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Le ThermoZéro: Should it be released?

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calculite
Member
#1 · Posted: 23 Apr 2012 03:35 · Edited by: Moderator
Do you guys think that Le ThermoZéro should have an Alph-art type release?

Moderator Note: This is not the first time we’ve had to bring this to your attention calculite, but we’ll try again!

If a member poses a question like this, where an opinion is sought on a general topic, it is seen as only polite that the person making the enquiry kicks the whole process off, and gives their own answer as an example.

Otherwise it’s like someone always taking and not giving - we want to hear what you think too!

So, calculite, what do you think should be done, if anything, with Le ThermoZéro?

The Tintinologist Team
mct16
Member
#2 · Posted: 23 Apr 2012 13:13
Apparently only eight pages of the Thermozero were drawn, as rough sketches as in "Alph-Art" but that does not make it enough material for a whole book.

They could publish Greg's original script but that would mean just lines of text and leaving the illustrations to the readers' imagination.

Personally, I think that they should make it the basis for a film. Being a totally original plot might tempt me into seeing it (having deliberately avoided seeing the recent movie).
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 23 Apr 2012 13:41 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
Apparently only eight pages of the Thermozero were drawn

In the Tintin version, that is; there is also the Jo, Zette & Jocko version of ThermoZéro, which according to Bernard Tordeur of the Studios Hergé foundation, is apparently substantially complete. It was undertaken by Bob de Moor at the request of Hergé, who thought that the idea was a good one, although he found he couldn’t work freely from someone else’s script.

Given that there are the rough Tintin pages, a script (or at the very least an outline of Greg’s story) in some stage of completeness, the largely unseen J,Z&J material – which includes some quite detailed research, as well as story pages), and probably quite a lot of correspondence on the subject (M. Tordeur also said that they have thousands of letters, which he believes outline just about every idea or change that Hergé ever made to a story - the problem is the scale of the task of cataloging it all…).

It’s therefore fairly safe to assume that the material for this is in fact more complete than that which makes up the two releases we have had of Alph-Art (so far - the archiving process uncovered further material after the second version went to press).

I’d love to see a release of some sort. Now that the mammoth task of doing the Chronologies is finished, perhaps we’ll see something of it some day!

Update!: With great apology to long-time member Mikael Uhlin, I accidentally deleted a post he made, which suggested that one possible approach to the material would be to produce a book similar to the Hergé et les Bigotudos volume, which outlined the development of the story which was eventually to become Tintin and the Picaros.

Mikael has been invited to re-post his thoughts, but in the meantime I’m sorry but this will have to do!
Mikael Uhlin
Member
#4 · Posted: 24 Apr 2012 17:00
jock123:
With great apology to long-time member Mikael Uhlin, I accidentally deleted a post he made, which suggested that one possible approach to the material would be to produce a book similar to the Hergé et les Bigotudos volume, which outlined the development of the story which was eventually to become Tintin and the Picaros.

Mikael has been invited to re-post his thoughts, but in the meantime I’m sorry but this will have to do!

That's OK, Jock! No hard feelings from me :-)

You summarized my post very well. Philippe Goddin wrote Hergé et les Bigotudos and he may be the one to write about ThermoZéro as well. Maybe the book could be called Hergé et le ThermoZéro?

Another thought (which wasn't in my original post) is whether it's legally possible to create new Jo, Zette & Jocko-stories, similar to the new series about Blake and Mortimer. If so, ThermoZéro should be an obvious choice.
mct16
Member
#5 · Posted: 25 Apr 2012 00:07
Mikael Uhlin:
whether it's legally possible to create new Jo, Zette & Jocko-stories

I imagine that Herge's rule about Tintin extended to all his characters.
jock123
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 25 Apr 2012 09:51 · Edited by: jock123
I think we need to make a distinction between what is legal, and what is a request.
As far as can be told, there is no legal obstacle to the authorization of stories featuring any of Hergé's characters: Mme. Rodwell, as Hergé's widow, inherited the copyright upon Hergé's death, and it is hers to do with as she wants.
However, she has chosen to honour a request made by Hergé before he died, that there be no new Tintin stories after his death.
There has never been any expression that I know of that there be a complete embargo on all characters drawn by Hergé - indeed, work was done with Quick & Flupke by Johann de Moor (Bob's son).

The two main problems (that I would foresee) are that the studio proper (as opposed to the small charitable foundation) was dismantled, so the physical mechanism for making new art-work has gone, and as that was the system Hergé chose to work in (and of which Mme. Rodwell was a part), it could be that it is thought to be too troublesome to try and revive it at this late date; secondly, if Hergé had been keen on JZ&J he could have continued to produce or authorize others to make more albums in his life-time. The fact that Le ThermoZéro got close to being finished about 15 years before he died and he still didn't release it suggests that he didn't see a future for those characters either.

