Other than some cringe-worthy moments in Herge's handling of Native Americans, Tintin in America
is an entertaining and often funny read. I find it hilarious that Herge had not visited the U.S. before creating this story, so he chose to focus on popular movie themes--gangsters and the Wild West. Certainly in 1931, the U.S. wasn't much like Herge's version. Herge doesn't earn any points for realism. However, he does deserve credit for astute cultural analysis and meaningful social commentary.
My favorite scene is Tintin's accidental discovery of oil on a reservation. Men appear out of nowhere offering Tintin up to $100K for the rights to the oil. When Tintin tells them that Native Americans own the land, the men turn to the tribe's chief, offer him $25 for the oil rights, bring in the military to move the tribes off the land, build a bank, and establish a modern city on the land--all in one day! So true, unfortunately.
There's also the scene following Tintin's delivery of gangster kingpin Bobby Smiles to the police. Opportunists flock to Tintin and his dog Snowy, offering them radio, tv, and commercial opportunities aplenty. Tintin's even invited to profit from a new religion--the Brothers of Neo-judeo-buddho-islamo-american-ism. Is Herge panning American-style multiculturalism? Seems like it. We'll agree to disagree on that one.
So did I like Tintin in America
? Sort of. The garish colors are a bit tough on the eyes. The comedic timing is pretty solid. The narrow death-defying escapes get repetitive quickly. In the end, I'd say it's fair to middling.