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Hergé - Chronologie d'une oeuvre: Tome/ Volume 5 released!

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Harrock n roll
#21 · Posted: 20 Jan 2005 15:01
jock123 asked: So €99 is the rough on-line price. What sort of "street price" could one expect to pay in Brussels...?

I was in Brussels at New Year and they were €84 brand new in the 3 shops I looked in. Not a bad saving, if you happen to be passing through...

And now that I have it I can report that Volume 5 is fantastic (the first one I've bought so far.) I find the war years interesting, and certainly Hergé's most productive period.

The original inks always look spectacular when blown-up large. I'm particularly pleased they chose one of my favourite panels; Haddock and Tintin driving home in the rain, right after their theatre experience. It must have been frustrating at the time for Hergé to see his detailed masterpieces so poorly reproduced in tiny strips.

After working on Le Soir "volé", Hergé had to abandon his regular strip of Crystal Balls, but kept busy with Jacobs redoing some of his earlier adventures - Congo, America, etc - before the start of Tintin magazine.

And there's a great unpublished revealation; (look away now if you don't like spoilers!) there are a few more strips drawn for Crystal Balls not seen before (as least I haven't ever seen them) - it's marvelous stuff!
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#22 · Posted: 20 Jan 2005 15:36
I'd have to agree with everything Chris has said there - it's a fantastic volume and well worth having. The reproduction of the images is unbeatable. I find that so much of Hergé's material (certainly in his early period) is pleasing to the eye simply in black and white, it would work just as well to my mind without colour.

The unseen strips from The Seven Crystal Balls are also great - and I never knew they existed either!

#23 · Posted: 20 Jan 2005 16:49
The book sounds great, but would it be worth spending that much just for the pictures? Im green with envy at your views on it and may have a sleepless night. Ive seen the cover and that alone looks smart. You see the trouble I have is that If I have a foreign book I really want to read the text! It frustrates me. Someone a while ago on this site helped me translate some Dutch text for my 'Kuifje in Barcelona' exhibition book, which was well appreciated. There are so many great looking books (whats that one about dechiphering images from Tintin books?) that I pick up and put down angry that I cant read it, and that the publishers just dismiss the UK even though probably a good portion of the majority of fans live here! Dont you think?...
UK Correspondent
#24 · Posted: 20 Jan 2005 17:30
I agree that we seem to have been greatly left out with some of the books, such as "Tintin et moi, entretiens avec Hergé" and "Hergé fils de Tintin", to name but two. We only got "Tintin - The Complete Companion" because Michael Farr is English. (Conversely, the excellent "Tintin - Hergé and His Creation" by Harry Thompson was never translated into French.)

However in the case of the Chronologie's, at least, I can see why they've not been translated. I doubt that enough copies could be sold to substantiate having them translated and printed. A more economical solution would be to publish an accompanying booklet with the book's text in English (like the first edition of Alph-Art). Then those who own the original French books wouldn't have to fork out a further £70 or so for another copy, simply buy the translation; and the French Chronologies could be sold with the accompanying booklet without any further expense incurred.
#25 · Posted: 20 Jan 2005 17:37
Wow! I’d like to see those extra strips! I wonder how much of this material has been rediscovered in the archives, or even returned from other sources? I remember the Fondation did a plea for anyone with early material that they knew to b by Hergé to get in touch with them before they began the series, as they knew that there was work that they might not have.

It’s pure speculation, but it could be that the strips are a recent “find”. If they’d been aware of them at the time of the “Making of” book for Crystal Balls and Prisoners, it seems to me that they might have put them in that; I’m wracking my brain as to whether they were in the “Incas” exhibition...

rastapopoulos queried:
the publishers just dismiss the UK even though probably a good portion of the majority of fans live here! Dont you think?

Actually, and sadly, no - I think that we’re a tiny minority!! I’m sure that no publisher just “dismisses” a market - they’d be into us for every cent or penny they could get, if it made commercial sense.

Look on the bright side though - there isn’t a German, Japanese or even Flemish/ Dutch version of the series yet - so we have no reason to feel especially picked on! It might be more sensible for them to wait right until the complete series is available, to a) incorporate any corrections b) insert any important additions which get uncovered (remember that they found further “Alph-Art” material after the latest edition of that book was prepared!) and c) as Chris suggests, make it part of the centenary, when they will undoubtedly get a lot of coverage in the English language press.
#26 · Posted: 20 Jan 2005 20:07
when you see the large Black and white reproductions in Chronologie series, you really appreciate the line and craftsmanship that can get lost once the color is added and shrinked down...
Im almost tempted to scan these, enlarge them even more and frame them all over my walls, thay are incredibly beautiful...
someobody else mentioned this - I think it would be great if they released the books with larger panels or even larger B/W panels...some of the most simple looking frames are stunning
I think when the new volumescome out covering the Red sea sharks and calculus affair, my heads going to explode...I cant wait
#27 · Posted: 21 Jan 2005 10:09
Actually, and sadly, no - I think that we’re a tiny minority!!

