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The Adventures of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets

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This new facsimile reprint of the very first adventure of one of the world's most beloved cartoon characters shows Tintin's creator, the famed Belgian cartoonist Herge, just beginning to learn his craft. The story was originally created in 1929 for a children's supplement in the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle. Readers meet Tintin, intrepid red-headed boy reporter, along with his dog, for the first time as they set off to Russia to investigate the evil doings of the Soviets. Herg‚ later apologized for the heavy-handed anti-Soviet satire on almost every page. The Soviets are generally portrayed as corn-stealing murderous scum; among other things, Tintin is tortured by thoroughly caricatured Chinese employees of the Soviet secret police. These stereotypes and others like them are a part of that time period, although they've been cited as evidence of Herge's racism. Setting aside the political context, the book is a valuable documentation of the rough and underdeveloped work of Herge's early years as a cartoonist. Years later, he developed the clear line-drawing style that's influenced generations of European cartoonists. However, while his simple b&w penwork from this period is often clumsy, Herge's ability to tell a good story is well developed. Tintin rockets from one death-defying scrape to another in a whirlwind of chase scenes. He is dragged behind cars, blown up by explosives, frozen, tortured, shot, chased by a tiger and more, all in the course of a few pages. This is an enthralling look at the early work of one of the greatest cartoonists of all time.

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