Tintin and The Broken Ear

Backstory Key Characters

First edition album (Belgium) published in 1937.

After visiting Russia, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East, Tintin sets off for South America. A mysterious statue — created by the fierce South American Arumbaya tribe — has disappeared, and Tintin is not the only one looking for it. Much of the narrative plays out in San Theodoros, a banana republic constantly changing hands between corrupt dictator General Tapioca and his archrival, General Alcazar. Teeming with conspiracies and bomb plots, The Broken Ear takes Tintin on a tropical adventure, and leads him to hidden native civilizations, thieving criminals and long-lost explorers!

The madcap adventure takes Tintin deep within the tropical jungle, where he narrowly avoids a dangerous snake and nearly has his head shrunk by tribal warriors. When he falls victim to a setup and is arrested as a terrorist, he is condemned to death by firing squad! However, there is a revolution on the horizon. Could it be his ticket to freedom?

Tintin and the Broken Ear

Backstory

The Broken Ear is inspired by a number of news items of the early 1930s. The idol the team is after is based on one brought back from Peru by Belgian archaeologist Henry Lavachery in 1935. The conflict in San Theodoros is based on the Gran Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay. As for all key characters looking to get rich off the oil fields and the sale of weapons — there were numerous stories of corruption coming out of these war-torn regions at the time, many of which informed Hergé’s storytelling.

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Tintin and the Broken Ear


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