March 5, 2010

From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays: Tin-Tin and Nausicaa

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Written by: Drew
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LISTEN UP, GUMSHOES! Umm-Bop-Dip-Dap-Da-Daoh-Umm-Bop-Where In The World Is From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays Columnist Drew McCabe?!?!?!

Attention All Gumshoes: Interpol is after one Columnist, Drew McCabe and his pet turkey partner in crime, Mr. Gobbles. According to this column they took off on quote “ala Latitude Zero”, in a high powered submarine. In the last column, the columnist just left a note on those disgusting Garbage Pail Kids, which admittedly didn’t lead us anywhere. BUT THEN a hot tip came in and we began to follow this super sleuth’s trail.

We thought “Hey, he might be in America!”, based on the fact we found this following article he was writing:

Graphic Novel Fun: The Adventures of Tintin: Tintin in America
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Written and Drawn: Herge

Tin-Tin without a doubt is one of the most influential children’s comics of all time, and although he is only known to a smaller number of fans here stateside (where superheros have ruled our children for years), he is a giant in pretty much every other country. Tin-Tin collections sell millions of copies, he has a slew of film and TV adaptations (both live and animated) and now Tin-Tin is the next huge multimillion dollar motion-capture animated film, being produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Steven Spielberg. If you here in the States don’t know Tin-Tin now, you certainly will fall in love with him the moment that motion picture comes out, ’cause it will be huge.

Tin-Tin was created by Belgian cartoonist Herge as part of a children’s supplement for French newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle, running from 1929 to 1983. Set during the 20th century, reflecting the time periods it was written in, The Adventures of Tin-Tin tells the tale of the young, world famous Belgian reporter Tin-Tin, who along with his little white dog Snowy, go on a series of adventures solving a ton of mysteries. The tales range from treasure hunts to swash-buckling to political thrillers.

Tin-Tin in America is the 3rd story in the Tin-Tin collection and weaves the tale of Tin-Tin going to the United States to take on the gangs of Al Capone (his previous 2 adventures were in the Soviet Union and then the Congo. In the Congo, Tin-Tin crossed paths with gangs and busted them up, which is why a simple Belgian reporter would be called in to take on U.S. gangs in this story). The book is fun and filled with action. Herge pens us an excellent adventure (interestingly enough for the first so many stories, Herge would improvise his writing every week, never planning the story out. Later he would change to scripting ahead, however his improv caused these early Tin-Tin adventures to be a little more “by-the-seat-of-your-pants” exciting). Herge’s artwork is priceless and the thing I love the most about any Tin-Tin tale. He has a classic design for the characters that’s so clean but detailed in its art, and colorized they just look gorgeous. Although each tale is a collected version of a story from the strip, Herge’s layout and story telling make it so they do not feel like a comic strip (this possibly could be because it is a European comic strip versus the American comic strip style we all know, I’m not sure, being aside from Tin-Tin and The Smurfs, I haven’t had too much access to European strips).

Tin-Tin in America first appeared in the strip in 1931, a colorized collected version of this tale would be published in 1945 and remain the standard published version since. Fun fact is during France’s occupation during World War II, it was one of  two Tin-Tin stories banned and burned by the Nazis. A fantastic read for everyone.

So we didn’t find him there so then we thought “Hey, he might be in Japan!”, based on the fact we also found this article he had been writing:

Something to Watch: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was written and drawn by Hayao Miyazaki (considered the greatest animator since Walt Disney) and published in the magazine Animage, in Japan from 1982 to 1994 (making up 7 collected volumes). The entire comic book series was published here by Viz Media in a series of graphic novels. The film, animated by Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away) and directed by Miyazaki himself, is based off the first 2 collected volumes of the comic, and was released in Japan in 1984. The film was released here in the States by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures under the title Warriors of the Wind, however the film was heavily edited (over 30 mintues were cut), changing a chunk of the picture. Finally in 2005, we saw the full uncut version of this thanks to Pixar’s John Laster and Walt Disney, pushing for a proper DVD release.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, tells the story of Princess Nausicaa, a girl who is a damn good adventurer and has the ability to speak to these giant insects that inhabit this post-apocalyptic world she inhabits (insects and plants have begun to retake over our world in the future after mankind nearly destroys itself after a great war; the war killed off most of the world’s population and ecosystem). One day after a series of events, it is revealed to Nausicaa, that a group of people have discovered, and now hold, one of these ancient war machines from 1,000 years before which destroyed the planet. It is their plan to use this ancient war machine and have it destroy the giant insects which plague the last of the humans. To start up this ancient evil though could not just mean the end of the giant insects but the end of what remains of the world as well…

The animation is classic 80s Japanese Animation (which many feel is the golden age of Japanese Animation with incredible detail and quality in story, voice acting and animation) and is a worth while adventure to watch. Hands down: amazing, watch it this weekend, readers!

And you know what? We didn’t find him there either! Maybe we should have tried to follow a trail of his submarine on radar or something like that. And so Gumshoes, we are still hot on his trail…kind of…and hopefully next week, we will find him! Signing off from Interpol until next time!

Drew McCabe



  1. billy

    That comic strip movie sounds like it has a lot of star-power behind it. Hopefully it will live up to the hype.

  2. infinite speech

    I read a bit of Tin Tin when I was younger! Good one Drew!

  3. I really want to read Tin-Tin. I’ve only heard good things, and I’d like to check it out before seeing anything from the movie. Keep my mind untainted, ya know?

  4. Drew

    The Tin-Tin books are some of my favorite reads, i’m surprised it took me so long to write about one in this column. Always worth while

  5. I looooooooooove Nausicaa. Need to get my hands on the DVD. I am sorely lacking in Miyazaki films for my DVD library. I only have one! 🙁

  6. […] pet turkey partner in crime, Mr. Gobbles, took off in a submarine from his secret volcano layer. Interpol went on the look out for him but came up with nothing but articles he had been writing which lead them no where. Feeling […]

  7. […] faces, as we see humorous outcomes in the everyday lives of Ferd’nand, his son and wife. Like Tin-Tin and the Smurfs, Ferd’nand originated to us from Europe, starting publication in 1937. Its […]

  8. […] a while back we checked out Hayao Miyazaki’s first film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, so I thought, “Hey, let’s check out his son Goro’s first film now that […]

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