Tintin is the Belgian boy reporter & part-time solver and foiler of international mysteries. It is one comic that even adults will enjoy as they are cleverly plotted with sometimes politically controversial adventures along with stunning visual composition. I grew up watching “Hergé’s Adventures Of Tintin” – an animated adaptions of Herge’s comic books. Well, Tintin is no Sherlock Homes and Batman since he is no eccentric genius and he can’t even match Batman’s broodiness.
Here are 9 Tintin comic books which you should read at least once in your lifetime.
1. The Secret Of The Unicorn(1943)Tintin stumbles across a model ship at the Old Street Market. It’s the Unicorn, carved by one of Haddock's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock who achieved fame through his renowned run-in with the fearsome pirate Red Rackham. As one thing leads to another, they soon realize that many others are looking for the treasure as well and they embark on a thrilling maritime adventure. But that's another story (“Red Rackham's Treasure”) and another engaging adventure to read.
2. Red Rackham's Treasure(1944)In “Red Rackham's Treasure” [sequel to “The Secret of the Unicorn”], Tintin and the Thomsons join Captain Haddock on a journey in the footsteps of the Captain's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. A new character named Professor Cuthbert Calculus makes his first appearance and comes in very handy when searching for shipwrecks.
3. The Seven Crystal Balls(1948)In “The Seven Crystal Balls”, 7 scientists mysteriously fall into a profound state of lethargy after they excavated the tomb of Rascar Capac thus incurring the curse of the Inca. As Calculus has disappeared, Tintin and Captain Haddock set off in search of the Professor, leading to a trip to Peru in the second part, “Prisoners of the Sun”.
4. Prisoners Of The Sun(1948)After “The Seven Crystal Balls”, Tintin and his friends continue their adventures in Peru where Tintin rescues an orange-seller named Zorrino from being bullied who later becomes their guide in their quest to find the Temple of the Sun. With a combination of supernatural and some much needed comic relief from the Thompsons, this is sure one engaging two-part adventure.
5. The Broken Ear(1937)“The Broken Ear” is the story of a thrilling pursuit. A small Arumbaya statue has been stolen in a museum, then returned only to be a mere replica leading Tintin sets off to South America to retrieve a sacred tribal statue. There is also a secret story behind this idol and the story quickly unravels itself.
6. Cigars Of The Pharaoh(1934)In “Cigars of the Pharaoh”, Tintin finds himself entangled in a drug trafficking ring that will take him all the way to India involving unusual cigars from tombso.
7. Destination Moon(1953)First written in 1953(15 years before the first real moon landing in 1969) is one of my favorite due to good old-fashioned values of heroism & adventure.
“Destination Moon” gives a detailed account on the preparation and the launching of the expedition to the Moon. Professor Calculus is building a rocket to the moon, using the mountains of Syldavia as a base, but Tintin quickly realizes that there are spies trying to steal the professor's design. When Professor Calculus' rocket finally takes off for the moon, it leads to their next adventure “Explorers on the Moon”.
8. Explorers On The Moon(1954)Explorers on the Moon completes the prophetic scientific Tintin adventure that begins with Destination Moon.
And to this day this particular story remains my favorite. Perhaps it was the touch of science fiction or fantasy. Like how Johnson and Johnson grow that long green hair. Or I guess it was the touch of craziness that added to the magical and childish charm in the Tintin stories.
9. Tintin In Tibet(1962)“NEPAL AIR DISASTER — NO SURVIVORS.”
This newspaper headline makes Tintin’s holiday into an extraordinary adventure. The Belgian boy wonder learns that his friend, Chang, was in the aircraft that crashed, and that there were no survivors.
Nevertheless, the strength of their friendship and some powerful and vivid dreams convince Tintin to set off to rescue Chang, whom he believes is still alive. Accompanied by Captain Haddock and Snowy, Tintin sets out for the site of the crash but finding Chang makes more difficult by the presence of the “Abominable Snowman” — a mysterious, wild beast.
Fair warning: Tintin books can become very addictive!