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Vue d'ensemble[modifier | modifier le code] Tintin est un reporterNote 1, profession dont Herg se sert pour mler son personnage

plusieurs vnements contemporains de la priode pendant laquelle il travaille : la rvolution bolcheviqueen Russie, les prmisses de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, la conqute lunaire Herg a cr autour de Tintin un univers aux dtails styliss, mais raliste. Il a obtenu cet effet en s'inspirant d'une importante collection de photographies. Les Aventures de Tintin suivent une trame trs linaire une nigme rsolue de manire logique mais Herg les prsente avec un sens de l'humour caractristique. De plus il y introduit des personnages secondaires, assez prvisibles, mais auxquels les lecteurs, dont l'attention est capte, s'attachent parfois plus qu'aux hros 4. Le dessinateur a aussi particulirement bien compris les mcanismes de la bande dessine, en particulier au niveau du rythme. Ce sens du rythme est flagrant dans Les Bijoux de la Castafiore, un album dont l'action se droule dans une atmosphre tendue, alors qu'il ne s'y passe aucun action aventureuse. La publication, en planches hebdomadaires, imposait ainsi que chaque page fasse avancer l'action suffisamment et se termine sur un point d'humour ou de surprise qui donnait envie d'acheter la suite. Mme si le dessin peut sembler simpliste voire caricatural pour les visages il va devenir de plus en plus prcis sur les dcors au fil du temps et des reditions5. Herg a, dans les premiers temps, cr Les Aventures de Tintin en improvisant, ne sachant pas l'avance de quelle manire le hros se sortirait de toutes ses msaventures. Il n'a t amen documenter et prvoir ses scnarios qu'aprs avoir termin Les Cigares du pharaon. L'impulsion est venue de Zhang Chongren (Tchang Tchong-jen, ou Tchang), un tudiant chinois qui, en apprenant qu'Herg allait envoyer Tintin en Chine pour sa prochaine aventure, l'a incit ne pas colporter les ides reues qu'avaient les Europens de l'poque. Herg et Zhang ont ainsi travaill ensemble sur l'pisode suivant de la srie : Le Lotus bleu, ouvrage repris dans les 100 livres du sicle, classement franais des livres considrs comme les cent meilleurs du XXe sicle, tabli au printemps 1999 dans le cadre d'une opration organise par la Fnac et Le Monde. Il y dmontre la manipulation conduisant l'occupation de la Mandchourie par le Japon et l'incapacit de la SDNqui deviendra l'ONU. Des vnements extrieurs obligent galement Herg effectuer d'autres changements dans sa manire de crer ses bandes dessines. La Seconde Guerre mondiale et l'invasion de la Belgique par les armes d'Hitler entranent la fermeture du Petit Vingtime dans lequel paraissaient Les Aventures. Herg travaillait ce moment-l sur Tintin au pays de l'or noir. L'histoire est stoppe et ne sera reprise qu'en septembre 1948. Malgr la rarfaction du papier, Herg peut poursuivre Les Aventures de Tintin en publiant Le Crabe aux pinces d'or, L'toile mystrieuse, Le Secret de La Licorne et Le Trsor de Rackham le Rouge dans le journal Le Soir. De 1941 1944, ces mmes histoires paratront en album. Paraissent galement les versions couleurs du Le Crabe aux pinces d'or, de L'le Noire et de L'Oreille casse. Les Sept Boules de cristal ne paratront que partiellement dans le journal Le Soir. Enfin, les versions de Tintin au Congo et Tintin en Amrique, en nerlandais paraissent dans le journal Het laatste Nieuws. Pendant et aprs l'occupation allemande, Herg est accus par les autorits d'puration d'tre un collaborateur car le journal Le Soir tait contrl par les nazis et il est brivement incarcr laLibration[rf. ncessaire]. Il se dfend en prtendant qu'il avait tout simplement fait