Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Man-Baby files suit over 'Tintin in the Congo'

I love the Tintin graphic novels. Even now, I reread them every so often. My favorite ones are "The Broken Ear", "The Calculus Affair", "The Land of Black Gold" and "King Ottokar's Scepter".

In the past, I've said I think "Tintin in the Congo" is the worst of the lot and that even as a kid, I thought it was badly done. As an adult, I'll agree it's racist in its portrayal of blacks. Hell, even creator Herge was embarrassed by it in later years, sort of the same way Will Eisner was embarrased by his early portrayal of Ebony in "The Spirit" comics.

With the various reissues that are coming up toward the end of the year in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Herge's birth, I was going to pick up "Tintin in the Land of Soviets" (the one Tintin book I've never read), but I was going to ignore "Tintin in the Congo" (the only other Tintin book I've never owned).

But now, a thin-skinned man-baby is filing lawsuits to ease his sense of personal inadequacy. I hope hysterical, censorship-advocating retards like Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo manage to make "Tintin in the Congo" appear on best-seller lists around the world.

I wasn't going buy a copy--like I said, this is NOT a good Tintin book... it's worse than "Tintin in America"--but people like Little Miss Mondondo make me feel obligated to support Tintin's English-language publishers Little, Brown. I just pre-ordered the upcoming paperback edition of "Tintin in the Congo" from (I'm not going to pay for a hardcover of a book that if it's as weak as memory tells me would get a 3 or 4 rating in a review here, but Mondondo and likeminded reprobates are obligating me to buy a copy of the book in one format or another.)

I encourage the rest of you reading this to the same by clicking here, or by heading down to your local bookstore and pre-ordering a copy of the paperback due for release in the United States Sept. 1. (Or, if you're elsewhere in the world, to buy a copy whereever you would.) I'd love to see this effort blow up in the faces of these jackasses and to see "Tintin in the Congo" to start selling like mad.

(And when I get my copy in early September, I'll do an actual review. Heck. I might as well do my own 100th anniversary celebration and do reviews of all the Tintin books.)

From AFP wire service... the tale of a "man" who blames a comic book for the sand in his vagina.

Tintin in trouble: Congolese man seek court ban on 'racist' graphic novel

A Congolese student has launched a court case denouncing the cartoon book "Tintin in the Congo" as racist, calling for its withdrawal from sale, the Brussels prosecutor's office said Tuesday.

It is not the first time that the book, featuring late Belgian author and illustrator Herge's popular red-headed boy journalist Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy, has raised hackles over its content.

The bookselling chain Borders announced last month that it was pulling copies of the 1930s book from the children's shelves in its US and British stores after Britain's Commission for Racial Equality described the book as containing "imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice."

In the latest case, Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, a political science student in Brussels, brought a complaint against publishers Moulinsart and persons unknown late last month, accusing them of breaching Belgium's racism laws, said Jos Colpin, spokesman for the public prosecutors.

"Tintin in the Congo", which first appeared in Belgian newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle as a comic strip in 1930-1931, is part of the popular series "The Adventures of Tintin" by the Herge.

But its tale of boy reporter Tintin's trip with Snowy to what was then the Belgian Congo is seen as controversial because of its depiction of colonialism and racism, as well as casual violence towards animals.

On the official Tintin website the controversy is acknowledged.

"In his portrayal of the Belgian Congo, the young Herge reflects the colonial attitudes of the time," a website statement reads, under the headline "Shocking".

"He depicted the African people according to the bourgeois, paternalistic stereotypes of the period - an interpretation that some of todays readers may find offensive."

Herge, real name Georges Remi 1907-1983, justified the book by saying it was merely a reflection of the naive views of the time. Some of the scenes were revised for later editions.

Britain's Campaign for Racial Equality described the book as containing "imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice, where the 'savage natives' look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles,".

However sales of the comic book rocketed in Britain after the complaint.

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