Length: 206 pages
My rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1 is the first in the collector’s edition of the series. It contains Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo.
Let me begin by saying that I absolutely love Tintin comics, which is why I have the collector’s edition in the first place. I’ve read all the comics over the years. But, I had not really read the entire collection in order. Until now.
I picked up Volume 1 because I wanted to start right at the beginning. And let’s just say that if these had been the first Tintin comics I’d ever read, I probably wouldn’t have given the rest of the series a chance.
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets has no story as such and is just page after page of Tintin and Snowy escaping from crazy situations in ridiculous ways. I mean Tintin is famous for getting in trouble and getting away, but these scenarios were plain incredulous and un-entertaining.
Tintin in the Congo is painfully racist and depicts hunting in the most brutish and inhumane manner possible. It still has some story and is closer to the better Tintin comics in a few ways. But by no means is it a comfortable read (I’m pretty sure I actually cringed a couple of times).
Both books within Volume 1 aren’t really enjoyable. The creators have admitted that both books were heavily influenced by beliefs and assumptions of the time during which they were set. They’ve even updated some aspects of the books that just would not have been accepted later. But that still doesn’t make them a great read. And they definitely don’t compare in the least to the books that followed.
If you want to read Tintin then read any other than Tintin in the Congo and Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. The others are surely enjoyable. But the only reason you can consider reading Volume 1 is if you, like me, want to go through all the books in order. That compulsion is the only thing that’ll get you through them.
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