son mtier pendant l'Occupation, comme l'auraient fait un plombier ou un charpentier. Les histoires nes durant cette priode, contrairement sa production d'avant et d'aprs-guerre, sont dans l'ensemble politiquement neutres, puisque sans rfrence avec la situation de l'Europe en guerre. Nanmoins "le Sceptre d'Ottokar" dnonce bien le droulement d'une Anschluss commandite par un dictateur nomm Musstler (Contraction vidente de Mussolini et Hitler). Par ailleurs l'apocalyptique albumL'toile mystrieuse traduit sa peur de l'avenir durant cette poque de guerre et distingue dans sa version originale, un groupe ami de scientifiques issus de pays neutres ou occups par l'Allemagne, d'un groupe concurrent conduit par un banquier juif amricain. Mais les histoires sont souvent tournes vers les voyages, l'aventure, et la chasse aux trsors, comme l'expriment les albums Le Secret de La Licorne, Le Trsor de Rackham le Rouge ou Les Sept Boules de cristal. La pnurie de papier ne de la guerre entrane un changement de format des Aventures. Alors qu'Herg avait pour habitude de donner ses albums le nombre de pages ncessaire au dveloppement de ses scnarios en produisant 2 planches contenant chacune 6 cases rparties en 2 colonnes de 3 lignes. Petit petit la place rserve aux aventures se rduit jusqu' se limiter un simple strip de 4 5 cases. Le 5 fvrier 19426, la maison d'dition Casterman persuade Herg de passer la couleur grce aux machines offset que possde l'imprimeur. Mais cela suppose de dessiner des planches plus petites, et d'adopter une longueur de 62 pages par album. Motif : un album est constitu de 4 cahiers de 16 pages, soit 64 (62 + page de titre + verso). Herg agrandit son quipe (les dix premiers albums ont t conus par lui-mme et sa femme), qu'il finit par transformer en studio.

L'adoption de la couleur permet Herg de donner une plus grande envergure son uvre. Sa manire de l'utiliser est plus subtile que celle des Amricains, avec des valeurs mieux rendues l'impression, permettant l'emploi de la quadrichromie et, de ce fait, une approche cinmatographique de la lumire et des ombres. Herg et son studio se servent d'images pour remplir des demi-pages ou tout simplement pour dtailler et mettre en avant une scne. L'emploi de la couleur fait ressortir les dtails importants. Herg insiste sur ce point en affirmant : Je considre mes histoires comme des films. Donc, pas de narration, pas de description. Toute l'importance, je la donne l'image 7. La vie personnelle d'Herg a galement influenc la srie, avec par exemple Tintin au Tibet, fortement marqu par sa dpression. Ses cauchemars, qu'il aurait dcrits comme tant tout blancs trouvent un cho dans les paysages enneigs de l'album. L'intrigue est base sur les recherches menes par Tintin pour retrouver Tchang, rencontr prcdemment dans Le Lotus bleu. Cet pisode ne met en scne aucun bandit et Herg, qui s'abstient de tout jugement de valeur, se refuse qualifier l'Homme des Neiges (le Yti) d'abominable . Herg aura aussi dnonc dans ses ouvrages la traite esclavagiste (Coke en stock), l'exploitation des minorits (Tintin en Amrique), les marchands d'armes (L'oreile casse), les dictatures en Europe (L'affaire Tournesol) et en Amrique du Sud (Tintin et les Picaros). Les Aventures de Tintin se sont termines prmaturment avec la mort d'Herg le 3 mars 1983. La vingt-quatrime aventure, Tintin et l'Alph-Art, est reste inacheve. Dans cet album, Tintin volue dans le monde de l'art moderne et l'histoire se termine sur une scne o Tintin risque d'tre tu, enferm dans du plexiglas et expos comme une uvre d'art. Critiques contre la srie[modifier | modifier le code] Certains ont critiqu les premires aventures de Tintin, considrant que celles-ci contenaient