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The 24th and final Tintin adventure, unfinished due to an unfortunate case of Author Existence Failure.
An art craze sweeps over Europe - everyone is suddenly obsessed with Alph-Art, or statues of letters. Even the Captain buys an H, but Tintin remains skeptical of the movement. He looks into Alph-Art's origins, and finds his usual mess of crooks and swindlers (including Sakharine, Mr. Gibbons, Mr. Trickler, and Emir Ben Kalish Ezab) using Alph-Art as a cover for forgeries. However, he is eventually caught, and Herge's last panel shows Tintin being marched away, to be covered with plastacine and sold off as a statue.
- Arab Oil Sheikh: Emir Ben Kalish Ezab uses his oil profits to negotiate the purchase of Windsor Castle and Centre Georges Pompidou, respectively landmarks of the United Kingdom and France.
- Author Existence Failure: Hergé died partway through his work on Tintin and Alph-Art; the unfinished draft has been published as part of the regular series of Tintin albums.
- Continuation Fic: The Quebecois artist Rodier, decided to illustrate the rest of the story. While half the story is original material, he emulates Hergé's style quite well. Because Hergé did not wish anyone else to work on Tintin, Rodier's Alph-Art remains in the realm of non-canon fanfic.
- Creator Breakdown: Hergé wrote Tintin in Tibet largely as a sort of therapy, to resolve the emotional issues he had following his divorce and the distressing dreams he'd been having that involved vast white landscapes. It is widely considered to be his masterpiece. However, it caused Hergé to undergo another Creator Breakdown -- after the book was released, he decided that there was no way he would ever write such a good Tintin story again, and effectively gave up trying to do so. The remaining three Tintin stories were released at a far slower rate than the previous ones, and took the form of experimental character pieces which tended to mock the characters Hergé had been writing over the previous decades. Tintin and Alph-Art might have seen a return to the more traditional storyline, but we'll never know since Hergé sadly suffered Author Existence Failure with the story only half-finished.
- Drink Order: Captain Haddock usually goes for Loch Lomond whiskey. In this story, Haddock can no longer drink due to the lingering effects of a pill used on him by Calculus. The withdrawal is causing him various problems and a change in lifestyle.
- Left Hanging: The story ends with Tintin captured by a mysterious enemy. He is scheduled to be killed ... and there is no resolution.
- Mad Artist: The story would have had Tintin encountering the modern art scene and becoming the focal point of one of these.
- Nightmare Sequence: Haddock has a nightmare involving Bianca Castafiore. At first it simply involves Bianca forcing him to drink 'his medicine". Said medicine is whisky, which Haddock can no longer drink without ill effects. He tries to resist and Bianca turns into a giant bird-like creature. She attacks him and the dreaming sequence ends.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Herge wanted Tintin to deal with the modern art business. The Alph-Art mentioned is a new style which depicts nothing but big letters. And Captain Haddock was even supposed to become a fan of it, though he's as clueless about the style as anyone.