on 2 December 2006
A friend of mine worked as a doctor in the Tibetan refugee camp in Dharamsalla. At the end of his tour, he was allowed an audience with the Dalai Lama, as a gesture of thanks. The Dalai Lama asked if there was any way he could help my friend, to which my friend responded by whipping out his copy of Tintin in Tibet and asking him to autograph it. The Dalai Lama duly did so, adding a wee Buddhist prayer. And not only that, the Dalai Lama knew the book very well, and actually appears in it as a young man, and a lot of the other Tibetans in the book are based on real people. The Dalai Lama admired the story as a tale of a friend's unswerving, unflinching loyalty, linked by a very strong ethereal bond.
Madame Herge had also spent a lot of time attending and supporting the sanctuary, and that was how Herge himself got to know the culture of Tibet. A true story; I have seen the autographed book. And why else would this book have been translated into Tibetan?
on 17 February 2004
I believe that Tintin in Tibet is Herge's best book. It has a very serious agenda. Tintin's blind faith that his friend Chang survived the air crash in the Himalayas drives him, Snowy and his loyal friend Captain Haddock to find and rescue Chang. All through the adventure, they face terrible dangers and discouragement but Tintin's belief in Chang's being alive is never shaken. Herge, I have read, was going through a personal crisis in his life when he completed this adventure. It shows. There are witty scenes as in all Tintin adeventures but essentially, it seems that Herge did not want this to be a "funny adventure" but rather, a serious one. Hence, the absence of the Thomson twins and a very minimal of Professor Calculus is understandable. This book is a classic for all ages. The mood can be summarized in the last panel on the last page when Chang shares his thoughts about the Yeti.
on 24 October 2006
If I had to name one Tintin album that has given me the greatest pleasure as an adult, it would be this one. It's one of those rare comic books that have not only a good plot and humour but are touching also. And it has a great Lewis Carroll-esque surrealistic moment too. The best comic book ever? Well, damn close to it, at least.
on 19 December 2010
Reading Tintin after many years is kinda nostalgic. In my teens I was and still I am a big fan of Tintin. I still collect and read Tintin with same great enjoyment. And this 'Tintin In Tibet' is mine and surely everyone's most favorite. Tintin comics are adventurous, mysterious, funny and exploring different places and cultures. This one is about friendship and a bit sentimental. It is also about Yeti, the Abominal Snowman. The myth about Yeti in the Central Asia can be compared to Big Foot in the States, Nessie in the Scotland and UFOs around the world.
Herge always did research to some extent about the subjects, places and cultures before writing his another book of Tintin. In this one, it is pleasure to find Indian culture, Indian citiies and the bull in Indian street with which Captain Haddock has fun when they arrive in Delhi. It is also pleasure to see Tibetan culture and monks when they arrive in Tibet in search of the missing friend. Still there is some, not mistake I'd say, but confusion here.
The plane that crashed in Goshain Than, the mountainous range in Nepal, is flying from Patna, India to Kathmadu, the capital of Nepal. Nepal lies between Tibet (China) in north and India in south, east and west. The north side of Nepal and the south of Tibet are covered with snowy high mountains or the Himalayas. There it showed a little bit of culture of Nepal where Captain Haddock eats dried chilli thinking it was fruit. This you get to see around the streets of Kathmandu. The costume worn by kids, porters and people and the architectures are also what you get to see around there. And so far as I'm concerned, Sherpas like Tharkey are the local Nepalese guides for the mountain expedition.
Nepalese (Nepali), the national language, is spoken all around Nepal. When Captain Haddock collides with the porter, he shouts back at him in Indian language (Hindi). Nepali and Hindi share similar phonetics and alphabets as both languages are descended from Sanskrit, the ancient language. Although Hindi is understood there, it is not spoken in daily life. Herge later admitted it as an error.
