Tintin in Thailand
is a parody of the The Adventures of Tintin
books by Hergé
, released in 1999. It is written and designed to emulate a volume of the Tintin books, but is the author's own story. It was deemed to have violated copyright laws and thus its publication is illegal.
Tintin in Thailand
emulates the style and format of the original Tintin books, with some key differences. With the exception of the cover, the entire volume is in black and white. The characters are imitations of the originals, and are presented as acting out of character
, such as by using profane language
. Bud E. Weyser (a parody on the beer, Budweiser
) is listed as the author, and there is a one page foreword in French
Copies were printed in Thailand to be distributed in Belgium, where Tintin in Thailand was thought to have been in circulation since December 1999. Thousands of copies in both French and English were also distributed in Thailand. The quality of the Thai copies was later found to supersede that of the Belgian copies.
The plot opens on a rainy and cold Marlinspike Hall
; the occupants, Tintin
and Captain Haddock
are miserable and poor because there are no new Tintin adventures sending them to adventures in the sun any more since the death of their creator Hergé. (This is the first of many self-references
the plot makes.) As they consider their plight, Jolyon Wagg
's wife arrives and ask them to go to Thailand
to look for her husband who went there on a trip he won from his employer, the "Rock Bottom" insurance company, but never came back. The wife has already sent Thomson and Thompson
there to look for Jolyon but without any results. As it is an all expense paid trip, the group eagerly accept and are soon off to Thailand. Nestor, Snowy
and the cat are left behind, but Professor Calculus
comes along too.
As the group checks in to their Bangkok hotel they are spotted by Derek Dimwit, a representative of the "Marlinsprick [sic] Company" that holds the rights to the Tintin franchise. He calls head office and is told that he must stop the group from going on any more adventures that would be the basis of a pirated book not controlled by the Marlinsprick Company.
The group head out to the red light district where they run into General Alcazar, now the owner of a Thailand bar after being deposed General Tapioca. Alcazar has seen Jolyon Wagg pass through the bar, but he has gone north to Chiang Mai with a kathoey (transexual). Calculus and Haddock both hook up with prostitutes in the bar but Tintin prefers the company of a young man instead.
The next day the group takes a flight north and soon run into Thomson and Thompson. The Thompson twins do not want the group to find Wagg as they enjoy being in Thailand at Wagg's wife's expense. However, the group picks up the trail to Jolyon Wagg who is living in a house outside Chiang Mai and finds that he doesn't enjoy the company of his kathoey partner. Jolyon longs for his wife's cooking, in particular her rabbit marinated in beer. After a series of misadventures the group finds itself back in Chiang Mai in time for the celebration of the new year of 2000. The story ends with Tintin being presented with the first copy of "Tintin in Thailand", and he exclaims that this work will guarantee him many peaceful days in the sun.
In February 2001, the Hergé Foundation
heard about Bud E. Weyser's attempts to market Tintin in Thailand
as an unknown Tintin book for sale to distributors in Belgium. The Belgian police organized a sting operation, with an officer pretending to be a prospective buyer, and two arrests were made in Tournai
. They then arrested the designer in Antwerp
. The three confessed to producing more than 1,000 copies for sale in Belgium, and 650 copies were seized. All three suspects were subsequently released.
As of July 2007, copies of Tintin in Thailand could still be found in Bangkok. The Hergé Foundation has continued to take quick action to have copies that are posted online removed.
Notes and references