Tintin in Tibet by Hergé

The whiteness of this comic book, or bande dessinée (“drawn strip”) as Hergé knew the art form, haunted its creator at night and the nightmare the story deals with is that of isolation and loneliness – thus the vast, snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas and the existence of its legendary snowman, the yeti, or migou.

But Tintin in Tibet is at the same time a story about friendship and about what friends are willing to do for one another, and the most basic question of the tale is, perhaps, “How far are you willing to go to save those whom you love?”
Tintin and his comrade Captain Haddock are on vacation in the French Alps when they learn that Tintin’s friend Chang Chong-Chen has been aboard an airplane that has crashed in the Himalayas – he’s presumed dead. But Tintin has a vision and he becomes convinced that his friend is alive. Privately, Tintin and Haddock organize an expedition in Nepal and Tibet and begin the search for Chang.

The plot is beautifully plain, but the story is rich with slapstick, exotic lands, deep emotions, and adventure – here described by Captain Haddock during the meeting with a Tibetan Grand Abbot, “We tramped for days! We hauled ourselves up vertical rock-faces! We baked in the sun and froze in the snow! We tumbled down into bottomless crevasses! We were walloped on the head by avalanches! Worst of all, er… Grand Mufti, the yeti pinched a bottle of whiskey! Only just opened: and the last one I had left!”

There are no villains here, only beings trying to help each other survive, and the non-dualistic nature of this comic book shows Hergé reaching one of the creative peaks of his career – it is a master’s piece.

Tintin in Tibet was created during a period of great personal strife for Hergé, as he and his wife were going through a separation. In his nightmares, Hergé saw himself lost in a white, featureless world, but when one of his colorists, Fanny Vlamynck, helped him shape the character of the yeti, a whole new landscape of creative possibilities opened up. And in Vlamynck, Hergé found a friend for life. In fact, the two would later get married, and she would help Hergé remain one of the masters of Franco-Belgian and European comics.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


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