Swinging with Barelli, Anne Nannah and Bob De Moor in Clichy in 1981


In 1981 the city of Clichy (a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France) organised it’s 8th comic festival (from 12 til 14 June included). For the occasion Bob De Moor was a central guest together with Jean-Claude Fournier. Jean-Claude Fournier, known simply as Fournier, is a French cartoonist best known as the comic book artist who handled Spirou et Fantasio in the years 1969-1979.

Especially for the occasion De Moor made a special drawing featuring Barelli, Anne Nannah and himself. The drawing is one of those typically circle-sized De Moor drew over the years. In the drawing you can see Barelli and Anne Nannah dancing just like De Moor who is swinging on the music of whilst drawing the scene with the aforementioned characters.

Swinging with Barelli, Anne Nannah and Bob De Moor in Clichy in 1981

The music featured is clearly De Moor’s own jazz & blues music taste. And he has been dancing a lot looking at the state his shoes are in (plasters, parts falling off, nails coming out).

We found this drawing in the now defunct comic magazine Archéopteryx n°2 which featured a special for the festival which was hidden in the archives of the family De Moor.

Walt Disney influences in this 1946 illustration by Bob De Moor


In the easter 1946 edition of KZV aka Kleine Zondagsvriend, Bob De Moor illustrated a story called “De duivel uit den hollen boomstronk” (The devil from the hollow tree stump) in the ‘Professor Goudzoeker vertelt’ series. The illustration – a splendid one – was one of many Bob De Moor would make for KZV for all kind of standalone stories for which he only took care of the illustrations and not of the text itself.

We have been diving into our own archives to showcase you some of these illustrations. Today is the first one. It’s also the first time since 1946 that the illustration which we show you today sees the light of day again, and the very first time it’s being published on the internet too.

kzv-bob-de-moor-1946

The story itself is written in Dutch (albeit in a post-WW2 version with a slightly different spelling and a somewhat obsolete way of writing). The plot is the following: a soldier is asked to buy 2 horses in Turnhout (that’s near Antwerp). During his journey to Turnhout he gets robbed by an old man. After desperately trying to find the robber for hours and hours, he falls asleep inside a hollow tree stump, which gets axed by a band of bandits including the old robber. When the bandits fall out with each other, one of them calls for the devil. The soldier jumps out of the tree stump which is already set on fire after which he collects the money plus lots more which the bandits had stashed away.

The illustration Bob De Moor made (and signed as ‘Bob’) shows this last scene. You can clearly see that the way of drawing instantly reminds of the style used by Walt Disney (which you can also find back in the album “Le Mystère du vieux chateau fort” released in 1947 via Campéador). Several elements also can be traced back to Bob De Moor: the shoes, the way the floor is drawn, both elements which we find back in the series Hobbel & Sobbel and Bart De Scheepsjongen which De Moor was drawing during that same period. The vivid colouring is pretty astonishing and was one of the key ingredients of KZV back in those days.

The original drawing probably went lost as is the case with many of the drawings De Moor made during that time.

Janneke en Stanneke, a 1948 series by Bob De Moor never published in album format (except for one story)


In 1948 en 1949 a new Bob De Moor (under the Artec Studios flag) series saw a publication: ‘Janneke en Stanneke’.

It was the weekly comic strip publication ‘t Kapoentje which published the different stories. ‘Stories’ because many people think that there is only one Janneke en Stanneke story, namely the one which in the end got re-published for the very first time in album format by Ciso Stripgids (via Brabantia Nostra) in 1989.

It’s not all that weird that many people are unaware of the other stories, because if you don’t get published, you easily get forgotten, and that is exactly what happened here.

Janneke en Stanneke, a 1948 series by Bob De Moor never published in album format (except for one story)

The stories got published in a weekly only and got forgotten over time by most people. However, if you paid attention when reading the 1989 publication, you could have seen that the 60-strips long story actually is the follow-up story to another Janneke and Stanneke story. It starts with a text reminding readers what happened just before.

Today we present you the strips 37, 38, 39 and 40 of an unpublished untitled story (in album format that is). Note that none of the Janneke en Stanneke stories actually had a title, which doesn’t really make it easier to know what you are looking at. The duo finds themselves in the company of indians this time.

