The Adventures of Tintin in the Congo: Reporter for Le Petit Vingtieme
In Tintin in the Congo, one of his earliest adventures, our intrepid reporter hunts down both criminals and wild game. The story was written in 1930 and first appeared in book form in 1931, and some of the parts are so dated that for years the book was unavailable in English. This edition reprints on black-and-white newsprint the original 1931 version. In one scene, Tintin tells a group of African children "Today, I’m going to talk to you about your country: Belgium!" When the story was updated and colorized (but not translated into English) in 1946, this became a simple lesson in addition. In addition to the colonial attitude, the Africans are portrayed as primitive, simple-minded folk ("He doesn’t look very bright," Snowy opines about their guide), and Tintin reveals a brutal side by slaughtering half the wildlife on the continent (including blowing up a rhinoceros with dynamite!) and declaring while pursuing an enemy, "Sure as my name’s Tintin, I’ll get rid of him once and for all." Herge himself was embarrassed by much of Tintin in the Congo, and it’s not a part of the regular canon, but fans who can accept it as a product of its time will enjoy seeing their hero in one more adventure, one that provides a jumping-off point for the much-better-known Tintin in America. --David Horiuchi
Tintin goes to the Congo. Fascimile edition of the original.