Commando And British Weekly Comic Swap Meet

Saturday 25th September 

Bushey and Oxhey Scout Hut
Park Ave. Bushey, Watford.
WD23 2BA

By James Bacon: Join comic book fans at the 7th Commando Comic Swap meet, an old school event in suburban Watford where thousands of British weeklies and digest comics will be on sale, at very affordable prices. 

Being organized with profits going to the Scout Hut, the volunteers organizing the event welcome dealers, and with tables only a tenner, it’s a very affordable way to sell comics. 

Entry is a £1. 

Alan Hebden will be along for the day. Alan who has written for Commando, Victor, Starlord, 2000AD and most recently had a story in The Battle special from Rebellion, and created fan favorites Major Easy, El Mestizo and Fighting Mann. 

With Commando Comics trading for 50p, and weeklies at a variety of prices, not only is it a chance to fill up your collection, but an opportunity for new collectors to make a decent start on doing so while finding or reconnecting with incredibly good story telling and fabulous art. 

This as a small but excellent comic event offering exceptionally good value, and a level of friendly helpful expertise with most sellers collectors themselves or only too happy to engage and chat about shared interest and passion.  

(Further details can be found on the Commando Comic Collectors Facebook group, but you have to join the group to get access.)

Return To The Wastelands Of Old Man Logan In Brand-New Series Of Wastelanders Comics

Podcast Connecting Variant Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN

Return to the post-apocalyptic Wastelands of Old Man Logan this December in five all-new stories set in the Marvel future where heroes have fallen, villains have won, and fan favorite characters defy all odds to survive. These five one-shots by all-star creators including writers Steven S. DeKnight, Ethan Sacks, Rich Douek, and Torunn Grønbekk will focus on Wolverine, Hawkeye, Doctor Doom, Star-Lord, and making their first appearance in the Wastelands, Black Widow.

DeKnight, known for his work on Netflix’s Daredevil and Wolverine: Black, White & Blood, will lead the return alongside artist Ibrahim Moustafa in Wastelanders: Wolverine, an all-new story set in the days after the conclusion of the original Old Man Logan, as he fights once again to save the people of the Wastelands who have been crushed under the heel of the Red Skull and Bruce Banner. The super villains united and took out most of the world’s super heroes decades ago, and while the man known as Logan attempted to live a life of peace, he had to pop the claws once again to do what he does best! But saving the day looks different with the Baby Hulk under his care. Is Logan doing the right thing by protecting the progeny of the Hulk or dooming what’s left of the war-torn world? Logan may not have long to ponder if he is crushed by the adamantium armor of his newfound enemy Downfall!

“It’s such a rare, bloody joy to be able to transport readers back to the universe of Old Man Logan in the one-shots for Wastelanders: Wolverine and Wastelanders: Black Widow,” DeKnight said. “Old friends, new foes, and quite a few surprises await. You don’t want to miss this one!”

Wastelanders mastermind Ethan Sacks, writer of both Old Man Hawkeye and Old Man Quill, is also back with artist Ibraim Roberson bringing readers a never-before-told story of Hawkeye’s training with Stick—the man formerly known as Daredevil—in Wastelanders: Hawkeye. Clint Barton’s sight may be gone, but his will to avenge is stronger than ever, and with the training and expert guidance of Matt Murdock, arrows will fly again! But what is Murdock’s actual target? And how will this change Hawkeye’s path in the Wastelands?

The Mighty Valkyries writer Torunn Grønbekk and Julius Ohta explore the complex nature of everyone’s favorite tyrant in Wastelanders: Doom! Doctor Doom helped wipe out the heroes on the Day the Villains Won, but even as he rules his domain in the Wastelands, a greater destiny calls to him. When a mysterious power blocks his oversight of a particular region, what he discovers will have ripple effects across the Wastelanders stories.

Writer Rich Douek (Superman: Red and Blue) makes his Marvel Comics debut alongside artist Brent Peeples in Wastelanders: Star-Lord. The legendary Star-Lord has fallen on hard times. With the Guardians of the Galaxy disbanded, Peter Quill returned to Earth to find it a wasteland unlike anything he’s seen across the stars – heroes dead, villains in power. While he’s taken out one threat, others remain in the Wastelands, and Star-Lord’s own desire to assuage his guilt for being off-world during the calamity will land him right in the middle of another. Will Quill overcome the mysterious force waiting for him at the site of his lost love’s death? Or is she not really dead at all?