Don’t look too much for a story, because the series is actually a collection of gas with a loose story woven into it, the same with the story published in album format. Nevertheless, it’s part of De Moor’s heritage and a very good way to see how Bob De Moor‘s technique improved over time.

In the page published today you can see that De Moor is still a bit clumsy as far as the structure of the page, strips and cases is concerned. There clearly was no plan when creating the story or the page in particular. Not surprising, that year he would complete at least 17 stories… so there was no time for much story development let alone a lot of preparation. Things had to move on, and fast because the contracts for new stories kept on pouring in at the Artec Studios.

You can also see that De Moor struggles when it comes to putting people in a position which is not just walking or standing still. Look at case 1 and 2 for instance where he clearly is not at ease with the way he has drawn things. Also the use of a black shadow in the first 2 cases is not well-done (he would excel in it later on in his career through).

Nevertheless, these are stories which definitely deserve a re-publication. We wouldn’t be surprised that the fine people at Brabantstrip will ‘attack’ this in the next months or years (hint hint hint!).

The lost 2nd part of the ‘De witte maw-maw’ album cover


In March 1999 a black and white version of the Snoe and Snolleke album “De Witte Maw-Maw” saw the light of day.

It was a collaboration between 3 comic strip festivals and the Brussels based Enigma publishing house and it seems they had really big plans keeping the Bob De Moor fans busy for quite some time collecting all the different parts, because yes, they had split up the album in 2 parts.

The second part was to be released on the Comic Festival of Ganshoren later that year, on may 15th, to be followed by 3 parts compiling “De Spaa-motor”.

Below the copy we have (thanks to Alain Demaret for giving this!).

de-witte-maw-maw-enigma

‘Was’ because alas, nothing materialised except for this first part. Why? We’re not sure, but we have contacted some people to get some more info on this.

Nevertheless, we know this, Johan De moor had drawn a cover for the first part and – and this many people don’t know – he also completed the 2nd cover artwork, which in fact together with part 1 composed one single drawing. We have known this for a while, but it was only when we stumbled on this blog post by the Brussels based comic store Het B-Gevaar that we discovered the 2nd part too.

de-witte-maw-maw-deel-1-2

de-witte-maw-maw-fenixAs you will see the cover artwork for the Fenix album version published in 2005 by Brabantstrip is quite different too from this 1999 version by Johan De Moor. Especially Snoe and Snolleke have been redrawn for the later version and added into the first cover, which creates a better balance. At the same time Johan De Moor gave them a more Bob De Moor style.

We’ll update this story when we get extra information.

Johan De Moor pays tribute to Bob De Moor’s Balthazar for the upcoming Comic Strip Festival in Brussels (02-04/09)


From September 2 through September 4 you can visit the Brussels Comic Strip Festival in the Brussels park.

The festival has been celebrating comics of all kinds in Brussels since 2010, and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. Young or old, amateur or specialist, there is always something for everyone among the many activities on offer.

For the 2016 edition, the Brussels park will be hosting comic museums, dozens of publishing houses, exhibitions, book shops, comic sellers, conferences, workshops and hundreds of authors signings. The Brussels Comic Strip Festival also includes a night-time show at Brussels Park, the Balloon’s Day Parade, the Comic Strip Festival’s Rally, comic strip exhibitions and activities throughout the city.

From September 2 through September 4 you can visit the Brussels Comic Strip Festival in the Brussels park. The festival has been celebrating comics of all kinds in Brussels since 2010, and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. Young or old, amateur or specialist, there is always something for everyone among the many activities on offer. For the 2016 edition, the Brussels park will be hosting comic museums, dozens of publishing houses, exhibitions, book shops, comic sellers, conferences, workshops and hundreds of authors signings. The Brussels Comic Strip Festival also includes a night-time show at Brussels Park, the Balloon's Day Parade, the Comic Strip Festival’s Rally, comic strip exhibitions and activities throughout the city. We have been there for the past few years and it's always a delight meeting authors, publishers and friends. For Bob De Moor fans, there is a big chance you'll be able to complete your collection there as there are always shops present which also cater to the more 'conservative' comic strip fans. But, let's get back to Bob De Moor, or more precisely his son Johan De Moor who has completed the official artwork for the Festival's posters. On the poster we not only Tintin, the Smurfs, Ric Hochet, Thorgal, the Chevalier Ardent, etc., but also Balthazar. I'm sure you will recognise a lot other characters including a reference to Willy Vandersteen ("De schat van Beersel"). We all know that especially Balthazar is one of Johan's favourite characters, so that doesn't come as a surprise. Quite a nice poster this one is!

