Tintin's Safari Massacre

I've been meaning to expose my Frenchie roots a little more, and a quote on Journalista today set me off. Quoth 19-year-old Tanya Ashreena: “I like Tintin and Asterix because they’re action packed but, there’s less violence. Superhero comics with their bloodthirsty, mad brutishness don’t make any sense.” I completely agree, mind you, the violence in never gory and even cartoony without sacrificing any of the excitement.


Tintin au Congo, the first widely released album (the primitive Tintin chez les Soviets only released later almost as an oddity), has an incredibly high body count. Mostly animals, but Tintin as Great White Hunter is sometimes seen as an embarrassment today. The thoroughly colonial view of Dark Africa has led people to say that Hergé was a racist, but I don't want to get into that arena of debate.

No, I'm just here to showcase Tintin's blatant disregard for animal life, endangered or no. In the course of 64 pages he...

Hurts a shark's bread and butter:
Makes a crocodile cry:
Massacres a herd of antelope (by mistake - oops!):
Shoots and skins a chimp:
Kicks another in the face (Chris Sims, take note):
Has his dog rip the tail off a lion:
Shoots a snake in the face:
Has his priest kill four crocs (cuz sometimes making them cry isn't enough):
Cuts his dog out of a live boa, then makes it eat itself:
Makes a leopard eat a sponge, then drink water, probably killing the animal:
Poaches ivory:
If you think this is just a costume, look at the chimp sequence again. Right, add a giraffe to the body count:
Kills a water buffalo:
And most horrible of all, blows up a rhinoceros:
Have you read this one, Tanya? ;-)


FoldedSoup said...


Thanks for that! Awesome doesn't even come close....

(*sob* That poor rhino!)

joncormier said...

Yeah Tintin was like the Belgian Jimmy Olsen only generally more compitent.

I bet you could find a Tintin uppercut, possibly for Friday?

Siskoid said...

Hm, I'm sure I could Jon.

He's pretty good with slaps too.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention pistol whips behind the head. A Tintin comic just isn't a Tintin comic without it.

LiamKav said...

Hang on, isn't the thing with crocodiles that they have extremely powerful jaw muscles when they are shutting their mouth, but very weak ones when they try and open it? I was told that an elastic band could keep a crocodile's mouth shut. All that should happen there is that the croc should shatter Tintin's rifle and then chomp him into little bits.

SminkyPinky said...

The scene with the rhino was actually stopped by the Swedish censors, Hergé agreed and redrew it. Consequently, in the Swedish version Tintin's rifle gets caught on the horn, a shot goes off and the rhino runs away scared.
It wasn't published in Sweden until 1978 and presumably by then the attitude towards Africa and it's wildlife hade changed somewhat :)

Furienna said...

Well... The priest only killed those crocodiles to save Tintin's life. It is likely that the leopard survived, since Tintin gave its owner some advice on how to help it. And yes, the scene with the rhinoceros was changed in the '70s. But yeah, the treatment of the animals in Congo hasn't aged well.


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