Tintin in Tibet (Tintin au Tibet)

Perhaps the most emotional volume in Herge’s Tintin series, Tintin in Tibet (1960) is certainly the one I’ve read the most times.

Perhaps there isn’t as much action as usual, but with its mystery woven around a heartfelt storyline that sees Tintin and Haddock searching the snowy mountains of Tibet for Tintin’s friend Chang, it’s a fantastic piece of storytelling that, despite the darker subject matter, is still graced with Herge’s usual fine sense of humour.

While it can be difficult to separate pleasant memories of reading this one as a child from the review, I can safely say that Tintin in Tibet remains distinctive not just for the personal nature of the story, but for the powerful use of white space in the panels – Herge’s famous ‘clear line’ style is so direct in conveying a sense of space that I always find myself drawn in to the setting as much as the story. This is partly what makes the moments of colour, such as the visit to the monastery, so vivid.

If your only experience of Tintin is the more explosive CGI outing from Jackson and Spielberg, and you’re not sure about the comics, perhaps start with some of the faster-paced volumes such as the Calculus-themed releases – but if you’re already a fan and you don’t actually have this one for any reason, then don’t deny yourself Tintin in Tibet.

5 thoughts on “Tintin in Tibet (Tintin au Tibet)

  1. That was a good review. I didn’t see that CGI remake and I think I saw an episode or two of the cartoon a long time ago, but I’m not too sure. Unfortunately, my feelings of the Tintin series have been dampened after finding out about that Congo story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I wasn’t too sure about that version, but that’s good to know. Yeah, I’m not surprised about that at least around here. I heard in Belgium, you could get all the issues, but the Congolese population (one of the biggest African groups in that country) were protesting against it during a major Tintin anniversary or something major with the creator.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Gotcha. I’m not super familiar with all the books, but it’s good to know that Herge did improve. Yeah, I’ve seen pictures and just shook my head. I’ve had similar feelings with some of Osamu Tezuka’s older manga which gets very questionable, but I’m glad things did improve later on and with his posthumous work. Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 even had a black character who was written well. Even with Shotaro Ishinomori, there was also 008’s original design from Cyborg 009 which is all kinds of offensive before it was updated.

            Liked by 1 person

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