Destination Moon (comics)
Destination Moon is the sixteenth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was serialised weekly in Belgium's Tintin magazine from March to September 1950 before being published in a collected volume by Casterman in 1953; the plot tells of young reporter Tintin and his friend Captain Haddock who receive an invitation from Professor Calculus to come to Syldavia, where Calculus is working on a top-secret project in a secure government facility to plan a manned mission to the Moon. Developed in part through the suggestions of Hergé's friends Bernard Heuvelmans and Jacques Van Melkebeke, Destination Moon was produced following Hergé's extensive research into the possibility of human space travel – a feat that had yet to be achieved – with the cartoonist seeking for the work to be as realistic as possible. During the story's serialisation, Hergé established Studios Hergé, a Brussels-based team of cartoonists to aid him on the project. Hergé concluded the story arc begun in this volume with Explorers on the Moon, while the series itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition.
Critics have praised the illustrative detail of the book, but have expressed mixed views of the narrative. The story was adapted for both the 1957 Belvision animated series, Hergé's Adventures of Tintin, for the 1991 animated series The Adventures of Tintin by Ellipse and Nelvana. Tintin and Captain Haddock travel to join Professor Calculus, commissioned by the Syldavian government to secretly build a spacecraft that will fly to the Moon. Arriving at the Sprodj Atomic Research Centre, they meet the Centre's managing director, Mr. Baxter, Calculus' assistant, the engineer Frank Wolff. After witnessing Calculus test out a new multiplex helmet for the planned mission, they are informed of both his plan and his new use of an ear trumpet due to his signature hearing ailments. Haddock is against the plan, but due to him mistaking Haddock's pipe for the ear trumpet, Calculus instead believes he agreed. An unmanned sub-scale prototype of the rocket — the "X-FLR6" — is launched on a circumlunar mission to photograph the far side of the Moon and test Calculus's nuclear rocket engine.
Before the launch, the centre's radar picks up a plane which drops three paratroopers near to the centre. One of the men dies from a malfunctioning parachute. Tintin sets out to locate the spies, telling Haddock to follow from the base, as he suspects a mole is on the inside. Wolff follows Haddock out of suspicion. Tintin catches one of the paratroopers during an exchange at an air vent, but is shot by the other before he is able to do anything; the base experiences a temporary power outage, confusion ensues, with neither Haddock nor Wolff capable of explaining what happened. This incident confirms the Centre's suspicions that the paratroopers were agents of a foreign power, but Tintin fears that efforts to trace any leaked information would be futile; the rocket is launched and orbits the Moon as planned, but on its return it is intercepted by the aforementioned foreign power, who have used the leaked information concerning the rocket's radio control. However, Tintin had anticipated this and asked Calculus to rig a self-destruct mechanism for the rocket, the Centre destroys the rocket to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
Tintin reasons that there must have been an inside spy who leaked information to the paratroopers, but no suspects are found. Preparations are made for the manned expedition to the moon, but after an argument with Haddock, in which Haddock accuses Calculus of "acting the goat" through the ear trumpet, Calculus becomes irate and angrily gives Haddock a forced tour of the Moon rocket. However, in doing so, Calculus forgets to look where he is going, falls down a ladder and suffers amnesia; when Calculus' memory fails to be brought back, Haddock opts to use a violent shock to overcome Calculus' amnesia, though his attempts backfire. After repeating the phrase "acting the goat", Haddock triggers Calculus' recovery. After regaining his knowledge on the rocket, construction is completed, the final preparations are made, with Calculus obtaining an actual hearing aid for near-perfect hearing of transmission signals. On the night of the launch, Haddock backs out, but after hearing Thomson and Thompson stating that he would be too old to go, he angrily declares his participation.
