Black Island
7 Balls
Black Gold
Black Island 1 Titre
Black Island 2

This page shows differeces between the successive publications of Tintin's adventures in French. I do not have the publication dates of the albums in other languages. Several of the albums in French have been "updated" by Hergé. The layout of the first albums (Congo & America) is totally different in their post-war version, and each drawing is new. See "List of Albums".

The images on the left were published in the Belgian magazine "Le Petit Vingtième" between 1930 and 1940.
Tintin 1930
Tintin 1930
Tintin 1976
Tintin 1976
Tintin 1930
Snowy 1930
Tintin 1976
Snowy 1946
Dupondt 1934
Thom(p)son 1934
Dupondt 1955
Thom(p)son 1955
Haddock 1940
Haddock 1955
Haddock 1955
All characters in another page
Tintin in the Congo
Tintin au Congo première version
Congo first version (1930-31)
Tintin au Congo seconde version
Congo second version (1946)
Was Hergé a racist?
Tintin in America
Second example: Tintin in America. Several of the cars have been re-drawn.
Tintin en Amérique première version
America first version (1931-32)
Tintin en Amérique seconde version
America second version (1946)

The way Blacks were treated initially has been revised. Nothing else has been changed.

Page 1, 1931

Page 1, 1946

Page 1, 1973
Only the black man on the right has been slightly modified, with thinner lips.

The first version of the following two pictures was originally published in the "Petit Vingtième" in 1931.

First publishing 1931

Album page 29, 1947

Page 29, 1973

First publishing 1931

Album page 47, 1947

Page 47, 1973
There is a fourth, intermediate version of this frame, where the black woman and her baby are slightly different, with thinner lips, and the big question mark of the last version has been added.
Intermediate version

For the album version of 1946, all frames have been redrawn without exception, and many pieces of text have been modified, although Hergé did not touch the scenario. Here the scene of the burning prairie. The funny picture of the rabbit riding the tortoise has disappeared, and so has the vulture.

First version

Page 38, 1946

The next two pictures are do not appear in the mentioned versions. They are probably extracted from the "Petit Vingtième" or the "Journal de Tintin". Click to enlarge.

Cigars of the Pharaoh
Page 1, 1955
Page 1, 1970
Page 1, 1987

The map on page 1 was modified in the 1970 edition. Was it due to the blocking of the Suez canal by the Egyptians in 1956? In any case, the original map was restored in the 1987 edition, but with the 1970 layout where the frames have slightly different sizes.

Curiously, page 15 contains a scene similar to that of the "Black Gold" with an Arab chief in his tent. The initial publication in strips in 1934 is rather different from the more recent two album versions. In the three pictures shown here, the album shown to Tintin is Tintin in America in the initial version, Tintin in the Congo in the 1955 album version and Destination Moon in the last album version.

Petit Vingtième initial version page 31, 1934

Album version 1 page 15, 1955

Album version 2 page 15, 1970

On page 52, the first edition in colour shows frame C1 with the maharadjah, Tintin and Snowy. But the dog had been kidnapped by Sikhs and then recovered by Thomson and Thompson on page 50 and would appear again only on page 57. This error was corrected in the following editions.

Album version 1 page 52, 1955

Album version 2 page 52, 1970
The Black Island
One of the most thoroughly re-worked albums is The Black Island. The second version has been coloured, and the lettering has been changed, but the pictures themselves are essentially identical. In the third version, on the contrary, the Hergé studio has redrawn all pictures, with finer details. The attitudes of the characters are now wonderfully mastered.
The Black Island, first version
First version (1938)
The Black Island, second version
Second version (1943)
The Black Island, third version
Third version (1966)
The Black Island, second version
Second version (1943)
The Black Island, third version
Third version (1966)
Habits de Tintin version 1 Habits de Tintin version 2
The clothes, as shown on pages 6 and 7: in the new version, Tintin is still wearing golf trousers, but a blue pullover has replaced the coat.
Habits version 1 Habits version 2
Ivan, the chauffeur of the big car, still has a uniform with a cap, but the white overcoat typical of the early 20th Century has disappeared
Île Noire 1 p 7
First version: the taxi is probably an Austin, and the big car a Humber Pullman of 1936.


Île Noire 2 p 7
Second version: the taxi is a Ford Zephyr, and the big car a Jaguar Mark X.

Jaguar MK10

1936 Humber Pullmann
Jaguar Mk X 1961-68
1935 Vauxhall
Triumph Herald 1959-70
The railway has also been updated:
Train initial version
Train version 1 Train version 2
...and so have the aeroplanes, of which we have an example here:
Avion version 1 Avion version 2
The Johnnie Walker whisky is now Loch Lomond:
Whisky 1 Whisky 2
The Eastbury fire brigade got new equipment:
Pompiers 1 Pompiers 2
The backgrounds are more detailed:
Décor p.16 version 1
Page 16, 1943
Décor p.16 version 2
Page 16, 1966
Décor p.41 version 1
Page 41, 1943
Décor p.41 version 2
Page 41, 1966
Set version 1
Page 43, 1943
Set version 2
Page 43, 1966
Propeller vs. jet aeroplane in the final image:
End version 1 End version 2
King Ottokar's Scepter
Just one example showing the evolution between the version published in the "Petit Vingtième" and the final album.
Ottokar p48
First version (1938)
Ottokar p48
Album p.48 (1947)
The Crab with the Golden Claws
The first French version of the album, in black and white, is dated 1941. The initial colour version was published in 1943. My own album has a © 1947. Many changes have been made in the 1950's or 60's to make the album more "politically correct": for instance, some scenes where Captain Haddock is drinking whisky from the bottle have been "softened". The scene is unchanged globally, though.

