The Adventures of Tintin in Pop-up!

Houghton Library Blog 2014-05-15

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

“Tintin is myself.  He reflects the best and brightest in me: he is my successful double…Tintin has accomplished many things on my behalf.” -Hergé

Tintin who was created by Hergé, a pen name of Georges Prosper Remi, is known to many as the reporter turned detective whose stories chronicle his adventures chasing various villans and criminals throughout the world.  Tintin first appeared in the 1929 pages of Le Petit Vingtième, a children’s supplement to Le Vingtième Siècle.

Tintin’s story, serialized over a period of months in the paper, was set in the Soviet Union much to the displeasure of Hergé.  Abbé Norbert Wallez, who was the editor of the paper and a vocal facist, ordered Hergé to set the initial series in the Soviet Union so that Tintin in the Land of the Soviets became a kind of anti-socialist propaganda for children.  In keeping with the deeply conservative tenor of the paper Hergé wrote several more Tintin series that took place in the Congo and America, which though popular at the time, would most likely be considered paternalistic and anti-capitalist by today’s standards.

Eventually Hergé sent Tintin on more escapist adventures including Le Temple du Soleil or Prisoners of the Sun.

In this story Tintin and Captain Haddock attempt to resuce the kidnapped Professor Calculus and become prisoners of a lost Incan civilization.  Widener has copies of many of the stories in both French and English including Le Temple du soleil.  Tintin was so popular that Hergé entered into a partnership wtih American publisher Casterman Hallmark to produce a series of pop-up books known as “Pop Hop.”  The books are an abridged version of the stories and use these fabulous pop-up illustrations to show the reader about the perilous circumstances of our trusty hero and his sidekicks, including Snowy the fox terrier.

We can also get a glimpse of Captain Haddock as the comic relief.

The popularity of Tintin is still quite clear today with the visibility of the character in popular culture, various films, merchandising, and even the Musée Hergé which features rotating exhibits of Tintin materials.  To find more Tintin pop-ups in Widener’s collection look here:

Le temple du soleil / Hergé. Tournai ; Paris : Casterman, c1970.

Le tresor de Rackham le Rouge / Hergé. Tournai ; Paris : Casterman, c1970.

L’ile noire / Hergé. Tournai ; Paris : Casterman, c1970.

Le sceptre d’ottokar / Hergé. Tournai ; Paris : Casterman, c1971.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager for contributing this post.