Saturday, November 19, 2011

Things That Keep Popping Up: Tintin and the Cthulhu Mythos

My history with Tintin goes back to when I began taking piano lessons. My piano teacher had a number of Tintin books in her waiting room, which I would read before waiting for my piano lesson to start. Eventually I borrowed the books from the library, and even today I still return to random volumes (okay, especially Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon).

The Tintin books have seemingly never gone out of print and are as much a staple of children's reading now as they were for decades before I discovered them. This year, however, another animated movie based on Herge's popular series of comics about the intrepid boy reporter and his dog Snowy, possibly the biggest Tintin movie that we have seen in the English-language market. With this release, Tintin will be even more popular than it has been already (fighting for reading space with so many other book-movie behemoths). With this renewed interest, new covers will be adorning the new editions of Herge's classic series.

This morning my girlfriend came across Chris Thorndycroft's blog that has Tintin covers by artist Muray Groat for Tintin books that never were. Combining Tintin and Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, I can only guess how these would have brought a little more madness to the world.

(If you haven't already, have a look at the covers and then continue reading this post.)

It's fun to spot which covers Groat has taken Tintin out of or has added elements of the Mythos into. For example, the images of Tintin and Snowy are taken from the cover of The Calculus Affair, reversed, and added into Tintin in Innsmouth (watching deep ones shambling towards the sea instead of the soldiers searching for Professor Calculus). The At the Mountains of Madness cover is seemingly inspired by Tintin in Tibet, but judging from Tintin's clothes, Tintin's image is probably taken from another story.

The combination of Tintin and the Mythos seems a perfect fit. Tintin fits the mold of a fearless investigator of the Mythos, and at least one of the Tintin books had elements of weird fiction (The Shooting Star). If these Tintin-Mythos books did exist, they would be great templates for Call of Cthulhu adventures (in the pulp vein).

I can only dream.

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