Tintin and Snowy listen to Antoinette
But what is this mysterious title, unknown to all Tintinophiles, even the most knowledgeable of applied Tintinology?
Could it be an unpublished episode that has remained in a forgotten drawer for many years? Could it be that Hergé had kept a draft of an adventure in his back pocket, which gave pride of place to the demands feminist movements of the 1960s? Absolutely not...
In terms of scoop, it's a failure.
In reality, Antoinette, a first name derived from the Latin Antonius, meaning "priceless", was in this case, the name of a Philips portable radio model, marketed between 1969 and 1971. Registered under number 22 RL798, the Antoinette Transworld de Luxe was, at the time, one of the most technologically advanced portable radios on the market. But sophistication comes at a price, so it's not surprising that this jewel was given a name synonymous with luxury and prestige.
To introduce the contents of Tintin Sélection No. 3 for 1969, Hergé, ever attentive to the times, offered readers of this pocket-sized quarterly a drawing never before published in a book. Tintin and Snowy bend their ears. They listen with interest to the news broadcast by "Antoinette": the programme includes gags, thrilling stories and not-to-be-missed articles, all featuring Tintin magazine's leading figures: Michel Vaillant, Ric Hochet, Bernard Prince, Dan Cooper, Cubitus...
Tintin Sélection, later renamed Tintin Pocket Sélection, was a hit with readers from 1968 to 1978. The aim of the publication's publishers, Lombard in Belgium and Dargaud in France, was to build a loyal readership for the weekly magazine featuring the young reporter, while hoping to attract a new audience.
The drawing of our heroes and this top-of-the-range transistor had been used last June by tintin.com to illustrate two legal podcasts (recorded in French only), one devoted to copyright, and the other on parody. We were looking for its origin. Now we've done it!