Books & Tin Tin at 313 Somerset: Harris & HMV

I was excited when I spotted the Tin Tin Comics section at Harris Bookstore. The soft cover ones cost about S$14 each, and S$13 if you have one of those discount cards. But be warned. Tin Tin written 70 years ago, as expected, is extremely politically incorrect and I find quite blatantly racist. I was very uncomfortable about how they talked about ‘mad people’ in relation to mental illness, in reference to The Blue Lotus. It also was blatantly racist against the Japanese and I felt uncomfortable at how Asians were depicted as servile. I think the racism is even worse in the one about the Congo which is now in a legal battle to be banned. But that’s what makes old books fascinating – they tell us how far we’ve come since then and the raw reality of those difficult times, the time of Imperialism and World War II. I also found them surprisingly quite violent with guns and knives, but then again Tom & Jerry cartoons were super violent. As a child I saw these in my primary school library, but I found them a bit too hard to understand and not very appealing. The boys in my class lapped them up. Most of the characters in one of the comics I read, are male. I must say, Snowy, the wire haired fox terrier, is the most appealing.

photo by bookjunkie

I also spotted an excellent series of manga by a Singaporean writer. It was lovely to see parts of Singapore in illustrated in comic form.

Right next to Harris is HMV. There’s a book section at the HMV and the prices are pretty good if you get two. I miss Tower Records which used to be in Singapore and they had a whole book store as well. They closed back in 2006 after 13 years here. Now Borders bites the dust.

photo by bookjunkie

Thought the T Shirt Chart was a nice addition.

photo by bookjunkie

Tin Tin DVDs.

photo by bookjunkie

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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10 Responses to Books & Tin Tin at 313 Somerset: Harris & HMV

  1. Laura says:

    Likewise I’ve never read Tin Tin though plenty of other things when I was younger that I’m sure if I read now would surprise me in their attitudes.

    When I was at the cinema recently they were advertising a Tin Tin film due for release soon, perhaps this will also come out in Singapore.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I heard some reports that the movie release might be stalled due to a legal case in the courts against the racism.

      I loved Enid Blyton as a kid, which is now considered to have racist elements as well.

      • whatsaysyou says:

        Yes, I do have an old copy of Enid Blyton’s The Three Golliwogs (which actually belongs to my mother who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s) but sadly, you won’t find that copy anymore. Instead, you only find “The Three Pixies” (or is it “The Three Brownies”?)

        • bookjunkie says:

          I probably read that book as well and I never knew at the time that Golliwogs were based on people. They always came across to me as wise in the Amelia Jane series.

  2. Laura says:

    Ah I had not heard that, interesting.

    I loved Enid Blyton too in fact I still have some old hardback copies of her books that belonged to my Mum when she was a child. I couldn’t ever get rid of those.

  3. whatsaysyou says:

    I grew up reading Tintin and I still find Tintin cool. The same goes with Asterix (a famous French cartoon comic character)

  4. Anthony says:

    What is the wonderful local manga?

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