de la violence, de la cruaut animale, des prjugs colonialistes et mme racistes, prsents entre autres dans la description qui y est faite des nonEuropens. Nanmoins, beaucoup considrent ces critiques comme tant totalement anachroniques. Tintin paraissait l'origine dans le journal Le Petit Vingtime. Mme si la Fondation Herg a mis ces lments sur le compte de la navet de l'auteur et que certains chercheurs comme Harry Thompson ont prtendu que Herg faisait ce que lui disait l'abb Wallez (le directeur du journal) 20, Herg lui-mme sentait bien que, vu ses origines sociales, il ne pouvait chapper aux prjugs : Pour Tintin au Congo, tout comme pour Tintin au pays des Soviets, j'tais nourri des prjugs du milieu bourgeois dans lequel je vivais. [] Si j'avais les refaire, je les referais tout autrement, c'est sr. 22. Dans Tintin au pays des Soviets, les Bolchviques sont dpeints comme des personnages malfiques. Herg s'est inspir du livre de Joseph Douillet, ancien consul de Belgique en Russie, Moscou sans voile, qui tait extrmement critique envers le rgime sovitique. Herg a remis cela dans le contexte en affirmant que pour la Belgique de l'poque, nation pieuse et catholique, tout ce qui tait bolchvique tait athe 20. Dans l'album, les chefs bolchviques ne sont motivs que par leurs dsirs personnels, et Tintin dcouvre, enterr, le trsor cach de Lnine et Trotsky . Herg a plus tard attribu les dfauts de ce premier album une erreur de jeunesse 20. Mais aujourd'hui, avec la dcouverte des archives sovitiques, sa reprsentation de l'URSS, bien que caricaturale, possde quelques lments de vrit. En 1999, le journal The Economist, de tendance librale, crira que rtrospectivement, la terre accable par la faim et la tyrannie dpeinte par Herg tait malgr tout trangement exacte 23. On a reproch Tintin au Congo de reprsenter les Africains comme des tres nafs et primitifs. Dans la premire dition de l'album, on voit Tintin devant un tableau noir donnant la leon des enfants africains. Mes cher amis , dit-il, je vais vous parler aujourd'hui de votre Patrie : la Belgique . En 1946, Herg a redessin l'album, et transform cette leon en un cours de mathmatiques. Il s'est par la suite expliqu sur les maladresses du scnario original : Je ne connaissais de ce pays que ce que les gens en racontaient l'poque : Les Ngres sont de grands enfants Heureusement pour eux que nous sommes l ! , etc. Et je les ai dessins, ces Africains, d'aprs ces critres-l, dans le plus pur esprit paternaliste qui tait celui de l'poque en Belgique. 24. L'auteur Sue Buswell a rsum en 1988 dans le journal britannique Mail on Sunday les problmes poss par cet album en soulignant deux lments : Les lvres molles et les tas d'animaux morts [NDT: en rfrence la manire dont sont dessins les Africains dans l'album, et aux animaux qui y sont tus par Tintin] 25. Nanmoins, Thompson pense que cette citation a t mise hors de son contexte 26. L'expression animaux morts est une allusion la chasse au gros gibier, trs en vogue l'poque de la premire dition de Tintin au Congo. En transposant une scne de chasse du livre d'Andr Maurois Les Silences du colonel Bramble, Herg prsente Tintin comme un chasseur de gros gibier, abattant quinze antilopes, alors qu'une seule serait ncessaire pour le dner. Ce nombre important d'animaux tus a conduit l'diteur danois des Aventures de Tintin demander quelques modifications Herg. Ainsi, une planche o Tintin tue unrhinocros en perant un trou dans le dos de l'animal et en y insrant un bton de dynamite a t juge excessive. Herg l'a remplace par une autre planche montrant le rhinocros accidentellement touch par une balle du fusil de Tintin, alors que ce chasseur d'une autre poque est embusqu derrire un arbre.

