Bubble yuan's Blog

7(a). Media/Publishing Issues: (Print) Comic Controversy

Posted on: September 19, 2009

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^ Mypaper, 22 August 2009, pages 26-27.

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Tintin Au Congo was in the spotlight of controversy as it depicted illustrations that were racially offensive.

It was taken off the shelves of Brooklyn libraries, New York, after a reader complained that the the comic promoted racist illustrations and was therefore deemed inappropriate for children.

Depicting Africans as monkeys and congolese children referred by Snowy, Tintin’s dog, as “not very bright” implies discrimination, were some of the highlighted illustrations that the reader found offensive.

♦ Example(s) of illustrations from the comic that posed racism meanings:

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tintin4i

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The racist tones within the comic (depicting Africans as naive and primitive) reflects the values of colonialism at that time in Belgium, which unfortunately belongs to a part in history.

Hergé later described that Tintin Au Congo was the “sin of his youth”. Earlier series of other Tintin comics have also been slammed for being facist, cruel and violent. Due to the extensive coverage from the media, caused massive sales for the comic worldwide.

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Background

Tintin Au Congo is part of The Adventures of Tintin series, created by a Belgian artist, Georges Remi (pen name Hergé, 1907 – 1983).

– Originally published in black and white in 1931.

– Redrawn in 1946 with additional changes in 1975 and reprinted in colour.

– In 2007, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) of UK called the removal of the comic as it was inappropriate reading material for children in the children’s section of Borders.

– In 2009, it faces controversy yet again in Brooklyn, New York, where it was displayed in the public library and now hidden.

The Adventures of Tintin series has sold over 200 million copies worldwide and available in 50 languages.

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The attached article above was mostly based on the New York Daily News.

♦ To read the article featured above, please follow this link.    >>>>>    <click here> (*note: the mypaper website only archives upto 30 days prior to today’s date)

♦ To read the article from NY Daily, please follow this link.    >>>>>    <click here>

♦ Additional articles about the controversy:

Daily Telegraph – 15 July 2007, 01 September 2009

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References

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Images (keywords: tintin in the congo) – http://images.google.com.sg/, viewed 20 September 2009.

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