I'd suggest that we are more likely to see a new J,Z&J book than a new Tintin, but I'd see it being something like an archive of Le ThermoZéro than a totally complete work (and I'd happily be wrong!).
mct16
Member
#7 · Posted: 26 Apr 2012 01:51
jock123:
work was done with Quick & Flupke by Johann de Moor (Bob’s son)

But these books were published within a couple of years after Herge's death. They must have been a long term project that had been planned for some time.

jock123:
the studio proper... was dismantled, so the physical mechanism for making new art-work has gone

Being one of the main centres of the comic-producing world, Belgium can't lack in studios and there must be a few that include ligne claire specialists.

mct16:
leaving the illustrations to the readers' imagination

A thought: there have been texts books with stills from the movie, which in a sense results in an official non-Herge Tintin adventure. What if they were to make more illustrations using the computer-generated characters but basing it on the "Thermozero" storyline?
jock123
Moderator
#8 · Posted: 26 Apr 2012 08:24 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
But these books were published within a couple of years after Herge's death. They must have been a long term project that had been planned for some time.

I’m not so certain - I think there was a feeling amongst the people in charge at the time that the Studios needed projects to keep going, and this and the continuation of work on Alph-Art were the ones which came to hand.
If Mme. Rodwell didn’t want to come out with new stories when they still had the capability of doing it in-house, it seems even more unlikely when that capability has been (deliberately) dismantled.

mct16:
Belgium can't lack in studios

Well of course, but you are missing the very important fact that they aren’t Hergé’s studios; they’d be taking the work into someone else’s domain, which would be a very different kettle of fish.

Technique is the least of the problems - you could go to any country in the world and find artists capable of reproducing work in Hergé’s or anybody else’s style come to that. What you wouldn’t have is the hand of the master in charge, working in his chosen environment, with his carefully assembled, time-tested staff to hand - that’s what makes a studio, not just the paper and desks and chairs.

mct16:
What if they were to make more illustrations using the computer-generated characters but basing it on the "Thermozero" storyline?

Of course that would be possible - but why would they do it? The one thing we know absolutely for sure is that Hergé dismissed the story as a Tintin project; under the circumstances I’d guess that that would be seen pretty much as the definitive statement on the matter, so it would look like a no-hoper to me.
Richard
UK Correspondent
#9 · Posted: 27 Apr 2012 09:48
To add to what Simon said about the studios, any new Tintin book would also either end up as a period piece, similar to the new Blake & Mortimers & going against Hergé's original working method of contemporary, up-to-date stories, or adhere to the original formula (ie. set in 2012), in which case much of the nostalgic charm the originals have gained over time would be lost.

I can't see a new 'proper' adventure appearing (& I don't think I'd want it to) but would love to see a Bigotudos-style "Hergé et le ThermoZéro", a mix of the Tintin version & the Jo & Zette version with sketches, drafts & scripts. Such a book would have a limited audience, but then so do many similar volumes, & it would probably more appealing than most, containing as it would unseen Hergé & studios material.
luinivierge2010
Member
#10 · Posted: 28 Apr 2012 00:55 · Edited by: luinivierge2010
By combining the relevant pages of vol. 6 of "L'Univers d'Herge" by Benoit Peeters - which includes the 8 pencilled sheets in question and fragments of sketch material from Herge's various storyboards and notes for the story (along with a longer script attributed to Greg, but of uncertain authorship) - and Philippe Goddin's later piece on the Thermozero (with Greg's typed script) from an issue of the periodical "Les Amis de Herge", one gains quite a good impression of what the Thermozero "dossier" might look like if published as a self-contained book.

Admittedly, the Peeters volume is hard to find (and very expensive) and you won't find many issues of ADH floating around in the UK.

This said, as far as the eight Thermozero sheets are concerned, the best reproductions are in fact those recently included in the "Tintin in Tibet" volume from Moulinsart's "Archives Tintin" series (but you will need good eyes and a more than minimal grasp of French to grasp the rather amusing jokes aimed at Wagg and family...).

As for the chances of a book being produced, although pleasant surprises are always possible, Moulinsart will probably make us wait a long time (by then I wager that we will all have whitened whiskers...).

The Chronologie volumes are wonderful, certainly, but the Hergé Foundation's archival material could and should be published in far greater quantities - modern scanning technology makes this astonishingly easy.

By way of comparison, one need only consider the remarkable large-format Franquin books currently being published by Marsu Productions (see the website Franquin Collector). They are quite expensive, to be sure, but each volume makes available to fans the artwork for entire stories.

That, it seems to me, is the right way to do things and I am sure many of us on this forum would "break the piggy bank" to purchase Hergean equivalents.

p.s. here's a link for Franquin :
http://www.franquin-collector.com/albums/qrn-sur-bretzelburg-l-integra le-en-vo.html
Bear in mind that not all of the volumes are facsimiles (cf. the early Gaston volumes) - this Spirou story was one was the first to be given full facsimile treatment - and indeed it is probably the finest of the series so far. Readers were quick to recognise this and it now sells for over 400 Euros on the collectors' market.

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