“I’ve been a huge fan of Marvel’s Wastelands setting ever since the original Old Man Logan series, and it’s been an honor to contribute to it with Wastelanders: Star-Lord,” Douek said. “Both the new podcast series by Ben Percy, and Old Man Quill from Ethan Sacks and Robert Gill inspired me to really dive into what makes Peter Quill tick, and to send him on a thrilling adventure in this grim and gritty version of the Marvel Universe. I can’t wait for readers to come along for the ride and see what we’ve cooked up!”

Bookending the saga, DeKnight will team up with artist Well-Bee to introduce the Wastelander’s take on Natasha Romanoff in Wastelanders: Black Widow. The Lizard King has grown monstrous and deadlier than ever as the lord of his southern domain. But when rumor breaks that critical information is believed to be stored in his impenetrable fortress, only the greatest spy of all is up to the infiltration: the deadly Black Widow! But who is she, and how has she survived this many decades in the Wastelands undetected? 

Since Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s legendary 2008 Wolverine story arc, the universe of Old Man Logan has gripped readers with its hard-hitting stories in multiple spinoff titles and a hit podcast series. Don’t miss the latest evolution of this fascinating saga when this all-new group of Wastelanders adventures hit stands in December.

See the series cover art following the jump.

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Cowboy Bebop Netflix Comics Variant Covers

Titan Comics is releasing Cowboy Bebop #1 on December 8, based on the new Netflix live-action series.

An original story set in the year 2171. The bounty hunter crew of the spaceship Bebop chase an ex-gang member who holds a vest which gives the wearer unlimited luck.

The forthcoming Netflix series debuts November 19. It stars John Cho (Star Trek), Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) and Daniela Pinada (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom).

This Cowboy Bebop comic book series from Titan Comics will be written by Dan Watters, with Lamar Mathurin as the artist.  See all the variant cover art after the jump.

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Heroes Transformed Into Marvel’s Greatest Villains In Villains’ Reign Variant Covers

Spinning out of their Eisner nominated run on Daredevil, Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s Devil’s Reign will launch in December and see Kingpin’s bold scheme to take down every hero ranging from the Fantastic Four to the X-Men. Villains will rule and heroes will fall – and in anticipation of this upcoming crossover event, some of Marvel’s top artists have delivered a brand-new series of Villains’ Reign Variant Covers that transform your favorite heroes into some of the fierce foes that will take charge in the upcoming event. Witness unexpected mashups including:

  • Captain Marvel as Mole Man
  • Hulk as Kingpin
  • She-Hulk as Kraven the Hunter
  • Black Panther as Sabretooth
  • Mary Jane as Nightmare
  • Doctor Strange as The Ringmaster
  • Captain America as Princess Python
  • Thing as Death

 See the first eight following the jump.

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Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf Comics

COVER A: DAVID BUISAN

The Bad Wolf Empress sure looks familiar.

In November, Titan Comics will launch a special Doctor Who comic series marking the 25th anniversary of the Eighth Doctor as well as the 11th anniversary of the Eleventh Doctor, plus the return of the iconic companion Rose Tyler. 

This special comic event sees the Eighth and Eleventh Doctors (as played by Paul McGann and Matt Smith respectively) team up with Rose Tyler to defeat a brand-new villain.

Trapped in a parallel universe, Rose Tyler believed her adventures with the Doctor were over. Now, pulled by a mysterious energy into this reality, she must work with two Doctors to end the tyrannical rule of the warmongering BAD WOLF EMPRESS!

This new series will also see the return of the creative team behind the Doctor Who comics, with Eisner-nominated writer Jody Houser (Stranger Things, Spider-Man), illustrator Roberta Ingranata (Witchblade), and colorist Enrica Eren Angiolini (Warhammer 40,000) all taking part.

Jody Houser elaborated on why this new arc reflects her love of writing for the Doctor Who comics: “It’s always a blast to get to dig deeper into elements of the Whoniverse that we’ve only seen a bit of or haven’t seen in a while. It’s such an expansive playground to explore and tinker with.”

Empire of the Wolf #1 will debut with a selection of variant covers by David Busian, Abigail Harding and Christopher Jones as well as a photo cover featuring a brand-new character appearing in the upcoming TV series.

Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf #1 hits stores and digital devices November 3, 2021. The issue can be ordered from the local comic shop, in the UK & Europe from Forbidden Planet and digital.