The crew board the rocket, lose consciousness as the rocket takes off due to the sudden g-force. Despite attempting to make contact, the ground crew are unable to get through, the book ends with the rocket flying towards the Moon while the ground crew calls, "Moon Rocket, are you receiving me?". Hergé first devised the idea of sending Tintin on a mission to the Moon while he was working on Prisoners of the Sun, his decision to move into the field of science fiction might have been influenced by his friendly rivalry with his colleague Edgar P. Jacobs, who had had success with his own science fiction comic, The Secret of the Swordfish, he decided that it would be a two-volume story arc, as had proved successful with his earlier arcs, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure, The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun. He had intended on beginning this story after the culmination of Prisoners of the Sun, but both his wife Germaine Remi and his close friend Marcel Dehaye convinc
Franco-Belgian comics are comics that are created for French-Belgian and/or French readership. These countries have a long tradition in comics and comic books, where they are known as BDs, an abbreviation of bandes dessinées in French and stripverhalen or strips in the Dutch-speaking part of Europe, the first non-Francophone territories where the Franco-Belgian comics became a major force on their comic scenes from 1945 onward, brought forth by the bilingual nature of Belgium. Among the most popular Franco-Belgian comics that have achieved international fame are The Adventures of Tintin, Gaston Lagaffe, Lucky Luke and The Smurfs in the humoristically drawn genres, whereas such bande dessinées as Blueberry, Thorgal, XIII, as well as the various creations of Hermann have done well internationally in the realistically drawn genres – albeit not all of them in the English-speaking world. In Europe, the French language is spoken natively not only in France and the city state of Monaco, but by about 40% of the population of Belgium, 16% of the population of Luxembourg, about 20% of the population of Switzerland.
The shared language creates an artistic and commercial market where national identity is blurred, one of the main rationales for the conception of the "Franco-Belgian comics" expression itself. The potential appeal of the French-language comics extends beyond Francophone Europe, as France in particular has strong historical and cultural ties with several Francophone overseas territories, some of which, like French Polynesia or French Guiana, still being Overseas France. Of these territories it is Quebec, where Franco-Belgian comics are doing best, due – aside from the obvious fact that it has the largest comic reading Francophone population outside Europe – to that province's close historical and cultural ties with the motherland and where French-Belgian comic publishers like Le Lombard and Dargaud maintain a strong presence, in the process influencing its own native Quebec comics scene from 1960 onwards; this is in stark contrast to the English-speaking part of the country, culturally US comics oriented.
While Flemish Belgian comic books are influenced by Francophone comics in the early years, they did evolve into a distinctly different style, both in art as well as in spirit, why they are nowadays sometimes categorized as Flemish comics, as their evolution started to take a different path from the late-1940s onward, due to cultural differences stemming from the increasing cultural self-awareness of the Flemish people. And while French language publications are habitually translated into Dutch/Flemish, Dutch/Flemish publications are less translated into French, for cultural reasons. Despite the shared language, Flemish comics are not doing that well in the Netherlands and vice versa, save for some notable exceptions, such as the Willy Vandersteen creation Suske en Wiske, popular across the border. Concurrently, the socio-cultural idiosyncrasies contained within many Dutch/Flemish comics means that these comics have seen far less translations into other languages than their French-language counterparts have due to their more universal appeal, the French language's cultural status..
Belgium is and a tri-lingual country as there is a small, yet sizable recognized German-speaking minority, though Belgian comic home market first print releases, be it in Dutch or in French, are translated into that language with German-speaking Belgians having to wait for internationally released editions for reading in their native tongue those from licensed publishers stemming from neighboring Germany. Though Dutch and German are Germanic-language cousins, German-Belgium is encapsulated by French-Belgium, resulting in that French is the most utilized language in that territory and has caused the handful of comic artist originating from there, such as Hermann and Didier Comès, to create their comics in French. Born Dieter Hermann Comès, Comès has "frenchified" his given name to this end, whereas Hermann has dispensed with his family name "Huppen" for his comics credits, though he maintained the Germanic spelling for his first name. Due to its relative modesty, both in size and in scope, despite the close historical and cultural ties, no German-Belgian artists are as of 2018 known to have created comics for the German comics world, when discounting commercial translations of their original Francophone creations.
