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Tintin: The Complete Companion by Michael…
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Tintin: The Complete Companion (2001)

by Michael Farr

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
386942,344 (4.17)4
  1. 00
    Calculus (Tintin Characters) by Michael Farr (Artymedon)
    Artymedon: from the same author except that the Tournesol book is a convenient small format part of cultural analysis on all Tintin characters.
  2. 00
    Tintin and the World of Herge: An Illustrated History by Benoit Peeters (longway)
  3. 00
    Tintin et moi : Entretiens avec Hergé by Numa Sadoul (longway)
  4. 00
    Tintin (Pocket Essentials) by Jean-Marc Lofficier (longway)
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Michael Farr is perhaps the ultimate English-language Tintinologist. This book - although, like any equivalent "complete companion" will leave individual fans clamoring for more on their favoured issues - is startlingly well-written, lovingly researched and put-together. Each album gets a chapter (combined, in the case of the two-parters) which details its conception, creation and reception, alongside details about Herge's life, and the political and social context in which the story was written.

Particularly notable, for me, were his thoughts on the translations to English, and where jokes are lost or effectively rewritten for a different audience. (Sometimes the changes are completely arbitrary, other times you can see the logic.) It's also fascinating to see how - even though almost all the volumes have avoided becoming tied to their political contexts - Herge's life was one of constant upheaval, and Tintin himself faced numerous threats over the years thanks to wars and the transmogrification of Europe during his 50 years on the job.

As I said at the start, any fan will take issue with any "complete companion". For me, I occasionally felt that Farr's personal opinions intruded too much; no one is expected to like all 24 albums, and you can see my reviews of them as proof of this, but the criticisms were unevenly weighted, in my opinion. Beyond this, the book exhaustively chronicles the making-of, and the artistic merit of, the series. There is certainly room for the next generation of Tintinologists to add their own voices to the fray (and for this we should be thankful) but Farr is a great place to start for oh so many reasons. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Beautifully presented. ( )
  fuzzyslowmo | Jan 2, 2018 |
The concept behind this officially-sanctioned book is mouth-watering. Hergé Foundation/Moulinsart gave Michael Farr free reign of Hergé's archives, allowing him to show the reference images and sketches that sat behind the final Tintin artwork. A real behind-the-scenes experience for fans!

Unfortunately, the actual book fails to live up to this possibility.

A large part of the problem is the formatting of the book...

...which divi-
des the book
into three col-
umns per page,
with text of-
ten broken up
with hypens ac-
ross multiple
lines.

But the problems are larger than formatting. Michael Farr's text is, for the most part lifeless, uninspired and uninformative. There is a confusing blend of information about the events of Hergé's life, with the storyline of the comics, and oddly-chosen photographs and illustrations. The overall effect is muddled and unsatisfying. A missed opportunity.

For the record, Harry Thompson's Tintin: Hergé and His Creation is the best analytical book I have read on Tintin, to this date. Somehow, without illustrations or access to official archives, Thompson's book manages to be more informative that Farr's account. Though slim and concise, Thompson's book is my recommended Tintin companion, along with the 2003 documentary Tintin and I. ( )
  aneurysm1985 | Jan 19, 2015 |
More comparison between the original black and white periodicals and their reworking into color books than the series warrants; not enough discussion of how to translate French or Bruxellois puns and names into English and other languages; scant treatment of the artwork as text; interesting bits on how accurate Herg�� tried to be with planes, cars, and other technical details, with photographs from his archives next to final panels to show how exact his modeling was.
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
The title pretty much says it all. This is a look at the series of comics created by Georges Remi, aka Hergé, filled with background information and photos for each volume in the series. Check it out, Tintin fans.
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Jul 4, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0867199016, Hardcover)

An overview of the life of Herge, Tintin's creator.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Explores the sources in real life of all the Tintin adventures.

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