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Posted: 24 Dec 2006 00:02
When does a habit become a tradition? It’s time for the third Tintinologists’ Review of the Year!
Early in the year it was spotted that the old-style English editions, containing Neil Hyslop’s handwritten text, were being replaced on bookshelves by a typeset version to bring the series into line with the Continental editions. It’s fair to say that this was an unpopular move by Egmont/Moulinsart/Casterman (pick your own scapegoat!) but, like most unexpected changes, time may well soften it. Perhaps less understandable was the decision to change the title of Flight 714 to Flight 714 to Sydney, in an apparent attempt to better reflect Hergé’s original intention. It will be interesting to see if any further changes happen along the same lines… Look out for The Mysterious Star, The Temple of the Sun and Coke on Board in the near future!
In May the events for Hergé’s centenary year were announced. Of particular interest to our community were the promises of an English version of the superb Chronologie d’une Oeuvre series, and two books by Michael Farr: a new ‘international’ biography; and a study of the characters in the Adventures. The latter project, due on May 7th, now appears to have been split into six books, each dealing with a primary character. Elsewhere in the world, Tintin is now appearing in an exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, May 22nd will be marked by nationwide events in Belgium, and the Tintin musical Le Temple du Soleil will return to the stage in Rotterdam. Unfortunately there appears to be no trace of a second run for last year’s Young Vic production in London, which was promised for the end of this year.
In July Tintin returned to the pages of the national press, due to the publication of Tom McCarthy’s Tintin and the Secret of Literature. This book has polarised opinion quite sharply and, while no-one seems to doubt McCarthy’s ability to write, his theories on Hergé’s subtexts are less palatable for some. Approached with an open mind, however, it’s fascinating work and worthy to be considered ‘Tintinology’. At about the same time, and quite out of the blue, the London Tintin Shop announced delivery of the long-awaited (and long overdue) English black-and-white facsimiles of Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Blue Lotus. As expected these are two lovely volumes showing Hergé’s early talent, raw but developing fast, and with a fresh but more literal translation suited to the archival nature of the books. Despite the delay in producing them they are well worth waiting for, though there is no immediate indication of any for the near future. At the end of July came the second Tintin & Snowy album, a nicely-produced companion volume to last year’s. And in September Egmont listed a re-issue of the 3-in-1 editions, including Soviets, Congo and Alph-Art, for sale in February.
So that was 2006: a transitional year perhaps, marked mostly by pointers of ‘things to come’ in 2007. But imagine what will be in here next December!
Merry Christmas everyone!