Tintin, the plucky little reporter who spent more time investigating mysteries and running away from bad guys than doing any actual reporting, has made it to the small screen: Idboox reports that Moulinsart, the company that controls the rights to the works of Herge, Tintin’s creator, has released an iPad app that contains all 24 of the Tintin graphic novels. The app is free, and the graphic novels are reasonably priced at $5.99 each; the catch is that they are all in French, although the settings include English and Dutch options that are greyed out and marked “soon.”
So why bother? If you read French, it’s a great deal, but even if you don’t, the navigation is in English (at least if you buy it from a U.S. account, as I did) and there are a few cool extras—a gallery of photos of Herge and of the Tintin movie, with some captions in English and some in French, and wallpapers.
There’s a lot more to love if you read French, though. The app is beautifully designed with an almost-full-screen display of eac cover; touch “infos” and you get background information on the book plus a couple of sample pages. Herge’s clean-lined style (called “ligne claire”) and flat areas of bright color work particularly well on the iPad. The app also includes a bio of Herge and an article about the Tintin Museum, both in French.
According to idboox, there are plans to incorporate more features into the app, including audio in different languages.
The app also allows the user to view Tintin.com from within the app, rather than popping out to a browser. This site is available in a number of languages, although the only English books available are print editions. Hopefully this will change and soon and fans will be able to read Tintin in many languages.