Tintin : Book 17

Explorers on the Moon is the seventeenth book in  The Adventures of Tintin series, comprising of 24 comics created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tintin is the titular protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy. By 2007, a century after Hergé’s birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and had been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.

Explorers on the Moon completes the prophetic scientific Tintin adventure that begins with Destination Moon. Hergé was breaking new ground by sending his star characters into space. Although travelling into space has become normal, even routine, today, at the beginning of the 1950s such an idea was still science-fiction. It is important to remember that the story was published in 1954, while Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the Moon in 1969.

In the second part of Tintin’s Moon adventure, the technical details that permeate the first part make way for a kind of space thriller. The lunar escapade is full of intrigue and surprises. Not far into the story the shocked crew of the mission discover that Thomson and Thompson have managed to hitch a ride to the Moon by accident; by the end engineer Frank Wolff is involved in a terrible twist in the tale. And there are plenty of unexpected events in between!

Throughout Explorers on the Moon, Hergé dabbles in real science, giving us a taste of weightlessness in space and even going so far as to suggest that water exists under the Moon’s surface. The reader follows the characters as they control the atomic motor and thrusters to navigate the rocket through space. This last two-part adventure (after the previous two-part stories Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Blue Lotus, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure, and The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun, shows both what a good writer and a good artist Hergé was.

Next book in series: The Calculus Affair

Saint of the Day – Nov 19, 2021

St Agnes of Assisi

Born Caterina Offreducia, Agnes was the younger sister of Saint Clare, and her first follower. When Caterina left home two weeks after Clare’s departure, their family attempted to bring her back by force. They tried to drag her out of the monastery, but her body suddenly became so heavy that several knights could not budge it. Her uncle Monaldo tried to strike her but was temporarily paralyzed. The knights then left Caterina and Clare in peace. Saint Francis himself gave Clare’s sister the name Agnes, because she was gentle like a young lamb.

Agnes matched her sister in devotion to prayer and in willingness to endure the strict penances that characterized the Poor Ladies’ lives at San Damiano. In 1221, a group of Benedictine nuns in Monticelli near Florence asked to become Poor Ladies. Saint Clare sent Agnes to become abbess of that monastery. Agnes soon wrote a rather sad letter about how much she missed Clare and the other nuns at San Damiano. After establishing other monasteries of Poor Ladies in northern Italy, Agnes was recalled to San Damiano in 1253, as Clare lay dying.

Three months later Agnes followed Clare in death, and was canonized in 1753.