Orra Facts anent The Derk Isle

This Tintin adventure is called L’Île Noire in the original French, and translated as The Black Island in English. In Scots, the title is The Derk Isle, partly to avoid confusion with the Black Isle in Ross and Cromarty (which isn’t an island at all), and also because it sounds more sinister!

The title of the newspaper in the story, The Northan Luikin-Gless, is based on a real paper, The Northern Looking Glass, published in Glasgow in the nineteenth century. A satirical magazine, it used speech bubbles in illustrations and is said to be the world’s first modern comic.

The daring aerobatic pilot, Jamie Tytler, is named after the historical James Tytler, Scotland’s first hot-air balloonist. Tytler made his first flight in his Grand Fire Balloon in Edinburgh in August 1784.

The four police officers that assist Tintin – Murray, Craigie, Grant, and Jamieson – are named after four famous Scottish lexicographers: James Murray, William Craigie, William Grant, and John Jamieson.