detailed work that has gone into making the "Poooaa" with little cracks on the final letter "A". It's made that way for a reason; to convey how the note is breaking up on the Tibetan horn. They haven't even attempted this in the newly lettered version. And the details put into any number of "Splosh"es, "Eeeek"s or "Woooaah"s throughout the books, each with their own particular bend or slant, are now all lost, rendered into a (poor in my opinion) imitation generic typeface.

Have they altered the French versions now? In the English language books these details were all drawn by the aforementioned Neil Hyslop (the letterer for the English books), and comparisons between the English and French versions shows how carefully he had mimicked Hergé's (or his team's) style. I feel strongly that Hergé would have wished for such fine details to have remained, since they are an integral part of the artwork itself. Actually, I only have two of the newly lettered books, which I bought just to see what they had done. Maybe it's pedantic, but I think it's a bit of a shame that fans buying the books today aren't able to appreciate these little details. So much for progress!
#16 · Posted: 5 Jun 2014 15:16
Hi all,
As a child I started collecting Tintin comics when I was around 8 years old - after I accidentally stumbled across the T.V. show.
At the time there was no place where I lived that sold Tintin comics with the exception of one little book shop 30min from where I lived.
So, being a child, I begged my mother to buy me these comics, and, after 4 grueling years, I finally managed to amass the whole collection in various forms (from softcovers to 1st editions, to 3-in-1 volumes).
I eventually stopped reading them, and for years they gathered dust on the bookshelf.
Now, years on, I have decided to get back into reading the adventures again.
Times have changed and since the release of the movie, loads of bookshops finally sell these comics. However I would like to expand my collection, and re-collect all the adventures in hardcover format.
I noticed that the font has changed since when I read the comics, and now everywhere they sell adventures in the new format which I don't like (since it's not what I grew up with).
My question is : where online can I buy hardcover or perhaps even softcover books, but with the old font?

Moderator Note: Hi - your message has been moved to this thread which already discusses the avenues to try when looking for the older versions of the books; there is no easy way to get the older style lettered books new, as the re-lettered books have been the versions available for the better part of a decade. You will need to try second hand bookshops and on-line sellers of old books. Good luck in your hunting!

The Tintinologist Team
#17 · Posted: 6 Jun 2014 18:18
Hi, you can get the hardcovers on Amazon and Ebay.
Places like that have the famous picture frames on the inside of the front and back cover.
If you're looking for the very old original versions you can either try looking in antique shops or ideally visit Belgium where I'm sure you'll find loads!

Anyway, a couple of years ago I bought a version of The Broken Ear in London, in the bookshop at St. Pancras train station. They had from Tintin In America to King Ottokar's Sceptre. However I'm not sure if they were special edition or not.
Good luck! If you find anywhere that sells them please notify me and the rest of us!
#18 · Posted: 3 Nov 2014 11:33
Hi folks,

I understand that this topic has been covered on and off in previous threads but a lot of those are several years old now and I am hoping my fellow enthusiasts might be able to help me out in regards to specific questions I have about locating older publications of the albums.

Before I go any further I should advise you that I reside in Australia where Egmont publications of the albums retail (I think they are just UK editions that are sold here). Therefore they are the glossy paper finish and Casterman-style (computer-generated) font - aspects that along with many others I hate.

I have bought all the albums in paperback over the years, when Magnet and Mammoth published them (which I understand were simply the children's arm of Methuen) and they all demonstrate the Hyslop script and matt-finish paper.

I have recently decided that I wish to re-buy all of the albums in hardcover and therefore am trying to track down versions that retain the Hyslop and matt aspects.

I am not certain whether Mammoth ever issued hardcover editions, I thought they only ever did the paperbacks and that Methuen covered the hardbacks (perhaps someone can confirm or refute this).

I am hoping that Mammoth did because I feel their imprints are the only realistic chance I have of obtaining hardcovers in good condition that retain the preferred traits.

I have located a website in NZ that retails the albums in hardcover and their thumbnails include pages demonstrating the Hyslop script but I cannot obviously ascertain the paper finish from a screenshot.

However the publication details state that the imprint is a Mammoth one and most of the dates state that the first NZ publication of this edition was June 2003, which I believe may have just qualified as pre-Egmont?

I have been in touch with the website and they have informed me that they currently out of stock but can order them in.

My concern is that I don't know how old the screenshots on the website are and that they may just be sourcing Egmont reprints of the albums, even though I have specifically informed them that I want Mammoth versions.

Can anyone advise me what a Mammoth "imprint" actually means?

Does it mean that it is an album from back when Mammoth did print them or am I missing something?

The publication details include individual ISBN numbers for the albums. Is it safer (and more accurate) to simply search online bookstores that do older/out-of-print books using the ISBN?

I look forward to your responses!



Moderator Note: Hi, Josh! Your post has been moved to this existing thread. As you say, most of the questions you raise have already been asked and answered, and while some of the information may have dated, most of it isn't time sensitive (for example, Balthazar's comprehensive history of Methuen and Magnet above), and therefore it would be redundant to recycle it yet again.

Have a read through of the foregoing, and it should take care of most of what you are asking!

The Happy Tintinologist Team
#19 · Posted: 3 Oct 2021 22:56
Hi all,

Is it true that the new font varies in size across the bubbles, depending on how much space there is in each bubble? The gibt remains the same, but the size changes - in some bubbles the size is smaller.
Can someone verify this in the new Farshore books?
#20 · Posted: 4 Oct 2021 09:09
Is it true that the new font varies in size across the bubbles

Hmm... Need to unpack this a little!
The "new" (i.e. digital) lettering of the books has been around for 15 years or so, so is now not really new; it's different to the hand-written "Hyslop" lettering it replaced, but is kept at a uniform size throughout, as Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner adopted the same number of characters per balloon as the French as the maximum text any balloon could hold, and kept their text limited in size. It is discussed here.
The more recent (but still seven years old) e-book editions, available through Moulinsarts app, use a new translation by Michael Farr, which has made no limitation on the amount of text in a balloon, instead opting to reduce the text size to make it fit. That is talked about in this thread.

The gibt remains the same, but the size changes

Took a little head-scratching to work this one out, but then realised you had probably meant to type "font", as g, i, b sit next to f, o, and n on the keyboard? So yes, it does, in the printed books! :-)

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