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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming original 1943 version of The Black Island, 30 Jun 2008
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This review is from: The Black Island (The Adventures of Tintin) (Hardcover)
The Black Island was published as a black & white book in 1938, then in 1943, the very same B/W drawings were coloured with only one frame added. Then, in 1965, on his British publishers' request, Herge had to re-draw the whole book modernizing and changing every frame, creating the common book we grew up with. In this 1943 original, you get to see the all-Herge vision of Tintin's deeds in Britain, unlike the 1965 version which was largely drawn by his associates in "Studio Herge".

This adventure was created while the clouds of war were gathering over Europe, and Herge did not miss that. Tintin goes to Britian after a money counterfeiting gang headed by a man called Müller, and although Müller's nationality was never mentioned candidly in the book, you do not need much guess work to figure it out. History tells us that after the end of WW2, documentation of a massive operation to forge British money by the Nazis was discovered. Their aim was to destroy the British wartime economy, an aim they never achieved. For Herge to draw this book before WW2 even began, just shows the kind of visionary he was.

Released with this book are 5 other exact copies of first colour editions: "Cigars of The Pharaoh", "Broken Ear", "King Ottokar's Sceptre", "Tintin in America", and "Blue Lotus". Those five are slighty to significantly different than the common ones you already have. Real hardcore Tintin fans should get the whole set of 6, but if you were going the get just one, it definitely should be The Black Island. 100% different, historically important, charming, and simply beautiful.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Aug 2009 18:02:08 BDT
TERRY says:
A very well written and correct comment by Sami.

Posted on 20 Oct 2011 13:01:26 BDT
"Bluedusk" says:
Indeed this version of The Black Island has the charm of old Hitchcock movies such as The 39 Steps. Plus the style is now consistent with the surrounding stories "Ottokar" and "Golden Claws".

I'll add to your list "The Land of Black Gold". The reprint of the 1950 edition shows the action taking place in Palestine just before Britain left and while it is disputed between Arab independentists and Zionist Jews.

Obviously these events became irrelevant to the next generation of young readers, and the book would have been too controversial after the birth of the state of Israel, therefore the new edition takes place entirely in the imaginary emirate of Khemed.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2011 20:24:14 BDT
Sami says:
Thanks bluedusk. I read the original Black Gold in French, and hopefully one day they will release that original format in English.
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