We have been there for the past few years and it’s always a delight meeting authors, publishers and friends. For Bob De Moor fans, there is a big chance you’ll be able to complete your collection there as there are always shops present which also cater to the more ‘conservative’ comic strip fans.

From September 2 through September 4 you can visit the Brussels Comic Strip Festival in the Brussels park. The festival has been celebrating comics of all kinds in Brussels since 2010, and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. Young or old, amateur or specialist, there is always something for everyone among the many activities on offer. For the 2016 edition, the Brussels park will be hosting comic museums, dozens of publishing houses, exhibitions, book shops, comic sellers, conferences, workshops and hundreds of authors signings. The Brussels Comic Strip Festival also includes a night-time show at Brussels Park, the Balloon's Day Parade, the Comic Strip Festival’s Rally, comic strip exhibitions and activities throughout the city. We have been there for the past few years and it's always a delight meeting authors, publishers and friends. For Bob De Moor fans, there is a big chance you'll be able to complete your collection there as there are always shops present which also cater to the more 'conservative' comic strip fans. But, let's get back to Bob De Moor, or more precisely his son Johan De Moor who has completed the official artwork for the Festival's posters. On the poster we not only Tintin, the Smurfs, Ric Hochet, Thorgal, the Chevalier Ardent, etc., but also Balthazar. I'm sure you will recognise a lot other characters including a reference to Willy Vandersteen ("De schat van Beersel"). We all know that especially Balthazar is one of Johan's favourite characters, so that doesn't come as a surprise. Quite a nice poster this one is!But, let’s get back to the subject of this article. Johan De Moor has completed the official artwork for the Festival’s posters (thanks to Alain Demaret for the info). On the poster we not only find the characters such as TintinSmurfette, Ric Hochet, Thorgal, the Chevalier Ardent, etc., but also Balthazar. Yep, that funny abstract character which De Moor developed in 1975. We all know that especially Balthazar is one of Johan’s favourite characters, so that doesn’t come as a surprise.

I’m sure you will recognise a lot other characters including a reference to Willy Vandersteen (“De schat van Beersel”). Quite a nice poster this one is!

The alternative version of Barelli’s ‘Bonne mine à la mer’ cover


Today’s article was triggered by a mail we got from Petja van den Hurk who pointed us towards this blogpost by Peter Velter on the Joost Swarte website.

The article recalled an aborted project from 1975 to unite a number of comics by well known underground authors in one album. But although the project never got realised, Velter did compile the works by Joost Swarte and Bob De Moor in a new book, “Blijf Kalm, Werk In Uitvoering”. The book (rather a magazine) itself is a quite limited edition and was only made available to people close to the project and the artists themselves (or their family in the case of Bob De Moor).

You can preview the book right here.

One drawing stood out and that’s an alternative cover for the Barelli album “Bonne mine à la mer”. There are a few things to say about the cover. First of all you will notice that De Moor already made a previous version on the same page and then placed a newer version on top – you can see the border right under the heading. A detail is also that De Moor had no idea yet what number the album would be in the Collection Vedette.  And significant is that the artwork was immediately in French (many people still think erroneously that De Moor first wrote his scripts etc. in Dutch).

bone-mine-a-la-mer

In 1975 Bob De Moor would see the “Bonne mine à la mer” album released via Le Lombard. It would be the only full album released so quickly after being published in the Tintin journal (n°6-14 1974). It was the follow-up album to the 1972 story “Barelli et le Bouddha boudant” and through 32 pages Barelli discovers the world of the radio pirates which often broadcasted from boats in the late seventies.

