Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Mystery of Cigars of the Pharaoh and others

Was rereading Cigars of the Pharaoh this morning on the white throne. (Comics make the best loo activity, along with crosswords). Theres a panel where this arab chieftain says that he's a huge Tintin fan and has read his adventures. Theres a flunky of his who shown holding a copy of a book. Looking at the cover - its pretty obvious that the book is Destination Moon. But then - sequentially, Destination Moon takes place way after "Cigars".  No biggie? Destination Moon must have been written before "Cigars of the Pharaoh"  - and hence the ref. That doesnt quite ring true - because its unlikely that Herge would make such a mistake when it is clear that this is a mystery where the Thompsons make their first appearance . And so it proves. Cigars was written in 1932. Destination Moon was written in 1950. So was Herge a wormhole traveller? Did he know that Tintin was going to the Moon way back in 1932? Or was it something that the publishers screwed up when publishing the English translation of the album version? That doesnt work either as Herge himself did all the recolouring and reworking of all the album versions, atleast until the 1970s. So does the fact that the album version of Cigars of the Pharaoh was published in 1955 and the album version of Destination Moon in 1950 have anything to do with it? That it was a conscious decision to capitalize on the success of the Moon titles?
 Or was it just a blooper? Maybe. But like the crumpet, these explanations are "Ingenious. Quite ingenious. But a little far fetched. No, I prefer to think the whole thing, as I say, has something to do with the fourth dimension. I am convinced that that is the true explanation, if our minds can only grasp it"

  • This is another edition of "What's the point".
  • Given the talk about blacks and crime, doesnt the number of blacks in the US Marshals' most wanted  look a bit odd?
  • Reading Kipling on America. Theres a bit near the end on American journalism - in the chapter on America's Defenceless Coasts where a journo says "There is no domestic privacy in America. If there was, what the deuce would the papers do?". Kipling is outraged by the story the journalist tells him - and tells him "It makes me regard your interesting nation with the same shuddering curiosity that I should bestow on a Pappan cannibal chewing the scalp off his mother’s skull. Does that convey any idea to your mind? It makes me regard the whole pack of you as heathens—real heathens—not the sort you send missions to—creatures of another flesh and blood. You ought to have been shot, not dead, but through the stomach, for your share in the scandalous business, and the thing you call your newspaper ought to have been sacked by the mob, and the managing proprietor hanged."
    I wonder how he would react now, to the octomoms and Real Housewives and Jon and Kate and all the rest - not just in America, but all around the world. I wonder how he would feel if he saw the "Deccan Chronicle" or the Times of India for that matter... 

No comments:

Post a Comment