OK, so there isn’t much happening here, I know. I have a couple things brewing, but have simply been too busy on dissertation work to do much in here. Hopefully I’ll be able to post a few juicy things over the next weeks though. In the meantime, here’s an awesome set of preparatory Tintin pages — full inks, and a page of sketches — from Hergé’s swan song, The Castafiore Emralds (1961-63).

These were just sold for some astronomical sum at an auction in Namur, held on the occasion of a small festival celebrating Hergé. Check out how Hergé plays with the sequence on the sketch page, trying to find the right arrangement, repeating certain scenes and sticking others in, out of chronology, while still maintaining the overall integrity of the page as a unit in his narrative. By this point he had surely worked out what needed to be accomplished on each page in the album, but still needed to fine-tune the breakdown and arrangement of panels.

It’s interesting to see that he ended up playing down the emotional scene of the Roma child being reunited with his mother — a scene he seems to have agonised over before deciding to leave it out. The portrayal of the Roma in the story is a little on the romantic side as is, and here Hergé gives us a live act of walking the tightrope of sentimentality. I dig the marginal character sketches too!

A few more original pages, amongst them a fairly finished sketch for The Calculus Affair, were sold at the auction, check them out here. Seriejournalen provided the tip.