Tintin Takes off to the Moon

21 Oct 2010

Dafydd Jones’ passion for all things Tintin has finally come full circle as his latest adaptation of the young detective’s adventures is published.

Explorers on the Moon  was the first ever Tintin book that Dafydd bought as a young child.

Decades later, along with  Destination Moon, he’s adapted Belgian author Hergé’s masterpieces into Welsh so that the people of Wales can enjoy Tintin’s adventures as the first person to walk on the moon.

Destination Moon, translated as  Llwybr i’r Lleuad  follows Tintin, his faithful dog Milyn and Capten Hadog as they answer Athro Ephraim R. Efflwfia’s call to travel to Canolfan Ymchwil Atomig Sprodzj in Syldafia. There, Ephraim is busy preparing for the first ever moon expedition – 15 years before Neil Armstrong managed such a feat – and invites Tintin and his friends along on his pioneering adventure. In the second book,  Explorers on the Moon, translated as  Ar Leuad Lawr , the crew have made it safely to the moon, but with treachery awaiting in the lunar shadows, will this be Tintin’s final adventure?

"I started reading Tintin books around 1974 when I bought a copy of Explorers on the Moon. When I was a young lad I would read the books in English with gusto, and as I got older I would also read some of them in French before a handful of them were translated into Welsh in the late 70s, early 80s. But after that none were available in Welsh until myself and publishers Dalen recently started adapting some of the books," says Dafydd who’s now adapted six Tintin books with Dalen.

Originally from Bridgend, Dafydd Jones now lives in Cardiff where he works as a lecturer at Cardiff School of Art and editor with the University Press. Having read comic books all his life, Dafydd along with his brother, Alun Ceri Jones who owns publishing company Dalen, has adapted a number of comic books into Welsh including Lucky Luke and Tintin.

Tintin’s adventures are renowned around the world having been translated into nearly 100 different languages. But as you follow Tintin on his quests in Welsh, you’ll soon realise that Dafydd Jones has given the adventures a distinctively Welsh twist as you meet Parry-Williams and Williams Parry and hear mentions of places such as Caernarfon, Porthcawl and Pwllheli.

The red-headed young detective will soon be attracting more followers as Hollywood prepares to make a film about his adventures. But as the world catches up with enthusiasm for comics, Europe has been embracing the style of literature for years.

"Comic strips are a genre in Europe, and a much loved form that has been a part of the French media for decades. On the continent, they don’t catergorize comic strips in the same way as we do here. They are regarded as stories for adult as well as children – they are meant to be enjoyed for what they are by all," says Dafydd.

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