Monday, January 2, 2023

Some Light Holiday Reads

Happy New Year, my friends! All best wishes for a fruitful reading and blogging year of 2023!

I've had some fun during holidays, on the last week of 2022: re-reading my childhood favorite: The Adventures of Tintin (a comic book series) by the talented Belgian writer/cartoonist: Hergé. It's not just a favorite, the series had shaped me to be the reader I am today. That's why I included it to my Personal Canon.

Anyway, in these re-reads I realized little details I didn't notice back then. I'll give you snapshots from each of the four books I've read:

The Seven Crystal Balls

Seven scientists stole the mummy of an Inca King from Peru. Each of them are 'attacked' by cursed crystal ball to a comatose condition. Professor Calculus (Tournesol in French) is kidnapped by the Peruvians, and it leaves Tintin and Captain Haddock to find and rescue him (to be continued in the sequel: The Prisoners of the Sun).

Interesting points:

1. Snowy's (Milou in French) expression
Hergé is well known for his excellent little details, such as Snowy's varied expressions, of which you can write stories just by looking at him. On this one, for instance, it looks like he's saying:

1st pic (after hours on the train): "Yay... we're taking a walk!
2nd pic (10 mins later..): "Aren't we there already? My legs are killing me!"

2. Captain Haddock's fashionable outfits (isn't he a dandy?) Look at this riding outfit; Isn't it rather fantastic for a comic caricature?

3. How can Snowy be suddenly caught between Nestor's legs?
I just realized that he's actually sliding towards Nestor, no doubt due to the very slippery floor. The marks on the floor implies that, how could I just notice that now?!

The Secret of the Unicorn

Tintin bought Captain Haddock a ship miniature, which turns out to be the exact replica to Captain's ancestor's ship: Unicorn. Tintin found a small manuscript rolled into the mast, which turned out to be one third of a clue to finding secret treasure.

Interesting points:

1. Dupont's (or Dupond?) cane angle is changed between scenes. On 1st scene (right side 1st row) we see that his cane is stuck to a bag's handle and about to carry it over. But on the next scene, the angle changed, which is the normal way to carry a bag by the handle, but impossible for the carrier to absent-mindedly turn his cane that way, while he isn't realized what he's doing. You know what I mean? So, is it a tiny relapse from Hergé?....

2. Poor Snowy (Milou) is so unlucky to get into these comical 'accidents'... so hilarious and made me laugh every time.

3. It's so amazing that in the case of robbery, Tintin's main concern is for his books. That's right Tintin, good books are rare treasure!

Tintin and the Picaros

Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Calculus were incidentally involved in their friend's General Alcazar's revolotion in South America.

Interesting points:

1. Tintin is riding motorcycle!

2. And this is probably the only time he donned a pair of jeans!

3. Another of Captain Haddock fashionable outfit.

The Calculus Affair

Professor Calculus invented an ultrasonic glass-destroyer machine. Borduria and Syldavia both want to get it by kidnapping Calculus, while his two friends: Tintin and Captain Haddock race with time to rescue him.

Interesting points:

1. Again, Captain Haddock's styles. This time, a countryside gentleman taking a stroll on a peaceful afternoon. The other is his casual style, with buttoned-down shirt, a shawl, and a leather belt. Great style, Monsieur Hergé!

2. Perfect small details of a (hilarious) chaos!
The 1st one is outside Marlinspike Hall (Haddock's property), when news about mysterious broken glasses has become public. Do you see the boy scout? The lollipop seller, ice cream stall, the tent whose occupant is just waking up in pajama!? And the family picnic.. the father and mother are quarreling about the food - what do you think happened? Is his burger undercooked? 😄

The next one is when Tintin and Haddock in speeding car is chasing Calculus' kidnapper through the town square on market day. The result is... chaos...and pretty hilarious too! Do you notice the string of sausages stuck in front of the car? The cows and pigs are obvious, but can you see a black cat calmly observing all the chaos? The poor egg seller and the postman are very unlucky! Not mentioning the fruit shop. And to think about the spilt gallons of milk or the bread... This can be a fun game in leisure time! 🤣

Of those four, the last one is my favorite. Clever plot, hilarious comical scene with fabulously drawn pictures, and don't forget that scene of the infamous sticky bandage incident - that's probably the most hilarious of all the comic series!! I've seen it many-many times, and it always makes me laughing out loud!

Believe me, The Adventures of Tintin are always a perfect choice for fun holiday reads! 😉
How's your holiday reads? What books did you choose? Were you having fun?


  1. What an amazing post! I love it. As a child we used to get a five minute TV programme of Tintin every night at 5.55, just before The News at 6pm. I can still hear the man's voice announcing 'Herge's Adventures of Tintin' in that stern voice. It was my favourite children's programme and I always wanted it to be longer. I love the books you have too.

    1. Thank you, Cath! What a lovely childhood memory you spent with Tintin! For me, I remember my father used to bring me to a bookshop downtown, where I can look around Tintin's shelf, and he will let me choose one that I could bring home. It's one of my sweetest days!

  2. Happy New Year! I hope 2023 is the best one yet. :D

    1. Happy New Year, Lark! All best wishes for our book blogging community too! ;)

  3. My kids learnt so much geography reading Tintin, besides just having fun!

    1. Me too, Carol! And not just that, I learned much about different cultures too. I remember talking to a friend, when we're adult, about the Yeti, and I was shocked that she didn't know what it is. It was then that I came to appreciate my childhood readings of Tintin!

  4. Wonderful post; I enjoyed revisiting favourite Tintins through this. I had forgotten (or perhaps not noticed) Captain Haddock's many outfits, but I'm guessing becoming a country gentleman would have had its effect. Like you I love Snowy's expressions. In Tintin and the Picaros if I remember right, he also gets a bit drunk.

    1. Thanks, Mallika! That's true about Captain Haddock, it's more fun to look at him after Red Rackham's Treasure (where he inherited Marlinspike Hall) :))
      You remember right about Snowy. He gets drunk quite often, doesn't he? :)) I remember his "struggle of conscience" over drinking (featuring devilish Snowy and angelic Snowy). That part is so funny! I can't remember which book it is in, though.

  5. Happy New Year Fanda!
    You've just brought back a whole lot of happy childhood memories for me too with this delightful Tintin post - thank you :-)

    1. Happy New Year, Brona!
      I'm thinking about reviving those happy memories every holiday.


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