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Herge: The Adventures of TinTin Calculus

Herge: The Adventures of TinTin Calculus

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About:   Herge: The Adventures of Tin Tin Calculus

The Calculus Affair (French: L'Affaire Tournesol) is the eighteenth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It was serialised weekly in Belgium's Tintin magazine from December 1954 to February 1956 before being published in a single volume by Casterman in 1956. The story follows the attempts of the young reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy, and his friend Captain Haddock to rescue their friend Professor Calculus, who has developed a machine capable of destroying objects with sound waves, from kidnapping attempts by the competing European countries of Borduria and Syldavia.

Like the previous volume, Explorers on the Moon, The Calculus Affair was created with the aid of Hergé's team of artists at Studios Hergé. The story reflected the Cold War tensions that Europe was experiencing during the 1950s, and introduced three recurring characters into the series: Jolyon Wagg, Cutts the Butcher, and Colonel Sponsz. Hergé continued The Adventures of Tintin with The Red Sea Sharks, and the series as a whole became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. The Calculus Affair was critically well-received, with various commentators having described it as one of the best Tintin adventures. The story was adapted for both the 1957 Belvision animated series Hergé's Adventures of Tintin, the 1991 Ellipse/Nelvana animated series The Adventures of Tintin, and the 1992–93 BBC Radio 5 dramatisation of the Adventures.

During a thunderstorm, glass and porcelain items at Marlinspike Hall shatter inexplicably. Insurance salesman Jolyon Wagg arrives at the house to take shelter, annoying Captain Haddock. Gunshots are heard in the Hall's grounds, and Tintin and Haddock discover a wounded man with a foreign accent who soon disappears. The next morning, Professor Calculus leaves for Geneva to attend a conference on nuclear physics. Tintin and Haddock use the opportunity to investigate Calculus' laboratory, there discovering that his experiments were responsible for the glass-shattering of the previous night. While exploring, they are attacked by a masked stranger, who then escapes.

While escaping, Snowy rips the stranger's coat only for a cigarette packet to fall off. On the packet, the name of "Hotel Cornavin, Geneva" where Calculus stays was written on it. Tintin feared that Calculus is in danger. Tintin, Haddock, and Snowy head for Geneva. In Geneva, they learn that Calculus has gone to Nyon to meet Professor Topolino, an expert in ultrasonics. The group travel there in a taxi, but their car is attacked by two men in another car, who force the taxi into Lake Geneva. Surviving the attack, Tintin, Haddock and Snowy continue to Nyon, where they find Topolino bound and gagged in his cellar. As Tintin questions the professor, the house blows up, but they all survive.
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