The variant cover art follows the jump.

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Preview Star Trek: Villains

Titan Comics’ essential guide to Star Trek’s most iconic villains will be on sale September 28.

Star Trek: Villains features interviews with the actors behind the baddies, such as Alice Krige (the Borg Queen), Christopher Plummer (General Chang), and Ricardo Montalban (Khan) and profiles of alien foes such as the Romulans, the Gorn, the Dominion and the Klingons, in Star Trek Magazine‘s ultimate guide to the evil that lies beyond the final frontier!

Lavishly illustrated with rare photographs, this is the safest way to get up close and personal with Star Trek‘s most sinister evil-doers.

Samples of the interior pages follow the jump.

Available September 28 in bookstores, comic shops, and online retailers, and in the U.S. & Canada from Amazon, or in the U.K. and Europe from Forbidden Planet. 

[Based on a press release.]

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SFWA Shares Findings on Comics Writing and Graphic Novelist Pay

[Based on a press release.]

The Comics Committee of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) has announced survey results documenting current industry norms for advances and per-page payment rates for the work of comics writers and graphic novelists. 

Sixteen acquiring editors (50%), publishers (25%), and literary agents (25%) responded to the first survey designed for industry professionals (download report). Sixty-one creators of comics and graphic novels responded to the second survey geared toward answering questions on actual earnings for their work. Their experience in the industry ranged from less than 1 year (5%), to 1 to 5 years (36%), to 6 to 10 years (23%), to more than 11 years (36%; download report). 

Key findings from the surveys:

  • The median advance creators received for a graphic novel was $9,400 solely for writing and $32,000 for creators who both wrote and illustrated their books. 
  • For comics that pay by the page, the median rate received solely for writing was $60/page, and the median rate for both writing and illustration was $70/page, a comparatively small difference. 
  • Creators who were paid by other methods than advances or per page rates reported similar figures, with a median of $8,780 paid for their work. Over half of those paid another way reported that they were paid via royalties only, with no advance. Crowdfunding and patronage models were also reported. 
  • Industry professionals were asked what they felt was the minimum professional advance and per page rates for writing comics or an average-length graphic novel. The high and median answers given were the same ($10,000), indicating a high level of agreement with that advance figure as a minimum professional rate. The median rate per page, however, was $45/page, with a high of $100/page and a low of $25/page. 
  • Industry professionals indicated that the intended reader-age category for a work may affect a creator’s pay rates.

The survey did not ask respondents to specify whether their reported pay was for creator-owned or work-for-hire projects, although generally, comics or graphic novels that pay by the page are often licensed titles with work-for-hire contracts. In the future, this is an area the committee would like to look into more closely.

“Our results illustrate that while comics and graphic novel publishing is robust, many publishers are unfortunately still paying far below what is considered to be a minimum professional rate, highlighting the need to push for higher standards of pay,” said Alison Wilgus, SFWA Comics Committee chair. “Going forward, this data will help us make informed and effective decisions as to how SFWA can best meet the needs of its new members from the comics community. I’m proud of the work the committee has done to date, and excited for what the future holds!” 

SFWA’s Board of Directors is carefully considering multiple factors, including these survey results, in the development of membership guidelines for the admittance of comics writers and graphic novelists. The Board thanks the Committee for their outstanding work and this useful contribution to the speculative fiction community.

For questions, please contact operations@sfwa.org.

[Based on a press release.]

US Comic Book Layouts: A Book To Help You Do Layouts For Your Comic Books

The book in print form.

By James Bacon: Prolific Irish Comic artist PJ Holden has designed a layout sketchbook – 9 thumbnail layouts per page (with a blank facing page) the spine is white for writing what it is. 

There’s 120 pages with 60 pages with layouts on them. The layout page contains nine rectangles – these rectangles are scaled to fit the US comic book dimension size.

PJ Holden has been working in comics for 20 years now, with a considerable amount for 2000AD and his comic work with Irish writer Garth Ennis on The Stringbags last year, published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press has been critically acclaimed.  

I caught up with him and asked some questions.

JAMES BACON: Is this something you would have found useful earlier in your career?

PJ HOLDEN: I think so – certainly it’s a thing I was frequently doing with my own sketchbooks for layouts – I used to have a cardboard template with nine comic sized boxes drawn on it, I’d lay it on a page of my sketchbook and then trace out the layouts, so I was using something like it 15-20 years ago. 

