Ligne Claire (Clear Line), Tintin and the Picaros, Uncategorized

Missing page from start to finish

After my last post on the Tintin exhibit in Madrid, the owner himself left a comment here and was willing to send us scans of the missing page of Tintin in the Picaros. Hergé had finished the entire album when he discovered that he had one extra page. This was the most appropriate page to take out. It must have pained him to get rid of it because, as you are about to see, it took him a lot of work to complete. Thank you so much ”guardiadetroya” for sending us these scans. They are also available in the Spanish book ”El mundo imaginario de Tintin”, which is also on display in Madrid. The page, like any page from a Tintin album, went through multiple stages. If you read ”Tintin and the Alph-Art” you’ll recognize the first few stages. The first thing Hergé did was draw a basic sketch in ink of what happened in the page, along with a few key words in talk balloons.  Personally, I love Hergé’s style of sketching his characters. I especially love the expression the villain makes in the third line down when he raises his eyebrow, deep in thought.


After he had the first draft completed, he completely redrew everything in pencil, this time with more detail. The page shows us how the villain walks in and threatens to destroy Tintin just like he would destroy his glass( sorry, last time I said it was an icecube…it’s just a glass. Ice might have made more sense actually, come to think of it…). But his glass bounces off the floor and smashes the  very whiskers of Kurvi-Tasch off the ruler’s bust (”Pleszky-Gladz” in the original French). The guard laughs uncontrollably and is scolded, but when the villain realizes that he could tell other people that he had broken the mustache off, he gives the guard the position he wants and tells him to punish ”the cleaning lady who broke the bust”. The message gets across.


The page is now cleaned and drawn in black ink. Back in Tintin’s earlier black and white adventures, the process finished here and only needed the words added. The beginning of this page is strikingly similar to when Rastapopoulos threatens to kill Tintin like he would kill a spider…that later gets away with no trouble. When will these villains ever learn?


But of course by now Tintin had to be in color. And so Hergé once again drew the page in fine blue ink (so fine it doesn’t show up in the scan below) and then painted over it. Finally he drew the black lines.  23-4

Finally, after all that work, another one of Hergé’s famous ”ligne claire” style pages is completed. And it never even made it in the album! At least it made it here.

For those of you who don’t speak french, here is a fan made English translation of the page:

Very special thanks to the owner for sending us these scans. Something I found very interesting is that he himself made several of the items on display, for example, the box of cigarettes in my last post from ”The Calculus Affair”. He also made these awesome ”Syldavian” stamps, which are also on display. I collect stamps, and I think this is a very good idea.

syldavya stamps

I can relate to this because when I was little I made this hideous little Tintin out of paper mache, similar to crafts you might see on Art Attack. Even though his head is massive and one hand is huge next to his other, I still have him. Why? Because he’s part of my collection. Anybody with a little bit of creativity could do stuff like this. Sure, the Tintin shop online is awesome. But there are more options. You don’t need a lot of money to have a cool Tintin collection. If anybody out there feels inspired to create a cool Tintin craft based off of something from the albums, you might just get it posted online.

If any of  you readers live in Spain but can’t make it to the exhibit in Madrid, the owner is interested in moving his collection around. At least I assume just inside of Spain, but I guess that’s up to him. Anyway, if you are interested in seeing it, leave a comment, he’s sure to see it there.


  1. Stephen

    Thank you 🙂 I couldn’t remember the names as the time…
    Sorry Mike, these are the size I have right now. I’m guessing the scans he has are bigger and he made them smaller for the email. But I can’t make these bigger without just going on photoshop and expanding the pixels. ”Guardiadetroya” has been very generous as it is, but perhaps if you beg he could get you files big enough for you to print out.

  2. Thierry


    Let me beg too, I will love a bigger version of at least the final page in French. I found it many years ago and printed it on a crummy printer back then. It has been for the last 6 or 7 years on my Tintin et les Picaros album at the right page so I can read it every time I read the album.

    Guardiadetroya, hope you can give us bigger scan, it will be lovely.

  3. Stephen

    Ok Guardiadetroya 🙂 It seems Tintin fans would forever be in your debt if you could get us a better scan of the page. Could you please? Anyway, I at least am very grateful for the scans you have already sent. Thank you so much, this post was so much fun…

  4. Mike Dutton

    @ Stephen.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am delighted to see these images at all, but I feel that they’re better appreciated when they’re at a larger scale…

  5. Mike Dutton

    Also, I think that, rather than simply inking over the pencil work, Hergé and/or an assistant, De Moor for example, would most likely have used light boxes to transfer the pencil material to a clean board with lager frames. This would enable them to place the characters in calculated positions upon the page, and also allow enough space for the text boxes and effects. I believe this to be the way it was done, as I use the method myself.

  6. Stephen

    If you open the last image that I found online in english in a new tab, it´s actually pretty bit. It´s not the BEST quality, but good enough to print out at least. Just thought I´d mention it.

  7. Stephen

    Oh, by the way I jut remembered that he has all his stuff on display, so even if he´s willing to give us better scans, you´ll have to wait until he can get to his stuff.

  8. Dave

    I had a browse on the net looking at images of “Tintin stamps” to see what was out there. Looks like a fancy new stamp sheet will come out this year from the Belgium Post Office to commemorate Tintin in the cinema. It looks fantastic. Obviously to celebrate the movie coming out. Don’t know if you have mentioned this already but it was the first I heard of it and will be eagerly awaiting it’s release.

  9. ron

    Sandra, the page for coloring wasn’t hand-inked in blue. They used a photo process known in the US as (oddly enough) the “blue line process.” First a photographic negative is shot of the inked (black line) art. Then the page upon which the coloring will be done is coated with a photosensitive solution. The negative is laid atop the coated page and exposed to light. A developer is applied and the image appears on the coloring paper in light blue. Color separations for printing are shot from this colored page. In the final printed comic the black lines overprint the color and come out nice and dark and sharp.

    The blue lines are part of the colored art. However in printing they are hidden by the black lines. The downside of the process is that if the colorist uses thin paper the page can change size slightly due to shrinkage or buckling. Then traces of the blue image show around the edges of the black lines. Look closely at classic French comics and you’ll occasionally see this fringing.

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