July 30, 2004

Scary Rascar Capac

rascar.jpg I don't know about you, but there were a couple of adventures that really scared me when I was a kid. First, there was the "Cigars of the Pharao". The atmosphere was a bit eery, specially when Tintin entered the tomb, when he is gassed and there are some nightmare scenes, with hieroglyphic Thomsons carrying Tintin in a crib and all. I was super scared reading it. I think the version of the album I had was all ripped and torn too, and the later half of it was missing, so I never finished reading it as a kid and read the full story much much later. Either that or I was too scared to finish it.

The second was the Seven Crystal balls. Who wasn't scared of Rascar Capac? It seriously is one of the scariest creatures ever. Specially the part where it enters Tintin room while he's sleeping.

I think it's really interesting how Herge was able to actually create fear with the comic. I don't recall many other comics that actually scare you, I think it's quite a hard thing. Or then again maybe it's because I was a kid.

By the way, that's a picture of the real Rascar Capac mummy, courtesy of this site.

Posted by legofish at 04:58 PM | Comments (3)

July 21, 2004

Real life Tintin?

This is sort of bizarre, but apparently there is a TV personality in Philippines who'se name is Tintin ! And apparently she is really famous.

A lot of times when I search for Tintin on the web I come across articles about her. Her name is Tintin Bersola, and there's a lot of news articles out there about her recent marriage to a fellow called Julius Babao. Hmmm, Tintin and Julius !

How can a girl be named Tintin? Anyway, I didn't really bother to read all the articles and try to discover whether the inspiration came from Herge's Tintin or somewhere else.

If anyone knows, do enlighten us.

Posted by legofish at 07:12 AM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2004

Tintin and censorship in America

Well, I have already discussed the censorhip of Tintin albums in Iran, but as many of you know, the Americans too asked Herg頴o "modify" a lot of the books before publishing them.

Among many changes, they asked him to replace black people with white people. For instance, they didn't like a black person beating the captain (who is white) and enjoying it! So they asked Herg頴o change him, and the result is a middle-eastern looking guy now!

? Herg鯍oulinsart 2004 Image courtesy of Lester

Another more ridiculous example is the following sequence, where they asked Herge to remove the panel which actually shows the Captain drinking!

? Herg鯍oulinsart 2004 Image courtesy of Lester

Equally ridiculous as the Iranians I guess, but at least they did it when Herg頷as still alive and asked him to make the changes himself, the Iranians are doing it on their own, even without permission from Casterman or Moulinsart.

By the way, I've always thought Herg頷as too lenient when it came down to this stuff and did whatever the publishers asked him to do, I think he should have stood his ground more firmly, at least in some instances.

Posted by legofish at 06:02 PM | Comments (4)

July 18, 2004

We're back!

After a week of downtime which was caused due to problems with the servers, Tintinesque is back! I have transfered the site to a new and better webhost.

I have also added a couple of new sections: Linkdump and Features. Both of them are accessible through the side bar.

The Linkdump will contain interesting tintin-related links that I come across, mostly the ones having some news value.

The Feature section will contain in-depth articles and essays about Tintin, so contact me if you think you have material which can be published in that section.

I've also asked a few friends to send me some of the new Tintin books from Iran and I can examine them myself and extract all of the censorship instances, I'll definitely write about them here once I get them.

Posted by legofish at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2004

... in the movies

Are you excited about Spielberg 's attempt at making the Tintin movie? To be honest, I'm not. Not even a bit. I think Tintin is definitely one of those characters that simply cannot be adapted in a movie. He can only exist in a 2D world, and any attempt at bringing it to live action will just ruin it. (even the finest crafted statue of Tintin doesn't look remotely like the drawings, let alone a real person). How on earth can you cast real people as the characters?

crab with the golden claws - 1947

It had already been proven, and all previous attempts at making a Tintin movie have been miserable. (Read about them and watch some clips here)

Anyway, but since they're making it anyway, there's no use nagging. I just hope they do a decent job of it. The last I heard the script was approved by Herge Foundation, and there were even talks of casting Tom Hanks as Captain Haddock (!!!!!!!). I think it would be ridiculous if they cast actors who are not themselves Tintin fans for the roles. How on earth can they capture the essence of the characters if they have not grown up with the stories?