I wouldnt say we were a tiny majority, well England isnt. Tintin has always been there in the background, always in bookshops and libraries, probably the most popular comic book (apart maybe from Asterix) here wouldnt you say? You can go into most large bookshops and find a stack of em, where most other comic books come and go. Remember the french editions have been used like a language learning aid. Im sure Tintin books helped me learn ENGLISH when i were a lad! You can't really say we are an elite cult of fans (Hmmm), if you look at the wider audience im sure the books are still knocking round in schools and libraries...Or maybe im thinking back to a lost age..its a good question, what do the kids of today think of Tintin? With the Speilburg film coming up will there be a ressurgance...or will they thinks its old hat. Thinking on it I would say the latter. I hope the film (If it comes out) doesnt shatter my image of Tintin, and more imporatantly the publics view. I dont really like book to film conversions, they never do justice. And what ive seen of the Tintin musicals makes me cringe!
#28 · Posted: 21 Jan 2005 11:56
I wouldnt say we were a tiny majority, well England isnt.

Well, I didn’t say that either – I said minority, not majority... And I’m not sure what you think England isn’t... (and not being English, I wonder if you meant “Britain”?)

Anyway, this is drifting off topic, so back to the subject of the fifth volume of the Chronologie: has anyone been collecting the de luxe versions, and if so, what did they do as the “extra” this time - was it another print? If so, is it worth the extra money?
Harrock n roll
#29 · Posted: 21 Jan 2005 12:29
I think you've raised some good points there 'popoulos but I'd personally rather we answer them in a new thread to save this one from veering too off-topic!

However, I think Simon/jock123 is absolutely right; in the pie-chart of Tintin fans worldwide the UK is just a small slice. But let's not do ourselves down here, I still think Tintin has a unique intellectual fanbase in the English-speaking world (well, I'm sure we'd all like to think so!)

That said, I don't think the English market could support the Chronologie series. Certainly it could handle the demand for some of the other unpublished greats like Tintin et Moi but the market for Chronologies is quite specialist even in France and Belgium, especially when you consider their price and size - they're not really children's books.

Richard's idea of publishing the English text for the Chronolgies within a seperate, modestly priced pamphlet is far too sensible for them to think of ! It would probably only be a bit less cumbersome to read than the old Alph-art but the low price would justify that.

I was reading back over Simon's conference report again where Bernard Tordeur from the Fondation stated that 85% of Hergé's original artwork survives. I actually think this is a huge amount when you compare with many other comic book artists and illustrators where sometimes not one bit of their work has made it through the years. Hergé is well-known for being an archivist, thankfully, and because of this we have so much of the original work today.

I was also just reading recently about C.S. Lewis' Narnia stories, made in the 50s; when they decided to add colour in 1998 the illustrator, Pauline Baynes, had to work with photocopied enlargements from the early editions as the originals had all been lost. (Lewis himself was known to have used all of his original manuscripts as scrap paper, but then he didn't see that sort of thing as important.)

And there's a book I have called A Thousand Capricious Chances: A History of the Methuen List (Tintin is mentioned a few of times - but only briefly - and Michael Turner was interviewed for it and adds some interesting anecdotes).

There's an amusing section which recounts the period Methuen moved their publishing house from Essex Street to New Fetter Lane in the early 60s. Apparently during the last days the place was ankle-deep in torn-up correspondence and letters from writers like Conrad, Henry James, Kipling, Wells and Bennett, some of it dating from the firm's earliest times. Michael Turner is reported to have rescued a batch of E.H. Shepard's original illustrations for Winnie the Pooh which had been thrown into the corridor as rubbish!

Strictly speaking not very on-topic but just a couple of examples of why it pays to keep a good archive!
#30 · Posted: 21 Jan 2005 16:13
In a way it is a little short-sighted that they didn’t reduce the French language text, and then have the material in, say, French, English, German and possibly Italian or Spanish in the same edition. This is quite common in art books and sale/ exhibition catalogues - such as those produced by Taschen. It might have allowed it greater circulation outside the French speaking world. But that’s a might-have-been, so it’s not worth worrying about now!

Richard’s pamphlet is a great idea!

I am aghast about the Methuen tale! A chap I know worked at Fleetway many moons ago, and during a move of premises following a flood or some-such remembers the floor of the basement being strewn with “old” Bristol-boards to be used as duck-boards - page after page of Frank Hampson, Frank Bellamy, et al...!

Still, if you have ever been to something like Chris Beetle’s gallery for the annual “Illustrators” show, it is heartening to see that, if you have £25,000+ to spend, you too could pick up a Shepard “Pooh”!!

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