Monday, December 23, 2013

Tintin's lost treasures

The best comics from the delights of Tintin to a moving depiction of the Battle of the Somme

From Hergé and the Treasures of Tintin

From Hergé and the Treasures of Tintin Photo: Herge/Moulinsart 2013
The saddest thing about the Tintin books is that there aren’t any more of them. So admirers of Hergé’s complex and precise cartooning have to make do with an incessant torrent of books about him instead, while doing their very best to wipe the robotic grins and gleaming beady eyes of Steven Spielberg’s 2011 adaptation from memory. Dominique Maricq’s Hergé and the Treasures of Tintin (Goodman, £30) is the latest in a long and occasionally illustrious line, distinguished from the crowd by the publisher’s decision to interleave large envelopes full of Tintin ephemera that can all be extracted, examined or framed.

Reproductions of Hergé letters, rough drafts, notebook panels, Christmas cards and promo posters lend this book an interest conspicuously missing from its narrative, which is translated from a stuffy French and exhibits a yawning lack of critical acumen: “Rome was not built in a day, and neither were the works of Hergé”, “Things have certainly developed since 1929” and so on. If you don’t need the pull-out material there’s no reason to prefer this over the three volumes of Philippe Goddin’s The Art of Hergé (Turnaround, £28.99). 

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