HERGÉ (author and illustrator). The Black Island. London; Methuen & Co. Ltd. 1966.
Small folio. Original scarlet cloth-backed pictorial boards, blue pictorial endpapers; pp. [ii] + 62; strikingly illustrated throughout in block colours in strip-cartoon format; an uncommonly fresh copy with light rubbing to joints; internally fine and uninscribed.
First UK edition; priced 9s 6d to lower cover; first issued in serial form in Le Petit Vingtième in 1937.
A detective thriller in which Tintin is dispatched to Britain and pitted against a gang of currency forgers led by a German fifth columnist, and threatened by a "monster". Characteristically Herge drew on contemporary events as inspiration. With advances in printing techniques bank note forgery had become a standard crime by the mid-1930s and one that the Nazis were later to exploit in an unrealised attempt to ruin the British economy. Another influence in the staging of the drama here was contemporary cinema, specifically Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 adaptation of John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps. To explain another strand of the plot, speculation surrounding the possible existence of a monster in Loch Ness intensified in the '30s with the revelation of the first photograph and section of film purporting to corroborate claims made by local business owners.