Something similar applies to France, where there exist several regional languages, of which Breton and Occitan are two of the more substantial ones. But while these languages are culturally recognized as regional languages, they are, contrary to Belgium in regard to German, not recognized as official national languages, with similar consequences as in Belgium for comics and their artists. On rare occasions though, independent local and regional publishers obtain licenses from the main comic publisher to release comic books, or rather comic albums, of the more popular comi
Brussels the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita, it covers 161 km2, a small area compared to the two other regions, has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people. Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians and civil servants.
Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, legislative branches and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are located in Brussels; as the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe"; the Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the busiest in the country. Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century; the Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual in French and Dutch though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual.
English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages. Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks. Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History; because of its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is hailed as a capital of the comic strip. The most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning "marsh" and "home" or "home in the marsh". Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai, made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695, when it was still a hamlet; the names of all the municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are of Dutch origin, except for Evere, Celtic. In French, Bruxelles is pronounced and in Dutch, Brussel is pronounced. Inhabitants of Brussels are known in French in Dutch as Brusselaars.
In the Brabantian dialect of Brussels, they are called Brusseleirs. The written x noted the group. In the Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the k disappeared and z became s, as reflected in the current Dutch spelling, whereas in the more conservative French form, the spelling remained; the pronunciation in French only dates from the 18th century, but this modification did not affect the traditional Brussels' usage. In France, the pronunciations and are heard, but are rather rare in Belgium. See also: History of Brussels The history of Brussels is linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilisation of megaliths and standing stones. During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the centre. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire; the origin of the settlement, to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus' construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580.
The official founding of Brussels is situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven, gained the County of Brussels around 1000, by marrying Charles' daughter; because of its location on the shores of the Senne, on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, Cologne, Brussels became a commercial centre specialised in the textile trade. The town grew quite and extended towards the upper town, where there was a smaller risk of floods; as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. Around
The Secret of the Unicorn
The Secret of the Unicorn is the eleventh volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was serialised daily in Le Soir, Belgium's leading francophone newspaper, from June 1942 to January 1943 amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II; the story revolves around young reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, his friend Captain Haddock, who discover a riddle left by Haddock's ancestor, the 17th century Sir Francis Haddock, which could lead them to the hidden treasure of the pirate Red Rackham. To unravel the riddle and Haddock must obtain three identical models of Sir Francis's ship, the Unicorn, but they discover that criminals are after these model ships and are willing to kill in order to obtain them; the Secret of the Unicorn was a commercial success and was published in book form by Casterman shortly after its conclusion. Hergé concluded the arc begun in this story with Red Rackham's Treasure, while the series itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition.
The Secret of the Unicorn remained Hergé's favourite of his own works until creating Tintin in Tibet. The story was adapted for the 1957 Belvision animated series, Hergé's Adventures of Tintin, for the 1991 animated series The Adventures of Tintin by Ellipse and Nelvana, for the feature film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, directed by Steven Spielberg. While browsing on the Brussels Voddenmarkt/Marché aux puces at the Vossenplein in the Marollen, Tintin purchases an antique model ship which he intends to give Captain Haddock. Two strangers, model ship collector Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine and antique-scout Barnaby, independently try to persuade Tintin to sell the model to them, he sees the two police detectives and Thompson, on the look out for a pickpocket. At Tintin's flat, Snowy breaks its mainmast. Having repaired it, shown the ship to Haddock, Tintin discovers that the ship is named the Unicorn, after a ship commanded by Haddock's ancestor. While Tintin is out, the ship is stolen from his apartment.