The alternative cover is based on page 17 of the album, more precisely case 7 and 8 as you can see below.

bonne-mine-a-la-mer

It shows Barelli’s yellow Alpine Renault almost falling off a cliff. The composition of this alternative cover looks quite dynamic with falling rocks etc. but perhaps it didn’t really represent enough the red line of the album, namely radio pirates. So in the end De Moor would go for the rubber boat heading towards a radio pirate boat.

The album was most recently re-issued by BD Must editions and is an absolute must for Tintin fans as you will recognise many scenes which will immediately show you what drawings Bob De Moor worked on for the Tintin albums around that time.

Bob De Moor’s version of Thomson and Thompson going Ola


Ola, better known in the Anglo-Saxon world under the brand name ‘Wall’s‘, is an ice cream brand owned by the Anglo-Dutch food and personal care conglomerate Unilever. And back in the (60s?), 70s and eighties they regularly collaborated with the Studios Hergé in order to use the Tintin characters in their adverts, run contests via Tintin Journal etc..

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It was Jean-Claude Registo who pointed us towards an auction where today’s drawing was being sold (it would fetch 500 Euro in the end). The 44,8 x 17,2 cm big drawing was undated and was described as being made by the Studios Hergé. But you don’t have to have a trained eye to instantly recognise Bob De Moor‘s steady hand in the lines.

How do we know it’s for Ola? Well, Thomson and Thompson can be seen enjoying an ice-cream on the left (the left ice-cream being completely drawn). Also, on the right you can see both funny guys next to a big box, which is actually a big freezer holding Ola ice-cream.

There were many different scenes invented for this Ola campaign. Below you can see an example of the duo riding an ice cream float for instance.

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Bob De Moor draws Agent Officer No. 15 on a memo for the Tintin Journal


Bob De Moor is know for having drawn a lot of drawings on all kind of documents. Today we present you a Studios Hergé document which was recently auctioned for a little more than 350 Euro if memory serves me right.

Bob De Moor draws Agent Officer No. 15 on a memo for the Tintin Journal

The document is actually a memo which was used by Bob De Moor to clarify that he had sent 11 coloured pages in the Monsieur Tric series to the Tintin Journal offices situated at the Editions Du Lombard. The pages sent were for the story “Une course de ballon mouvementée”, which was originally published in 1955 but re-published in colour in 1983 (the print was done in a very poor way we must say, it’s a mystery how that ever left the pressing plant to begin with, but more on that later).

Also included in the memo was the information that 2 coloured Quick & Flupke pages were shipped off to the Tintin Journal offices. The letter dates from 29 April 1983, about 2 months after Hergé succumbed (3 March 1983), which shows the studio was at that time still functional and producing (new) material.

But Bob De Moor fans are of course mostly interested in the quick drawing Bob De Moor added on the memo, namely one of Officer No. 15 (Agent Nr. 15 in French) which you must know from the Quick & Flupke series. Like said earlier, De Moor did a lot of these drawings on documents he sent off to the Tintin Journal offices featuring a set of characters, from Blake & Mortimer to Tintin. It kinda shows that De Moor was really enjoying his job, a job which a few years later he’d be forced to quit when the studios disbanded in 1987 and transformed into the Hergé Foundation.

But for the time being, Bob (and Johan) De Moor was still unaware of the enormous storm which would break out…

Dirk Stallaert completed the new cover for the reissue in black and white of the original version of “The secret of Vulcania”


site cover VulcaniaFrom 1 February 1954 until 25 May 1954 the newspapers De Nieuwe Gids, De Antwerpse and ’t Vrije Volksblad published the Snoe & Snolleke story “Het geheim van Vulcania”. The album has since the publication in 1954 never been published in album format, at least not in its original form, black and white that is.
In 1993 the album saw a coloured album release via the Standaard Uitgeverij, however many of the drawings had been adapted to fit a coloured version – as we have shown several times already – so for many people it was still a mystery how the album actually looked like in black and white.

