Hergé and Casterman are not yet ready to color all the pages. The four or five full-page off-text drawings may be a support to introduce the color inside the albums without disturbing the reader because they are essentially evocations of ambience independently of the course of the action.
In 1936 these off-text are still in black and white. The original art of a Shanghai view with Tintin and Milou (Snowy) moving in a rickshaw was sold for HK $ 9.3M including premium by Artcurial on October 5, 2015.
Tintin en Amérique is at that date the top success in the Tintin albums. Casterman requests Hergé to produce off-text in color for preparing a new edition. The applied technique is new for Hergé. Unlike the original art of the first five covers that were made in direct gouache, Hergé prepares the drawing in Indian ink followed by a tracing paper on which he defines the coloring.
The black and white art and the tracing paper of the first full page drawing of the 1937 edition of Tintin en Amérique were kept together and are sold in a single lot by Artcurial in Paris on April 8, lot 90 estimated € 600K.
As in Shanghai one year before, it is a picture of atmosphere. The street in Chicago is lined with endless skyscrapers and Tintin defies the bandits from a taxi that clears its way in the traffic jams. Compared to the pages of the action drawn in 1931 and 1932, the graphic of the off-text is highly improved.
The modernization of Tintin en Amérique will be achieved in 1945 with a new full color version without off- text in the principles of the ligne claire, fortunately including the removal of many blunders from the original text.
SOLD for € 600K before fees