1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Bowdlerise / Comic Books

  • Tintin was bowdlerized a lot.
    • "Tintin in Africa" originally took place in the Belgian colony Congo. In the current album edition all references to Congo have been replaced to general references to "Africa".
      • In the same album Tintin hunts down a lot of animals. In one scene in the original book he kills a rhinoceros by drilling a hole in its back, then dropping a dynamite stick inside, whereupon the animal explodes. Scandinavian publishers thought this scene was too violent and asked Hergé to change it. In the modern version, which other countries also adapted, a rhinoceros passes by when Tintin is sleeping and accidentally fires off his gun, whereupon he runs away scared.
    • In "Tintin in America", Tintin hears a baby crying and thinks it's Snowy, his dog. In the original version the mother and her child were Afro-American. American publishers made Hergé change them into Caucasians.
    • Similarly, in "The Crab With the Golden Claws", Captain Haddock is beaten by a Caucasian man, while in the original album this man was black, again fulfilling a request of the American publishers.
      • When Haddock discovers beer bottles in "The Crab With the Golden Claws", he starts drinking them. In the original version the reader sees him drinking each bottle. At the request of the publishers, the drinking scenes themselves were removed. Now Haddock simply becomes drunk without the audience actually seeing him drink each bottle.
    • "The Shooting Star" was probably the most bowdlerized album in the entire series. Hergé drew this story while he lived under the Nazi occupation. An anti-Semitic gag with two rabbis enjoying the predicted destruction of Earth, because then they wouldn't have to pay back their debts, was removed. The villain in the story is an American banker who was originally called Blumenstein. After the war Hergé changed Blumenstein's country of origin into that of the fictional state Sao Rico and his name Blumenstein into "Bohlwinkel", because it sounded less Jewish. Unfortunately he later found out "Bohlwinkel" was also a very common Jewish name.
    • The Belvision animated version of Tintin attempted to bowdlerise Captain Haddock's drinking problem to sleeping drops in his coffee, and Alan's Opium running to diamond smuggling.
  • Older albums of Suske en Wiske have been bowdlerized as well, mostly to remove scenes, dialogues or jokes that refer too directly to post World War II news and society or Flemish culture in general.
  • The lead character of the French comic book Sillage is Nävis, a teenage girl who, as the only survivor of a wrecked starship, has grown up alone except for an animal companion on a jungle planet. Volume 1 of the original comic depicts her naked except for a pair of briefs, with white bars tattooed on her arms, legs, face and breasts. The U.S. edition is retitled Wake, renames the character Navee for the sake of pronunciation, and censors her nudity by painting her chest tattoo solid black.
  • Another French comic about a girl raised in the wild, Pyrénée, might never see publication in English because the kid is starkers.
  • Mocked in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2's supplementary material, where the last page contains a note from the "H.M. Office of Bowdlerisation" ordering readers to "detach and destroy all scenes of an unsavory nature".
  • When Disney Adventures ran a few chapters of Bone (which is itself a highly nonsensical decision), they gave it a nice heavy scrubbing. A couple of scenes were entirely removed, and all references to beer were changed to soda. Since this meant that Phoney Bone's Oh Crap! reaction when he realizes how royally he's screwed the pooch by threatening the musclebound bar owner over an economic misunderstanding had to be changed, too, they chose to give him some random-ass comment about being lactose intolerant, which doesn't make sense no matter how you butter it.
    • What makes this silly is that Disney itself never used to be averse to depicting the consumption of beer (or similar beverages) in its cartoons.
  • The Marvel Comics reprints of Fish Police removed most of the profanity.
  • A pair of issues of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye included with the Generations toys of Trailcutter and Hoist edit out references to guns, death and alcohol, a single "damn" said from Sunstreaker and the in-universe explanation about why Trailbreaker changed his name to Trailcutter (the last one because Hasbro can't use the Trailbreaker name anymore).
  • The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics produced years ago in Italy are often edited in reprints. Usual victims are: references to alcohol, mild profanities, references to death, references to smoke, references to eating meat and wearing animal furs and outdated grammar.
  • Here you find the original "Naturgeschichtliches Alphabet" of Wilhelm Busch, one of Germans very famous cartoonists. Look at item "Z" where you find your standard crooked-nosed Jew (Busch was your run-of-the-mill antisemite, to his only defense, he lived long before the other guy) and an rhymed assertion that Jews like onions (and zebras you find somewhere, somewhere not). Oy gevalt! James Krüss (reknowned German children book author) in a reprint changed the "Juden/jews" into "nicht jedes/not anybody's", ruining the metrum on the fly. note 
  • Archie Comics has censored reprints for being too violent, sexual, or too uncomfortable. For example, one issue of Betty and Veronica had the girls say that perfume "turned them on". The reprints replace the line with them saying it "drives them crazy".