Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fanholes Side Story: The Adventures of Tintin part 2

The Crab With the Golden Claws begins with a simple investigation concerning fake coins, a slip of paper and a tin of crab meat. Eventually Tintin discovers the crab tins actually contain opium. It is in this story Tintin meets reoccurring ally, Captain Haddock. Tintin, Snowy, and Haddock eventually bring down the opium smuggling gang, but not before Haddock burns down their lifeboat...while on the ocean. The adventurers also cross a desert, battle bandits, and Haddock spends some time fighting Tintin as he struggles to quit drinking.

Despite the opium smuggling angle this is a fairly light adventure with quite a bit of humor. Tintin, Snowy and Haddock bonk each other on the head enough times to qualify for a Three Stooges act. This is one of the stories written during WWII and was often delayed due to paper shortage. The Crab with the Golden Claws has been adapted several times. As stop motion film in 1947, though it was only screened for the public once, and it has been animated two times. First in 1957 and again in 1991.

The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure is a two part tale where Tintin and friends search for the treasure of the Unicorn. The adventure begins innocently enough when Tintin purchases a model ship. He is immediately met with several men who wish to buy the ship, but refuses to sell as he plans to give it to Captain Haddock. From there the story involves multiple models of the Unicorn, pickpockets, secret parchment and Haddock’s tale of an ancestor being directly involved with the sinking of the real Unicorn.

If you are new to Tintin and are looking for a good place to start then I suggest these two tales. They are considered two of the best Tintin adventures by many. They are especially relevant as material from these stories will be adapted for the upcoming feature film. Or, if you prefer, you could pick up the recently released season one dvd of the 1991 animated series. Both stories are adapted as two part episodes and are not only highly regarded, but are pretty faithful to the source material.

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