Monday, September 23, 2002

After a Wasted shoot last Saturday, I headed to Robinson's Galleria for lunch. I passed by Humor Post, one of those little book stalls at the mall where I usually saw some Tintin books, volumes that you can normally find at National for far lesser price.

This day was different though. As I glanced at their display, I did a double take. I saw a Tintin volume I never thought I'd see here in the Philippines. I ran into the store, grabbed the hard cover volume in my hands and there it was. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets! I nearly fainted. The first time I saw this volume was at the San Diego comics convention years ago. When I saw it, I had little money with me so I went back to my hotel. And when I got back, the volumes were gone. I thought I had to go back to San Diego to ever see another copy again.

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is the VERY FIRST Tintin volume that Herge has ever written and drawn. So naturally it is not as accomplished as later volumes. In fact, it's pretty amateurish in many places. For decades, this book, as well as Tintin in Congo were never translated into English because they would be deemed "politically incorrect" in today's times. Sequences that were presented in those books may be considered racist today but back then it would not have been anything out of the ordinary. But due to the fans demands, a limited number of volumes were published in English for the first time and this was the volume that was in front of me at that moment.

It is not for the casual fan. But Tintin freaks, collectors and aficionados would go NUTS over it as I have. I bought it immediately. And I demanded they also get Tintin in Congo from where ever it is they got the first one. Congo and Tintin and the Alpha Art (Herge very last, but unfinished Tintin adventure) remains the very last volumes not in my possession.