A teenage journalist goes all over the world with his sidekick – it doesn’t sound like it should be the basis for one of the best comic book series to come out of the 20th century, and yet here we are, with the Adventures of Tintin still going strong in 2017.
Herge’s creation has shaped the lives of so many readers across the world. The World of Tintin, an exhibition dedicated to the red-headed hero and the work of his creator, Georges Prosper Remi – known by the pen name Herge – will open on November 17 at Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay.
Before you go, pick up one of his 23 completed comic adventures. There’s a Tintin tale for every taste.
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Tintin in Tibet
This is the crown jewel in The Adventures of Tintin, and the ultimate Tintin comic. Featuring a slimmed-down version of Tintin’s usual cast of characters, the story features Tintin travelling to Tibet to save a friend, who has gone missing after an avalanche hit the region. No other book in the series comes close to the quality of this storyline.
Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Blue Lotus
Some Tintin works are grouped in twos; this is the first, and the most famous. Cigars of the Pharaoh finds Tintin investigating an international drug smuggling ring, which extends all the way through the narrative of The Blue Lotus. We won’t say much more about the plot, because these two books set the template for the excellent plotting that Herge will refine for the next 17 in the series.
Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon
This two-parter sees Tintin aboard a rocket ship designed to reach the moon. You might be wondering, what’s so special about a rocket to the moon? This comic was written a full 13 years before the moon landing. Herge did a lot of research into the possibility after becoming intrigued with the concept of space travel, and this resulting comic is praised for its almost predictive realism.
The Black Island
A mysterious island, a beast that kills on sight, a massive conspiracy … what more could you ask for in a rip-roaring adventure that extends from a small village in Belgium all the way to Scotland’s mysterious Black Island? The Black Island is one of the most popular entries in the entire series, and introduces the villainous Dr Muller.
The Castafiore Emerald
This is another unique entry in the series; this time, it takes place entirely on the grounds of Marlinspike, the ancestral home of Captain Haddock (he of the billions of blue blistering barnacles). A famed opera singer visits his estate, bringing with her a rare and precious jewel, a gift from a maharaja. It then mysteriously disappears from a locked cabinet in her room. Seems simple enough – but be on the lookout for Herge’s use of multiple red herrings, designed to make readers think one thing, before the truth reveals itself to be something else entirely.
Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure
These two books form the basis of the 2011 Stephen Spielberg film The Adventures of Tintin, which follows the adventures of Captain Haddock as he attempts to follow clues left by his ancestor, Navy captain Sir Francis Haddock, to the legendary treasure he took from the pirate Red Rackham. Pirates, cryptic clues, hidden treasure; what more could you ask for?
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This is the last good Tintin comic, and it was written after Herge established a studio to help him draw his comic books. The main premise is a plot to kidnap an eccentric millionaire, which brings Tintin and his friends to an island. Notable for its science-fiction style, this won’t be for everyone but it’s an excellent summation of the style and narrative that Herge refined and employed over the entire series.