Redirection, or, how John Quiggin rekindled my old passion for Tintin comics

I was delighted as well as surprised to see the picture of Tintin in Mark’s post below today. I had a passion for the Tintin comics when I was a child.

It was John Quiggin who inadvertently re-ignited my old passion. He made a request for civil discussion. That provoked some lame insults, which led me to think that Captain Haddock could do better.

Why did I think that? I dunno- perhaps if you put a sailor’s cap on Quiggin’s latest photo perhaps?

Anyway, I surfed around a bit, and posted this link on my sports website.

But the itch was scratched, and now I had to look. The official Tintin website is very good (its all Flash but if you look in the Dossier section you can find the list of Captain Haddock’s Anathemas (an essential tool for any blog commenter), as well as biographical information, etc.

The fan websites are pretty good, too. In fact, I was so inspired that I went to ebay and bid for some copies. I won, as well, and they’ll be in my hot little hands by the end of the week.

It just goes to show, you never know where reading a blog may take you. The Law of Unintended Consequences is alive and well.

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Tony.T
2021 years ago

You know, Snowy doesn’t go WOOF, in French.

James Farrell
James Farrell
2021 years ago

‘…some lame insults, which led me to think that Captain Haddock could do better.’

Could he? ‘Lame insults’ nos. 4 and 7 were in fact Haddock insults.

‘…perhaps if you put a sailor’s cap on Quiggin’s latest photo perhaps?’

Don’t you think it looks good enough on the old one: http://www.johnquiggin.com/images/captain.gif

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

The great thing about Captain Haddock’s insults was that your imagination filled them in! A good lesson for blog commenters everywhere – less is more!

Phil
Phil
2021 years ago

Why Snowy ? I always thought the dog’s name was Milou !

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Snowy in the English translations, Phil.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

Tintin could do with some deconstruction. Why was Snowy always getting drunk on Scotch? And why were there virtuallly no women in Tintin apart from the terrifyingly predatory (when it came to Captain Haddock) Bianca Castafiore, the world renowned operatic diva, the extent of whose repertoire seemingly extended no further than the first two lines of the ‘Jewel Song’ aria from ‘Faust?’ It turns out that Herge shared Ken Parish’s loathing for Opera but clearly, we need to know more….

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2021 years ago

“Tintin could do with some deconstruction.”

Herge was a between-the-wars far right winger in Belgium (and I don’t mean in the John Howard sense, I mean really a far right winger), and he was accused (but I don’t think it was ever proved) of being a collaborator during the war.

That might be a good place to start.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Geoff and Dave, I’ve been brooding on a little essaylette about Tintin, George Remi (Herge)and the series’ evolving political sensibilities, ever since as a kid, I suddenly got the point of the juxtaposition of the first and last panels in ‘Tintin and The Picaros’.

I’ll try and hammer it out tonight, before a few too many few scotches make me completely Haddocked.

James Farrell
James Farrell
2021 years ago

Someone out there may know the true background on Castafiore and that song, but I can speculate that there’s a simple reason. It’s a song about physical vanity, which makes it comical for a hideous old bat to be singing it; and it’s from a French opera, which means (a)Herge himself understood it in the first place, and (b)an Italian diva would have a plausible reason to be singing it in the language of Herge’s readers. As to why only that song, well if it gets a laugh every time, why expand the repertoire?

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

“The Jewel Song” also sets up plenty of opportunities for thematic gags throughout series, from “The Castifiore Emerald” to Rastapopoulos dressed as Mephistopheles in “The Red Sea Sharks.”

And I think someone should undertake a study of all the various hallucination scenes in the series, many of which deftly quoted surrealistic iconography, and almost form a self-contained mythos of their own.

Also it’s funny when the Thompsons keep running into eachother all the time.

David Tiley
2021 years ago

There is a fabulous documentary by Anders H

sophie
sophie
2021 years ago

Great minds think alike, Scott! Was just about to post on Tintin VS Asterix(which I will do anyway). And thanks for that tip on the doco, David, must look it up. I love the biography of Herge by Harry Thompson(called, simply, ‘Tintin’) It profiles Herge, his life and times and his work in the same engaging and interesting manner as Charles Osborne did for Agatha Christie in ‘The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie’.
I’ve heard that Spielberg is proposing to do a film based on Tintin–has anyone heard any more about it? So far screen versions(animated) have been crap that’s for sure.

sophie
sophie
2021 years ago

incidentally, Milou(Snowy) goes ouah ouah in French! Just as French cats go miaou, French roosters cocorico, French donkeys hi-han-hi-han, and French sneezers ‘atchoum!’ (my kids are always telling me, you can tell you’re French, Mum, because you always go ‘atchoum!’ and not ‘Atishoo!’)

