Thomson and Thompson

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Thomson and Thompson
Tintin - Thomson & Thompson.png
Thompson (left) and Thomson (right), from Cigars of the Pharaoh , by Hergé. Note the difference between their moustaches.
Publication information
Publisher Casterman (Belgium)
First appearance "Tintin in the Congo" (1936) as minor characters, Cigars of the Pharaoh (1934)
The Adventures of Tintin
Created by Hergé
In-story information
Full nameThomson and Thompson
Partnerships List of main characters
Supporting character of Tintin

Thomson and Thompson (French : Dupond et Dupont [dy.pɔ̃] ) [1] are fictional characters in The Adventures of Tintin , the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. They are two incompetent detectives who provide much of the comic relief throughout the series. While their different (albeit similar) surnames would suggest they are unrelated, they look like identical twins whose only discernible difference is the shape of their moustaches. [2] They are afflicted with chronic spoonerisms, are extremely clumsy, thoroughly clueless, and usually intent on arresting the wrong character. In spite of this, they somehow are entrusted with delicate missions.

Contents

The detective with the flat, drooping walrus moustache is Thompson and introduces himself as "Thompson, with a 'P', as in psychology" (or "Philadelphia", or any such word in which the "P" is not pronounced as "P"), while the detective with the flared, pointed moustache is Thomson, who often introduces himself as "Thomson, without a 'P', as in Venezuela."

Often, when one says something, the other adds "To be precise", but then repeats what the first said, only twisted around. This trait has gained popularity. [3]

Thomson and Thompson usually wear bowler hats and carry walking sticks, except when abroad: during these missions they insist on wearing the stereotypical costume of the country they are visiting so that they blend into the local population, but instead manage to dress in folkloric attire that actually makes them stand apart.

The detectives were in part based on Hergé's father and uncle, identical twins who wore matching bowler hats while carrying matching walking sticks. [4]

Character history

Thomson and Thompson first appeared in Tintin in the Congo, making only a brief one-panel appearance; their first appearance towards the plot of a story was in 1932, in Cigars of the Pharaoh , when they come into conflict with Tintin on board a ship where he and Snowy are enjoying a holiday cruise. When this adventure was first published they were referred to as X33 and X33bis (or X33 and X33b). [2] [4] Here they show an unusually high level of cunning and efficiency, going to great lengths to rescue Tintin from the firing squad and saving Snowy from sacrifice in disguises that fool even Tintin. In this and two other early stories — The Blue Lotus and The Black Island — they spend most of their time, forced to follow official orders and faked evidence, in pursuit of Tintin himself for crimes he has not committed, the two noting in Blue Lotus that they never believed in Tintin's guilt even if they had to obey their orders. Except for their codenames, they remained nameless in the early adventures. It was not until King Ottokar's Sceptre , published in 1938, that Tintin mentions their definitive names when introducing them to Professor Alembick at the airport.

In his 1941 play Tintin in India: The Mystery of the Blue Diamond co-written with Jacques Van Melkebeke, Hergé named them as "Durant and Durand", although he later renamed them as "Dupont and Dupond". [5] When King Ottokar's Sceptre was serialised in Eagle for British readers in 1951, the characters were referred to as "Thomson and Thompson"; these names were later adopted by translators Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner in their translation of the series into English for Methuen Publishing. [6]

While the original version of Cigars of the Pharaoh was published in 1932, the rewritten and redrawn version was issued in 1955, and the English version was not issued until 1971. This resulted in some chronological confusion for new readers of the Tintin series, which is why the text hints that Tintin already knows the pair, and is surprised at their unfriendly behaviour; however, on the original chronological sequence, this is indeed the first time they ever meet. In addition, Hergé added them to the 1946 colour version of the second Tintin story, Tintin in the Congo , in the backdrop as Tintin embarks for what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [7]

Thomson and Thompson were originally only side characters but later became more important. In the re-drawings of the earlier books, especially The Black Island, the detectives gained their now-traditional mannerisms.

In Land of Black Gold , the detectives mistakenly swallow some mysterious pills used to adulterate fuel, that causes them to sprout immensely long beards and hair that change colour constantly and grow at a break-neck pace. The condition wears off by the end of this adventure, but it relapses in Explorers on the Moon , causing problems when Captain Haddock must continuously cut their hair, repeatedly switching back to re-cut floor length hair (and mustaches and beards) which all grow back in seconds. Frustrated at this, the captain exclaims "After all this, when they ask me what did I do on the spaceship, I'll reply 'Me, you say? I was the barber!'"

