Tintin: The Black Island by Hergé (Methuen, 1966); trans. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper & Michael Turner The Boy’s Own adventuring kicks in on page one and doesn’t let up. Typical of the early volumes, Tintin tangles repeatedly with armed crooks and survives only through incredible luck and bravery, albeit that Hergé also pens a joyous outpouring of slapstick.
The Seven Crystal Balls by Hergé (Casterman, 1948); trans. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper & Michael Turner (Methuen, 1962) Working during the German occupation of Belgium, Hergé steered clear of political commentary and showcased instead his developing mastery of action adventure, leavened here with an abundance of slapstick (and not a little Fortean mysticism). Part one of a classic two-story arc.
Tintin in Tibet by Hergé; trans. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper & Michael Turner (Methuen, 1962) A straightforward travel adventure with a touch of mysticism and, unusually for Tintin, no antagonist (and no guns!). Although Hergé plays with reader expectations and includes plenty of slapstick, this volume carries a bleakness that appears reflective of his own inner turmoil.
Tintin: Red Rackham’s Treasure by Hergé (Le Soir, 1943); trans. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper & Michael Turner (Methuen, 1959) A Tintin adventure with no villain! Hergé plays on readers’ expectations of peril but casts aside the usual death-defying storylines, netting instead a string of uncommonly dégagé Caribbean escapades. Red Rackham’s Treasure, though undemanding, gleams yet with well-plotted, vivaciously rendered humour. Exemplary. …