JAMES BACON: Why would it have been useful to you, and at what stage in your drawing career?

PJ HOLDEN: One thing I don’t think you think about before you make the jump to professional work (and by professional I really mean getting paid to draw, so time becomes money) is how much time you spend on any given job that isn’t drawing. Once you make that leap, suddenly anything that can shave 5-10 minutes or that is just that little bit more convenient becomes worth pursuing, and over the last 20 years I’ve always sought out anything that could speed up the process, especially those bits that really don’t take skill – drawing layout boxes is one such bit.

JAMES BACON: Why are layouts important to master?

PJ HOLDEN: Well, once you’ve read the script you’ve got to start committing things to paper, and while some are lucky enough to go straight to inks most (me included) really need to figure out what it is we’re drawing first. The layout stage is where you do some of your early thinking on the page — how many people are in this panel, what’s the focal point for the page, will these two pages face each other? What’s happening on the page turn, etc.

You do it at the thumbnail stage because it’s faster and you can see the big picture very easily. Once you’ve got your layouts you can then move on to the pencils and if the layouts are tight enough (ie they have enough detail) then the pencils stage is greatly simplified.

JAMES BACON: What do you hope with this book?

PJ HOLDEN: Well, my initial thinking was “oh this is a smart way to get myself a neat little layout sketchbook I can use” and I figured making it available for anyone would help give me a little bit of a passive income (I mean, it’s not going to pay for a holiday, but I might be able to buy a couple of books…) 

Having done the first book, of course, other ideas occur, and I’ve a few other books waiting in the Amazon KDP — Kindle Direct Publishing — system for approval for publication (and about a dozen ideas for more). One in particular is a unique comic creators project diary that lets you track the course of projects while you do them over a year, incorporating many of the tricks I’ve learnt about using structured time to get work done.

What started as a bit of a lark, I’m hoping might actually end up a set of worthwhile tools for professional comic creators or anyone embarking on a comic making project.

PJ kindly went on to share some useful insights:

PJ HOLDEN: The book has a blank page facing a layout page – a deliberate choice I’ve made because, frankly, I don’t like drawing on the back of a page – but if you do, you’ve got a nice blank area to work with, and, the bane of all of my many dozens of sketchbooks, rather than a black spine that you can’t write on, it’s got a nice clean white spine for dating/other info, as well as space on the cover for more information. I think one key thing is to learn as much from as many people as possible and then find the tools that work for you. The books I’m doing, I hope are shaped in such a way that they give some of the necessary stuff to get the job done but equally are wide open for you to play an explore with how you’d find it useful – to be honest, I made this first book for professional comic artists but delighted to find a number of writers have picked up copies because it turns out knowing what your layouts might be is pretty handy for a writer!


The book is available from 

PJ Holden’s own Twitter thread about the book is here.

Hergé’s Multi-Layered Worlds

By Sultana Raza: On May 10, 2021 Moulinsart, which manages the Tintin franchise, lost a case to French artist Xavier Marabout. The reason? Marabout had placed Tintin in Hopper-like landscapes with scantily clothed women, a situation not to be found in any of the Tintin albums. The Rennes Court in France deemed Marabout’s art-works to be parodies, thus not violating copyright. Moulinsart is supposed to pay 10,000 euros as compensation to Marabout, unless it decides to appeal against this decision. Moulinsart has announced on its website, that it intends to appeal against this judgement.

If Marabout ultimately wins this case, then it could open the flood-gates to many contemporary and future artists recycling works in their own way from well-known writers/artists, to profit from the exposure of the original art-works. This is a case (no pun intended) in point about the continuing popularity of Tintin and his cronies. However, even in parody, how far away from the creator’s original vision should a recycling artist be allowed to wander away? After making it in international headlines, is Marabout hoping to exploit the shock value of his art-works? Commenting on another artist’s work is one thing, but exploiting it, is another thing altogether.

***

Considered to be a genius by many, not only was Hergé skilled at drawing, he was also good at fascinating his readers with mysteries, and intriguing situations. For example, why was Prof. Calculus going into the heart of a volcano, following the agitated movements of his pendulum, instead of running away, like all the others? Perhaps he was so oblivious to his real surroundings, and was so desperate to find the cause of the wild swinging of his pendulum for the sake of science, that inadvertently, he was willing to risk his very life. Or was he running away from mundane reality? And why did Tintin rush back to save his friend from going deeper in the maze of the mountain? Possibly because that was Tintin’s nature, to rescue not just the innocent people of the world, but it also showed his deep friendship with the absent-minded professor.

