Tintinology (formally Tintin Movie .org) is an independent news and analysis service on the Tintin movie and the works of Herge. (c) Chris Tregenza, Tintinology.poosk.com
Tintin, Tintin & Snowy, Captain Haddock, Thomson & Thompson, Professor Calculus and Herge are all trademarks of Moulinsart S.A. The text and images of the 24 Tintin albums (c) Herge / Moulinsart S.A.
Herge and his first wife, Germaine, shortly after their marriage in 1931.
Source: L’amour, c’est compliqué
John Williams is composing the soundtrack for the first Tintin movie, Secret of the Unicorn but putting together a full orchestral score is not the work of one man. Conrad Pope, a long time collaborator with Williams is working on the orchestration of the score and spoke to the John William Fan Network.
I’m currently orchestrating a large piece with a number of ideas. The main theme is highly energetic, filled with great tonal twists and turns, reflecting, I suspect, Tintin’s heroic energy. It will become a classic, I think. To give more information would be to reveal things that I don’t think JW would want to say.
We are at the beginning of the process. The main scoring sessions are off in February.
Movieline has an interview with Garrett Warren, a stunt choreographer, who worked on Tintin, Secret of the Unicorn. He has a few interesting things to say about the film.
We did a test for it two years before we shot it, and when we did the test it was fun and interesting. But oh my gosh — when we finally saw the movie, it was amazing. The stuff that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson came up with, the performances of Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis — oh my goodness. You cannot imagine what those guys can do to words on a page. It’s one of the better movies that people are going to see…
Can you describe the look of it at all?
It looks an awful lot like the cartoon. They really wanted to bring the cartoon to life. So if you know the cartoon, or have seen the books, that’s what it looks like. It’s beautiful. You would have thought to yourself that they would have tried to go for a more realistic look, but they’re actually trying to preserve the look and essence of the original Tintin characters.
Read the full interview, with a lot about his work on Iron Man 2 in Stunt Choreographer of the Year Garrett Warren: ‘It’s About the Emotion of the Action’
Why is it that comics and children’s books incite such stupidity?
The Brooklyn Public Library has moved Tintin in the Congo from its public shelves and placed it under lock-and-key as part of “a special collection of historic children’s literature that is available for viewing by appointment only”. This censorship was done after the library received just a single complaint. Yet, the library has received over two dozen complaints about other works in the last few years and not one other book has been moved off the shelves.
There is no denying the racist elements of Tintin in the Congo, a work by a naive and unenlightened creator but the nature of public libraries is that they will contain material that is offense to some, or indeed many, people. Obvious examples include Hitler’s anti-sematic Mein Kampf ( Brooklyn Library’s has 10 copies) and Vladimir Nabokov exploration of child sex Lolita (seven copies). So why has this one work been singled out?
The answer lies in the medium and the audience – Comics and Children.
Comics in America have always been seen as something only suitable for children and worthy of special treatment regardless of 1st Amendment Rights. In the 1950′s, the Comics Code Authority (CCA) was formed to regulate the content of comics. Though it had no legal authority, its used public opinion and panics over of juvenile delinquency to force major publishers to either go along with the code or go bankrupt. The strict rules the CCA imposed restricted the growth and development of the comics medium in the US and to a lesser extent in the UK. In Europe and Japan, where no such rules existed, the medium flourished and explored a wide range of themes for a wide range of age groups.
However it cannot be ignored that Tintin in the Congo is a children’s book and that the stereotype’s children are exposed to can have significant impact. Herge himself is a great example of this. The images he drew in Tintin in the Congo reflect the images of black people that he grew up with. There is a real case to be made that Herge’s first two books should not be in a children’s section or at least come with some sort of warning for parents but that is along way from locking a book up away from public view.
The debate about Tintin in the Congo is not an abstract discussion about censorship and civil liberties. It is a real problem having real impacts. Already, white supremacists are using the book as a rallying point for their vitriol (see Tintin on the Front Line of Racism).
By focusing on one aspect of Herge’s work we are losing the sight of how Herge’s life exemplifies the battle against racism. His is a story about how one man overcame his prejudices to become an ambassador for peace and understanding across cultures but to understand this story we must be able to read all of it.
This redrawing of the cover from Tintin in the Congo was found in the Congo by Nuala Sawyer, a photographer working with on location with a film crew. As Nuala notes “The funny thing is that the Congolese seem to embrace Tintin—I think that interpretations of racism are incredibly different in the Congo than the USA.”. More photos at Photokapi
Thanks to The Tintin Blog for spotting this.
The blog of Nick Rodwell, head of Moulinsart and owner of the rights to Tintin, has been suspended by the editors of Tintin.com.
Mr Rodwell apparently used the blog to launch a unrestrained attack on certain journalists and newspapers. One French newspaper reporter was described as “The Liar” and described two French and Belgian television reporters as having an “hatred towards me”. The full text of the attack is not available but reports in the Belgium press suggest it also included personal insults and comments about the journalist’s families.
In an announcement on the Tintin.com website there was no apology but “In a spirit of appeasement, we have decided to remove the contested texts and comments”.
It is not clear what sparked the diatribe from Nick Rodwell but he has received a lot of criticism for his tight control over the use of Tintin. He is married to Fanny Vlamynck, the Herge’s second wife and together they have ruled over the world of Tintin. When the Herge museum opened, journalists from all other the world arrived only to find that were not allowed to film inside the building. In the past, Moulinsart has tried to ban work by Danish artist Ole Ahlberg, succeeded in shutting down fan sites and had a very public dispute with Tintin’s publishers, Casterman.
UPDATE: Thanks to Mark, who has provided a link to the original text in English. It is a rambling, incoherent and absolutely unjustified invasion into the privacy of the journalists and their children. One can only speculate as to why an a clearly intelligent man would stoop to such attacks but it is clear the Mr Rodwell could do with some time off.
Via the Comic Bits web site, Welsh language publisher Dalen Books reports:
“We’ve just also published Tintin the Black Island in Welsh, with Land of Black Gold to follow in Welsh in September We’ll be doing the 2 Tintin moonshot stories next year (plus also a possible Irish edition TBC).
I’ll send you our current Tintin titles for evaluation; I imagine they could be of interest to aficianados of the genre. It’s surprising how many orders we’ve received for these from collectors on the continent. ALSO, fans can also get free A2 Tintin posters from our website (they just pay for p&p), the kind they’d get charged £15 for an unframed French version – and we’re currently hosting an online Tintin competition with a rare and collectable running sheet of 8/8 pages as a prize. The only thing is, the question is based on the Welsh Black Island which entrants will have to get before they’re able to answer!”
More on Welsh Comics and Books: Dalen Books
Hundreds of photographs taken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the early 20th century, about twenty years before Herge drew Tintin in the Congo, are online. They show a fascinating glimpse of life around that time and are a million miles from the images of colonial propaganda Herge produced in his book.
Mural Decorated Hut
These photos come from Photographs from Lang-Chapin Congo Expedition (1909-1915). Whilst these photos capture some of the beauty of the Congo and its people, they only tell half the story. The photo below is of rubber plantation workers, punished for failing to meet quotas by having their hands cut off (Belgian Congo Free State, 1905).
More striking and disturbing images can be found on the blog Constant Siege.