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Cigars of the Pharaoh: Snowy coming and going in the desert?

#1 · Posted: 18 Oct 2017 09:30
I made a rather interesting discovery while reading Cigars, which I think hasn't been mentioned before.
On page 16, Tintin and Snowy beat the people acting as villains in Rastapopoulos' film, and Snowy follows the actors as they run away.
In the very next frame, Snowy is back with Tintin.
But then, on the next page, we can see Snowy running back to Tintin - with a piece of one of the actor's clothes in his mouth!
Is this a mistake, or did Snowy run after the actors, come back to Tintin, and then go and tear a piece of cloth from one of the actors and then return to Tintin a second time?
It's something to think about, isn't it?
#2 · Posted: 19 Oct 2017 18:17
Yes, it's definitely an error, and was added in the transition to the colour edition.

The corresponding frames in the black-and-white original don't show Tintin and Snowy together in the intermediate frame: Snowy runs after the actor, and does not return until he comes back with the scrap of cloth in his mouth (which clearly makes sense).

For some reason, Snowy was added where he wasn't needed, and it does spoil the flow of the joke.

It looks like there might have been some thought of restructuring the sequence. In the original, the desert scenery is little but a vague suggestion of dunes and a horizon; the reworking adds rocks and outcrops.
Between Snowy being chased away, and then mysteriously (and incorrectly) being drawn next to Tintin, Tintin himself seems to have moved much closer to the rocks.
As it seems unlikely that it's just a case of someone working in a hurry (it's far easier to leave something out accidentally, when revising a picture, than adding it in - at least, that's how it seems to me), there may have been some other stage in the re-development which was later abandoned, but not completely erased...?
#3 · Posted: 4 Jul 2018 21:03
I wonder why they didn't fix this error later on?

The error on page 52, where in the early editions Snowy was at Tintin's side in one of the frames, although he was supposed to be with the Thom(p)sons, was fixed later.
Yes, that error was more obvious - but why fix one error and leave the other one in the book?
Hergé and his studio must have noticed both or someone must have told them.

It's interesting that there were two frames where Snowy appeared although he shouldn't. My theory is that Tintin and Snowy are so inseparable that Hergé included Snowy by mistake in these two frames :-)
#4 · Posted: 9 Jan 2024 19:45
Yesterday I noticed something interesting while browsing the official Tintin website:

In the "Albums" category there is a page about "The Blue Lotus" and
in the part of the page titled "Shangai movie star!" there are the last two strips
from "Cigars of the Pharaoh" page 16 (where Tintin interferes with some movie production).
The last frame on page 16 usually shows Snowy at Tintins side,
which was probably an error made by Hergé (or some of his assistants),
because three frames later Snowy returns from chasing one of the "thugs",
so he shouldn't have been at Tintins side in that last frame on page 16.

But on that webpage the frame is shown in a modified version. Snowy has been removed!

Does anyone know if the current print version of the album has also been changed?
My copy (French version from the 1990s) does still have the frame with Snowy in it.
#5 · Posted: 10 Jan 2024 09:52
But on that webpage the frame is shown in a modified version.

Interesting spot!

The fix is quite neatly done, but it's obvious when you look that in doing so they have duplicated a bit of rock from the left hand side of the frame into a new position to hide the gap. Were I to have done it myself, I think I would have been tempted to source my replacement piece from a different frame, to further the illusion of that being how it was intended to be.
#6 · Posted: 10 Jan 2024 19:07
Were I to have done it myself, I think I would have been tempted to source my replacement piece from a different frame, to further the illusion of that being how it was intended to be.

Me too! But perhaps whoever authorised the correction, nervous of tampering with Hergé's work, even his errors, was inclined to make an "honest repair" (if I'm remembering that term correctly from programmes about antique restoration) rather than a fully disguised one. Or possibly they were just less advanced in the ancient art of disguising Photoshop tweaks than some of us! ;)

Anyway, yes, good spot JKM! It'll be interesting to see if this does make it into future book versions or if it was just an independent tweak to the online version by Tintin.com.

Maybe someone will also finally correct that missing seaplane wing tip in the Crab with the Golden Claws, left undrawn when the frame was extended for the first book version. Or the misdirected speech balloon stalk in the Calculus Affair's tank scene. Where would you draw the line though? Would it be right to correct Hergé's upside down banana bunch in The Broken Ear? Probably not!
#7 · Posted: 19 Jan 2024 15:15
Or the misdirected speech balloon stalk in the Calculus Affair's tank scene.

This put me in mind of something, but I couldn't put my finger on it until just now!

There was a discussion of another possible speech-bubble error in Calculus Affair, you might recall, in which the Captian deduces how to trace a car by the C.D. plates he'd spotted. Some said that, given the lucidity of the train of thought, the speaker should have really been shown to be Tintin...
...I then found that in the original Tintin magazine version of the story, there was an actual error two frames later, which had been corrected: originally Haddock is shown to be the speaker, but, as can be told from the fact that the Captain is referenced by name in the text, the speaker should be Tintin, and the artwork was changed accordingly when the book came out.
I argued that, it would be unusual and indeed careless to undertake such a change without reading backwards and forwards a little to check that the new version made sense, and thus there would have been an opportunity for Hergé to change the C.D. plate speech had it been intended for Tintin to be the speaker there too.
So in my opinion, it was more than likely that the Captain was the correct source of the speech in frame 2.

This is a bit of a round-about way of saying that there could be a case that Hergé was open to making changes as necessary, and that, in the event of some tragedy having robbed us of him between the magazine version and teh book of Calculus Affair, he'd most likely still have been happy for someone else to sort out the fourth frame on p.19, but not so happy if they chose to change the second one.

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