But I really liked the Ellipse-Nelvana animated series and I thought they did an excellent job - both in terms of animation and staying true to the stories. I wish instead of a live action movie, Spielberg would have made a feature length kick-ass animation. Share you thoughts about this in the comments.

Posted by legofish at 11:46 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2004

Rare Discovery - Thermozero

I'm not sure how many of you are aware of this. I'm quite a hardcore Tintin fan but only became aware of this a few months ago when a friend told me about it, and I was thrilled by the discovery and all the Tintin images I was seeing for the first time.

I quote straight from the source:

In 1958, Herg asked the famous Belgian creator of comic strips, Greg (Michl Regnier) to make a synopsis for a possible story with Tintin. Greg presented two ideas, Les Pilules and Le Thermozro. These were two parallell files, one that developed the story and another concentrating on possible gags, as Greg was well aware of the fact that Herg wanted to develop those himself.

Read on and see the images ...

Tintin and Haddock are out driving in a car. Outside a service station, Haddock argues with a large man (who happens to belong to a secret organization). Soon afterwards, the large man overturns our friends with his Volkswagen Beetle, but he loses control over the car and crashes in a tree.
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6
Tintin and Haddock helps the injured man and some other persons turn up; Jolyon Wagg and his family, an American from Dallas named Larry (or Harry) Larmon and two mysterious, german-speaking men. When the injured man spots them, he gets scared and hides something in his pocket. The storyline would have taken Tintin to the heart of Berlin, but Herg interrupted this project at the end of 1960 after having sketched eight pages, preferring to maintain complete control over his work. In 1959, the production company Belvision started to produce seven animated Tintin-films for television, adapted by Greg. Fairly successful, this series convinced Belvision to produce two films for the cinema. In 1969, Greg adapted The Seven Crystal Balls and The Prisoners of the Sun into one film. In 1972 came the second animated Tintin movie, Tintin and the Lake of Sharks. To avoid the problems with the adaption of an existing album, this film was an original story of Greg's. In addition to this, Greg was also Editor-in-Chief of Tintin magazine from 1964 to 1973.

If you have any more information about this than what mentioned in the source, please leave a comment. btw I like the margin art on those pages even more than the strips ... it just shows what a brilliant artist Herge was.

Posted by legofish at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2004


Do you collect any Tintin Merchandise? How do you feel about it in General? Do you think they are taking it too far? I mean, you can pretty much find anything with Tintin's pictures or logo on it these days.

Tintin Keychain
one of my keychains

I think I read somewhere that Herge himself wasn't too found of it and didn't want there to be so much commercial exploitation. As for myself, I sort of agree, but still it's hard not to buy your favorite Tintin stuff when they look so amazing. I don't have a lot though. I have a few keychains (including a wonderful plush snowey, I'll post the pic later), both anniversary Swatches, the 10 Euro coins, and most of the calendars from 2001 (wall-sized and agendas). I specially like the calendars for the art, the best is a special edition 2001 giant calendar and all the images from it are from "Explorers on the Moon".

Of course I've also got all the books in English and Persian, and a lot of newspaper clippings related to Tintin.

Anyway, I don't think many people can beat this guy's collection though, check it out, it's amazing.

Posted by legofish at 12:23 AM | Comments (5)

July 08, 2004

Explorers on the Moon Coin Set

The "Explorers on the Moon" 50th anniversary coin sets are now released. They were available for purchase from the Official Tintin store website when I checked this morning, but I can no longer see it there. Sold out, maybe? There are only 10,000 of them anyway.

coin set

I really wanted to get one, but at 65 Euros (+ 22 Euros Shipping charge, which I think is way too much) it was a little too pricey.

The set contains 1 and 2 Eurocent coins from all 12 Euro countries (they are regular coins, no Tintin pictures on them or anything) and one silver medallion with a picture of "Explorers on the Moon" on it.

Still, I was lucky enough to get one of the 75th anniversary 10 Euro Tintin coins when they came out, which I'd much more rather have than this new coinset.

Here's some more information on this new coinset from UCCE. You can also buy it through ebay.

Update: I just found an extremely cool flash thing which lets you take a look at this new coinset in detail. I'm already regretting why I didn't buy it when it was there!!

Posted by legofish at 12:41 AM

July 07, 2004

Castafiore wearing stockings?

