LAST EDITED ON Dec-06-14 AT 02:38 AM (EST)
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The Adventures of Master Tintin
from Galactipedia, the Galactic Encyclopedia
The Adventures of Master Tintin is a comedy adventure graphic novel series written and illustrated by an unknown artist using the pseudonym Nebe (see Authorship below).
Master Tintin originates on Zipang, where it is published in compiled form by the Saikyō Graphic Arts Alliance and serialized in the SGAA's monthly magazine, Saikyō Dash. The serialized segments also appear, two months after initial publication on Zipang, in the Tomodachi-based adventure anthology Action Ace Magazine, and simultaneously in Standard translation in New Avalon's Afternoon Extra.
The comic chronicles the adventures of the eponymous Master Tintin, a youthful-seeming martial artist who wanders a nameless setting that is assumed[by whom?] to be a fictionalized pre-industrial Earth. Ostensibly employed (by whom is never disclosed) as a kind of proto-investigative journalist, Tintin's main vocation in life seems to be stumbling into various types of trouble and running afoul of nefarious forces, whom he is obligated, by circumstance and a never-explicitly-stated but clear moral standing, to thwart.
The difficulties he faces range from the mundane (criminal conspiracies plotting to steal large amounts of money) to the extraordinary (criminal conspiracies plotting to murder the setting's legendary hero and use the resulting confusion to take over the world) to the outright supernatural (criminal conspiracies plotting to murder the setting's legendary hero and, in that figure's absence, bring about a cosmic doomsday scenario). Against all of them, he uses some combination of quick thinking, physical intrepidity, and moral determination to save the day.
Main article: List of Adventures of Master Tintin characters
Tintin - The hero of the story, Tintin appears to be a boy in his late teens (he is often called "boy reporter Tintin" by other characters), but, paradoxically, he is also widely respected as a master martial artist. Exactly what martial art he is a master of, and how he achieved that standing at his young age, are never explored in great detail, but he seems to be highly adept at empty-handed self-defense and the use of various weapons similar to those found in pop culture accounts of ancient China (staves, spears, various kinds of swords, etc.). He also appears to practice a philosophy of general non-violence, but he is no pacifist and will not hesitate to act in self-defense or the defense of others (an approach described by one of his companions as "start nothing, finish everything").
Slim and below average height, Tintin is often underestimated by the villains of the stories, a factor which he doesn't hesitate to exploit. He is of ambiguous ethnicity (like most characters in the comic), but is one of the few blond characters and is often described by others as being a foreigner. It is a recurring plot point that he is a stranger in the lands where his adventures take place, and people often remark on how well he speaks the local language. When asked what his country is, he says only that it's far away.
Friendly and polite, Tintin has a polarizing personality. People are either charmed by his open, cheerful nature, or assume it's a front for some devious nature and dislike him at once (usually the latter are people who are themselves devious and underhanded in some way). Despite his pleasant demeanor, he is relentless in pursuit of his goals, and so persistent that his enemies sometimes liken him to a demon or other unkillable supernatural monster.
Like many people in the world where his adventures are set, Tintin appears to have superhuman/metapsionic powers, but his abilities are unique even relatively. Many natives of the setting are metapsionic elementalists, capable of manipulating one of the four "classical" elements through directed movement and concentration (i.e., specialized martial arts techniques); Tintin, however, appears to be generally telekinetic, and to possess the ability to perform occasional feats of superhuman strength and agility. (See Jedi controversy below.) Early in his adventures, this often led him to be taken for a legendary hero with the power to control all the elements, until he actually met that individual and started traveling with him.
Snowy - Tintin's faithful companion, Snowy is one of the many chimerical animals who appear in the Adventures setting. In this case, Snowy is a polar bear dog, which unsurprisingly is an animal that combines features of a polar bear and a dog. He has the stature, physical power, and forelimbs of a polar bear, but his head and hindquarters appear (except in scale) more akin to those of a Labrador retriever. So enormous that his master can and does put a saddle on him and ride him, Snowy is completely dedicated to Tintin's safety, but he is easily distracted and has an occasionally unfortunate fondness for plum wine.
A recurring feature of the comic is that, although Snowy cannot speak to humans, he is fully sapient, and often carries on an internal monologue in which he analyzes the situation he and Tintin are in and laments that he should have stayed at home in the South Pole (particularly when they're somewhere hot and/or dry). He also occasionally carries on conversations with other animals, which are depicted as just sounding like barking to the human characters.
Captain Haadoq - Tintin's best (human) friend, an experienced mariner from the North Pole (which is apparently a landmass in the Tintin world), Haadoq is about forty, with a fiery temper, an impressive black beard and an even more impressive repertoire of profanities (all rendered as comical but printable phrases in the comic). He comes from a long line of Northern sea captains, all called Haadoq (and all of whom look exactly like him in flashbacks), and is prone to confuse their accomplishments and his own when in a boastful mood, particularly when he's been drinking (which is usually).
He is also the current incarnation of the Tintin setting's perpetually reincarnating mythic hero, known as the Avatar - which he discovered, much to his surprise and dismay, during the first story he appeared in, Cigars of the Fire Lord. (He explains sheepishly to Tintin that he always assumed his earlier manifestations of multi-elemental power were drunken fantasies.) Furiously resistant to any attempt to steer him into a more contemplative or "saintly" lifestyle, he dislikes the attention and expectations his unlooked-for cosmic station brings upon him and sometimes tries to pretend that Tintin, not he, is the Avatar. Regardless, he steadfastly refuses to give up seafaring, give up drinking, or tolerate being addressed as anything other than Captain Haadoq.
