I've been and came, and it was a lot better than I've expected!
This is the first Tintin (땡땡 in Korean; pronounced "Ddeng-Ddeng
") exhibition in Korea, and it was promising from the start - in one of the printed version of the newspapers, the exhibition, according to my memory, was ranked the sixth most popular thing in the "Arts & Entertainment" statistics section, and it even had its own review piece.
The facade of the entrance-building is covered in silk-screen prints of Tintin and friends. In case anybody visits, if you wish to, one can pose and take a photograph (or selfie) with them.
Whoever planned the exhibition itself must have a very curious sense of room order, as the first room showcases some of Herge's own paintings, including a portrait of somebody holding a cat. It is then proceded by a room, which has a lot of framed pages from Alph-Art
spelling "Herge" on the wall, and a small glass cube showing two colour plates from Broken Ear
, as well as the fetish. Though, I wish I payed attention to the "e" - it had lots of unpublished pages, and I may have found out if Akass was Rastapopolous!
Further down, there is the original pencil-work for the cover of a Petit Vingtieme
serialising the aforementioned title, and some colour plates of Picaros
, along with a photograph of the bench that inspired a piece of furniture which featured in Captain Haddock's adventure opening the window. In the corner of the room are some paintings from Herge's own collection (seen in Tintin: Herge's Masterpiece
The next room is about Tintin featuring in magazines, and it has a nice cabinet dedicated to the comparisons of the different versions of Black Island
, an entire wall I skipped
(I metaphorically kick myself at the thought of that), some of the earliest "Quick & Flupke" strips (but not, to my recollection, the first), a wall of Tintin albums in various languages, and a lovely collection of Tintin stamps, underneath three editions of the original magazine versions of Prisoners
. The room ends with a pencil sketch from Tibet
, featuring poor Haddock falling off the areoplane-staircase-thingy!
Curiously for most Tintinologists here, the next room is designed off the scenery in Shooting Star
! This section is about the stories which were originally serialised in Le Soir
, and consequently, they are just the inks from the albums. The highlight are twelve promotional cards, starting from Congo
. One in (presumably) the same series can be seen in the book Herge and the Treasures of Tintin
Then, there is a wacking great section describing Tintin and his friends. The only "previously unseen" highlight here is a sketch from Soviets
, which shows the horse and Tintin in a different pose than in the book. Otherwise, it is just pencil-sketches, and first editions.
One interesting thing in this section is a quote printed on the wall - in it, he states that Tintin was "an idealised version of myself", and the Thom(p)son Twins are his lesser-perfect self (contrary to him only saying that his father and uncle were the inspiration), whilst the character that he can relate to the most is Captain Haddock. Though, I could be misremembering this entirely, and the last part about the Twins may actually be about the Captain.
Another quote on the wall says that sometimes, he re-worked his characters so much, he "would stab my pencil through the paper!" - by the look of the pencil sketches, he was quite vigorous in his drawing.
Surpringingly enough, there is a section on one of his lesser-known works, which is Jo, Zette and Jocko (they are virtually unknown in Korea). This is where the unseen art really begins - a potential cover for the album The Manitoba Doesn't Respond
is shown. The wall paralell to the way to the next room is covered in forty issues of Couers Valliants, showing the pages where there is the Jo, Zette and Jocko adventure.
Next, is a room filled with his advertising illustrations. Most of this hasn't been published, I don't think, and surrounded by all the various logos and camping posters, there are two out-of-place gems - six of the ten installments of Tim l'Equirrel
(Tim the Squirrel), which seems to be pretty much the same story as Popol et Virginie
(Popol and Virginia), and an advert for soap, called something like "The Misadventures of Jeffory Debaker". Aside them is a "Livre de Prix", a book about Africa, and other charming book-covers by him.
Next is a room based on how important The Blue Lotus
is. There is a fancy desk, complete with four chairs, with the real Chang Chong-Chen's drawings, and an alternate picture of the duo (Herge and Chang). A picture of the dragon on the cover of the book is printed on the wall.
The last room to feature original Tintin things is themed on Soviets
, with a picture of Snowy running up a stair-case on the wall, and a short animated cartoon of how Tintin got his quiff. Three of the most interesting things are a few sketches of Totor
, a page of Benjamin Rabier - to emphasise how Herge was inspired to draw the animals who tease Snowy in his style - and two original printing plates from Soviets
Interestingly enough, in the English version, the page where the soviets try to break in Tintin's apartment has the number "36" (or something like that) in between the second and last panel. This printing plate - as well as the Korean edition - hasn't got it; instead, it has been cut out.
The exhibiton ends with a wall covered in a large close-up of Herge's last greetings-card (the "forward-facing horizontal parade with greetings in multiple languages" one), and anybody can go and take a photo - a handy camera-stand is provided. Also provided are beheaded feetless cardboard cutouts of the characters, which, instead of costumes, one can hold and pose behind (even Rascar Capac was there - though I doubt many people would want to try him
Finally, if my memory's correct, in the same room, the last pieces are featured a series of photographs of Herge (in safe glass and a guard nearby).
I also saw a corridor filled with Petit Vingtieme
s stuck on the wall (with incidentally
a cover of what may have contained the first Quick without Flupke
), three or four pieces of film featuring Herge, and a Mr. Bellum
The shop was just as if a Tintin Boutique moved to Seoul - it just sold the standard stuff. However, the only thing that distinguised it from the normal Tintin Shop (t-shirts, keyrings, even a facsimile of Tintin in America
, etc.), was a huge table full of Korean editions of the books - including an expensive but pretty Korean boxset - and the (presumably) third translation of Tintin: Herge's Masterpiece
I only got a red "Tintin and Snowy with Luggage" t-shirt and two key-rings.
(Though, seeing that the Herge Museum is supporting this, I don't know how many of you may have actually seen these because they may be in the Museum?)
(Also, in the Le Soir
rooms, there are two large models of the Observatory and Marlinspike Hall - maybe they were from the Tintin and the City
exhibition? I think that the Marlinspike model was at the 2016 Covent Garden exhibition?)
I have to admit, I was half-expecting to see the same things from the guidebooks I already have, but in real-life, or just the originals of pages from the books, but it turned out I was wrong!
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I heartily reccomend it!