I suspect non-comic readers will not find this at all shameful, for those of you who are, this is one of those confessions that will make some of you gasp in shame: I have never read any of Herge’s The Adventures of Tintin books.
Obviously I know who Tintin is, and when that stupid hair flip was in style a few years ago I referred to those who had it as Tintins. But while my good friend Marc introduced me to Asterix back in 1980, for some reason I never raided his Tintin books while I was at it.
The sad thing is that about six or seven years ago, I ended up with an almost complete collection of the Tintin books (everything from Tintin in America through Flight 714) for just a few dollars. I picked them up then and figured I would finally get around to reading them, but a recent article about Tintin reminded me that they’re still sitting on my bookshelf, untouched.
My goal for next year is to finally sit down and read them all. I went ahead and bought a copy of Tintin and the Picaros in anticipation of reading the others. But for Tintin fans out there, here’s a question: should I bother tracking down copies of the first two volumes, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo? I know the first one is of a much cruder style, and the second one has a lot of racist depictions of people that has made it rather verboten. My instinct is to just start with Tintin in America and if, upon reading the others, I’ve enjoyed them enough I can always backtrack to those other two. (Or for that matter, pick up the never-completed Tintin and Alph-Art.) But I figured for those of you who are Tintin knowledgeable, it couldn’t hurt to double-check. (Also, read them in order, or try one of the later ones first and then jump back to the beginning? I’m leaning toward the latter but once again, can’t hurt to ask.)
It’s not quite some of the classic literature that I’ve been telling myself I’ll read soon (although I did finally tackle a few key novels over the past couple of years), but it should be a fun diversion.