Here is another example of the censorship I talked about in Iran. Here we have the cover of "The Castafiore Emerald". At a first glance, it seems decent enough.

Herg/Moulinsart 2004
Image courtesy of Alireza

But once you look harder, you realize that either Castafiore has a lower body of a black person, or she is wearing stockings !!! Of course, the second choice is the correct one. The reason is that women are not allowed to show their bare bodies in Islam. update: I forgot to mention this when I posted this entry, but her dress has also been altered. Originally she is wearing a sleeveless dress, which has now been changed to a long sleeve garment.

There is a debate going on in Iran today. One side says that it's better to have Tintin available for people, and specially children, to read even if it means censoring stuff to acquire permission to publish. The other side - which I support - is totally against any sort of censorship and says it's better not to have Tintin at all, than to subject Herge's art to this sort of abuse.

Remember that the original editions of Tintin which were censor-free and published before the revolution, however rare, are still available and you can find a couple of old Titnin editions lying around in many households, so it's not like we would absolutely deprive people of Tintin if they stop publishing these censored ones.

It wouldn't have been a big deal if it were a few minor adjustments, but as I said before, when you change Captain Haddock's drinks to lemonade or soda, you're modifying the essence of Captain's character, and this has a huge impact on the story. It is an insult to all true Tintin fans to modify and alter Herg's work like this.

Since we're on the topic of censorship, here's a link to an interesting debate going on about Herg's earlier work - which contained numerous racial slurs - and wheather or not they should be censored.

incidentally , it's from a forum on a course which happens to be taught at the university I attend, UofT.

Posted by legofish at 02:00 AM

July 06, 2004

Tintin and censorship in Iran

There aren't too many countires that Tintin hasn't been published in, and Iran is not one of them.

Before the Iranian revolution in '78, Tintin was published in Persian by Universal, authorized publisher of Tintin books in Iran. They were hardcover books, with excellent print quality and outstanding translation.

After the revolution, however, printing of Tintin books - like so many other things - were stopped. The only way people like myself could read Tintin was to find one of the old Universal editions (usually borrow it from a friend) and read them. They were a commodity, really, since not many of them were around any more, and those that were, were mainly torn and ripped after so many years of usage.

It wasn't until a few years ago, nearly a quarter century after the revolution, that Tintin found its way back into Iran. This time, however, the publishers are unauthorized, and since there is no copyright in Iran no one can stop them.

This means they have "censored" a lot of stuff out of the Tintin stories. They have "islamified" Tintin, and had they failed to do so they probably would never have gotten permission to publish the books.

A lot of people, certainly those like me who have read the original editions, hate these new ones though. Imagine Captain Haddock drinking "lemonade" all the time instead of whiskey, or imagine Castafiore wearing stockings and long-sleeves, and then you will know why we hate them.

Here's an example of this ridiculous censorship. It's from "Tintin and the Picaros". As you can see, in the (unauthorized) Persian version, they have actually removed Captain Haddock altogether (embracing anyone except family or your husband is supposedly forbidden in Islam) !!!!



Herg/Moulinsart 2004
Image courtesy of Alireza

That's why the original Universal editions are even more valuable now, and they are almost impossible to find. I will write more on this issue and have more examples of this absurd censorship later.

Posted by legofish at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)


I'm always looking forward to receiving your Tintin-related articles, photos, essays, or even comments about this blog.

To send in your stuff, you can email me at:

webmaster at tintinesque dot com

Posted by legofish at 02:14 AM

July 04, 2004

Tintinesque: The Beginning

Welcome to Tintinesque, the first English blog about Tintin. I have been a life-long tintinophile, and have been running a Persian blog about Tintin for more than a year. Then, seeing how there isn't a single English blog out there about Tintin (at least not any that I could find), I decided to make this blog.

You may ask what is the difference between this and so many other existing Tintin websites. First, this is a weblog, so it will be updated frequently. Second, unlike other sites, Tintinesque will have a significant portion of its content provided by you.

I want you to send in your stories, pictures, articles, or essays regarding Tintin. With Tintin's vast geographical domain, there are ton of interesting Tintin facts in each country which surely is of interest to all Tintinophiles around the world.

I'd like to remind everyone that this is not an official Tintin site, and I will do my best to adhere to Moulisart's Charter.

Posted by legofish at 01:04 PM