Tintin & Stuart – a series of favourites, reflections and responses to Tintin by guest bloggers


In 1986, aged nine, for twenty-four consecutive Saturday mornings, I bowed before a revolving magazine rack in a corner of Hobart’s Angus & Robertson, mesmerised by the twenty-four Adventures of Tintin. The half-hour it took to read and twice re-read each book was an immunisation for the half-hour of pallid, ludicrous Anglicanism I endured the following morning.

……..The Ancient Egyptian pantheon had bewitched me at an earlier age (my bibliophilic parents would deliver me to the State Library—my preferred childcare centre: so many heathen texts—and pick me up hours later). Accordingly, my favourite Adventure was—and still is—Cigars of the Pharaoh: the eccentric Doctor Sophocles Sarcophagus who, struck by one of the Fakir’s poisoned darts, eventually went insane (‘Well, between you and me, I AM SECRETLY RAMSES THE SECOND’); the introduction of Thomson and Thompson, the bowler’d, bumbling detectives; the rank of mummified Egyptologists, gothic, catalogued (one—‘Lord Carnaval’—a nod to George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, Howard Carter’s financier); the vivid hieroglyphics and the gleaming uraeuses that might have been Xeroxed from the volumes I pored over.

Cigars of the Pharaoh instructed me to keep writing, to smoke opium, to visit Egypt.

I’ve yet to take my trip.

Stuart Barnes

7 thoughts on “Tintin & Stuart – a series of favourites, reflections and responses to Tintin by guest bloggers

      • that’s how I gave up smoking -haha – some fine cigars – but just a transitional addiction that was very effective! (probably wouldn’t be doctor recommended I don’t think – they aren’t very good with lateral solutions).

    • The thing about cigars is you don’t feel like having too many as they are so strong. So you can go from having a pack of cigarettes a day to a few cigars or cigarellos. The less time you do an addictive behaviour the less the addiction – one of the reasons smoking is one of the most addictive substances is the sheer number of reinforcements you are getting in one day and the complex overlay of associations with smoking – so there are heaps of triggers for smoking – having a coffee, being stressed, having a break at work, sitting in a particular seat etc.,

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