9a41c4e6-7414-11e4-8f09-3cf49d99a6e1We also have to mention that a version of the black and white album had been spread by Het Belgisch Stripgenootschap, albeit in a not so good copied format, and according to our information, this version (which has been reprinted for years) is an illegal one.
But luckily there is the team of Brabant Strip who have now released the black and white version of the album in their Fenix series, including the announcements as published in the newspapers. The album comes with a real cover on top. When looking at the cover you should be able to immediately recognise the hand of no-one else but one of Flanders (even Belgium’s) best comic artists, Dirk Stallaert (Nino, Mieleke Melleke Mol, Plankgas en Plastronneke, …).

I contacted Dirk for some feedback.

BDM: Normally it’s Bob De Moor’s son Johan who takes care of the cover artwork (after the work of his father) for the Fenix reissue series of Snoe & Snolleke. Why did you make the cover this time?

Dirk Stallaert: I honestly have no idea why Johan didn’t draw it this time. I know via Brabant Strip that he didn’t mind me drawing the cover. Maybe he just didn’t have the time for it.

(Editor’s note: In a phone call we had with Johan De Moor, he confirms that it was a lack of time but he also stresses that he was pretty sure that Dirk Stallaert was the perfect man for the job. Case proven.)

BDM: Have you chosen the scene (visible in the strips 37, 38) on which the cover is based or was it suggested to you?

Dirk Stallaert: It was Yves Kerremans from Brabant Strip who suggested to use that scene.

BDM: I suppose it’s not an easy task to invent a cover for an album, which is not yours to begin with. Were there elements in this album that made it a difficult task?

Dirk Stallaert: Aaaah, it’s always a difficult task to try and get things right. Even for my own work it’s always a difficult task to make a cover and when I have to work in someone else’s style it’s even more difficult. I have just received the album yesterday and what stands out I think is the thickness of the lines… it’s quite heavy I must say and the fish isn’t flexible enough to my taste. But like I said, there’s always something to complain about. “Le plaisir de se voir imprimé” is a pleasure which I haven’t had this time. I quite like how the sky looks though. I nicked the idea from “The Black Island”. But don’t tell anyone!

BDM: Ha, as always you have succeeded in perfectly representing the style though as used by Bob De Moor in the album, but keeping your own ‘schwung’ (the sawfish that is).

Dirk Stallaert: I’m quite glad you have discovered the ‘schwung’, because I missed that flexibility. I had documented me really well and had first made a few sketches of the sawfish.

(Editor’s note: Dirk Stallaert sent us the sketches below.)

Zigomar schetsen

As always the pencil sketches are a lot more fluent and expressive. The shark which you can see in the sketch didn’t make it in the final version. It’s often a problem when using the clear line, you only have one line, and that one has to be the perfect one.

Taking hurdles with Bob De Moor


While going through the archives of the family De Moor I stumbled on this cartoon which must date from the era when Bob De Moor worked for several magazines, which dates this drawing between 1946 and 1951. The drawing itself has no reference to what magazine it was published in but looking at the style used, it’s my guess it’s probably from around 1946.

cartoon-bob-de-moor-runner

The cartoon was published with a typed caption under it, and that legend can be found on the back of the drawing and it reads: “Wees gerust madame Peeters, dat was mijn zoon. Hij oefent zich voor de vijf honderd meter hindernissen.” The text is in dutch of course and says this: “Rest assured Mrs Peeters , that was my son. He is practicing for the five hundred meters hurdles.”

cartoon-runner

Nowadays this would be considered to be some kind of ‘Druivelaar-scheurkalender‘ humour as we refer to it in Flemish, indicating it sounds obsolete. But back then this was typical situational humour which people liked.

But what is the most interesting is of course the drawing itself. De Moor is perfectly showing where the athlete has been jumping using several motion lines. Surprisingly he doesn’t add any expression lines around the face of madame Peeters to show her surprise. Perhaps that would have added too much extras in the drawing. The same goes for the curtains which are clearly moving.

You can clearly see that this drawing was a quick job, although well executed, the characters are not really abundant in details and the whole decor is rather sober. Nevertheless, all is there and De Moor shows that he knows how to make a drawing dynamic. Final detail, that hanging lamp looks a bit odd. I have spent some time cruising through a few online catalogs to find a similar one, but couldn’t find any.

If someone knows when this drawing was published, let me know at bernard.vanisacker@gmail.com and if you find that lamp, don’t hesitate to inform me too :).

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