The Blue Lotus - The Adventures of Tintin (1936)

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Images retrieved from: on April 11th, 2015. on April 11th, 2015.

The Blue Lotus (French: Le Lotus bleu), first published in 1936, is one of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums written and illustrated by Hergé featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. It is a sequel to Cigars of the Pharaoh, with Tintin continuing his struggle against a major gang of drug smugglers. The story also highlights the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. The Blue Lotus is a pivotal work in Hergé's career, moving away from the stereotype and loosely connected stories and marking a new found commitment to geographical and cultural accuracy. The book is also amongst the most highly regarded of the entire Tintin series, and was the 18th greatest book on Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century list.

The title, Blue Lotus, refers to the name of an opium den, itself a reference to the blue lotus.

Text retrieved from on July 14th, 2012.

At a very early age we have been exposed to one of the most influential images of drug use in our culture. Reading as children the comic book The Blue Lotus, we see Tintin lying in an opium den in Shanghai (named The Blue Lotus) and pretending to smoke an opium pipe. To children the book is of course only a gripping and exotic adventure story. Opium dens have disappeared from our cities. But the image lasts, permanently fixing associations of passivity, otherness, and harmfulness with the smoking of opium.

The Blue Lotus shows that drugs are tools used by sinister dealers and foreign powers in their attempts to enslave free people. An image in a comic book that is so powerful that children and adults continue to read it up until the present day. In 1999 the readers of the French newspaper Le Monde elected The Blue Lotus the eighteenth best book of the twentieth century.

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