In Le Sceptre d'Ottokar, Tintin is in the service of the King of Syldavie (in English: Ruritania) who is a barely veiled substitute for the King of Belgium. After an operation in another country that symbolizes the Balkan fascism, Tintin comes back to Syldavie by foolishly seizing a military plane. Hergé keeps the logic by leaving the Syldavian anti-aircraft defense shooting down the enemy plane piloted by his hero when it crosses the border.
Published in Le Petit Vingtième on July 6, 1939, the plates 95 and 96 of Le Sceptre d'Ottokar show that firing. The original drawing on a single sheet 40 x 60 cm is estimated € 600K for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on October 24, lot 94.
The aircraft piloted by Tintin is a Heinkel He 118 and clearly bears the mark of that company which equips the Luftwaffe with its most terrifying bombers. Through this illustration, Hergé had warned his young readers two months before the outbreak of the war that the fascisms are supported by the Third Reich.
The plane hit by a shell falls diving. These images echo the fact that the intended use by the Luftwaffe for that Heinkel model is the bombing through a diving to the target. Heinkel is a flagship of the Nazi technology.
These pages with three rows of images are in the earlier format of the Tintin albums. When Le Sceptre d'Ottokar is redrawn for its color edition in 1947, Heinkel is no longer a threat and the aircraft becomes a Messerschmitt fighter, a brand which is better known by the readers.
SOLD for € 1.56M including premium