Publisher in favour of explanatory note for “Tintin in Congo”

Publisher in favour of explanatory note for “Tintin in Congo”

Tintin publisher Casterman is in favour of an insert in the album “Tintin in Congo” that would provide contextual information on the works of series creator Herge in the early 1930s.

Brussels parliamentarian Kalvin Soiresse Njall had expressed astonishment on the RTBF’s JT programme on Saturday at the fact that “Tintin in Congo” was not among the issues in the news in recent weeks.

The parliamentarian, who is of Togolese origin, said he was not calling for the comic to be scrapped, which would be counter-productive, but, he said, “there is an absolute need to contextualise it from within.”

"It is not understandable that Moulinsart [the company in charge of the Hergé copyright – Editor’s note) accepts this in the Nordic and Anglo-Saxon countries,” but not in Belgium, he argued.

The parliamentarian, who is a founder of the Mémoire coloniale (Colonial Memory) collective, feels that this can be done, for example, by asking a graphic artist to produce a “warning message with a brief text” at the beginning of the comic.

Mr. Soiresse Njall had made a similar call over a year ago, when invited by Moulinsart to a debate on the margins of the publication of a recolourised digital version of “Tintin in Congo”.

Casterman, which publishes the album of the famous reporter, is not against such a measure. Director Simon Casterman said that since late 2018, before the publication of the recolourised version, the publishing house had already been in favour of a contextualizing note for the album.

However, “adding a note or a prefix of that nature affects the moral right of the author,” he explained.

“In this case, such an addition is not the sole prerogative of Castleman, but also that of Mrs. Rodwell (Fanny Rodwell-Vlamynck, Hergé’s second wife), as Hergé’s beneficiary, and she opposed it.”

Moulinsart declined to make any comment on Sunday.

The Brussels Times

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