En 2007, un organisme britannique, la commission pour l'galit raciale (en), a demand que l'album soit retir des rayonnages de librairies suite une plainte, en affirmant: cela dpasse l'entendement qu' notre poque, un vendeur de livres puisse trouver acceptable de vendre ou faire la promotion de Tintin au Congo 27. Le 23 juillet 2007, une plainte a t dpose par un tudiant de RDC Bruxelles, en Belgique, celui-ci estimant que l'ouvrage constituait une insulte envers son peuple28. L'affaire est toujours en cours[rf. ncessaire], mais une institution belge, leCentre pour l'galit des chances et la lutte contre le racisme, a mis en garde contre une attitude hyper politiquement correcte 29 dans ce dossier. Plusieurs des premiers albums de Tintin ont t remanis pour tre rdits, le plus souvent la demande des maisons d'dition. Par exemple, la demande des diteurs amricains des Aventures, la plupart des personnages noirs de Tintin en Amrique ont t recoloris pour devenir blancs ou d'origine indtermine30. Dans L'toile mystrieuse, on trouvait l'origine un mchant amricain nomm Monsieur Blumenstein (un patronyme juif), ce qui tait tendancieux, d'autant plus que le personnage avait un facis correspondant exactement aux caricatures de Juifs. Herg a donn par la suite un nom moins marqu son personnage - Bohlwinkel - et l'a fait habiter dans un pays sud-amricain imaginaire, le So Rico. Herg a dcouvert bien plus tard que Bohlwinkel tait galement un nom juif The Blue Lotus (French: Le Lotus bleu) is the fifth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Herg. Commissioned by the conservative Belgian newspaper Le XXe Sicle for its children's supplement Le Petit Vingtime, it was serialised weekly from August 1934 to October 1935. Continuing where the plot of the previous story, Cigars of the Pharaoh, left off, the story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy, who are invited to China in the midst of the 1931 Japanese invasion, where he reveals the machinations of Japanese spies and uncovers a drug-smuggling ring. The Blue Lotus was a commercial success and was published in book form shortly after its conclusion. Herg continued The Adventures of Tintin with The Broken Ear. In 1945, The Blue Lotus was coloured and re-drawn in Herg's distinctive ligne-claire style for republication by Casterman. The Adventure introduces the recurring characters Dawson and Chang Chong-Chen. The story was adapted for a 1991 episode of the Ellipse/Nelvana animated series The Adventures of Tintin. Critical analysis has argued that The Blue Lotus is Herg's "first masterpiece". The series itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. The book was included on Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century list. Staying at the palace of the Maharajah of Gaipajama in India, Tintin is approached by a visitor from Shanghai in China. The visitor supplies him with the name of Mitsuhirato, a Japanese businessman based in Shanghai, but before finishing his message is hit by a dart dipped in Rajaijah, the "poison of madness."[1] Tintin and his fox terrier Snowy travel to Shanghai to meet Mitsuhirato, who warns them that the Maharajah is in danger and that they should return to India. Surviving several attempts on his life by mysterious assailants, Tintin attempts to leave for India by boat, but is kidnapped. His abductors reveal themselves as members of a secret society known as the Sons of the Dragon, who are devoted to combating the opium trade. Their spokesman, Wang Chen-Yee, explains to Tintin that Mitsuhirato is both a Japanese spy and an opium smuggler, and enlist Tintin in their fight to stop him. Tintin agrees, and spies on Mitsuhirato at the Blue Lotus opium den. Following the spy, he discovers him blowing up a Chinese railway. The Japanese government use this as an excuse to invade Northern China, taking Shanghai under its control.[2] Tintin is captured by Mitsuhirato, who plans to poison him with Rajaijah; however, a member of the Sons of the Dragon swaps the poison for coloured water, and Tintin escapes unscathed. When Mitsuhirato discovers the deception, he convinces Dawson, the corrupt Chief of Police at the Shanghai International Settlement, to put a warrant out for Tintin's arrest. Meanwhile, Tintin enters the Settlement in search for Professor Fang Hsi-ying, an expert in poisons whom he hopes can develop a cure for Raijajah, but discovers that he has been kidnapped. Dawson's police arrest Tintin and hand him over to the Japanese, who sentence him to death before he is rescued by Wang.