Wallez leaves Le Vingtième Siècle in 1933. Hergé continues Le Petit Vingtième. The popular success of Hergé's stories attracts the attention of the publisher Casterman and this new cooperation will greatly help Hergé to abandon the poorly architected and childish storytelling of the earlier Tintin albums.
Tintin leaves to the Orient in Cigars of the Pharaoh, and Le Petit Vingtième announces that this story will have an extension in China. Very concerned about the risk of anti-Chinese racism of the future album, the Chinese community of the Catholic University of Louvain challenges Hergé who suddenly understands that it is unfair to show foreigners through funny stereotypes without being previously documented on the reality.
Le Lotus Bleu appears in Le Petit Vingtième between August 1934 and October 1935. Under the influence of his new Chinese friends, Hergé manages to surround his turbulent story by an attractive and almost realistic atmosphere while expressing the Sino Japanese extreme tension of that time. The Japanese in turn are unhappy.
Casterman publishes Le Lotus Bleu as an album in 1936, with for the first time in Hergé's work five colored pictures in full page size. The original drawing of one of them in black ink and white gouache 30 x 23 cm is estimated € 1M, for sale on October 5 in Hong Kong by Artcurial in association with Spink, lot 1. This image is shown in the press release.
This drawing expresses the contemporary atmosphere of a street in Shanghai with the rickshaw, the military, the Chinese marks. Readers prefer action: of little added value for the story, this page will be discontinued at the first reissue of the album in 1939, unlike the other four full page insets that will be reused.