Page 19, 1947

Recent edition
Similarly, the Black men here have been replaced by a Chinese and a Turk to please the American censorship. At the time it was not accepted in the USA to have Blacks and Whites sharing anything, even comic strips....

Page 18, 1947

Recent edition

Page 53, 1947

Recent edition
The first text below says "stop that Negro". The last edition says "stop that man" (I highlighted the fragment myself).

Page 58, 1947

Recent edition
The Shooting Star
In the first version (1942), page 47, Tintin landed on the island in a rowboat sporting the US stars and stripes banner. In recent issues, the flag has been replaced by a more neutral version, not pertaining to a known country.

Page 47, 1947

Recent edition

The seven crystal balls — Prisoners of the sun
"The seven crystal balls" was initially published in the Belgian daily "Le Soir", but suspended in September 1944 when Brussels was liberated. It was resumed two years later in the "Le journal de Tintin" at the time the magazine was created, but under the new name of "Le temple du soleil" (later translated as "Prisoners of the sun"). The publication was done in landscape format, which later obliged, Hergé to redesign entirely its layout for the corresponding album in portrait format, with lots of cropping and even removal of some of the boxes. The first page in the "Journal de Tintin" corrresponds to page 50 of the album "The seven crystal balls", where Tintin leaves the hospital. This page will never appear in either albums. Here is its first strip:
I am not sure about the coach, which might be a Swedish Scania-Vabis.

In the scene depicting the departure of General Alcazar, two boxes were cropped, and their colours changed:

Initial version 1946.
Album version 1948.
Identifying the car on the right becomes almost impossible in the second version.
Land of Black Gold
Journal de Tintin 19
Cover picture of N°19
of Journal de Tintin
Another interesting case: Land of Black Gold.

There are three versions: The story was published in the Belgian magazine "Le Petit Vingtième" in 1939-1940, and was interrupted by the war. It resumed in 1949 in "Le Journal de Tintin", with more elaborate images and in full colour. The album was published in 1950, and was modified in a 1971 version.

There are differences between the initial version published in weekly strips and the 1950 album. These differences are small except for the quality of the drawing. Here a few examples:

Or Noir page 11
Initial version
Ford V8 1937
Or Noir page 6 version 1
Album 1 (1950)
Studebaker Commander 1947
Or Noir page 31
Initial version
Or Noir page 16 version 1
Album 1 (1950)
...becomes Salomon Goldstein
Or Noir page 31
Initial version
The car has no definite brand
Or Noir page 16 version 1
Album 1 (1950)
Ford 1939

Or Noir page 38
Initial version
The biplane

Or Noir page 19 version 1
Album 1 (1950)
...is now a more modern aircraft

Or Noir page 31
Initial version
Peugeot 201

Or Noir page 17 version 2
Album 2 (1971)

There are major differences between both versions of the album.

Titre Or Noir 1
Album 1 (1950)

Titre Or Noir 2
Album 2 (1971)

Black Gold p. 8

Black Gold p. 10Black Gold p. 13

Black Gold p. 8

Black Gold p. 10Black Gold p. 13

The first 20 pages of the album have been totally re-designed. In the second part, only the texts in Arabic have been changed. Click on the picture below to see other frames of page 14.
In the first version (1950 in French), Tintin's ship arrives at Haifa, and the British police gets on board. Britain was occupying Palestina until May 1948.
The 1971 (French) version has been re-written completely, to be more acceptable politically. The ship now arrives in a fantasy Arab country at the port of Khemkhah.

Pages 15 to 20 have also been completely changed. The scenario is modified. Hergé visibly decided to escape from the political imbroglio between the British, the Arabs, and the Jews in Palestina just before the creation of Israel. Click on the three frames to see page 16 in its two versions.
Page 16 version 1
Page 16 version 2
Or Noir page 19
In the first version, the flyers are thrown from a British plane, and the Arabs soldiers can read...
Or Noir page 18
In the 1971 version, the scene is altogether different, and the nationality of the enemy is not disclosed.
Black Gold page 20
The text in the first version is not real Arabic.
It just looks like it for someone who does not know.
Black Gold page 20
The second version is good Arabic and means:
"May Allah damn you, son of a dog
and your father the Bedouin !"
Tintin in Tibet
On page 9, Tintin and Haddock catch a DC 3 of Air India. Six years after publication of the album, the publisher (Casterman) received a complaint from the airline who did not like the idea of one of its planes crashing into the mountains of Tibet. Hergé then changed the company name for «Sari Airways». Curiously though, only page 28 was modified by removing the saggitarius from the aircraft's tail, but pages 9 and 58 were not changed.

Indian Airlines
Initial version p.2 (1959)

Sari Airways
Second version p.2 (1965)
All versions p.9

Initial version p.28 (1959)

Second version p.28 (1965)

All versions p.58

© François de Dardel
Updated 2 May 2021

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