[3] Travelling to Hukow with the ransom money for Fang, Tintin comes across a flood that has destroyed a village and rescues a young Chinese orphan, Chang Chong-chen. Chang accompanies Tintin to Hukow, where one of Mitsuhirato's spies ambushes them; they realise that it was a trap and that Fang was not there. Meanwhile, the detectives Thomson and Thompson are employed by Dawson to arrest Tintin, but fail on multiple occasions.[4] Returning to Shanghai, Tintin intends to confront Mitsuhirato, and allows himself to be captured by him. Being held prisoner at The Blue Lotus, it is revealed that Mitsuhirato is working with the film director Roberto Rastapopoulos, who is the head of the international opium smuggling organisation that Tintin had previously battled in Cigars of the Pharaoh. However, Tintin is formulated a plan, with Chang and the Sons of the Dragon appearing to rescue Tintin and Fang; Rastapopoulos is arrested while Mitsuhirato commits seppuku. Fang develops a cure for Rajaijah, while Wang adopts Chang as his son.[5] History[edit] Background[edit]

Japanese soldiers enter Shanghai in 1931; one of the events of the contemporary Sino-Japanese Wardepicted in the The Blue Lotus. Georges Remibest known under the pen name Hergwas employed as editor and illustrator of Le Petit Vingtime ("The Little Twentieth"),[6] a children's supplement to Le XXe Sicle ("The 20th Century"), a staunchly Roman Catholic, conservative Belgian newspaper based in Herg's native Brussels which was run by the Abb Norbert Wallez. In 1929, Herg began The Adventures of Tintin comic strip for Le Petit Vingtime, about the exploits of fictional young Belgian reporter Tintin. Wallez ordered Herg to set his first adventure in the Soviet Union to act as antisocialistpropaganda for children (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets),[7] to set his second adventure in the Belgian Congo to encourage colonial sentiment (Tintin in the Congo),[8] and to set his third adventure in the United States to use the story as a denunciation of American capitalism (Tintin in America).[9] On 24 November 1932, Le Petit Vingtime published a fictional interview with Tintin in which the reporter announced that he would travel to China via Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, and Indochina.[10] This plotline resulted in Tintin in the Orient, the first part of which was an Adventureset in Egypt, Arabia, and India that Herg later titled Cigars of the Pharaoh. Cigars ceased publication in Le Petit Vingtime in February 1934, and Herg next provided the standalone story Popol out West for the newspaper.[11] The Blue Lotus was the second half of the Tintin in the Orient story that Herg had begun with Cigars of the Pharaoh.[12] However, Herg knew as little about China as he did about the Soviet Union or the Belgian Congo.[13] At the time most Belgians held to a negative stereotype of China, viewing it as "a distant continent of a nation, barbaric, overpopulated, and inscrutable", and Herg had long believed this view.[14] He had included Chinese characters in two previous Adventures, in both instances depicting them according to traditional European clichs. In Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, he included two pigtailed Chinese men hired by the Bolsheviks to torture Tintin, while in Tintin in America he featured two Chinese hoodlums who plotted to eat Snowy.[15] Herg learned a bit about the country from Albert Londres' book China Madness, based on Londres' experiences in the country.[14] He was also influenced in his portrayal of China by the 1933 German film Flchtlinge (At the End of the World).[16] "It was at the time of The Blue Lotus that I discovered a new world. For me up to then, China was peopled by a vague, slit-eyed people who were very cruel, who would eat swallows' nests, wear pig-tails and throw children into rivers... I was influenced by the pictures and stories of the Boxer Uprising, where the accent was always on the cruelty of the yellow people, and this made a deep impact." Herg, talking to Numa Sadoul.[17] Learning of Herg's intention to set the next Adventure in China, Abbot Lon Gosset, a Roman Catholic chaplain to the Chinese students at theCatholic University of Louvain, contacted Herg and asked him to be cautious in his depiction of the country. His students read Le Petit Vingtime and he thought it would be counterproductive if Herg continued to propagate negative stereotypes about the Chinese people. Herg was sensitive to Gosset's ideas, and Gosset proceeded to put him in touch with two of his Chinese students, Arnold Chiao Ch'eng-Chih and his wife Susan Lin. He also gave him the address of a Chinese student a year Herg's junior, Zhang Chongren.