Friday, November 10, 2006

Another Tintin

A composite of some images I found online:

This text interprets, incorporates, and expands, in many ways, my own feelings about Tintin. By 12, I'd probably read the entire series, being an active participant in atleast two (neighbourhood-based, and school-based) pre-teen 'black economies' of sorts. Within them, books were lent, bartered mortgaged, and in my case, consumed as if I was pouring them into myself (and maybe vice versa too...)

Other hazy memories are of my biggest gift at age 9, FOUR volumes of Tintin, and how I lent them out, after being convinced by elder, smarter and very sleazy kids in the neighbourhood. The only things I ever got back were empty, flippant statements like, "oh, they're with my cousin in Jamshedpur", said in a 'look I really don't care so stop asking' tone.

But in contrast to this generic, 'loveable' Boy Detective, this Tintin is much more complex. The depiction is of a Tintin who lives in a predominantly mining town in England. It begins with him being unemployed, cursing, drinking, and generally venting prejudice. Further on, when the area is gripped by worker's strikes, Tintin turns anarchist, hurling Molotov cocktails and attacking police. Interestingly, the revolutionary intent/spark makes the proletarian movement confront the prejudices harboured within itself, about homosexuality and immigration.

The larger change in the depiction of Tintin is from disenfranchised and directionless to someone who considers introspection, activity, and maybe even emancipation.

A good way to read the comics would be to:
1. Download this zip file ( ~ 12mb)
2. Download and install a Comic Book Reader
3. Rename "" to "tintinrevolution.cbr". This will allow it to be loaded/parsed within the Comic Book Reader.


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