Monday, April 16, 2007


Voici probablement le premier Tintin édité en "batak"! Dans un tirage limité à 400 exemplaires et en version bilingue français et Toba Batak, c'est très certainement une édition pirate! Cette langue est parlée par 2 millions de personnes dans le nord de Sumatra (Indonésie). Le livre est au format A4, comporte 56 pages, est bien imprimé (et non pas des photocopies) et est intitulé "Tintin et le pustaha". Pour en apprendre plus sur le langage "batak", voici deux sites qui donnent des infos et l'alphabet.


Once upon a time there was a pustaha (magic batak book). Alas, the said pustaha disappeared in circumstances strongly reminiscent of the Arumbaya fetish in The Broken Ear.

Inevitably, the Thompsons are send on its trail and call their friend Tintin for help.

A typical tintinesque adventure starts out, bringing our friends Tintin, Snowy (Bule) and Haddock to Sumatra in order to find the pustaha, transiting via Port Saïd - where Oliveira de Figueira furnishes them with cardinal information - and Malaysia.

After a long walk through Sumatra jungle and volcanoes towards the batak country, they come across Calculus who became a datu, a batak shaman. He tells them the story of the pangulubalang.

Comments :

This Tintin adventure is in the tradition of authentic pirate editions : one can find images frankly taken from the strips, as well as short parts of Hergé's dialogues. However, the book is not drawn in the style of ligne-claire. The scenario is totally original but consistent with Hergé's work. Many characters, major or minor, drop in at almost every page : Jolyon Wagg, Miss Martine, Mrs Pinson, Sophocles Sarcophagus, Allan, etc. plus some guest stars.

The ethnological part (in the style the Sceptre pages that advertise for Syldavia) is professionaly documented. It is originally written together in Batak and in French. The batak script is forgotten nowadays and this publication could be a starting point to bring it up to date and make the batak aware of the richness of their culture. Van Leffe doesn't seem to be a bbatak, but he had some batak informants for sure.

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