Have you ever noticed that Tintin and the Picaros is kind of different from the rest of the Tintin books? I think it’s unique from the rest. Of course every Tintin book is unique, but this one is the most. Eight years passed after Flight 714 came out before Herge came out with Tintin and the Picaros. It’s my personal favorite book out of the whole series actually. I think it’s the funniest Tintin book. The only other book that came close to it’s funniness was The Calculus Affair. The beginning of that book is great! It had me laughing and laughing on how people kept on disappearing. There was so much confusion -- glass breaking, a thunderstorm, shooting, running around! It was the book where Jolyon Wagg was introduced to the series.
So anyway, back to Tintin and the Picaros. In it Tintin has changed a little. As soon as you start reading it the first thing you notice is that Tintin now owns a motorcycle. And his helmet has peace signs on it. There’s also a major change in his wardrobe: his pants. He actually has long jeans through out the whole book. In Tintin and Alfa-art he was also wearing the same pants as he did in Tintin and the Picaros. After wearing pants that stop past his knees for twenty-two albums he wears long ones for the last book. But that's fine by me -- I think it makes him look taller. But I don’t think that he’s actually taller for real in this book. It is a fact that since the early books he has gotten taller. Sometimes I read them and think “I can’t believe he was this short!”
Also we see that Tintin does yoga or something in the morning because Captain comes in and Tintin’s up against a wall balancing on his head. It didn’t really surprise me because in Tintin and the Broken Ear he does exercise with the radio as soon as he gets up. It seems like his morning routine.
On the other had Captain and Calculus don’t seem to be any different at all. Except for the fact that Captain seems to no longer like “Loch Lomond” whiskey any more. But that’s thanks to Professor Calculus’ invention. So Captain Haddock is his usual self until page ten. He gets so mad at General Tapioca that he decides to take Tintin and Calculus off to Tapiocapolis. For once Captain starts the adventure instead of Tintin. Normally he just wants peace and quiet and to stay in Marlinspike. So anyway, he tells Tintin that they’re going. Then the next shocker happens. Tintin says, “YOU may be going Captain... I’m staying right here!!” It’s because he thinks Tapioca’s invitation is a trap. So Tintin, who’s always up for an adventure, says no this time.
Then Tintin and Captain continue and have a fight. We all know that Captain yells a lot and even at his friends (like Tintin), but Tintin doesn’t do it. Well, this time he does yell at Captain.
Captain says, “What? What did you say?”
“I said I’m not going, Captain. You’re quite free to fall into the trap they’re trying to set for us, but as far as I’m concerned it’s NIET!” Tintin says.
Well, Captain’s as surprised about Tintin refusing as all of us. “Oh! You and your suspicions! They’re an obsession! According to you the world’s composed of nothing but scalawags and scoundrels!... Why shouldn’t General Tapioca be an honest sort of chap, eh?... Why?... Go on, tell me!”
“It’s always possible, but...” begins Tintin, “...I still think they’re trying to entice us over there... I don’t know the reason... but it positively reeks of trickery.” In this fight Tintin still keeps his cool a lot better that Captain.
Captain yells, “All right, stay here, Mister Mule! Stay tucked up, all safe and warm in your bedroom slippers! Cuthbert and I are going out there to defend our honor, an yours too, against that thundering herd of Zapotecs! Finish!” And that he does. Ten pages later you start to wonder, “Why is Tintin not in this book anymore?” By page twenty-one he shows up feeling bad that he hadn’t gone with Captain and Cuthbert.
Later one page thirty-one we finally find out the Captain’s first name. Tintin reveals that it’s Archibald. Well, if I had that name I’d rather be called Captain too!
On page thirty-four Tintin is actually happy to drink whiskey and he never usually drinks. Actually it was because the Indian’s food was so spicy (see Calculus burning up because of it in the picture on the right?). He ends up spitting it out because now Calculus was testing his invention on Tintin too. I remember how once in The Black Island Tintin went into a bar, ordered a beer and drank some of it. (It's unknown if he finished it or not. But when you order something that's the idea, right?) I thought it was so unlike him. But even more unusual was when Tintin got completely drunk in The Broken Ear! He was going to get executed so had some drinks and by the time he was going to get shot he was totally tipsy. That sure took me by surprise!
Later on page forty-two of Tintin and the Picaros Captain has his second fight with a friend. He fought with his second closest friend which is Cuthbert of course. This fight was more serious that the one between Captain and Tintin. Cuthbert finally had revealed to him that he had gave Captain is invention (tablets) with out him knowing, and that's why he hadn’t liked the taste of whiskey since. Captain got really mad at him for doing that and in response Cuthbert got really mad right back! As they were yelling in each other’s faces Tintin had to jump literally in between them to break up the fight before they started hitting each other! But this wasn’t the first fight between the two of them (we all remember how mad Calculus got over the whole “being called a goat” thing). Afterward Cuthbert even yelled at Tintin too!
I consider the whole Tintin and the Picaros book to be a lot like a reunion of a lot of the Tintin book characters.
All the main characters were in it: Tintin, Snowy, Captain, Calculus and the Thompsons.
Nestor was in it of course (he's like a main character isn’t he?)
They met Christopher and Marco again from “Paris-Flash”.
I don’t know if General Tapioca has been in a Tintin book before this one, but he’s been mentioned before this.
Cutts the butcher made a brief appearance.
Irma her maid
Wagner her accompanist
Colonel Esponja from King Ottokar’s Sceptre was one of the villains in here.
General Alcazar was in this book mucho.
Ridgewell, Tintin’s old friend
The Arumbaya tribe
Jolyon Wagg showed up in the middle of the jungle.
But I still think THE reunion book is The Red Sea Sharks.
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