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Tintin: A lack of fatal violence in the books?

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#31 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 11:08
Hang on, you macabre people - you can't count any skeletons (plastic or otherwise), as we have no idea how they met their demise; if this thread is to tally "fatal violence", you can't make assumptions that the skeleton was provided by a death by violence - it might have been a body donated or sold to medical research.

I don't think doctors use plastic skeletons to study.

If they don't, then why do supply companies produce them? My dad (admittedly not a doctor, but a vet, who retrained as a biology teacher) taught human physiology, and his classroom skeleton was definitely a plastic one...

I agree that medical students usually have a genuine human skeleton (actually often only half a skeleton) to study, but lots of places will have plastic skeletons for demonstrations in lecture halls or classrooms, especially when many of the people involved will be non-medical staff who may be squeamish or otherwise reticent to deal with real human body parts (so in the case of the Space Centre, a plastic skeleton may be still be useful for a physiologist to show an engineer how some aspect of a design will affect a user of equipment, or wearer of a space-suit).
#32 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 12:26
There are also the skeletons that they discover on the island on page 27 of "Red Rackham's Treasure" which Tintin assumes are locals killed in a fight.
#33 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 16:21

With all due respect to Rastapopoulos and Muller, you practically have to be Robin Hood to shoot Tintin even from point-blank range. And since Robin Hood is absent from the adventures (I will happily be proved wrong), he cannot be disposed off by shooting. Cesar is another matter...

That surely must fall under fatal violence! And Tintin made it pretty graphic too...eaten on the spot, blood everywhere...

My mother is a practising doctor and she actually brought home real skulls to study them. Unfortunately, I cannot vouch for this fact because I wasn't born then to see it.

Actually there is a trade and even black marketing of skeletons- they are dug up, cleaned and transported in separate parts to different dealers. I do not do this, just to make sure.
#34 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 17:34
she actually brought home real skulls to study them

Oh I don't doubt that they do, but I don't think we can discount the use of artificial skeletons, skulls, etc. either.
there is a trade and even black marketing of skeletons

It has always been thus, so that body-snatchers like Burke and Hare are remembered to this day...
I'm not a lawyer, but I seem to recall that it was for some peculiar reason in the past not a crime to dig up a body in Britain; however, it was a crime to rob a grave of property. So people would - if possible - be buried with something on their person, a ring, or even a teaspoon, so that in the event of their body being exhumed by the "Resurrection Men", the perpetrators could be charged with grave robbing...

I do not do this, just to make sure.

Good - glad to know this; most reassuring.
#35 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 17:54
But I do steal corpses! Mua ha ha ha ha!
Anyway, back to the topic, while the lack of fatalities might have an explanation (underaged public, necessity to reuse characters), sometimes it's plainly absurd. Like when Allan threw a grenade, which only damaged Rastapopoulos' clothes. He should have been severely injured by the explotion+shrapnel. Also Chang Chong-Chen (would it be deemed a racist name nowadays?) surviving the Himalaya plane crash is too improbable. Hergé played to much on the brink of credibility/possibility.
#36 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 20:40
Chang Chong-Chen (would it be deemed a racist name nowadays?)

The name actually comes from a Chinese man whom Herge knew personally and who gave him background advice on "The Blue Lotus". Giving a foreign character a foreign name is not racial, more of an homage or keeping things authentic.

Does having British characters called "Blake & Mortimer" make Belgian artist Jacobs an anglophobe?

It is not impossible that some of the passengers may have survived the plane crash in "Tibet". A lot would have depended on how the pilots landed the plane. If it had been a crash landing (like the one in "Red Sea Sharks") then many could have survived but have been too injured to move and eventually frozen to death in the snow storm. Chang recovering and being physically able enough to get to a cave and shelter may just be plausible.
#37 · Posted: 6 Feb 2019 21:10
Thanks for the info! It is so very nice to get illustrated by expert tintinologists here! I would have never imagined that Chang+Chong+Chen could be a valid combination for a Chinese name.

Note from Moderator marsbar: let's not deviate too far from topic. That said, interested folks are encouraged to check out the entry for Chang Chong-chen in our Tintin Characters Guide.
#38 · Posted: 9 Apr 2019 20:45
many could have survived but have been too injured to move and eventually frozen to death in the snow storm. Chang recovering and being physically able enough to get to a cave and shelter may just be plausible.

Yes. Even so, Chang would have died too if it hadn't been for the Yeti.
#39 · Posted: 1 Nov 2023 15:02
At the beginning of this discussion, edcharlesadams came up with a very good list of fatalities in each Tintin book.

Another that we could consider is in:
King Ottokar's Sceptre
Kaviarovitch, the man who collapses in Tintin's flat (page 7). In Alfred Alembick's notebook, he is described as "liquidated" (page 60). Mind you, it's hard to tell if the plotters assumed he was dead when they left him at Tintin's flat or if he was murdered later.

Dupont et Dupond, détectives
Another that we could add is a death in the text story "Dupont et Dupond, détectives" ("Thomson and Thompson, Detectives") which was published in the "Le Soir" newspaper in 1943, right after "Red Rackham's Treasure". This was less of a comic strip and more of a text story with illustrations (in a way similar to "Rupert Bear", though without the rhyming summaries).

In this story, the Thompsons investigate the disappearance of their farmer friend and this leads to the discovery of a murder!

The story was written by Paul Kinnet, a writer of detective stories, but illustrated by Herge and I am told that the humour is very typical of Herge as well so I think that it can be classed as a "Tintin" adventure even if he does not appear in it.

I don't know if there is an English translation of this story, but a full account has recently been added to a Tintin Fandom site.

The Blue Lotus
There is a discussion about the 12 Japanese killed in a train crash. I don't think that those deaths actually occur. On page 18, Mitsuhirato has a conversation with a Japanese official about his mission and they mention "propaganda". On page 22, the same official is informed of the destruction of the railway track (which he knows was done by Mitsuhirato) but that the damage was materialistic and no real consequences.
But the official then launches a major propaganda campaign of false information, claiming that it was an actual attack by Chinese bandits on a train in which several people were killed and this is reported throughout the world and thus justifying Japanese outrage and expansion of their presence in China. But I think that there was no train or victims at all.

Jo, Zette and Jocko
Herge included fatal events in his other work:

The Eruption of Karamako
The volcano lays waste to an entire island, quite likely wiping out all the local natives since they are not seen after the disaster (page 3).

When the scientist destroys the underwater base, he is quite likely killed in the subsequent flooding, maybe even some of the pirates who were not captured by the US Navy seamen (page 44).

Mr Pump's Legacy
John Archibald Pump is killed when his racing car crashes (page 4).

Destination New York
Werner has a car crash (page 40). He lives long enough to make a confession of his crimes but a nurse states that he will not last for long.

A stunt pilot attempts to crash into Jo and Zette's plane but misses and does not appear to be able to bail out by parachute before hitting the ground (page 46).

The Valley of the Cobras
Towards the end, a man known as the "guide" is fatally bitten by a cobra (page 50).

Ramahyouni the prime minister and Rabindah the fakir are blown up by dynamite (page 51).
#40 · Posted: 3 Nov 2023 00:59
a death in the text story "Dupont et Dupond, détectives"

When I was reading this story, I assumed it would turn out to be a misunderstanding or farce. It felt jarring when there was an actual straightforward murder. It makes the story feel less Tintinesque, which I guess reinforces the point made at the start of this thread.

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