What pushes writers/artists to create entirely new worlds, with original characters, who nevertheless manage to creep into the hearts and minds of millions around the world? Could Snowy hold one clue to Tintin’s worldwide popularity? Why spend hours and hours of one’s life bringing these worlds, and characters to life? Possibly because the real world is either too daunting with its myriad of problems, or too boring to lead a humdrum life in it. And one can more or less control the interacting spheres one is creating, unless some characters decide to do the unexpected, such as rushing towards the heart of a volcano, following a pendulum.

This short essay explores the mysteries surrounding Hergé life and works. Are there any correlations between certain aspects of his life and works? Were his main characters influenced by his own life, and people he may have known, who may have escaped in another guise onto the pages of his albums? Various biographers and scholars have expressed their points of view through books, and videos, which are given in the lists at the end of this essay.

The current conditions of partial self-isolation are forcing us to explore various kinds of loneliness. While watching videos related to Georges Prosper Remi, or Hergé, as he’s popularly known, I started exploring the emotional loneliness of Tintin and his friends. They are an assorted bunch, brought together by circumstances. While they may complement each other in various ways, and even get on well with each other, their personal lives seem to be barren emotionally, as they have few family or romantic ties. Sometimes the loneliness of the writer flows into his characters. According to Serge Tisseron, that may have been the case with Hergé.

***

Was this brilliant body of work as a result of escapism on Hergé’s part? Perhaps his emotional life was a bit difficult to handle, and he sought refuge in his own stories. The huge amount of research that he did on various countries and cultures voluntarily must have required hours of absorption, wherein he could have forgotten his quotidian. Also, blowing up bubbles of stories in his mind probably allowed him to escape the daily grind.

Specially, as he paid so much attention to detail, while leaving a judicious amount of blank spaces to be filled in with the reader’s imagination. It’s a fine balancing act between creating enough details to make a fictitious world believable, and not to overcrowd the panels with too many details. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why these albums are still popular, as every generation can interpret them anew. Hergé didn’t just build his worlds through his images, but also via recurring characters, jokes, and spoofs. For example, Marlinspike Hall often got calls intended for the local butcher, due to errors of the phone company. Though this can be interpreted as a general mix-up of communications, with Thompson and Thomson being the masters of misinterpreting everything repeatedly. In the end, however, either their mistakes were cute, or inadvertently led to further discoveries by the good guys. Though Hergé was supposed to be a workaholic, perhaps like a lot of writers/artists, his fictitious world was more attractive to him than the real one.

***

Not much is known about the early life or the family background of Hergé, the creator of Tintin. In his 2009 book, Tintin et le secret d’Hergé (or Tintin and the Secret of Hergé), Serge Tisseron explores Hergé’s family secrets which permeate the latter’s graphic novels. There is speculation that Hergé himself may have descended from the illegitimate children of a nobleman. Is that why nothing much is known about Tintin’s parents? Also, Captain Haddock, a major character discovers that he is indeed descended from a noble line, which is outlined in The Secret of the Unicorn.

***

In fact, The Secret of the Unicorn (1943) and The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941) and to a smaller extent from Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944) were adapted into a film, The Adventures of Tintin in 2011, produced by Peter Jackson, and directed by Steven Spielberg. A lot of hard work went into the making of this film, with Peter Jackson keeping his online appointments with Spielberg in the wee hours of the morning (due to the time difference) instead of delegating these meetings to other staff members. Unfortunately, this 3D computer-animated film didn’t do as well at the box office as could have been expected. Perhaps the fans didn’t care too much for the differences from the source material, or about computer-animated films in general. While the action sequences were quite spectacular, perhaps their length could have been shortened, because the appeal of these stories lies not just in action, but in the relationships, which are at the heart of all the stories.

***

For example, with Tintin’s help Captain Haddock manages to regain his inheritance in the form of Marlinspike Hall. He lives there with Tintin, Nestor the Butler, and Prof. Calculus, not to mention the nosy Snowy. This anchorage of Captain Haddock in a place he can call his own brings him some emotional stability, and his drinking goes down, even if he remains somewhat prone to irascibility. Perhaps he used to drink to forget his own practical difficulties, and the bleakness of his emotional landscape. Though their friendship helps them get through many escapades, they’re content to remain single, escaping complicated emotional attachments.

