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ARTICLE 6

Herge's Techniques

Planet Tintin

I am always interested to find out the techniques' of Herge. I'm not only a Tintin fan but a big fan of Herge. My first comic was Tintin in America. This comic didn't influence me much but amazed me. A young boy, who looks like normal kids captures Bobby Smiles and other gangters of Chicago. Tintin was not just the same typical action hero. He had almost all the qualities of a hero and a young boy. Herge's method of presenting the story was different. You see in most of the comics. A hero chases a villian in a car or something else. But this was not the same with Tintin. Herge's habit or a technique to show young kids as brave and courageous proved succesful. When I compare two characters created by him like Tintin and Jo.You see many things are common.That was the thing I find in Herge. Herge's habit of showing a car chase and then being smashed by a car at the other side (You can see that both in Tintin In America on Page 4 and in Mr.Pump's Legacy on Page 28). Other technique he used in the stories was: Whenever gansters or anyone else is ordered to "Hands Up!", he straight away shoots at the light and escapes in the dark (This also you can see in Cigars of the Pharaoh on Page 20 and in Mr.Pump's Legacy on Page 33). Well, here is a list of other technique's of Herge which were common in most of his comics:

Comparison between- Tintin and Jo
Tintin-
Comic's Name- Red Rackham's Treasure
Description- Snowy makes off with the chicken and the cook complaints this to Captian Haddock.[Page 16]
Comic's Name- The Shooting Star
Description- Snowy again makes off with the sausages.The Captian asks the cook where the sausages were as it was in the menu.[Page 23]
Jo-
Comic's Name- Mr. Pump's Legacy
Description- Jocko stole the bottle of champagne wich was to be used by Jo and Zette to christen the Stratoship and replaces it with an empty one.[Page 39]
Comic's Name- Destination New York
Description- Jocko was sitting on an iceberg. A ship hit the iceberg and the impact threw Jocko on board. No sooner Jocko goes to the kitchen and eats the whole bunch of bananas. As usual the cook complaints the Captian of the ship. (How Jocko got on the iceberg is a long story!)[Page 17]

Comparison between- Tintin and Jo
Tintin-
Comic's Name- Tintin In Tibet
Description- Tintin and Captian visited Qutab Minar and the Red Fort. Then Tintin says that they haven't seen the Jama Masjid, the Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi ... Captian Haddock then says to take a taxi and dash for the airport. In between they see a crowd. Captian finds a cow and asks the indians to move her. But one of them answers that it is a sacred cow.[Page 7]
Jo-
Comic's Name- The Valley of the Cobras
Description- When Legrand and his family leave for shimla, on the way they find a traffic jam. When they go there to see, they find sacred cows. And as you know- One must be patient until they move in their own good time.[Page 27]
Message: Herge has always tried to show the indian customs.

Comparison between- Tintin and Jo
Tintin-
Comic's Name- The Calculus Affair
Description- After returning to Marlinspike, Captian Haddock lights the matchstick. At that moment, Calculus says that they should destroy the microfilms 'cos everyone wants to use his invention for warlike ends. He immediately shows the microfilm towards the matchstick. PSCH!Captian Haddock's hair gets burnt up.[Page 62]
Jo-
Comic's Name- The Valley of the Cobras
Description- Jo, Zette and Jocko find the reservoir which proves that the fakir is a rogue.Legrand blows the reservoir. And the flashes spread everywhere.The fakir and the guide find what's happening and they run. One of the flashes lands on the fakir's head and what do you know! His hair is on fire.[Page 27]

Comparison between- None
Tintin-
Comic's Name- The Black Island
Description- This was a common method of the gangsters. Hitting the person's head with a club.[Page 7]
Comic's Name- The Crab with the Golden Claws
Description- The gangster who is an accomplice of Allan hits Tintin's head with a club.[Page 10]

Comparison between- None
Tintin-
Comic's Name- King Ottokar's Sceptre
Description- When Tintin becomes suspicious that the Professor whom he is going with to Prague ain't the real Professor, he decides to find out if he is really wearing a fake beard. So, while getting of the plane, he pulls the professors beard .[Page 22]
Comic's Name- The Broken Ear
Description- Alonzo and Ramon, the thugs after the fetish while on the ship think that Tintin is spying on them. They think an old man to be Tintin in disguise. So, they pull his beard which turns out to be real.[Page 14]

It is not possible for me to tell you all the common techniques of Herge. But we come accross each of them when we read the comics. Even though Herge used to add many common events but still it made the story different from each other.

Written by: Kirthi Iyer