Hergé’s proto-Tintin comics, which feature funny-animal haberdashers
in the Wild West. Hergé is known worldwide for his plucky, globetrotting, strikingly quiffed hero Tintin. But before the runaway success of this character, the struggling Belgian cartoonist created a number of shorter-lived and less well-known series and characters.
By far the loopiest were 1934’s Peppy and Virginny (“Popol” and “Virginie” in the original), a couple of haberdashers who journeyed to the Wild West in search of new clientele, accompanied by their trusty horse Bluebell— where they ran into savage Indian tribes, evil bandits, and much more. They experienced only one adventure, but it was a doozy!
The crisp, “clear line” drawing style of the earliest vintage Tintin albums combines with a freewheeling, farcical storyline and engaging funny-animal characters (the leads are bears, the Indians are rabbits with ears for feathers, and the main villain is a bulldog) and gorgeous Euro-album coloring to make this a genuine oddball classic of Franco-Belgian comics, and Fantagraphics is proud to present its first American release (and its first English-language release in two decades).
With the Spielberg/Jackson Tintin adaptations and a steady flow of new books about Tintin and his creator (such as last year’s Adventures of Hergé graphic-novel biography), work by Hergé remains in high demand and this book shows a fascinatingly idiosyncratic facet of his career. And it’s a rollicking, hilarious, kid-friendly (if you can give the non-PC 1930s “Injuns” a pass) read to boot. Full-color illustrations throughout.