Never mind ! Tintin is always the greatest fun to read.
on 7 August 2015
“Tintin in Tibet” is one of the most popular Tintin comics. It's the only Tintin album ever to be translated to Tibetan, and has received a posthumous prize from the Dalai Lama. It was published in 1958-60, exactly when the crisis over Tibet's relationship to China culminated. The Western Yeti craze probably culminated at pretty much the same time. Nepal, where part of the plot is set, had also been in the media lime light due to a certain expedition on Mount Everest…
Personally, I consider “Tintin in Tibet” so-so. The story contains too much slapstick and blistering barnacles for my taste, but I admit that the central plot is interesting. Tintin and crazy old Archibald Haddock travel to Nepal and Tibet in search for Chang, an old friend of Tintin believed to be dead after a plane crash in the Himalayas. In reality, Chang is alive…but not quite well, having been abducted by the Abominable Snowman!
As far as I know, this is Hergé's only foray into cryptozoology. Hergé was a friend of Bernard Heuvelmans, the “father” of cryptozoology, and discussed the Yeti issue with him. He also interviewed a mountaineer who claimed to have seen the beast in situ. In Hergé's version, the Yeti is described as lonely and misunderstood, rather than dangerous. There are obvious parallels to the gorilla in “The Dark Island”. Although our heroes manage to rescue Chang, the story nevertheless ends on a pessimistic note, with Tintin expressing fear that the Yeti might be caught (and killed?) by some of the expeditions looking for him...
Telepathy, Tibetan Buddhism and levitating monks are all part of the story, and the Sherpa character Tharkey is apparently based on a real person (sic), but the political angle is noticeable by its complete absence. The Chinese presence in Tibet isn't mentioned at all, and the difference between Nepal and Tibet isn't all that clear to the undiscerning reader. Apparently, the story has recently been published in China!
In the end, I give “Tintin in Tibet” three stars.
The white expanses of the Himalayan mountains, the sparseness of the pared down plot and the cast, all come as a welcome antidote to the huge clutter of ideas, characters and slapstick of The Red Sea Sharks, making Tintin in Tibet (even the title has a neat simple alliterative symmetry) a rather atypical adventure, one inspired by a personal crisis - Hergé at this time suffering from nightmares and visions of whiteness - rather than being merely the usual Tintin investigative jaunt through exotic lands meeting interesting characters.
Atypical it might be, but in other ways it's a pure distillation of everything that is great about Hergé's technique - both in terms of the storyline and in terms of the purity of the 'ligne-claire' artwork. Tintin's tenacity to get to the truth is never more driven than here in his desire to travel to Nepal and embark on a seemingly futile expedition in search of his young Chinese friend Chang who has surely perished with the rest of the passengers and crew on a small flight in the Himalayas. Even if he had miraculously survived, a week in the freezing mountains with no food or shelter would certainly have killed him. Yet Tintin is certain that Chang is still alive, having dreamt about him, seeing a vision of the young Chinese boy lying in the snow reaching out to him.
Using a familiar technique of a running joke and a synchronistic series of events - here everyone seems to be tuned into Chang, whether it's the name of a dog or the sound made by someone sneezing - the scene setting for this foolhardy expedition is masterfully laid out by Hergé. More than just being the usual funny coincidences, there's a real sense here of events being premonitory as well as perhaps being related to Tintin's state of mind that has been disturbed by nightmares that seem to be spreading out into the real world. As in the best Hergé Tintin work (The Calculus Affair is a masterclass of such techniques), all of this contributes most effectively to setting a mood, creating other subtle resonances and perhaps even a deep sense of unease that the reader might not even be aware of.
Hergé develops this progressively as the story goes on, taking time to balance it out with humorous incident - often at the expense of Captain Haddock - but even Haddock is tormented by surreal alcohol-fuelled nightmares and individually, Snowy, Tintin and Haddock each very nearly succumb to the perilous dangers of the mountain climb. The pacing, the sense of frame and overall page composition, with magnificent renderings of the desolation of the mountains, the blue-whiteness of the snow and the clear blue skies against which the wrecked plaine is eventually discovered, is simply flawless, all of it contributing to the overall impact, creating indelible images that resonate more than perhaps any other Tintin adventure.
on 1 July 2014
Firmly convinced that his friend Chang, has survived the plane crash in Nepal, Tintin, accompanied by Captain Haddock, sets off for Nepal to rescue Chang.