[18] The pair first met on 1 May 1934, soon becoming close friends and spending every Sunday afternoon with each other for over a year.[19] Zhang later commented that he and Herg became akin to "two brothers".[20] A student of painting and sculpture at Brussels' Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Zhang taught Herg about Chinese artistic styles, giving him a set of traditional Chinese brushes and explaining to him the art of painting a tree and Chinese calligraphy, alongside explaining the tenets of Taoist philosophy. Both his artistic and philosophical training under Zhang would have a profound effect over Herg.[21] Herg had also gotten in contact with Father douard Neut, hosteller at the Saint-Andr Abbey near Bruges. Neut had a special interest in China, and was excited by Herg's latest venture, commenting that it could contribute to "a work of inter-racial understanding and true friendship between Orientals and whites".[22] He sent him two books, Father Thade's Aux origines du conflict mandchou (On the Origins of the Manchu Conflict) and Zheng Zheng's Ma Mre (My Mother), a first-hand account of Chinese family life.[22] He also sent Herg a 1932 article discussing the differences between Chinese and Japanese cultures.[22] At the time, Neut worked as the assistant of Lou Tseng-tsiang, a Chinese Catholic who had moved to Belgium, where he published a book on the Japanese invasion and occupation of Manchuria, an area of northern China.[23]Mainstream Western press was broadly sympathetic to the Japanese cause, viewing them as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, a view that Herg was to eschew.[24] Original publication, 19341935[edit] The comic strip began serialisation in Le Petit Vingtime on 9 August 1934 as Les Aventures De Tintin Reporter En Extrme-Orient (The Adventures of Tintin in the Far East).[25] It began serialisation in France in Curs Vaillants from 29 December 1935,[26] and later in the Swiss magazine L'cho Illustr.[27] Alongside protagonists Tintin and Snowy, Herg also included the detectives Thomson and Thompson in the story, who had been introduced in the previous story.[28] He

also alluded to the movie that Tintin had witnessed being filmed in Cigars, Rastapopoulos'The Sheik's House, having characters enter a cinema where it was being screened.[29] Herg actively satirised typical European opinions of China in The Blue Lotus. He had Thomson and Thompson dress in what they perceived as traditional Chinese costume, as Mandarins, only to stand out in stark contrast to the actual clothing worn in China. He also had Gibbons, one of the story's antagonists, express racist attitudes toward the Chinese, and made Tintin give a speech to Tchang explaining western misunderstandings of the Chinese.[30] He took "a radical view" by expressing a criticism of Western activity in China's International Settlement, depicting it as extremely corrupt and only interested in its own commercial interests.[29] He gained much of his information on such issues from Zhang, who informed him of the political events occurring in China from a Chinese perspective.[20] Building on this information, Herg's depiction of the Japanese invasion was largely accurate,[31] although it served as an outright attack on Japanese imperialism.[32] Herg depicted fictionalised versions of both the real-life Mukden Incident, although he shifted its location nearer to Shanghai, and Japan's walking out of the League of Nations.[33] However, The Blue Lotus contained no mention of one of the central historical events of the period, the Long March of communist Mao Zedong.[31] Further devoting himself to greater accuracy, Herg also made increasing use of photographs to draw from, such as of Chinese clothing, street scenes, and landscape.[34] Herg's newfound emphasis on accuracy and documentation imbued the rest of the Adventures.[35] While Herg relied on nonsensical Arabic for the backgrounds in Cigars, for The Blue Lotus Zhang drew the many ideograms that appeared as street signs and advertisements throughout the story.[36]Among these ideograms were those of a political nature, proclaiming slogans such as "Down with Imperialism", "Abolish unfair treaties", and "Down with Japanese merchandise".[37] Zhang also sketched out a number of images for Herg, such as the outline of Wang's house.[38] Zhang's signature was also included twice throughout the comic, reflecting his artistic contribution;[39] Herg wanted to include Zhang's name as co-author.