***

Funnily enough, unlike the humans inhabiting Tintin’s world, Snowy doesn’t just want to escape into his own world, but is forever ready and eager to engage with any situation and characters he happens to encounter. However, just once, when he got drunk, Snowy did have a good and bad angel in his own image, who were trying to urge him to do the right/wrong thing. No need to guess as to which dog angel won. But it was a hilarious, unique and entertaining concept, nevertheless.

Bothering Captain Haddock is one Biance Castafiore, a famous opera singer, who off-handedly shows Captain Haddock that she wouldn’t be averse to his affections. But he has no inclination of showing them. Possibly Bianca Castafiore’s constant tendency to fuss over her fripperies, and to surround herself with the fluff of flurried borders on elaborate gowns adorned with laces, with an assortment of furs, and scarves are a sort of refuge from any meaningful relationship. Why has her heart become as hard as her famous jewels?

Poor Prof. Calculus has no luck with her, since he’s as maladroit in courting, as he is in everything else in real life, beyond the spheres of his studies and research. Is he secretly relieved that his love for the self-centred Castafiore remains unrequited. Does that push him further into his inner world, which he can control? Though a nerd, almost autistic, he’s endearing as well, with his absent-mindedness and altruistic outlook on life. Perhaps he’s interested in science not just because he has a brilliant mind, but also perhaps drowning himself in theories, diagrams, and formulas enables him to escape to his own domain which is more fun to puzzle out than strange creatures called human beings.

Castafiore’s voice is capable of breaking glass. One can speculate that she is capable of breaking the wall of silence surrounding family secrets (perhaps regarding the nobleman’s name who fathered the illegitimate children of a maid-servant who was Hergé’s ancestor). There is a confusion over the names of Thompson with or without a ‘p.’ Which is strange to say the least, as all twins have the same last name. Therefore, could their names have been fabricated to hide their real names? Though they tend to knock about ineffectually, it’s their good intentions that count.

***

Whether these musings are based on reality or not, these graphic novels, with an adolescent as the main character, have layers of psychological mysteries that go beyond most YA fiction. Serge Tisseron’s speculations on different aspects of Hergé’s life that he may have projected onto his fictitious personages, seem to fit the characters of these graphic novels. Being a brilliant artist and writer, maybe Hergé did feel lonely, for it’s lonely at the top. Is that why his main characters are content to exist in their own emotional bubbles, even as they go run around saving the world? In those days when the visual media was not as extensive as now, his graphic novels went a long way to illustrate faraway places such as China, Tibet, or South America. Not only did his impeccable research bring these cultures to life, but also showed that the values of decent folks were the same all around the world.

Of course, it’s a different question as to why Hergé was so concerned with world problems, and with righting wrongs in his graphic novels. Perhaps some unfair things had been done to the author’s family, and Tintin was forever fighting for truth and justice, supporting the rightful rulers (who’d been overthrown) of various fictitious countries. These graphic novels continue to be popular even today because their messages are about common human decency, which is as relevant today as it was when they were first created in 1929. The world may have changed quite a bit since then, but Tintin and friends continue to delight and inspire a worldwide readership.

For example, a new exhibition, Tintin and Hergé will be hosted at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai from 6 Aug. 2021 till 30 Oct. 2021. It will showcase hitherto unseen photos and drawings by the Belgian master of comic books.

Poster for The Power Station exhibit

LIST OF RESOURCES TO FURTHER EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT LAYERS OF HERGÉ’S WORK.

(Since the resources in this list are in French, a good knowledge of French (B2.2) would be required to understand the videos).

Books

While hundreds of books have been written on Hergé and Tintin, here are four that explore the psychological aspects of Hergé’s creations:

1/ Tintin chez le psychanalyste: Essai sur la création graphique et la mise en scène de ses enjeux dans l’œuvre d’Hergé (Ecrit sur parole) (French Edition) (French) Paperback – 1985

2/ Tintin et le secret d’Hergé (French) Paperback – 4 June 2009 by Serge Tisseron  (Author) points out how Hergé’s family secrets were played out in his graphic novels, giving greater insights into his characters. This has led to speculation on the significance of la Castafiore’s voice breaking the glass (wall of silence).