In the 19 books following Cigars of the Pharaoh, Thomson and Thompson appear in 17 of them, not appearing in Tintin in Tibet or Flight 714 to Sydney . In some of these books their role is minor — the duo's appearance in The Shooting Star is confined to two panels; they appear briefly only at the beginning of The Broken Ear (before being tricked into closing the case in the belief that the stolen object has been returned when it was actually replaced by a fake); and are imprisoned and face execution on false charges in Tintin and the Picaros . During their other appearances, they serve as the official investigators into whatever crimes Tintin is currently investigating.

Inspiration and cultural impact

The detectives were in part based on Hergé's father Alexis and uncle Léon, identical twins who often took walks together wearing matching bowler hats while carrying matching walking sticks. [4] Another inspiration was a picture of two mustachioed, bowler-hatted, formally dressed detectives who were featured on the cover of the Le Miroir edition of 2 March 1919. They were shown escorting a criminal—one detective was handcuffed to the man while the other was holding both umbrellas. [8]

They also make a brief appearance in the Asterix book Asterix in Belgium .

They make an appearance in L'ombra che sfidò Sherlock Holmes, an Italian comic spin-off of Martin Mystère , edited by Sergio Bonelli Editore. [9] [10]

The name of the pop group the Thompson Twins was based on Thomson and Thompson.

The detectives are regular characters in the 1991–1992 television series The Adventures of Tintin (TV series) . [11] as well as the motion-capture film adaptation, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn . In the film, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost portray Thomson and Thompson. [12]

Names in other languages

In the original French, Dupond and Dupont are stereotypically prevalent surnames (akin to "Smith") and pronounced identically (IPA:  [dypɔ̃] ). The different letters indicate their different moustache styles: D for droite ("straight"), T for troussée ("turned up"). Translators of the series have tried to find in each language names for the pair that are common, and similar or identical in pronunciation. They thus become:

In some languages, the French forms are more directly adapted, using local orthographic ambiguities:

The original Dupond and Dupont are kept in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Turkish, Finnish, Italian, Basque, Catalan, the Casterman edition in Spanish, and the newer Portuguese editions.

See also

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Hergé Belgian comics writer

Georges Prosper Remi, known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian cartoonist. He is best known for creating The Adventures of Tintin, the series of comic albums which are considered one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. He was also responsible for two other well-known series, Quick & Flupke (1930–1940) and The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko (1936–1957). His works were executed in his distinct ligne claire drawing style.

<i>Cigars of the Pharaoh</i> comic book album

Cigars of the Pharaoh is the fourth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the series of comic albums by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Commissioned by the conservative Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siècle for its children's supplement Le Petit Vingtième, it was serialised weekly from December 1932 to February 1934. The story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy, who are travelling in Egypt when they discover a pharaoh's tomb filled with dead Egyptologists and boxes of cigars. Pursuing the mystery of these cigars, they travel across Arabia and India, and reveal the secrets of an international drug smuggling enterprise.

<i>King Ottokars Sceptre</i> comic book album

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<i>The Blue Lotus</i> comic book album

The Blue Lotus is the fifth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Commissioned by the conservative Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle for its children's supplement Le Petit Vingtième, it was serialised weekly from August 1934 to October 1935 before being published in a collected volume by Casterman in 1936. Continuing where the plot of the previous story, Cigars of the Pharaoh, left off, the story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy, who are invited to China in the midst of the 1931 Japanese invasion, where he reveals the machinations of Japanese spies and uncovers a drug-smuggling ring.

<i>Tintin in America</i> comic book album

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<i>The Castafiore Emerald</i> comic book album

The Castafiore Emerald is the twenty-first volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It was serialised weekly from July 1961 to September 1962 in Tintin magazine.

<i>The Crab with the Golden Claws</i> comic book album

The Crab with the Golden Claws is the ninth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was serialised weekly in Le Soir Jeunesse, the children's supplement to Le Soir, Belgium's leading francophone newspaper, from October 1940 to October 1941 amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. Partway through serialisation, Le Soir Jeunesse was cancelled and the story began to be serialised daily in the pages of Le Soir. The story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy, who travel to Morocco to pursue a gang of international opium smugglers.