[40] In gratitude, Herg created the character of Tchang in honour of his friend Zhang.[41] Upon realising the anti-Japanese tone of the story, Japan's diplomats stationed in Belgium issued an official complaint, conveyed to Herg by Lieutenant-General Raoul Pontus, president of the Sino-Belgian Friendship Association.[42] The diplomats threatened to take their complaint to the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague.[43] In learning of this, Zhang congratulated Herg, stating that it would only further expose the actions of Japan in China to further international scrutiny and would make Herg "world-famous".[44] Herg's strip also came under criticism from a Belgian general, who commented, "This is not a story for children ... It's just a problem for Asia!"[45] The story was nevertheless a commercial success, and Le Petit Vingtime organised a celebration to commemorate the return of Tintin from the Far East, sponsored by the L'Innovation and Bon March department stores. Taking place at the Cirque Royal, it was attended by 3000 fans of the series, many of whom were Scouts, and involved an actor portraying Tintin who accompanied Herg, the newspaper's staff, a contortionist and a clown.[46] In September 1935, Zhang returned to China at his family's request.[47] Herg meanwhile set about preparing the strip for publication in book form through Casterman.[44] Proud of thisAdventure, he encouraged them to increase the level of marketing and advertising for the work.[44] At their advice, he renamed the story from The Adventures of Tintin in the Far East to The Blue Lotus, commenting of this new title: "It is short, it sounds Chinese and it is mysterious."[48] At Casterman's prompting, he also inserted a number of coloured plates throughout the work, and devised a new design for the front cover.[48] The book was finally published in October 1936.[49] Herg was pleased with the product, commenting, "I was just bowled over! It is the height of luxury and my first thought was 'It's much too good for children!' ... I was far from expecting that."[27] He sent a copy to Zhang, who replied to thank him.[46] After news of its publication reached China, political leader Soong May-ling invited Herg to visit her there, although he was unable to do so due to the impending Second World War. He finally took up her offer in 1973, visiting her on the island of Taiwan.[43] Second version, 1946[edit] In the 1940s and 1950s, when Herg's popularity had increased, he and his team at Studios Herg redrew many of the original black-and-white Tintin adventures in colour using the ligne claire("clear line")[a] drawing style he had developed so that they visually fitted in with the new Tintin stories being created. The Studios reformatted and coloured The Blue Lotus in 1946.[51] Little was actually changed for the 1946 edition, although many of the backgrounds were embellished.[13] Minor alterations included replacing three highland Scotsman who briefly featured in the story with three Sikhs.[29] The map that appears on the opening page was made smaller, while a reference to Sir Malcolm Campbell was removed.[29] The European Palace Hotel was renamed The Continental, while Gibbons' company was also renamed from the Americano-Anglo Chinese Stell [sic] Company Limited to American and Chinese Steel Incorporated, and the drug smuggling ship known as the S.S. City of Doodlecastle was renamed the S.S. Harika Maru.[52]

Later publications[edit] Both Rastapopoulos and Dawson reappeared in the series 20 years later in The Red Sea Sharks.[53] Casterman republished the original black-and-white version in 1979 in a French-language collected volume with Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Broken Ear, the second part of the Archives Herg collection.[26] In 1985, Casterman published a facsimile version of the original.[26]Meanwhile, Methuen, the British publisher of The Adventures of Tintin, felt that the story was dated, and only published The Blue Lotus in 1983, the year of Herg's death.[54] The translation into English was undertaken by Michael Turner and Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper, although it lost the English accent of the British troops which was conveyed in the original French.[29] The Adventures of Tintin also became popular in Japan, something Tintinologist Michael Farr thought indicated that the Japanese had not taken offence to Herg's portrayal of them in The Blue Lotus.