Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Tintin and the Picaros

Tintin and the Picaros

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Tintin and the Picaros'
Start a new discussion about 'Tintin and the Picaros'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Tintin and the Picaros is one of The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin is a series of classic comic books created by Belgian artist , who wrote under the pen name of Hergé...

, a series of classic comic-strip graphic novels, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé
Hergé
Georges Prosper Remi , better known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian comics writer and artist. His best known and most substantial work is the 23 completed comic books in The Adventures of Tintin series, which he wrote and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983, although he was also...

, featuring young reporter Tintin
Tintin (character)
Tintin is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. Tintin is the protagonist of the series, a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy....

 as a hero.

Tintin et les Picaros is the twenty-third and final completed book in the series. Notably, several characters have undergone changes: Tintin no longer enjoys adventuring and has abandoned his trademark plus fours
Plus fours
Plus fours are breeches or trousers that extend 4 inches below the knee...

; Captain Haddock
Captain Haddock
Captain Archibald Haddock is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé...

 can no longer drink alcohol; and General Alcazar's masculinity
Masculinity
Masculinity is possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man. The term can be used to describe any human, animal or object that has the quality of being masculine...

 is ridiculed by his new dominant wife.

Plot


Tintin
Tintin (character)
Tintin is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. Tintin is the protagonist of the series, a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy....

 hears in the news that Bianca Castafiore
Bianca Castafiore
Bianca Castafiore, the "Milanese Nightingale", is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé...

, her maid Irma, pianist Igor Wagner, and Thomson and Thompson
Thomson and Thompson
Thomson and Thompson are fictional characters in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. Thomson and Thompson are detectives of Scotland Yard, and are as incompetent as they are necessary comic relief...

 have been imprisoned in San Theodoros
San Theodoros
San Theodoros is a fictional Central American country in The Adventures of Tintin. It is a satirical version of a Latin American banana republic country under the yoke of military government.-History:...

 for allegedly attempting to overthrow the military dictatorship
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

 of General Tapioca, who has yet again deposed Tintin's old friend, General Alcazar. Tintin, Calculus
Professor Calculus
Professor Cuthbert Calculus is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé...

, and Haddock
Captain Haddock
Captain Archibald Haddock is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé...

 soon are accused themselves and, travelling to San Theodoros to clear their names (though Tintin at first refuses, only to change his mind and follow a couple of days later), find themselves caught in a trap laid by their old enemy, Colonel Sponsz, who has been sent by the East Bloc nation of Borduria
Borduria
Borduria is a fictional country in the comic strip series The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. It is located in the Balkans and has a rivalry with the fictional neighbouring country of Syldavia. Borduria is depicted in King Ottokar's Sceptre and The Calculus Affair, and is referred to in Tintin and...

 to assist Tapioca. Sponsz has concocted the conspiracy of which Tintin and his friends are accused in a plot to wreak revenge upon them for humiliating him in The Calculus Affair
The Calculus Affair
The Calculus Affair is the eighteenth of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero....

. Escaping, Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus join Alcazar and his small band of guerrillas, the Picaros, in the jungle near a village of the Arumbaya people.

Meanwhile, in a show trial
Show trial
The term show trial is a pejorative description of a type of highly public trial in which there is a strong connotation that the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal to present the accusation and the verdict to the public as...

 orchestrated by Sponsz, Castafiore is sentenced to life in prison and the Thompsons
Thomson and Thompson
Thomson and Thompson are fictional characters in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. Thomson and Thompson are detectives of Scotland Yard, and are as incompetent as they are necessary comic relief...

 are ordered to be executed by a firing squad. All three show great contempt at the injustice of the proceedings. Tintin enlists Alcazar's help in freeing his friends, but upon arrival at his jungle headquarters, finds that Alcazar's men have become corrupt drunkards since Tapioca started dropping copious quantities of alcohol near their camp. Additionally, Alcazar is continually henpecked by his shrewish wife, Peggy, who nags him constantly about his failure to achieve a successful revolution. Fortunately, Calculus has invented a pill that makes alcohol disgusting to anyone who ingests it (which he proves to have tested on Haddock, much to the latter's annoyance). Tintin offers to use the pill to cure the Picaros of their alcoholism
Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

 if Alcazar agrees to refrain from killing Tapioca and his men. Alcazar reluctantly agrees. Moments after his men are cured, Jolyon Wagg
Jolyon Wagg
Jolyon Wagg is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. He is an gregarious, simple, and overbearing man who enters the story by barging in uninvited...

 arrives with his musical troupe the Jolly Follies, who intend to perform at the upcoming carnival in San Theodoros. Alcazar, with a little advice from Tintin, launches an assault on Tapioca's palace during the carnival by 'borrowing' the troupe's costumes and sneaking his men into the capital. He topples Tapioca, but on Tintin's urging, does not execute him, as is the tradition. Tapioca is instead forced to publicly surrender his powers to Alcazar, and is banished, while a disappointed Sponsz is sent back to Borduria.

Meanwhile, Thomson and Thompson are due to be shot on the same day as the carnival. Although as naive as ever in their observations, the detectives show courage by refusing to be blindfolded. Tintin and Haddock reach the state prison in time to prevent the executions from occurring. Castafiore, her maid, and her pianist are also released, and Alcazar can finally give his wife the palace he has promised. With all matters resolved, Tintin and his friends leave. As they fly home, Tintin and Haddock express gratitude about being able to go home.

The second-to-last panel shows a final, skeptical political message: as under Tapioca, the city slums are filled with wretched, starving people and patrolled by apathetic police. Nothing has changed, except the police uniforms and a Viva Tapioca sign that has been changed to read Viva Alcazar.

Changes from earlier books


Tintin and the Picaros features changes in the representation of Tintin. The most visible change is that his trousers
Trousers
Trousers are an item of clothing worn on the lower part of the body from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately...

 have been modernized, as he wears bell bottoms rather than the plus fours
Plus fours
Plus fours are breeches or trousers that extend 4 inches below the knee...

 that he had always worn previously. In addition, the book introduces some new hobbies that Tintin had not previously engaged in: he is shown practicing yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 in his spare time, and riding a motorbike; his helmet is marked with the Peace symbol
Peace symbol
A number of peace symbols have been used in various cultures and contexts, one of the most ancient being the olive branch. The dove and olive branch was used by early Christians and was later adopted as a secular symbol. It was popularised by Pablo Picasso in 1949 and became widely used in the...

.

Wordplay


As in The Broken Ear
The Broken Ear
The Broken Ear is the sixth of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero...

, the original French text of Tintin and the Picaros features an invented language for the Arumbaya Indians that is based on Marols
Marols
Marols or Marollien was a dialect spoken in Brussels. Essentially it is a Dutch dialect incorporating many words of French origin as well as a sprinkling of Spanish dating back to the rule of the Low Countries by the Habsburgs...

, the Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 dialect spoken by Hergé's grandmother. The English translation replaces this with a language that is a phonetic rendering of Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

 English. When offering food, Chief Avakuki ("'ave a cookie") says "Owzah g'rubai" ("'Ow's the grub, eh?"), "Oozfah sek 'unds" (who's for seconds), "Ava'n ip" ('Ave a nip) and "goh blimeh! Wa'samma ta, li li li va? Lem eshoya!" ("Cor blimey! What's the matter, lily liver? Let me show ya!") Similarly the ancient pyramid featured on the front cover is called Hotwattabotl in the translation (hot water bottle
Hot water bottle
A hot water bottle is a container filled with hot water and sealed with a stopper, used to provide warmth, typically whilst in bed, but also for the application of heat to a specific part of the body....

).

Allusions to other works


During the Carnival, masks and costumes of different cartoon and film characters are seen, such as Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

, Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most...

, Asterix
Asterix (character)
Asterix is a fictional character, the titular hero of the French comic book series The Adventures of Asterix.The series portrays him as a diminutive but fearless Gaulish warrior living in the time of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. Asterix was created in 1959 by writer René Goscinny and illustrator...

, Snoopy
Snoopy
Snoopy is an fictional character in the long-running comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. He is Charlie Brown's pet beagle. Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly conventional dog, but eventually evolved into perhaps the strip's most dynamic character—and among the most recognizable...

, Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx was an American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit. His rapid-fire delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born...

 and Zorro
Zorro
Zorro is a fictional character created in 1919 by New York-based pulp writer Johnston McCulley. The character has been featured in numerous books, films, television series, and other media....

.

Deleted Page



In the course of illustrating the story, Hergé found that he had gone beyond the 62-page limit required by his publishers. Therefore, he took out a page that follows the one in which Tintin has shown Haddock all the bug
Covert listening device
A covert listening device, more commonly known as a bug or a wire, is usually a combination of a miniature radio transmitter with a microphone. The use of bugs, called bugging, is a common technique in surveillance, espionage and in police investigations.A bug does not have to be a device...

s and hidden cameras in their villa, and Sponsz has told Alvarez how it was he who framed Castafiore.

The deleted scene has Sponsz announcing how he will break his enemies and throws his glass to the floor, but it is of the unbreakable variety and bounces back and breaks the moustache of a bust of Kûrvi-Tasch. Alvarez bursts into laughter, before being put in his place and asked to bring in "you-know-who" (most likely Pablo who appears in the following page). Sponsz suspects that Alvarez will claim that he broke the bust deliberately. He thus warns the young officer about his prospects for advancement. Alvarez gets the message and Sponsz tells him to "sack that clumsy cleaning lady who broke Kûrvi-Tasch's moustache
Moustache
A moustache is facial hair grown on the outer surface of the upper lip. It may or may not be accompanied by a type of beard, a facial hair style grown and cropped to cover most of the lower half of the face.-Etymology:...

." The scene was deleted because it was similar to the scene in Flight 714
Flight 714
Flight 714, first published in 1968, is the 22nd and penultimate complete volume of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums by the Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. Its original French title is Vol 714 pour Sydney...

, where Rastapopoulos
Rastapopoulos
Roberto Rastapopoulos is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé. He is the antagonist in many of Tintin's adventures....

claims he will crush Tintin like a spider, but then fails to trample the animal.

This deleted scene was later used in an article in which Hergé demonstrated how a single page in a comic book was developed from rough sketches to a fully drawn and colourised page.

External links