At home, Tintin discovers a miniature scroll, realises that this must have been hidden in the mast of the model which Snowy had broken. Written on the parchment is a riddle: "Three brothers joined. Three Unicorns in company sailing in the noonday sunne will speak. For'tis from the light that light will dawn, shines forth the Eagle's cross". Upon hearing of the riddle, Captain Haddock explains that the Unicorn was a 17th-century warship captained by his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock, but seized by a pirate band led by Red Rackham. Alone of his crew to survive the capture, Sir Francis killed Rackham in single combat and scuttled the Unicorn. Meanwhile, Barnaby requests a meeting with Tintin, but is gunned down on Tintin's doorstep before he can speak, points to sparrows as a cryptic clue to the identity of his assailant. Tintin is kidnapped by the perpetrators of the shooting: the Bird brothers, two unscrupulous antique dealers who own the third model of the Unicorn, they are behind the theft of Tintin's model and have stolen Sakharine's parchment, knowing that only by possessing all three parchments can the location of Red Rackham's treasure be found.
Tintin escapes from the cellars of the Bird brothers' country estate, Marlinspike Hall, while the Captain arrives with officers Thomson and Thompson to arrest them. It is found that the Bird Brothers have only one of the parchments, as two were lost when their wallet was stolen, it is revealed that Barnaby survived and has made a full recovery, much to Max Bird's enragement. The Bird brothers are arrested. Tintin and Thomson and Thompson track down the pickpocket, Aristides Silk, a kleptomaniac who has a penchant for collecting wallets, obtain the Bird Brothers' wallet, containing the missing two parchments. By combining the three parchments and holding them to the light and Haddock discover the coordinates of the lost treasure and plan an expedition to find it; the Secret of the Unicorn was serialized amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. Hergé had accepted a position working for Belgium's largest Francophone daily newspaper. Confiscated from its original owners, the German authorities permitted Le Soir to reopen under the directorship of Belgian editor Raymond de Becker, although it remained under Nazi control, supporting the German war effort and espousing anti-Semitism.
After joining Le Soir on 15 October 1940, Hergé became editor of its new children's supplement Le Soir Jeunesse, with assistance by old friend Paul Jamin and cartoonist Jacques Van Melkebeke, before paper shortages forced Tintin to be serialised daily in the main pages of Le Soir. Some Belgians were upset that Hergé was willing to work for a newspaper controlled by the occupying Nazi administration, although he was enticed by the size of Le Soir's readership, which reached 600,000. Faced with the reality of Nazi oversight, Hergé abandoned the overt political themes that had pervaded much of his earlier work, instead adopting a policy of neutrality. Without the need to satirise political types, entertainment producer and author Harry Thompson observed that "Hergé was now concentrating more on plot and on developing a new style of character comedy; the public reacted positively."The Secret of the Unicorn was the first of The Adventures of Tintin which Hergé had collaborated on with Van Melkebeke to a significant degree.
Hugo Eugenio Pratt was an Italian comic book creator, known for combining strong storytelling with extensive historical research on works such as Corto Maltese. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2005. In 1946 Hugo Pratt became part of the so-called Group of Venice with Fernando Carcupino, Dino Battaglia and Damiano Damiani. Born in Rimini, Italy to Rolando Pratt and Evelina Genero, Hugo Pratt spent most of his childhood in Venice in a cosmopolitan family environment, his paternal grandfather Joseph was of English origin, his maternal grandfather was of Marrano descent, his grandmother was of Turkish origin. He was related to actor Boris Karloff. In 1937, Pratt moved with his mother to Abyssinia, joining his father, working there following the conquest of that country by Benito Mussolini's Italy. Pratt's father, a professional Italian soldier, was captured in 1941 by British troops and in late 1942, died from disease as a prisoner of war; the same year, Hugo Pratt and his mother were interned in a prison camp at Dirédaoua, where he would buy comics from guards, was sent back to Italy by the Red Cross.
After the war, Pratt moved to Venice. Pratt joined the'Venice Group' with other Italian cartoonists, including Alberto Ongaro and Mario Faustinelli, their magazine Asso di Picche, launched in 1945 as Albo Uragano, concentrated on adventure comics. The magazine scored some success and published works including Dino Battaglia, his character Asso di Picche was a success in Argentina, where Pratt was invited in 1949. In the late 1940s, he moved to Buenos Aires where he worked for Argentine publisher Editorial Abril and met Argentine comics artists like Alberto Breccia and Solano López; the passage to Editorial Frontera saw the publication of some of his most important early series. These included Sgt. Kirk and Ernie Pike, written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld. Pratt taught drawing in the Escuela Panamericana de Arte directed by Enrique Lipszyc, he travelled to South American destinations like the Amazon and Mato Grosso. During that period he produced his first comic book as a complete author, both writing and illustrating Anna della jungla, followed by the similar Capitan Cormorant and Wheeling.
