15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Tintin comes to America, home of gangsters and Indians,
This review is from: Tintin in America (Adventures of Tintin / Hergé) (Paperback)
I read "Tintin in America" relatively late in my journey through the Adventures of Tintin, which might not be fair since this early work by Hergé certainly pales in comparison to some of our beloved heroes later and greatest adventures (e.g., "Land of Black Gold" or "Explorers on the Moon"). From that perspective you notice that the art is a bit more cartoonish than what comes later but the most important difference is that this is basically Tintin and Snowy on their own. The wonderful cast of colorful supporting characters that end up populating the Tintin universe are not to be seen at this point, which might explain why Snowy "talks" a lot more in this early Tintin adventure than is his habit in later volumes.
While this is not a great Tintin adventure, "Tintin in America" is certainly an interesting one because of the way Hergé presents America to his readers. In a manner that reminds me of Babe's fanciful vision of the big city in "Babe: Pig in the City," Hergé presents the U.S. as half Chicago gangsters and half Wild Wild West cowboys and Indians. Tintin arrives in Chicago to clean up the city ruled by gangster bosses and Al Capone is not happy to see the world famous reporter. Tintin survives so many attempted gangland hits that you lose count of them, and it is a toss up whether there are more last second escapes or scenes where Tintin pulls a gun on a gangster. The perils of Tintin continue even when our hero and his faithful terrier companion make their way out West and become involved with some of the quaint customs of the local natives.
The final word would be that if you have heard people raving about Hergé and Tintin, and then you start at the "beginning" (in terms of what is readily available of the Adventures of Tintin) you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Do not fear. "Tintin in America" represents the early days when Hergé was still finding his way and learning his craft. This is actually the third Tintin adventure, but "Tintin in the Soviet Union" and "Tintin in the Congo" have been let out of what is now the official canon because of Hergé's take on communism and colonialism. However, the best Tintin adventures are yet to come after this one and the best is very, very good.