The Moulinsart Crypt

in European Comic Art
Restricted access

This article focuses on the two Hergé albums which recount the story of Haddock's ancestor, the Chevalier de Hadoque. The author postulates that the narrative device of the search for a lost object also operates at the level of individual panels, offering the reader the fantasy of burrowing into their two-dimensional surface. He proceeds to do a reading of the 'crypt' sequences from these albums, attending to details which seem insignificant in terms of the plot, but which, he argues, amount to a series of key visual motifs. They may symbolise deeper narrative structures, such as the entry into dangerous and forbidden places, or offer a poetic evocation of the aspiration of a silent, static medium towards sound and movement. Above all, they set up a dense network of relationships which resonate through the albums for the greater pleasure of the readers who become attuned to their subtle harmonics.