Friday, July 13, 2007
COMIC "Tintin in the Congo "
Publisher- Le Petit Vingtième
Series- The Adventures of Tintin (Les aventures de Tintin)
Published in- Le Petit Vingtième
Date(s) of publication- June 5, 1930 - June 11, 1931
ISBN- ISBN 2-203-00101-1
ISBN- ISBN 1-4052-2098-8
Translator(s) Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner
Preceded by- Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, 1930
Followed by- Tintin in America, 1932
Tintin in the Congo (Tintin au Congo in the French edition) is the second of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero.
It appeared between June of 1930 and June of 1931 in Le Petit Vingtième (the children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle). The story was published as an album in 1931, in black and white form. It was re-drawn in 1946, with additional changes in 1975. Because of its controversial nature, this album is excluded from many reprints of the The Adventures of Tintin series. Storyline
Tintin in the Congo begins with Tintin and Snowy departing from Antwerp on a ship bound for the Belgian Congo. Snowy has several accidents on board the ship, including an encounter with a stowaway, but eventually they arrive safe and well in the Congo. Here, they rent a car and hire a boy called Coco. They set out into the Congo where Tintin goes out to hunt. Several scenes follow, depicting Tintin being cruel towards animals.
Upon returning to Coco, Tintin finds that his car has been stolen by a Caucasian whom Snowy recognises as the stowaway. They recover the car but the man escapes.
Later on, Tintin, Snowy and Coco find their way to a native village. However, the man who stole the car joins forces with the village medicine man, and tries several times, all unsuccessful, to dispose of Tintin. In his last attempt, the crook tries to hang Tintin above a river full of crocodiles so that they can eat him, but Tintin is rescued by a Belgian missionary.
Tintin and Snowy are taken to a missionary station where the ever-persistent crook once again tries to get at Tintin. Tintin resolves to end this and in the final struggle it is the crook that is eaten by crocodiles, though Tintin did not intend it.
Tintin finds a letter telling the crook to get rid of him. The letter is signed A.C., which stands for Al Capone, who is operating a diamond smuggling ring in the Congo. Tintin reveals the operation, and the gang is captured.
Finally Tintin can get back to enjoying the African wildlife. However, he and Snowy end up getting chased by a horde of buffalo. Before they are trampled, a plane swoops down and saves them. They are to be taken home in order to prepare for their next adventure, Tintin in America.
Colonialism and racism
Tintin in the Congo is the most controversial of the Tintin albums. It has often been criticized as having racist and colonialist views, as well as several scenes of violence against animals. Hergé has later claimed that he was only portraying the naïve views of the time. When the album was redrawn in 1946, Hergé removed several references to the fact that the Congo was at that time a Belgian colony. This failed to mollify critics, however. Because of its controversial subject matter, the album was previously only published as a facsimile black and white edition in English. However, a colour English edition has finally been published in September 2005, by Egmont Ltd with a foreword explaining the historical context (a similar move had been employed for the 1983 translation of The Blue Lotus).
When the album was to be published in Scandinavia, the publishers objected to the infamous scene on pg. 56 of the colour album, where Tintin blows up a rhinoceros with a stick of dynamite. They asked the page to be redrawn, and Hergé complied. Instead of blowing the animal to pieces, the rhino accidentally fires Tintin's gun, gets scared and runs away. This page was also used in the English translation; it is only present in these two editions.
In mid-July 2007, the UK's equal rights body, the Commission for Racial Equality called on highstreet shops to pull the book from the shelves after a complaint by David Enright, a human rights lawyer who came across the book in the children's section of highstreet chain Borders whilst shopping with his African wife and two sons. The store later moved the book from the children's section to the area reserved for adult graphic novels. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Commission commented that "the only place that it might be acceptable for this to be displayed would be in a museum, with a big sign saying 'old fashioned, racist claptrap'". Borders said that they were committed to let their "customers make the choice". Retailer W H Smith said the book is sold on its website but with a label which recommends it for readers aged 16 and over..
This article contains a trivia section.
The article could be improved by integrating relevant items into the main text and removing inappropriate items.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not the first album in which the Thompsons appear. Their first appearance was in Cigars of the Pharaoh. They were added to Tintin in the Congo when it was redrawn in 1946.
Tintin is mouthless in the original black and white edition from 1930.
As with the previous adventure, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Le Petit Vingtième staged a triumphant return of "Tintin" and "Snowy" to Brussels on Thursday 9 July 1931. They were accompanied by ten Congolese and met by Hergé himself and Quick and Flupke. The event was reported in the newspaper.
In the Portuguese magazine O Papagaio the story was called Tim-Tim em Angola (Tintin in Angola). In that version he works for O Papagaio.
When Egmont took over publishing of the Tintin books in the UK, they did not include Tintin in the Congo in their reprints, although they did include Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and it was excluded until 2006, when a "collector's edition" in colour, including a brief foreword by translators Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner, was printed.
In the original version, Tintin hunts the rogue elephant at night; but in the coloured version, it appears that it is daylight all the time, making Tintin's joke about the sun giving him a bright idea - after the rogue elephant has chased him and Snowy up a tree.
In the French edition of comics series Asterix, one of the four fortified Roman camps surrounding Asterix's village is called 'Babaorum.' In 'Tintin in the Congo', Tintin becomes a sourcerer for the Babaoru'm Kingdom. Apparently, the name comes from 'Baba au rhum,' which is a type of French pastry.
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