Professor Calculus - A brilliant but absentminded mathematician, astrologer, and "natural philosopher" (there being no "science" as such in the pre-industrial Tintin setting), Professor Calculus has an even greater talent for stumbling into trouble than Tintin. Unlike him, however, she often doesn't realize she's in trouble - partly because she's habitually oblivious to anything other than her work, and partly because she's virtually deaf (a consequence of an early experiment with explosives). A usually-mild, pleasant, and attractive woman of indeterminate middle age, she becomes violently indignant when her work is interfered with or if she believes she or her theories are being made fun of, and is surprisingly adept at defending herself (as the villains occasionally learn to their dismay). She's also a dedicated (and talented) dowser. In The Secret of the Triceracorn it's revealed that her first name is "Asako".
Wong and Wáng - A pair of plainclothes detectives belonging to the national police force of one of the setting's largest and most powerful countries, the Earth Kingdom ("Earth" as in the element, not the planet). Wong and Wáng (the joke, elusive in print, is that both names are pronounced "wong") are identical in appearance and manner, and dress in such an obvious formal mandarin style that they might as well be in uniform. They insist they are not related in spite of their indistinguishable resemblance. Bumbling and clumsy, the Wongs (as Captain Haadoq calls them) are forever stumbling into things in a much more literal manner than most, and often find themselves in situations where they will end up arresting each other instead of whatever criminal (or Tintin) they're after.
Sometimes allies of Tintin and sometimes adversaries, depending on circumstance, they seem to have a personal fondness for him, but are so rigidly committed to their sometimes skewed idea of their duties that they won't hesitate to pursue him if they think he's broken the law (which, in fairness, he often has). They seem to do this regardless of whether they are in any way within their ostensible jurisdiction, though at one point Haadoq notes that this is typical of Earth Kingdom police officers. Also, one of them - as part of the running joke, it's impossible to tell which one - is hopelessly besotted with Professor Calculus, which his colleague finds infinitely exasperating.
Main article: List of Adventures of Master Tintin stories
To date, there have been four completed story arcs in The Adventures of Master Tintin, each reprinted after serialization in a compiled edition, since the series debuted in 2407. A fifth serial is currently underway.
- Master Tintin in the Land of the Snow Warriors (2407) - Master Tintin arrives in what appears, from context and remarks made by the locals, to be an inhabited version of Antarctica, on the trail of stolen gold. Snowy also debuts in this story, as a local animal befriended by Tintin in the course of the adventure.
- Cigars of the Fire Lord (2408) - In the course of an investigation into a mysterious and dangerous secret society, Tintin meeds Captain Haadoq, who turns out (unbeknownst to himself) to be the long-awaited reincarnation of the setting's greatest mythic hero - and that secret society's target.
- The Blue Lotus (2408) - A sequel of sorts to Cigars of the Fire Lord, in which Tintin and Captain Haadoq pursue the remnants of the shadowy conspiracy from the previous story, only to discover an even more dangerous and powerful organization was behind them. Professor Calculus makes her debut in this volume.
- Master Tintin and the Golden Crablion (2409) - Tintin and company trek across a great desert in search of a fabulous lost treasure reputed to be hidden somewhere in it, hoping to secure it before a gang of ruthless thieves can plunder it.
- The Secret of the Triceracorn (currently in serialization) - A journal reputedly written by one of Captain Haadoq's ancestors sends the team on a dangerous expedition through treacherous northern seas.
Master Tintin's unusual abilities and ambiguous foreignness to the setting of his Adventures have given rise to a common fan belief that he is an itinerant Jedi Knight, possibly either lost in time or stranded on an Earthlike-but-primitive pre-spaceflight world. Adherents of this view[such as?] point to his peculiar, telekinesis-like powers, his occasional semblances of telepathy and precognition, and his atypical style of swordsmanship as evidence. Those opposed[not prepared to name them either, huh?] cite his lack of a lightsaber and the fact that he never mentions the Force in any of his dialogue. No clarification is forthcoming from the publishers of the Adventures, and since the author him- or herself never breaks cover, the mystery is unlikely to be solved except by the possibility of on-page confirmation in a later story.
The secretive author/artist of The Adventures of Master Tintin goes by the same pen name as the artist of the popular[in whose judgment?][OK, look, you've made your point, knock it off] dōjinshi series ______ Loves Corwin. Fan analysis of the artwork has shown some compelling similarities between the two series, supporting the theory that there is in fact only one artist going by "Nebe", but skeptics[fatigue is setting in at this point][good, then pipe down] point out that they're in different languages (Master Tintin's original publication is in Japanese, ______ Loves Corwin in an archaic dialect of Chinese) and appear to come from different sources (Master Tintin through a major Zipangi comics publisher, ______ Loves Corwin via a sort of Internet osmosis from no-one-knows-quite-where).
In addition, although similar, the artwork styles differ in several important respects. Most notably, The Adventures of Master Tintin is drawn in a "clear line" style, with minimal pen-and-ink shading, and published in color, while ______ Loves Corwin is a more traditional ink-shaded black-and-white production. Supporters of the common authorship theory maintain that this is simply an illustration[rimshot!] of Nebe's range of ability, while its opponents cite it as a major piece of evidence in their favor.
- Official website (Afternoon Extra edition)
- Official website (Action Ace edition)
- Official website (Saikyō Dash)
- The Unofficial Adventures of Master Tintin Headquarters
- alt.fan.mastertintin FAQ
Categories: comic series | Zipangi comics | comic series with anonymous creators | fictional histories