The Adventures of Tintin: Volume 1 (3 Original Classics in 1) (英語) ハードカバー – 1994/5/2
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Three classic graphic novels in one deluxe hardcover edition: Tintin in America, Cigars of the Pharaoh, and The Blue Lotus.
Hergé, one of the most famous Belgians in the world, was a comics writer and artist. The internationally successful Adventures of Tintin are his most well-known and beloved works. They have been translated into 38 different languages and have inspired such legends as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He wrote and illustrated for The Adventures of Tintin until his death in 1983.
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_The Adventures of Tintin_, vol. 1 (2007) is an omnibus of three early Tintin adventures: _Tintin in America_, _The Cigars of the Pharaoh_, and _The Blue Lotus_. The last two are direct sequels to one another, with _Lotus_ continuing the plot of _Pharaoh_. I believe that they have a freshness that is lacking in some of the later adventures.
The setting of the stories is a bit dated. There are speakeasies and Chicago gangsters in _America_. (Al Capone makes a brief appearance.) And the Japanese are invading China and walking out of the League of Nations in _Lotus_. But I'm glad that no attempt was made to modernize them. The thirties flavor is part of their charm.
These adventures take place before the entrance of the bibulous Captain Haddock and the auditorily challenged Professor Calculus. But that ever faithful dog Snowy is there, and the Chinese boy, Chang. And so are those bowler-hatted detectives, the Thom(p)son twins; though in these stories, they are more concerned with arresting Tintin for crimes that he didn't commit than with helping him. That villainous seaman Allan makes his first appearance in _Cigars_. He will make a later appearance in _The Crab with the Golden Claws_.
The stories are Saturday afternoon serial adventures laced with slapstick humor. Tintin is tossed into the river, falls off of cliffs, faces firing squads, is lost at sea in a coffin, is toppled into meat grinding machinery, is caught by a snare (in a straight jacket, no less), has boulders toppled towards him, is tied up on a railroad track... and frequently escapes only by means of outrageous luck. Some readers have objected to some of these methods of escape as relying too much upon coincidence. I believe that they miss the point. The sheer outlandish nature of some of the escapes is all part of the humor.
The artwork is terrific. Herge is especially good with elaborate machines: ocean liners, sailboats, roadsters, airplanes, trains, and guns. But then there are the wonderful landscapes of Arabian cities, Singapore, the Indian jungle, and the Sahara Desert. And there are also animals: horses, mountain lions, deer, tigers, and Chinese dragons. My one quibble is that the size of the book is smaller than the originals, shrinking the print and preventing the pictures from having their full effect.
But, as I now collect certain comic books, I see after buying that there's a key flaw in this edition/series: you don't see the art of the covers except in a tiny thumbnail, half the size of the track pad on this computer - which is absolutely criminal. They couldn't reprint the cover inside the book? The covers of any comic book are always works of art! And the pages themselves aren't exactly large, so most of the cartoon panes are track pad size. Reading the book is an effort in concentration - you're really working to read that little print in the thought bubbles. Sometimes you don't know if he thought it or said it. Definitely an eye chart.
This series is great for someone who wants the stories (which I must say are standout fun), and wants to get them all without missing a single one...in the same edition, all the same size (maybe for decorator purposes) ... but isn't as interested in enjoying the complete Tintin experience - which I imagine is the same one that I get when I open a Carl Bark's Uncle Scrooge comic book. Graphics! Color! Adventure! And nice big print for us all to share.
In Tintin in America our reporter friend goes to the USofA to rid the city of Chicago of the menace of Al Capone, and succeeds, but not before being captured by native Americans, surviving an attempted lynching, surviving being tied and laid on raliway tracks, and being thrown in a river with huge dumbbells tied to his feet... You get the picture - never a dull moment.
The Blue Lotus is a favourite of mine, probably because I laid hands on this one after I had read every other Tintin, and had been wanting to read this one for a long, long time. And it does not disappoint. With a liberal dose of history thrown in, with some politically correct pointers in international relations thrown in for good effect. This and Tintin in Tibet are connected, though you can read one without having to read the other.
All in all - worth every penny (or cent or paisa....) As they say in India - paisa vasool, or the return on investment is awesome!