Whether you grew up watching the old animated series on ABC, borrowed the comics from your school library, or are a fan of Steven Spielberg’s underrated movie adaptation, at some point in your life you’ve crossed paths with Herge’s Adventures of Tintin.
If it’s been a while since you’ve read the series, or you’ve never picked up one of these comics, now might be the time. You can grab the Adventures of Tintin boxset for only $206.25, down from the usual price of $330. There are 23 books included in the set, which shakes out to be around $9 per book with this discount. Considering the individual books sell for around $20 each, that’s a pretty good deal.
These are the original, big bande dessinée albums too. A smaller-sized set of Tintin is also available and on sale, but you need a microscope to properly read some of the pages. With Christmas right around the corner, this set would make a great gift for the comic or Tintin fan in your life (that person might also be you).
Released in the late 1920s, Tintin follows the eponymous hero, a young investigative reporter who travels the world – and at one point, out of this world – on a series of adventures. Alongside Tintin is his faithful canine companion Snowy, the gruff whiskey-loving Captain Haddock, the intelligent but half-deaf Professor Calculus, and the bungling detectives Thomson and Thompson.
While the Adventures of Tintin has aged pretty well, for the most part, some of it is an unfortunate product of its time. This set isn’t the complete series as the second book, Tintin in the Congo, a grossly racist piece of pro-colonial propaganda, isn’t included. You’re not missing out on much with its absence.
Even without the inclusion of Tintin in the Congo, the rest of the series isn’t without a few more gross racist stereotypes and poorly aged politics – especially in the earlier entries, like Land of the Soviets, In America, and The Blue Lotus. These depictions were bad then and are still bad now.
Honestly, I don’t think Land of the Soviets and Tintin in America are very good comics regardless – especially when compared with other Tintin books – and they’re easily skippable. You’ve got another 20 books you can enjoy. Herge was reportedly embarrassed by Land of the Soviets’ content, later calling it “a transgression of [his] youth”.
If you can look past those flaws, the Adventures of Tintin is still a great read. Herge’s clear line art gives the series this timeless feel, and his meticulous attention to detail and a vast library of geographic references give every adventure a vivid sense of place.
The run of stories from The Secret of the Unicorn up to Tintin in Tibet is one of the best of any series, comics or otherwise. The set is worth it for those books alone.
You can grab the Adventures of Tintin boxset here. Miss it and you’ll be cursing billions of blue blistering barnacles.