After passing through New Deli and Nepal (where we explore the sights and sounds of these wonderful places, Tintin and the reluctant Captain set off for the Tibetan Himalayas for the mission impossible.
This is one of Herge�s best works as he explores the , hazards of Himalayan mountain climbing, the gentle Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and the truth about the Yeti , commonly known as the �abominable snowman�.
The only thing left out, is the brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet which still continues today .The book was recently released in China, on condition that the name �Tibet� was left out of the title, another example that after the holocaust of 2 million Tibetans, the Red Chinese are still not content in their drive to wipe out the beautiful culture and memory of Tibet.
A particular interesting scene is the psychedelic delirium of Captain Haddock during his sunstroke.
The strong 60�s flavour of this is interesting considering that the book was written at the ver dawn of this era-1960.
This was the Tintin story I loved and read most, way back when, and even today "Tintin In Tibet" stands out as much more of an emotional journey than the other Tintin graphic novels. Mostly, our eponymous hero is fighting some form of unscrupulousness, in the form of organised crime (Tintin in America), drug smuggling (The Crab with the Golden Claws), or treasure hunters (Red Rackham's Treasure)...but this time he is in search of his friend, Chang (who appears in The Blue Lotus) and is missing presumed dead after a plane crash in the Himalayas. There is no specific villain, except the power of nature and possibly the Abominable Snowman (who turns out to not be a villain at all). Interestingly, Herge was experiencing a difficult time personally whilst writing this story - whether to stay with his wife or leave for his mistress - and was dreaming of powerful white images, and he even underwent psychoanalysis with a colleague of Jung to help explain his dreams. Catharsis came in the form of this story, which explains both the predominant colours and the more human, less violent/criminal themes throughout. I`m sure it is no coincidence that Tintin`s dream of Chang inspires his belief that his friend is still alive. Ultimately, of course, Tintin succeeds but the bond between himself, Captain Haddock and Chang is stronger than ever. Snowy is fantastic as always too, particularly the shocking moment when Snowy has to choose between a "five-star" bone, and taking an SOS note to a monastery as Tintin lays injured on the mountain. I`ve always felt that this is the perfect introduction to Tintin - no controversial themes, beautiful art, powerful story and a moving ending.
This was amongst my favourites as a kid, and remains a favourite even now, all these years later.
The combination of flawless and fantastically evocative art with a really good story, it's a winner. Not only is the drawing amongst Hergé's very best, but also the colouring is fabulous; the palettes used are phenomenal: the campfire meal in the evening above the snowline, the muted tones of the ice-cave, or during the snowstorm.
Haddock's on top curmudgeonly form, at his peak as the irascible sidekick, grouchy yet dependable. Tharkey's a strong character as well, and by this stage Herge's nuanced and sympathetic depictions of various ethnic types have come a long, long way from his 'In The Congo' days.
The narrative threads of Tintin's attachment to Chang and the role of the yeti, whilst non-naturalistic are great storytelling ploys, rich in emotional power. Having learned as an adult of how Herge's real-life 'Chang' relationship didn't measure up to this dreamlike idealisation. Well, like the book itself, whilst undoubtedly sentimental, there's something very poignant about it all.
I like all the Tintin stories a lot, but there are a few I really love, and this is one of them, and possibly my very favourite. It's beautiful in so many enchanting ways
on 1 October 2009
After Tintin's friend Chang's plane crashes in the Himalayas, Tintin refuses to believe he is dead, and launches an expedition to find him. Along with Captain Haddock and Snowy, he travels through New Delhi and Nepal, before getting to the mountains. In Tibet they experience the hazards of mountain climbing, the gentle Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and the Yeti, before rescuing Chang.
My favourite Tintin book is fun and educational for both kids and adults, quite often being people's first introduction to Tibet, its beautiful landscape and culture.
In 2006, Tintin became the first fictional character to be awarded the Dalai Lama's Truth of Light award.