3/ Tintin And The Secret Of Literature by Tom McCarthy seems to be very interesting as well, and gives an overview of many recurring patterns and their subtexts in Tintin’s tales.

4/ Hergé, le pere de Tintin se raconte, edited by Nicolas Tellop is a collection of essays by and interviews of various experts, including Hergé’s biographers. Published in 2020 as a Hors Serie edition by Vagatour Productions (Paris), it also features lots of photos, and excerpts from graphic novels and films, while exploring Hergé’s influences, career, philosophy, and controversial stance during WWII.

Internet article:

Bianca Castafiore:

https://fr.tintin.com/personnages/show/id/4/page/0/0/bianca-castafiore

Tintin Catalogue:

https://www.tintin.com/tintin/actus/actus/001066/Piasa_fr.pdf

The catalogue was prepared by Piasa (an auction house) in cooperation with Moulinsart (the company managing Hergé’s estate,). In it are also Hergé’s b&w sketches, and sometimes plates without any dialogue in it. This could help provide insights into his creative process, and perhaps into how his mind worked, and what his vision was meant to be. I suppose unfolding the creative process of the source material could be interesting to any researcher, future artist, or readers wishing to delve more deeply into Tintin’s world. The catalogue is in French, and some parts are also in English.

Videos:

Quite a few videos in French give further insights into Hergé’s psychological make-up.

This is a non-exhaustive list of interesting videos on Hergé and Tintin:

-22 septembre 2016 – Integrale – Spéciale Tintin et Hergé, avec Michel Serres

-Serge Tisseron “La Castafiore et la psychanalyse de Hergé” | Archive INA

-13h15 le samedi: Hergé : une étoile si mystérieuse

-Hergé chez les initiés: La réalisation du Moi (a bit wonky, but shows the depths of Hergé’s work)

Conclusion

Due to his bubbling creativity, mysterious background, and incalculable talent, Hergé and his work continue to intrigue readers and researchers alike. These graphic novels illustrate (no pun intended) how art can help people bridge the cultural gap, and identify common humane values. Long before the Black Lives Matter exploded on the scene, and expanded into how all lives of ‘colored’ people matter, Hergé had already showed us a more compassionate approach to multi-cultural encounters in some of his works. As the world shrinks to become a global village, perhaps it’s time we learned how to get on with each other, instead of countries wasting huge budgets on funding weapons for (the prevention of) war. Diplomacy could achieve more, given the chance. Perhaps the biggest lesson given by Tintin are his humanitarian values, and his never-ending quest for justice (according to his worldview) in all aspects of life. Hopefully, he’ll continue to inspire new generations to come.

Postscript

I was wandering around in Brugges, Belgium and I came upon this shop by chance, where some of our friends were prominently displayed. Here is a slideshow of my photos taken there.

BIO: Of Indian origin, Sultana Raza’s poems have appeared in 90+ journals, with SFF work in Entropy, Columbia Journal, Star*line, Bewildering Stories, spillwords, Unlikely Stories Mark V, The Peacock Journal, Antipodean SF and impspired.

Her fiction received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Review, and has been published in Coldnoon Journal, and Entropy. She’s read her fiction/poems in Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, England, Ireland, the USA, and at WorldCon 2018, and CoNZealand 2019.

Her creative non-fiction has appeared in Literary Yard, Litro, impspired, etc. An independent scholar, Sultana Raza has presented papers related to Romanticism (Keats) and Fantasy (Tolkien) in international conferences.

Behold The Vehicles Of Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters In New Ship Blueprint Covers

The War of the Bounty Hunters continues to explode across the galaxy this September. The crossover is currently unfolding across all of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars titles as well as a main War Of The Bounty Hunters limited series and character-focused one-shots. The hunt for Han Solo has brought out the underworld’s most dangerous hunters and acclaimed Star Wars artist Paolo VIllanelli’s new Bounty Hunter Ship Blueprint Variant Covers dynamically depicts them alongside their legendary ships. Fans can see the following characters and vehicles on variant covers throughout September:

  • Bossk and The Hound’s Tooth
  • Boba Fett and Firespray
  • IG-88 and IG-2000
  • Zuckuss and The Mist Hunter
  • Valance Beilert and The Broken Wing
  • Dengar and The Punishing One

 See all six Bounty Hunter Ship Blueprint Covers following the jump.

 [Based on a press release.]

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