Before photoshop, there was the art of tracing

Barelli and Moreau in 2 different shapes.
Barelli and Moreau in 2 different shapes.

When a drawing needs to be adjusted today,  needs to be re-used for another purpose, or extra characters need to be added, the graphic artists simply turn on their Macbook, fire up Photoshop and render a new image. How different this is compared to the hard labour comic authors had to go through in the years before, whenever some material had to be re-used. Sure, there were some short cuts which could be made, but that wasn’t always possible. In most cases drawings had to be re-drawn, traced to be precise.

In this video you can see how Bob De Moor traced part of a case for the “Tintin and the Picaros” album since lots of preparations went into finalizing a frame (and page). It also indicates how time consuming this tracing must have been.

This tracing was also the procedure used for the creation of the small advert on the left for the Dutch comic magazine Stripofiel. As you can see, Bob De Moor re-used the combination of Barelli with inspector Moreau on the the fly-leaf (‘page de garde’ in French) of the hard cover versions of the Barelli albums. With the difference that Sophia Barelli is on the advert version for Stripofiel. It’s not clear which drawing was the first one, to be honest, but if you look really well, you’ll see that the Stripofiel version is different to the fly-leaf version (look at the shoe tips & the chin of Barelli for instance, or the smoke coming from inspector Moreau’s pipe).

It is not the only example where Bob De Moor went digging into his archives to reuse a picture, or what to think of this one which surely reminds you of another drawing…