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

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.

Ligne Claire (Clear Line)

Michael Ewing dropped me a line about his new Ligne Claire web-comic called Hugo & Co. Only the first half-dozen episodes are available and the comic is still settling in to its stride but it shows great promise.


Start reading at episode one

Herge, Ligne Claire (Clear Line)


This fantastic reworking of the Herge Museum comes from the famous Dutch Tintin blog of Popokabaka, arguably one of the biggest tintin collectors in Europe. He writes daily about fraud on tintin auctions and his weird life as a collector. Having no Dutch I’m using Google Translator to read the blog.

Many thanks to Raymond for bringing this to my attentions.

Ligne Claire (Clear Line), Links

Continuning our occasional series of Ligne Claire (Clear Line) and other comics that might interest you, may I present Dresden Codak.

Desden Codak

A product of the clearly bizarre mind of artist, Aaron Diaz, the strip is an exploration of physics, psychology, art, philosophy and a whole lot more. It is strange, confusing and challenging. This is not a comic where you will find a clear, easy to follow narrative. I’m just get a small fraction of the references and allusions in it but I love it. The artwork regularly switches in style but whatever the style used, the artwork is fantastic.

So Dresden Codak – challenging and not to everyone’s taste but no less brilliant because of it.

Flight 714, Herge, Land of Black Gold, Ligne Claire (Clear Line), The Calculus Affair, The Castafiore Emerald, Tintin

Last Sunday, an auction of Tintin and Herge memorabilia smashed national and international records. The highlights of the auction were a handful of original pages drawn by the man himself. All the pages are reproduced below, taken from the auction catalog. If you are interested in Tintin memrobilia then I advise you to have a look through the catalog but these drawings are the real gems.

My favourite are the pages from Flight 714, particularly the sketch pages. In the image of Tintin with his hands behind his back we can see how fine an artist Herge was. Also, the strange figure in the bottom left hand corner. It is an odd mix of styles, half realistic, half modern art. The pages from The Castafiore Emerald are great examples of how Herge refined the story as he drew. Look how the sequence and point of view of the images changes between the original and the inked work.

Land of Black Gold Original DrawingThe Calculus Affair Original Drawing Page 38Castfiore Emerald Original Drawing Page 3Flight 714 to Syndey Original Drawing

Many thanks to MetaBunker for finding these.

Ligne Claire (Clear Line), Tintin

Roy Lichtenstein, one of the great artists of the 20th century, was famous for his cartoony style. His bright colours and overblown, comic book art made his art highly distinctive but also accessible. Like many in the Pop Art movement, he explored the difference between art and crowd pleasing illustration. By taking existing comic book images and reproducing them, complete with Benday Dots, on a large scale, he challenges preconceptions about what is art.

It is not surprising that Liechtenstein should cross paths with Tintin. The bold lines and strong colours of Herge are a natural fit to Liechenstein’s own work. So when his long-time friend, Frederic Tuten, said he was writing a book using the character of Tintin re-imagined as an full grown adult, the artist supplied two pieces of art featuring Tintin.

tintin reading lichtenstein“Tintin Reading” was used as the cover to Tintin in the New World and shows Tintin reading newspaper as an assassin’s dagger whistles past. In the back ground can be seen a depiction of Henri Matisse’s “Dance (I)“. This reference to Matisse is far from accidental. Matisse use of colour, particularly as part of Fauvism was highly influencal on artist throught out the 20th centry, including Lictenstein.

interior with painting of tintin lichtensteinThe second work for the book is entitled “Interior with Painting of Tintin. This looks like an early sketch for the cover work. The scene is almost identical except that Tintin has moved from the foreground and become a painting replacing Matisse’s Dance (i).

Ligne Claire (Clear Line)

Herge’s legacy of boy’s own adventures and bold, colourful artwork lives on in Rainbow Orchid. Originally a web comic, the story is now being produced in three volumes by Egmont, but you can read all the full story online (start here).

Set in the 1920s or 30s, it follows Julius Chancer, in a convoluted plot to find the legendary Rainbow Orchid. Along the way the plot twists and turns, introducing a wide range of characters who both help and hinder the hero on his quest. Garen Ewing, the writer and artist, has produced a fantastic work in the Ligne Claire style. The colours are perfect for the web, bright & bold, and yet he still captures details and nuances, especially in the detailed backgrounds. I cannot wait to see how this translates in to print.

rainbow orchid

The book will be out on the 4th August and can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK. Hopefully there will be a US release later.

Herge, Ligne Claire (Clear Line)

Definitely a comic for fans of Tintin. Blake & Mortimer was one of the first stories to appear in the Tintin Magazine after World War II and its style and adventure based story-lines have a lot in common with Herge’s work. This is not surprising as Edgar P. Jacobs, the creator was Belgian and met Herge whilst creating scenery for a stage adaptation of Cigars of the Pharaoh. The two became friends and Jacobs was hired to help Herge reformat his early work into a book friendly format.


The page above is taken from The Yellow “M” (La Marque Jaune). Set in a carefully and accurate depiction of London, complete with pea-souper fog.

Thanks to raphaelclancy on Twitter for reminding me of Blake & Mortimer.