The latter was completed after his return to Italy. From the summer of 1959 to the summer of 1960, Pratt lived in London where he drew a series of war comics for Fleetway Publications, with British scriptwriters, he returned to Argentina, despite the harsh economic times there. From there, he moved again to Italy in 1962 where he started a collaboration with the children's comic book magazine Il Corriere dei Piccoli, for which he adapted several classics of adventure literature, including Treasure Island and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1967, Pratt met Florenzo Ivaldi. In the first issue, Pratt's most famous story was published: Una ballata del mare salato, which introduced his best known character, Corto Maltese. Corto's series continued three years in the French magazine Pif gadget. Due to his rather mixed family ancestry, Pratt had learned snippets of things like kabbalism and lots of history. Many of his stories are placed in real historical eras and deal with real events: the 1755 war between French and British colonists in Ticonderoga, colonial wars in Africa and both World Wars, for example.
Pratt did exhaustive research for factual and visual details, some characters are real historical figures or loosely based on them, like Corto's main friend/enemy, Rasputin. Many of the minor characters cross over into other stories in a way that places all of Pratt’s stories into the same continuum. Pratt's main series in the second part of his career include Gli scorpioni del deserto and Jesuit Joe, he wrote stories for his friend and pupil Milo Manara for Tutto ricominciò con un'estate indiana and El Gaucho. From 1970 to 1984, Pratt lived in France where Corto Maltese, a psychologically complex character resulting from the travel experiences and the endless inventive capacity of his author, became the main character of a comics series. Published from 1970 to 1973 by the magazine Pif gadget, it brought him much popular and critical success. Published in album format, this series was translated into fifteen languages. From 1984 to 1995 Pratt lived in Switzerland where the international success that Corto Maltese sparked continued to grow.
In France, most of his pre-Corto Maltese works were published in several album editions by publishers such as Casterman and Humanoides Associés. A wanderer by nature, Hugo Pratt continued to travel from Canada to Patagonia, from Africa to the Pacific area, he died of bowel cancer on 20 August 1995. Pratt has cited authors like Robert Louis Stevenson, James Oliver Curwood, Zane Grey, Kenneth Roberts, Joseph Conrad, Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville and Jack London as influences, along with cartoonists Lyman Young, Will Eisner, Milton Caniff. On Friday, July 15, 2005, at San Diego Comic-Con's 17th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, he was one of four professionals that year inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame. One of the series created by Pratt, entitled "The Scorpions of the Desert" in English, has been continued after Pratt's death. In 2005 a sixth volume in this series was released, drawn by Pierre Wazeem and entitled "Le chemin de fièvre". A seventh album was scheduled by the French publishers Casterman for release in March 2
The Seven Crystal Balls
The Seven Crystal Balls is the thirteenth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was serialised daily in Le Soir, Belgium's leading francophone newspaper, from December 1943 amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II; the story was cancelled abruptly following the Allied liberation in September 1944, when Hergé was accused of collaborating with the occupying Germans and banned from working. After he was cleared two years the story was serialised weekly in the new Tintin magazine from September 1946 to April 1948; the story revolves around the investigations of a young reporter Tintin and his friend Captain Haddock into the abduction of their friend Professor Calculus and its connection to a mysterious illness which has afflicted the members of an archaeological expedition to Peru. The Seven Crystal Balls was a commercial success and was published in book form by Casterman shortly after its conclusion. Hergé concluded the arc begun in this story with Prisoners of the Sun, while the series itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition.