<i>The Shooting Star</i> Tintin comics album

The Shooting Star is the tenth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was serialised daily in Le Soir, Belgium's leading francophone newspaper, from October 1941 to May 1942 amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. The story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin, who travels with his dog Snowy and friend Captain Haddock aboard a scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean on an international race to find a meteorite that has fallen to the Earth.

<i>Tintin in Tibet</i> comic Belgian cartoonist Hergé

Tintin in Tibet is the twentieth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It was serialised weekly from September 1958 to November 1959 in Tintin magazine and published as a book in 1960. Hergé considered it his favourite Tintin adventure and an emotional effort, as he created it while suffering from traumatic nightmares and a personal conflict while deciding to leave his wife of three decades for a younger woman. The story tells of the young reporter Tintin in search of his friend Chang Chong-Chen, who the authorities claim has died in a plane crash in the Himalayas. Convinced that Chang has survived and accompanied only by Snowy, Captain Haddock and the Sherpa guide Tharkey, Tintin crosses the Himalayas to the plateau of Tibet, along the way encountering the mysterious Yeti.

<i>The Black Island</i> comic book album

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<i>The Secret of the Unicorn</i> comic book album

The Secret of the Unicorn is the eleventh volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was serialised daily in Le Soir, Belgium's leading francophone newspaper, from June 1942 to January 1943 amidst the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. The story revolves around young reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, and his friend Captain Haddock, who discover a riddle left by Haddock's ancestor, the 17th century Sir Francis Haddock, which could lead them to the hidden treasure of the pirate Red Rackham. To unravel the riddle, Tintin and Haddock must obtain three identical models of Sir Francis's ship, the Unicorn, but they discover that criminals are also after these model ships and are willing to kill in order to obtain them.

<i>Red Rackhams Treasure</i> comic book album

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<i>Land of Black Gold</i> comic book album

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Tintin (character) fictional character by Belgian cartoonist Hergé

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Tintin in India or The Mystery of the Blue Diamond, is a 1941 Belgian theatre piece in three acts written by Hergé and Jacques Van Melkebeke. It features Hergé's famous character, Tintin, and covers much of the second half of Cigars of the Pharaoh as Tintin attempts to rescue a stolen blue diamond. The events of the story occur within the chronology of Tintin stories, between The Crab with the Golden Claws and The Shooting Star.

Rastapopoulos character from Tintin comics

Rastapopoulos is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He first appears in the album Cigars of the Pharaoh (1934) and is a criminal mastermind with multiple identities and activities.

Mr. Boullock's Disappearance is a 1941 Belgian theatre piece in three acts written by Hergé and Jacques Van Melkebeke. It features Hergé's famous character, Tintin. The events of the story occur without the chronology of Tintin stories.

References

  1. Peeters 2012, p. 341, "Character Names in French and English".
  2. 1 2 "The Thomsons". tintin.com. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. Apostolidès, Jean-Marie (2010). The Metamorphoses of Tintin, Or, Tintin for Adults. Stanford University Press. p. 62. ISBN   978-0-8047-6030-0. When Thomson tacks on his famous "to be precise", most of the time he doesn't add anything but simply repeats what the other just said.
  4. 1 2 3 Assouline, Pierre (4 November 2009). Hergé: The Man Who Created Tintin. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN   9780195397598 . Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  5. Thompson 1991, p. 52; Lofficier & Lofficier 2002, p. 31; Assouline 2009, p. 42; Peeters 2012, p. 65.
  6. Thompson 1991, p. 86.
  7. Farr 2001, p. 21.
  8. Michael Farr, Tintin: The Complete Companion, John Murray, 2001.
  9. L'ombra che sfidò Sherlock Holmes, Storie da Altrove, Sergio Bonelli Editore, November 2000, p. 55
  10. "L'Ombra che sfidò Sherlock Holmes" . Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2011/oct/18/how-could-do-this-tintin
  12. Stephen Armstrong (21 September 2008). "Simon Pegg: He's Mr Popular". The Sunday Times. UK. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  13. Tintín, el reportero más famoso del cómic, vive también sus aventuras en aragonés. Heraldo de Aragón. 4 April 2019
  14. "The Adventures of Tintin: Now in Hindi". Pratham Books. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  15. Characters & Places|The Derk Isle retrieved 9 September 2013
  16. ▒ 지성의 전당 도서출판 솔입니다 ▒ Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine

Bibliography