Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (#1 HB)
This first adventure of Tintin, théeboy reporter, appeared in 1929 in a children's supplement to a Belgian daily newspaper, Le Vingtième Siècle. Hergé, Georges Rémi, then twenty-two years old, was employed on the staff as an artist. He had received no formal art training, but was already showing thé originality and wit that would make him a unique figure in the world of the strip cartoon. Hergé's satire on thé Soviet state was very much of its time. He himself had not been to Russia, but had read a book published the year before, Moscou sans voiles: Neuf ans de travail au pays des Soviets by Joseph Douillet, a former Belgian consul in Rostov-on-Don. Soviet propaganda to persuade the world outside Russia that the economy was booming was a particular target for Hergé, as were the activities of the secret police, the OGPU. Incidentally, he errs on one occasion in the story when he calls them the Cheka, their name before 1922. Publication in Le Petit Vingtième began on 10 January 1929. In 1930 the adventure was issued in album form, now a very rare book greatly sought after, the 500 copies being numbered and signed "Tintin et Milou". There were, it is believed, nine subsequent editions, differing only in the layout of the print on the title page. With the exception of a reissue in 1969 for the personal use of the author, again limited to 500 copies, and some pirated editions, more than forty years elapsed before this adventure was again published, in thé first volume of the Archives Hergé. L. L -C. M. T.
Herge (Georges Remi) was born in Brussels in 1907. Over the course of 54 years he completed 23 albums of The Adventures of Tintin series, which is now considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, comics series of all time. With translations published in over 80 languages, more than 230 million copies sold worldwide and a Hollywood movie to its name, Tintin dominates the Comics and Graphic Novels chart even today. Sadly, Herge died in 1983, leaving his 24th album, Tintin and Alph-Art, unfinished, but his hero continues to be one of the most iconic characters in both adult and children's fiction.