James Farrell
James Farrell
2021 years ago

‘I’ve heard that Spielberg is proposing to do a film based on Tintin…’

I can’t think of anything worse.

‘So far screen versions(animated) have been crap that’s for sure.’

I thought the animated versions SBS has been screening in the afternoon were fine. They missed a bit of the humour, but they were faithful, which is about as much as you could ask for. If we’re talking about the same thing, what was your gripe, Sophie?

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Yeah the ones screened on SBS were sorta OK, in a diet lite beer way, but didn’t have the heft, humour and texture of the books. “Tintin And The Lake of Sharks”

James Farrell
James Farrell
2021 years ago

And who do you have in mind for the other six?

sophie
sophie
2021 years ago

my gripe with them is that they just don’t have the flavour of the comic books–they miss the language, the sly comment, and besides, they were not actually drawn by Herge, as far as I remember(there was some snarl-up with his contract I think which meant that he had no say over filmed versions of his work)
and the voices also sound wrong in my opinion. The BBC did an audio version which was OK but of course Tintin without the pictures..well!

sophie
sophie
2021 years ago

surfing around to find info on the Spielberg project, it appears that he’s planning a trilogy based on 6 of the books, with the first being based on Red Rackham’s Treasure and the Secret of the Unicorn. Somebody said that maybe Rupert Grint (who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films)might play Tintin! (uncomfirmed). Well at least that’s better than Jean Claude van Damme who actually tried to get the part, to be told politely, no thanks.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Y’know, podulating away on the mechanics of putting Tintin on screen, I’m starting to think Spielberg may one of the less worse choices to get a good film up.

Like Herge and Hitchcock, he’s a master of visually based narrative twists and he’s got the clout to keep studio execs from fucking up the casting and plotlines

(“Call me crazy, but just think about this. Captain Haddock’s a woman! Y’know, we’re playing around with gender stereotyping here and there’s your USRT too! I hear Kathleen Turner’s looking for a Travolta-style comeback vehicle, and we can get her for only high six figures now.”)

I’d like think Spielberg has learnt from the gaudy galleon of disaster that “Hook” was and could play straight and true with the source material, as he did with “Empire Of The Sun.”

Look, putting Tintin onscreen in a way that also captures Herge’s unique sensibility will always be a gamble. It’s gotta played as straight-faced high adventure (minus the knickerbockers), with the humour (both intended in the original text, and tongue in cheek for modern audences) leaking through as an inevitable byproduct of the story and mise en scene – like what Ted Elliott and Terry Russio did with “Zorro” and “Pirates of the Carribean” or Bill Goldman with “Butch” and “Princess”.

Then of course there’s casting, which along with a good script, gets you two thirds of the way there. My view is that Tintin is basically the straight man for a whole cast of “zany” characters so you cast an unknown, who looks, moves and sounds right, as yer mainboy and surround him with great character actors. Then the fun begins – blog threadwise for starters

If Spielberg’s on form, and drops his transcendental agenda to have fun, as he did “With Catch Me If You Can”, it could really work. But if he goes all “Hook”, “AI”, “Colour Purple” or “Amistad” on the project, then “Billions of blue blistering barnacles you lilly-livered landlubber of a Bashi-bazouk” would just be the opening salvo of what I’d rain down on his D-girl ensorceled head.

Blogless Clivve
Blogless Clivve
2021 years ago

The doco “Tintin and I” was shown on SBS recently,
possibly January?

Yep. Tue, Jan 11th.

And most of the books have recently (last year or so) been
republished and are generallly available locally.

George Mears
George Mears
2021 years ago

I have seen a picture above a friends fireplace of an old Tintin in a bar with a newspaper and a glass of scotch and a cigarette, with an old Snowy asleep nearby, I would love a copy for my son who was always an avid fan and learned most of his french from reading Tintin in the french versions. Any one got any ideas?