10/15/2008

Enki Bilal's Tintin

It's pretty mind-blowing to see Herge's Tintin rendered in something even approximating three dimension and even crazier to see him dashing through the sewers of Enki Bilal's signature Eastern European future shit-world. In this image, Bilal's found the ideal halfway point between his own signature style and enough homage and respect to Herge's vastly different kind of art work.

There's also an entire narrative running through this image. Notice the bandages on Tintin's head and hand and the ripped elbow of the black trenchcoat. Tintin's looking back with an expressive look of fear while Snowy looks forward, shocked by something equally horrible. Toting a bad-ass, kinda futuristic automatic weapon in one hand and a bizarre briefcase in the other, all the introductory details for Tintin comes to the Nikopol Trilogy story are there.

The translation of Tintin into Bilal's world also works because it doesn't really change the nature of Herge's creation that much. While the super-popular, uninformed vision of Tintin is that of a kind of cheery, happy European comic for kids--before the graphic novels boom, Tintin was the only comic book my local library ever had--the reality of Tintin is sloppier and more realistic and in that sense, Bilal's addition of say, well-shaded grime to Tintin's face or Snowy's fur make clear the sad weirdness of Tintin hiding under all the cuteness.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where did this image come from? I saw it as a poster in a bookstore in Paris in the 80's and always wondered about the context.

brandon said...

I'm not sure where it's from anonymous. I had it saved on my desktop for awhile and was like "I need to write about this..."

BG said...

I think I remember seeing this in a french tintin tribute book with all kinds of dudes from that end of BD drawing him. There's some good Moebius tintin floating around too.

Such a good character, it's like that micky mouse iconic without the disney stink. (--That's the 2nd time I wrote that on this today.)

Bonfire3 said...

IMy friend is just asking me to list this print on ebay she has edition number 497/500 any idea its worth? she has seen number 358/500 go for £250 and number 341/500 for £40

Viagra said...

The image is still a mystery for me I've seen it several times before but I have no clue where it is from, neither I knew it was made by Bilal, which is in my book one of the best in Tintin's drawers.