Critics have ranked The Seven Crystal Balls as one of the best Adventures of Tintin, describing it as the most frightening installment in the series. The story was adapted for the 1969 Belvision film and the Temple of the Sun and for the 1991 animated series The Adventures of Tintin by Ellipse and Nelvana. Young reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, his friend Captain Haddock spend an evening at the music hall. There, they witness the performance of a clairvoyant, Madame Yamilah, who predicts the illness of one of the Sanders-Hardiman expedition members; the evening's entertainment includes the act of a knife thrower whom Tintin recognises as General Alcazar, former President of San Theodoros. Having befriended Alcazar during one of his previous adventures, Tintin reunites with him backstage after the show. Alcazar introduces Tintin and Haddock to his Quechua assistant and explains that he was deposed by his rival, General Tapioca; the next day and Haddock learn that members of the Sanders-Hardiman expedition are falling into comas, with fragments of a shattered crystal ball found near each victim.
Tintin and their friend Professor Calculus visit the only expedition member yet to be affected, Professor Hercules Tarragon, an old friend and former classmate of Calculus'. Under police guard, Professor Tarragon shows his visitors one of the expedition's discoveries from Peru: the mummified body of Inca king Rascar Capac; that evening, a lightning storm strikes the house and sends ball lightning down the chimney and onto the mummy—which evaporates. Worried, Tarragon states that this reflects the culmination of Capac's prophecy, which declares that punishment will descend upon those who desecrate his tomb. Spending the stormy night at Tarragon's house, Tintin and Calculus are each awoken by a dream involving Capac's mummy, they find Tarragon comatose in his bed, with the accompanying crystal shards nearby. The next day, Calculus is walking on the grounds of Tarragon's house when he discovers one of the mummy's bracelets, which he places on himself. Tintin and Haddock realise that Calculus has gone missing, surmise that he has been kidnapped by the same individual who placed Tarragon in a coma.
The police set up road blocks. Tintin visits a hospital where the seven stricken members of the Sanders-Hardiman expedition are housed. Haddock is dejected by Calculus' abduction, but upon learning that police have spotted the kidnapper's car at a port, he and Tintin race there, believing that the abductors seek to board a boat with Calculus and take him abroad. At the docks, they spot Alcazar boarding a ship to South America. Tintin surmises. Having lost Calculus' trail and Haddock decide to pay a visit to Haddock's old friend Chester, who has docked at another nearby port, they miss Chester, but instead discover Calculus' hat on the docks, indicating that he was taken to sea from here. Investigating, they realise that Calculus must be aboard the Pachacamac, a ship headed to Peru, board a flight, intent on intercepting its arrival; the Seven Crystal Balls began serialization amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. Hergé had accepted a position working for Belgium's largest Francophone daily newspaper.
Confiscated from its original owners, Le Soir was permitted by the German authorities to reopen under the directorship of Belgian editor Raymond de Becker, although it remained under Nazi control, supporting the German war effort and espousing anti-Semitism. Joining Le Soir on 15 October 1940, Hergé was aided by old friend Paul Jamin and the cartoonist Jacques Van Melkebeke; some Belgians were upset that Hergé was willing to work for a newspaper controlled by the occupying Nazi administration, although he was enticed by the size of Le Soir's readership, which reached 600,000. Faced with the reality of Nazi oversight, Hergé abandoned the overt political themes that had pervaded much of his earlier work, instead adopting a policy of neutrality. Without the need to satirise political types, entertainment producer and author Harry Thompson observed that "Hergé was now concentrating more on plot and on developing a new st
The Castafiore Emerald
The Castafiore Emerald is the twenty-first volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It was serialised weekly from July 1961 to September 1962 in Tintin magazine. In contrast to the previous Tintin books, Hergé deliberately broke the adventure formula he had created, it is the only book in the Tintin series where the characters remain at home in Marlinspike Hall, Captain Haddock's family estate in Belgium, do not travel abroad or confront dangerous criminals. The plot concerns the visit of the opera singer Bianca Castafiore and the subsequent theft of her emerald. Although The Castafiore Emerald received critical acclaim for making its characters follow a lead of false trails, it was not a commercial success due to the experimental nature of its narrative, it was published as a book by Casterman shortly after its conclusion. Hergé continued The Adventures of Tintin with Flight 714 to Sydney, while the series itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition.
