TIntin in Tibet

by David Dedrick on August 5, 2015

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This week Ian and Dave go to great heights to discuss Hergé’s most personal work, the fantastic Tintin in Tibet. Get ready for snow, lamas, snow, mountains, snow, and a walking snowman who isn’t Frosty!


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Les McClaine August 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm

I was thinking about Tintin’s status as a reporter after rereading some earlier books. Originally, he was called “reporter for Le Petit Vingtieme,” which implies that his reports were running in Le Petit Vingtieme– which we read as the comics. If we think that through, we can imagine that the albums (which we know exist in the Tintin universe as well) are collections of his reports, maybe even in comics form. So in the Tintin Universe, he reports for whatever newspaper or magazine is running his comics, and then he collects his stories into longer albums and releases them that way. Maybe he even works with his universe’s Herge, whom we’ve also seen in the books, to adapt his experiences into comics!


colin upton August 8, 2015 at 10:39 pm

This has got to be my favourite Tintin album of all… I love the fact that the story has no villains, no criminal gangs or secret agents. just the power of friendship and perseverance.

There is an early Robin Bougie mini-comic that “pays homage” the wreckage scene from this book… in fact that is how we met. I was commenting on the resemblance in ABC Book and Comic when Robin introduced himself.

While I am no expert Tibetan Buddhism seems to be full of metaphorical demons and other frightening characters, representing from what I understand are the powers within ourselves that prevent us from attaining enlightenment. I remember a room in a museum of oriental art in San Fran that was full of these terrifying ogres.

I love Bateman! His “The maid who but human” is priceless!



Andrew August 9, 2015 at 11:37 am

The chaotic scene where Tintin shouts CHANG is great (also my fave in the book), and even better when you notice Calculus. An example of ‘deaf jokes’ done right!

By the way, I love how you keep reminding us that the characters have all BEEN TO THE MOON. It’s worth mentioning that nobody ever recognises them!


Ian Boothby August 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

It almost seems like Tintin was more famous before he became the first person to walk on the Moon.


colin upton August 10, 2015 at 12:53 am

Lovely drawing too!
Keep up the good work!


Layne August 10, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Ahhh, I’ve finally caught up with you guys! Just like Compleatly Beatles, I wanted to read the album before listening to its episode, and ended up falling way behind. Despite being a big fan from an early age (I’m pretty sure I ‘read’ my first Tintin, Land of Black Gold, before I could actually read – thank you public library, btw), I’ve never read Tintin sequentially before, so this had been a great experience.

Tibet is such a fun and lovely book. As a stupid unappreciative kid I didn’t give it much attention or credit, probably due to the lack of gunplay, villains, etc., like Colin said. Destination Moon and the Castafiore Emerald also got short shrift by young stupid me, and so it’s almost like I’m reading them for the first time, and enjoying the heck out of them.

Curious if anyone else read the Tintin serialized reprints in Children’s Digest? I was given a stack of the things in the eighties, and was just so amazed that I could actually OWN Tintin comics and read them any time I wanted to. We didn’t live anywhere near a bookstore and those albums were pretty pricey anyhow. One thing I remember about those B&W reprints was how every once in a while there’d be a big X hand-painted onto the art. Presumably it was some sort of production mark, but young me wracked his brain trying to figure out what the hell Herge meant by it.


Ian Boothby August 10, 2015 at 5:47 pm
Dylan August 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm

You could probably spend weeks psychoanalysing this one, if you’ve a mind to. I love it because it has no villain, just a heartfelt search for a lost friend. And of course, the adorable yeti!

I think that it’s been suggested that Tintin is the ‘Reporter for Le Petit Vingtieme’ because he’s Hergé’s proxy – he is sent all over the world on boy-scout adventures while Hergé stays and home in comfort to draw the story for the newspaper.

Tintin and Haddock by this time are the two sides of Hergé, the idealistic boy-scout and the grumpy, middle-aged bourgeois. I love that Haddock’s insistent and futile ‘No! You can go on your own!’ to every new lead is just part of the game that he must play – it mirrors Hergé feeling captive to Tintin.


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