This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast, the Major Spoilers Crew is getting out of their element and exploring the Tintin and the Curse of the Pharaoh collection by Herge.

From the Wiki

Tintin and his dog Snowy are on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea when they meet Dr Sarcophagus, an Egyptologist who owns a papyrus that he believes will lead him to the undiscovered tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh (a pun on kiosk, a newspaper stand). He invites Tintin to accompany him. Tintin also has an unpleasant encounter with Roberto Rastapopoulos, a wealthy businessman.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. hermit
    June 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm — Reply

    wow, the translation of the dog’s name suck. the original name is way better. i guess some things get lost in translation.

    i grew up on tintin, as well as everybody else i know. it practically required reading when you’re a kid in french canada. you can’t go to a house without seeing at least 2 or 3 albums on a shelf somewhere. somehow i never liked it. there’s some cool bits here and there. a couple of albums i liked, but as a whole i can’t get into it. i think it’s too chatty for me.

  2. June 22, 2009 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    Oh man… that brings back memories of grade-school sleepovers with a friend of mine. We would stay up and read all of the Tintin comics his parents and grandparents had picked up over the years.

    Thinking back, I think The Adventures of Tintin was actually my first point of contact with the world of comic books, predating my discovery of both the Spiderman and Sonic the Hedgehog comics by a few years…

    Although I haven’t read them in over 15 years, I still remember how impressed I was at the depth of the series, but honestly I’m not sure if that was mostly due to when I read them and comparing them to the so called ‘chapter books’ on tends to read at that age, or actual depth, but the impression has lasted even now.

    I mentioned Tintin to one of my older coworkers who grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and she perked up immediately at the mention of “The Belgian boy with those eyes, and that white dog that always was with him!” Another great example of comics bridging time and space bringing people together.

  3. Ricco
    June 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    It’s not the worse thing I’ve ever read but it’s darn close, as far as French comics go Asterix had this beat hands down. I don’t see anyone spending 20$ to go see it in the cinema.

  4. June 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    It’s sad to say that I’ve never read any Tintin, and I really should start. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Herge, however, after I learned how he pretty much openly & viciously made fun of the Nazis in occupied France in such a way that they never even noticed. That took guts.

    Hermit: What was his dog’s name in the original French? I’ve always heard the translation.

  5. Jaded Jay
    June 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    Tintin is a classic. USers didn’t get this as children?

    Man, Tintin, Asterix and Yakari were staples of my youth! And I grew up in South Africa!

    If you do like Tintin, this excellent book:

    helps you appreciate Herges work even more!

  6. Salieri
    June 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    From speaking age, I have loved Tintin. Lived, breathed and dreamed about his adventures. The excellent Canadian TV series was a seriously contributing factor, but nothing can top the original works of Georges Remi.

    I read somewhere an interview in which a Belgian Tintin aficionado described Herge as their equivalent of and/or answer to Shakespeare. I can agree with this because like the English Bard, Herge created a huge body of work, on a variety of subjects, and often based on a variety of different views. Just as Shakespeare created characters such as Othello or Shylock, who can be ambiguously viewed as both conforming to their original audience’s ideas of racial superiority and also opposing those ideas; notice the vast difference between the portrayal of Africans early in Herge’s career with “Tintin in the Congo”, as compared to his use of Captain Haddock as a speaking trumpet for his own outrage at the slave trade in “Coke En Stock/The Red Sea Sharks”.

    “Cigars of the Pharoah” fascinates because it shifts between so many different settings and levels, going from archaeology to drug-trafficking to film-making to living-in-the-jungles-of-India-as-a-medicine-man-for-Elephants. (On That Note: If I disappear mysteriously without a trace, within the next three decades, you probably know what I’m doing).

    @Mela: By pure coincidence, Snowy’s french-translation name is “Milou”, a word which doesn’t translate as ‘Snowy’ or ‘White’; it is theorized as a reference to an old girlfriend.

  7. MaximusRift
    June 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm — Reply

    I watched the animated series on HBO. Does that count? ;p

    Probably not. Anyways, the animated show was great and something I always tried to catch when it was on. I didn’t realize there were comic books about Tintin until recently.

  8. June 23, 2009 at 11:11 am — Reply

    I read some of the Tintin comics when I was younger (they had them at the local library), but I cannot remember any specifics. Anyway, I’m glad to see that the podcast is ever expanding its range of subjects.

    Oh, and btw, if anyone’s interested, the German title of the Comic is “Tim und Struppi” (and Struppi(g), btw, means something along the lines of “shaggy”).

  9. Salieri
    June 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm — Reply

    Ooh, I hope this makes it into the Podcast, ‘,os it’s funny: in the New Scientist magazine Xmas special a few years ago, the detailed findings of two “Scientists” (Aged 6 & 5) were published. They concluded that Tintin never seems to visibly age or seek any romantic interests due to a lack of hormone production caused by a weak hypothalamus, brought about by (wait for it)…the fact that he keeps banging his head and/or getting knocked out in every adventure.

    SCIENCE! Explaining details you never wanted to know about your favourite comic book characters!

  10. July 17, 2009 at 10:48 am — Reply

    @hermit – You’re pretty much on your own there about the translated name “sucking”: for a start “Milou” (the French name) is a girl’s name (Hergé’s first girlfriend), and the dog is male. Secondly Hergé liked the English name enough that he involved it in the *French* version too – in “Tintin in Tibet”, the monks refer to him as the dog who has a coat like driven snow, precisely because Hergé liked the idea of Snowy being, well, “snowy”…

    @ricco: the US market isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, you know – the rest of the world is out there waiting, and Tintin is big in Europe, Asia (especially Japan), India, Australia and New Zealand. Even China…

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