[45] After Herg's death, the original illustrated manuscript of The Blue Lotus was discovered at Studio Herg, and was subsequently exhibited as the centrepiece of an exhibit commemorating the 60th anniversary of The Adventures of Tintin.[54] Critical analysis[edit] Tintinologists Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier commented that The Blue Lotus was "unarguably Herg's first masterpiece".[28] They felt that for the first time in the series, "one senses that the story has become important" as Tintin first expresses "a purpose, a mission" to his adventure.[55] Commenting on the character Tchang, they thought that he was an "endearing personality" despite having little relevance the plot, also believing that Dawson and Gibbons were the most loathsome characters in the Adventure.[51] They compared the scene in which the Japanese invaded China with that in Tintin in America where the U.S. army force Native Americans off of their land, and praised the linear illustrations of the story, although also opined that the original black-and-white version was better than its colour counterpart.[55] Overall, they awarded The Blue Lotus four stars out of five.[55] Tintinologist Harry Thompson noted that some people believed that Herg's depiction of the Japanese as buck-toothed and inherently violent in The Blue Lotus was racist. He nevertheless thought that these accusations "stupidly" missed "the point of the story", which was to counter widespread racist attitudes toward East Asians among Belgians. [56] Due to the inclusion of actual historical events, he thought that the comic lacked the "timelessness" of other Adventures but that for 1934 it was "a marvelous piece of comic strip art".[57] Herg biographer Pierre Assoulinethought that the book combined "social realism" with the spirit present in the work of Charles Dickens and Alexandre Dumas.[58] Herg biographer Benot Peeters thought that there was an obvious difference in The Adventures of Tintin before and after The Blue Lotus, and that it represented "an essential turning point both graphically and ideologically" as Herg shifted from his former "classically right-wing" ideas.[59] Also feeling that the work was "exceptionally moving,"[16] he noted that The Blue Lotus was far from Tintin in the Congo in its attitude to non-Europeans, while other Belgian comic strips like Blake and Mortimer and Buck Danny would continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes of East Asians for decades.[60] Elsewhere, he stated that it was the first Adventure where Herg "really took control" of the story, also opining that it was the "most politically involved" entity in the series.[61] Tintinologist Michael Farr stated that there was a "general agreement" that The Blue Lotus was Herg's first masterpiece, being "better planned" than its predecessors and for the first time having "a carefully devised structure". At the same time he thought that it retained the best qualities of the earlier works.[62] Thinking it "much more serious" than Tintin's prior Adventures, he nevertheless thought it "no less enjoyable", being the first story to bring "emotion and tragedy" to the series.[63] Farr thought that Herg's "total absorption" in his subject resulted in him gaining an "extraordinary feel" for it and allowed him to foresee future political events in China much like a "finely tuned" political commentator. [32] He singled out the depiction of the Mukden Incident for particular praise, thinking it "a marvellous example of political satire".[24] Tintinologist Philippe Goddin thought that this depiction of the build-up to invasion was "brilliantly" done, also comparing it to the scene of ethnic cleansing in Tintin in America.[64] Literary critic Tom McCarthy thought that The Blue Lotus showed evidence of Herg's "left-wing counter-tendency" that rejected his earlier right-wing worldview.[65] He believed that this was partly due to the influence of Zhang, who had destroyed Herg's "European absolutism", and overall thought of it as "the most visually rich of all the Tintin books".[66] Literary critic Jean-Marie Apostolids of Stanford University thought that Wang signified the forces of good in the story while Rastapopoulos represented evil, and that the character Didi who was poisoned with Raijaijah inverted "the model of justice ruling the world of the Good". He saw a similarity between Didi and Tintin, who both have "feline suppleness, a devotion to good causes, and the patience of an animal stalking its prey".[67] He furthermore argued that Didi's desire to behead people when under the poison's influence expressed his Oedipus complex and was a substitute forcastration.[68]