The story was adapted for the 1991 animated series The Adventures of Tintin by Nelvana. Tintin and Captain Haddock are walking through the countryside of the fictional town of Marlinshire when they come across a Romani community camped in a garbage dump, reunite a lost little girl named Miarka with her family there; the Romani explain that they are not allowed to camp anywhere else so Haddock invites them to the grounds of his estate, Marlinspike Hall. Haddock has been trying to get the local stonemason Arthur Bolt to fix a broken step at Marlinspike, but he is never available. Milanese opera diva Bianca Castafiore invites herself to Marlinspike Hall. Haddock, who dislikes her company, tries to leave before she arrives but trips on the broken step and sprains his ankle; the doctor imposes bed rest. Castafiore arrives with her maid and pianist, Igor Wagner. Castafiore fusses over him, to his great discomfort; the magazine Paris Flash claim that Haddock and Castafiore are engaged, on the basis of a misinterpreted interview with Professor Calculus.
This results in an avalanche of congratulations from Haddock's friends. A television crew come to Marlinspike Hall to interview Castafiore and a mysterious photographer, appears with the crew. Irma informs Castafiore that her jewels have been stolen, Tintin suspects Gino who runs away during a temporary power cut. Castafiore, finds the jewel-case she herself had misplaced; the next day, Castafiore shows Tintin and Haddock a copy of the magazine Tempo di Roma with a picture of Castafiore taken at Marlinspike Hall without her permission, proving that Gino was only a magazine reporter. A few days Castafiore's most valuable jewel, an emerald given to her by the fictional Maharajah of Gopal, goes missing. After questioning Irma and Calculus, the detectives Thomson and Thompson suspect the Romani, their suspicions are heightened when they find that a pair of golden scissors belonging to Irma in Miarka's possession, though she claims to have found them. After the Romani depart, the police start looking for them.
Tintin investigates Igor Wagner, whose behaviour he finds suspicious, but finds out that the musician is sneaking out to indulge in a horse-gambling habit. Castafiore leaves for Milan to perform in the opera La gazza ladra. Tintin realises that the true culprit responsible for the theft of the emerald and the scissors is a magpie, he explains to Haddock that the scissors must have fallen out of the nest only to be found by Miarka. Tintin hands it to Thomson and Thompson for returning it to Castafiore. Sometime Bolt mends the broken step, only for Haddock to step on it and slip again not knowing that the cement is still wet. Following the culmination of the previous story, Tintin in Tibet, Hergé began planning his next adventure, seeking advice from the cartoonist Greg. Greg produced Les Pilulues and Tintin et le Thermozéro. Hergé soon abandoned it. Instead, he decided to set his new Adventure at Marlinspike Hall, the only instalment in the series to do this; this was the first and last adventure after The Secret of the Unicorn to be set in Belgium, he admitted that with his proposed scenario, it was difficult "to create suspense, a semblance of danger."
The titles that Hergé had considered for the book were: The Castafiore Affair, Castafiore's Sapphire, The Castafiore Jewels and The Captain and the Nightingale, but The Castafiore Emerald emerged as the favourite. Hergé's depiction of Bianca Casfafiore in the story – a famous opera singer, pursued by the press, changing her outfit for every occasion – was influenced by the life of the opera singer Maria Callas. One of the new characters that Hergé introduced into the story was the stonemason Arthur Bolt, whose characterisation was based on a real individual who worked for Hergé. Hergé's depiction of the paparazzi within the story may have been influenced by his own repeat encounters with the press throughout his career; the reporter and the photographer, Christopher Willoughby-Droupe and Marco Rizotto of the Paris Flash, are introduced into the series here, would be retroactively added into a re-drawing of The Black Island by Bob de Moor making a reappearance in Tintin and the Picaros. The idea of having a proposed marriage between Castafiore and Haddock was based on a reader's suggestion that Ha