Tintin and Alph-Art

by David Dedrick on September 2, 2015


Tintin Button_iTunes

This week on Totally Tintin we’re getting near the end as we take a look at Herge’s final, incomplete Tintin story, Tintin and Alph-Art. Ian and Dave have some fun with the book before getting down to business, but we know you’ll forgive their high spirits and hope you’ll enjoy this week’s unusual presentation.

Next week, Ian and Dave will take a look at the history of Tintin in the movies.

Don’t forget that we’re looking for some questions for our final episode. If there is anything you’d like Ian and Dave to discuss in greater detail or anything they may have left out, please leave a comment below!


Liked it? Take a second to support Sneaky Dragon on Patreon!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Les McClaine September 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm

The mention of Hergé owning a Lichtenstein reminded me of Tintin in the New World and its Lichtenstein cover, which I read when it came out but didn’t enjoy at all (perhaps because I was sixteen years old.) Have you guys read it? If so, what were your thoughts?


Layne September 3, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Theory: As a result of the car crash in The Calculus Affair, the good professor’s egg got scrambled. Dementia can be hard to detect in people with poor hearing as their communication skills are already somewhat compromised and it would explain his temper and outburst in Flight 714, as well as his lack of curiosity regarding the existence of extraterrestrials. It would also explain his vertigo in Picarros (He didn’t have any problem with heights before, I think) as well as the general mehness of his later inventions.

Questions for Ian:

1. As someone who wasn’t overly familiar with Tintin, overall did the books meet your expectations, and in any particular ways? Did anything leave you cold?
2. As a cartoonist, did you pick up anything from Herge’s storytelling that you think may be useful in your own work? Did anything tweak the parody/satire part of your brain? (It probably wouldn’t be too hard to apply the template of an orange-haired naif, drunken blusterer, and zany scientist having madcap adventures to the Futurama universe, for example.)

Questions for Dave:
1. You’ve mentioned on the podcast and in the comments how you never read the books chronologically before, and what that experience was like. I don’t know if you have any more thoughts about that, or if you could elaborate on it more.
2. What are some of the resources you used for research? What Tintin/Herge-related books would you recommend?
3. You mentioned a replica of the rocket and the shark sub is sold at the Tintin store in Belgium, I think. Is there any other merchandise out there that you think is neat? Do you have a wishlist?
4. Have you ever been to the Herge museum?

Questions for Both:

1. Top 3 Picks (Favorite adventures, covers, supporting characters, settings, etc.).
2. I think of Prisoners of the Sun as being the quintessential Tintin book – there’s mystery, adventure, good characterization, lovely art, and interesting cultural touches. I can’t say it’s my favorite book, but it really sums up Tintin, I think. Do you think there is a quintessential adventure, and does it jibe with your favorite? Why/why not?
3. What adventure would you recommend for introducing young/new readers to Tintin?


Pastries September 4, 2015 at 1:09 am

As tintin draws to a close I wonder: Is there anything that Boothby is super nerdy about that he could school Dave on for a change? If you do a third sidecast, it’d be funny to have the roles reversed. Keep on sneakin.


n. matsumoto September 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Have you seen/read “Georges & Tchang: une histoire d’amour au vingtième siècle”?


colin upton September 5, 2015 at 2:08 am

That was a hoot!
I love old time radio too, you reminded me of the Mercury Theatre production of the War of the Worlds.
Asterix is the gateway drug for Tintin, that’s how it worked for me.
That airport story did sound like Herge’s version of Waiting for Godot.
I have the 1986 version of Alph-art but I think this cover is better, more poignant. When I saw the cover it made me think of the cartoonists dilemma, the blank page. Both full of possibilities and a daunting task just beginning, for Herge I imagine a daunting prospect at his age. (I know he did not choose the image but I think it was an inspired choice by the designers of the book). I really thought that this story was a return to form for Herge, a subject he loves and is able to parody so well, art. All the best parody comes from affection for the subject. Tintin seems to have woken up from his lethargy and started acting like himself again. I’m glad they left it incomplete.


colin upton September 5, 2015 at 2:30 am

I would ask if you have followed Herge’s legacy and continuing influence on cartoonists in Europe, the clear line artists like Chaland, Clerc, Swarte, Larcent. It seemed like many cartoonists were reacting for or against the towering presence of Tintin as an icon with tributes and parodies. How is Herge relevant today? Outside of Europe?

I too would like to know if you’ve read any of the novels that incorporate Tintin as a character and what you might think. I’ve read Tintin in the new world and Tintin and the Secret of Literature. Ian , get reading!

Have you read “Breaking Free” where Tintin is a Molotov cocktail hurling anarchist?

Could you review “The Adventures of Herge”? How much of it is accurate?

There are many books about Herge’s life and work, which would you recommend?

Have you heard the Tintin radio plays? A BBC production I believe.

Have you any idea how much Tintin porn is out there? There’s a lot!

So when are you going to “All about Asterix”?


Dylan September 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Question for Dave:
What have you discovered about Tintin that you didn’t know – do you have a greater or lesser respect for the series, or how has your opinion changed?

Question for Ian:
Why did you never read Tintin before after being urged? Was there a reason, or you just never got around to it?
What is your opinion now?

Question for both:
I’ve heard it said that you could study the history of the 20th Century by studying Tintin, and certainly there are many aspects of it that are covered (colonialism, Bolshevism/Fascism, the cold war, etc) but some are glossed over (WWII). How useful do you think the Tintin books are as a window to this period in time?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: