How they censor Tintin comic books in Iran
July 8, 2004 11:18 AM   Subscribe

How they censor Tintin comic books in Iran
posted by hoder (12 comments total)
Sweet little read. Thanks, hoder. I loved TinTin in elementary school. I have a hard time finding people these days that remember him.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:26 AM on July 8, 2004

I would like to see more examples. I love tintin by the way, some of the best kids' books ever.
posted by chaz at 11:39 AM on July 8, 2004

They're still in print in about a billion languages, Ufez, and I see dedicated displays of them in several bookstores around town. As long as they stay in print, I'm just as happy that they don't become really popular, as their dated cultural mores would have the PC editors going after them with a meat cleaver, and next thing you know you'd be reading a thread here entitled How they censor Tintin comic books in the US.

Though to be fair we don't so much censor children's books in the US as create sanitized new ones with none of the charm of the original.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:56 AM on July 8, 2004

Tintin books were corporate-censored in the US through total omission of some titles. I have a copy of "Tintin in the Congo" that my folks had to buy in Canada.

The depictions of the africans was really racist, and were I the American distributor, I would have left them out, too. But it was weird to have my parents present me with a Tintin book that I didn't know even existed.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:00 PM on July 8, 2004

My 8-year old son LOVES Tin-Tin and has practically memorized them. He was overjoyed to discover our local independent bookseller had a hard to find copy of TinTin in the Congo.

Interesting how they hacked out Haddock out of the image. I would have liked to see more examples of censorship. I wonder if they have revisied The Crab with the Golden Claws or if then even botherd publishing it at all.
posted by jazon at 12:06 PM on July 8, 2004

Wonderful link. Thanks, hoder.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:55 PM on July 8, 2004

"RRGH! Vandals! Body snatchers! Ostrogoths!"

Ahem. I think Tintin in the Congo is the only book that anyone in America would have a problem with... the rest of the series is filled with some pretty forward thinking attitudes. This was only his second book and drawn in the 30s; you have to remember that the series spanned several decades of work, and Herge's humanity in the rest of the collection more than makes up for what was pretty much accepted (though indefensible) cultural biases back then.
posted by danny the boy at 2:26 PM on July 8, 2004

What got me about the Congo book was not (just) the treatment of africans, but the glee with which they, like, blow up animals, apparently just for the hell of it.
posted by signal at 3:00 PM on July 8, 2004

(returning to this thread, following up on my post, and based on what others have posted, we did NOT buy TinTin in the Congo when we saw it, and perhaps I'll see if I can preview the story before we do. If we do end up getting it, I'm glad to have some warning that I may some 'splain' to do about the story)
posted by jazon at 3:04 PM on July 8, 2004

Oh, I should clarify my statement about his humanity making up for it... that is not to say Herge was a racist, and his talent makes up for it. I mean, his first two books were... his first two books. And should be taken in that context, along with the time period that they were created in.

He more than proves his growth as a person by the time Blue Lotus appears--and there's an interesting back story about Lotus/Tibet. They were inspired by a young student Herge met in China, whom he had lost contact with when the communists came into power. It really made Tintin in Tibet much more meaningful when I found out Herge's was writing a very personal story.
posted by danny the boy at 4:12 PM on July 8, 2004

Friggin' incredible. Thanks hoder.
posted by squealy at 4:51 PM on July 8, 2004

Boy, this takes me back. I collected all the TinTin books as child growing up in Iran. I remember they would release them one or two at a time, and you had to wait to see which one would be next because they weren't released in chronological order. For my ninth birthday my grandmother got me three newly released TinTin books, and I got so excited I jumped up and down for about half an hour (they didn't have ritalin back then). I think it's the best birthday present I've ever had.

When we left Iran my TinTin collection was among the things we had to leave behind. So I know for a fact there's at least one full set of uncensored TinTin books in Farsi floating around Tehran. Hopefully it's being read and enjoyed by kids, and not gathering dust in some relative's attic.
posted by Devils Slide at 8:26 PM on July 8, 2004

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