Tintin in America


In Tintin in America (1932), Tintin confirms his reputation as a righter of wrongs. He faces Al Capone and his gang as well as all sorts of other villains. Hergé shows his generous vision of the world as he offers a very well documented depiction of the sad plight of the Native Americans. Tintin's fame extends beyond the Atlantic Ocean, so, when he arrives in Chicago in the middle of Prohibition, all the gangsters in the city have gathered to make sure that he gets the most uncomfortable reception. Tintin will need to use all his determination and intelligence to survive! Tintin in America is the highest-selling Tintin title of all time. It is the clear winner ahead of Tintin in the Congo and Explorers on the Moon, which come in second and third places respectively.

A cover story

Tintin books have not always looked like they do today. At the beginning of Hergé's career, The Adventures of Tintin were published with a variety of different covers. The first edition of Tintin in America rolled off the printing press in 1932. The cover picture showed Tintin sitting on a rock while Red Indians creep up behind him, and the original Indian ink and gouache drawing was recently sold in auction for an astronomical price. The book was titled Les Aventures de Tintin, reporter du Petit "Vingtième" in America.

In November 1937, the adventure was published under a new cover adorned with a small picture showing Tintin riding a horse. The publisher's name, Casterman, (which was already printed in the 1935 edition) is also mentioned in this copy. Tintin in America.

From black and white to colour

Tintin in America is one of the nine stories that were first published in black and white. From the ten years between 1932 and 1942, eleven editions of the book were produced. It is also the last story which was published under the Le Petit "Vingtième" label. During this period, more than 150,000 black and white Tintin books were printed, bound, distributed and sold. The book was also reworked in 1945, when Hergé began reformatting his black and white stories to create colour versions. In the new version, which appeared in 1946, many improvements were made to the illustrations.

1e édition N&B de 1932 / 2e plat P3 / Page de titre de l'édition O.gé.O.
Édition de 1935 / édition de 1937 + 4 hors-texte couleur / édition de 1940
1e édition couleur de 1945 / 2e plat B1 de la 1e édition couleur / 10e édition couleur de 1957

Influenced by literature and dedicated to research

For the background to Tintin in America, Hergé was influenced by lectures he attended and also particularly by Georges Duhamel's book Scènes de la vie future (1930), which was openly and vehemently critical against the American lifestyle, sweeping modernisation, Taylorism, assembly line manufacturing and mass-marketing.

To accurately portray life in the USA at the time the story is set, Hergé also turned to Le Crapouillot magazine, which had published a special edition devoted to the United States.


"Nowhere does Hergé's art give such a strong impression of being directly influenced by the cinema than in the pages of Tintin in America"

Hergé made use of diverse techniques to mimic camera effects, as a way of developing the "final edit" frame by frame. Wonderful examples of this method can be seen on page 76. (Left: Chronologie d'une œuvre, Ph. Goddin, T2, p 83) or on page 81, in the sequence where the rea-der sees what Tintin is una-ware of: the bandit's hand grabbing a bottle.

Automated factory production lines

"Slift, the food factory, is a thinly-disguised reference to the real-life factories Swift & Co", which were automated production plants located in Chicago, involved in the meat industry. "The abattoir and cannery were already using automated processing machines, some of which were not at all unlike the machine in Tintin in America, where living cattle goes in one end and sausages come out of the other."

Chronologie d'une oeuvre - Philippe Goddin - T2 - page 105

Al Capone, public enemy number 1

Al Capone is the only real-life character in Tintin's adventures to have been drawn into the story under his real name. In fact, Al Capone's name had already been mentioned in Tintin in the Congo, as the head of an international diamond smuggling ring.

Chronologie d'une &

This second adventure leaves no doubt that Chicago is going to be the little reporter's next port of call. The new environment is also Al Capone's hometown, in which the gangster and his cronies rule over every imaginable illegal market. In the October 1930 issue of Le Crapouillot, dedicated to the USA, a picture of Alphonse "Scarface" Capone makes the gangster look more like a popular Italian opera singer than public enemy number 1.

Another baddie without a name: Rastapopoulos

This character is the archetypal evil mastermind, and Tintin's archenemy.

He first appears at a banquet given in Tintin's honour, in Tintin in America, even though he is not mentioned by name. Roberto Rastapopoulos, officially a movie mogul, can be seen sitting among guests including (in the first edition of the story) Mary Pikefort, a thinly veiled Mary Pickford (a famous Hollywood actress from the 1920s).

Vos contributions (15) Contribuer
amonraaMonday 17th August 2020 à 15:44
Je possède un exemplaire rare de ce livre, un ancien exemplaire qui a été imprimé en Egypte en 1946
I own a rare copy of this book, an old copy that was printed in Egypt in 1946
mendoza1Monday 6th April 2020 à 14:51
i love that book.
pmjshieldsMonday 3rd June 2019 à 14:17
Very interesting to read a re-translation which correctly identifies the lynching victims as black people rather than the generalised "hoboes" and "fellows" of the old version.

Could I point out that on page 41, the text on the alarm handle being pulled in the second frame has not been translated (ALARME).
450busdriverThursday 16th August 2018 à 13:50
Always been my fav TinTin Album
Afridi123456Friday 8th December 2017 à 21:05
So good I like comics in my kid I like tin tin
Sandipan.comSaturday 23rd September 2017 à 14:12
Have been waiting for this for a long time to share with my kids so they may grow up with Tintin.

Wish there was a way to use familyshare.
shankarbalanThursday 5th May 2016 à 19:58
As an avid follower of Tintin and collector of books and memorabilia since the age of 5 in 1976 and as an amateur Tintinologist I must say I am most pleased to be able to buy these beautiful Tintin Digital Editions on the MoulinsArt Tintin App!
Truly enjoyable!
Kendall76Sunday 10th January 2016 à 08:14
Worth waiting for!
HSHSHSThursday 10th December 2015 à 13:36
So good it still leading on the same kind of non English comics , ,
I just saw the
chico1Thursday 3rd September 2015 à 21:41
About time , whoop whoop
skinthingFriday 28th August 2015 à 12:55
iPhone version now working - great digital version of a brilliant book. More please!!
omri guezTuesday 18th August 2015 à 09:08
Add please version for iPhone
melphaySaturday 15th August 2015 à 19:05
Yay! Been waiting for this English one for a long time!
hultbergTuesday 11th August 2015 à 07:27
Digital copies of all albums are a must!
webTuesday 28th July 2015 à 12:56
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