The birth cards by Bob De Moor (part 1)

Bob De Moor has created quite a lot of birth cards over the years. Legendary for instance are those he created when his children Dirk, Chris, Johan, Annemie and Stefaan were born, some of these were published in the Bourdil-Tordeur book “Bob de Moor. 40 ans de bande dessineée, 35 ans au côtés d’Hergé”. But Bob De Moor also made sure than the birth of his grandchildren didn’t go unnoticed either, also graphically speaking that is.

Birth card of Charlotte De Meulenaere
Birth card of Charlotte De Meulenaere

This morning Luc De Meulenaere provided us with the birth cards Bob De Moor created for Stéphanie (1986), Charlotte (1988) and Valentin (1989) De Meulenaere, the children he has with Annemie De Moor, daughter of Bob De Moor. 2 of the cards show a more cartoon like approach with a jumping baby (that of Stéphanie and Valentin), while he went for a more graphically different approach for the birth card of Charlotte, which you can see on the left. A style that immediately rang a bell as the approach reminds a lot of the drawings he made for the Jacques Brel book “Le Plat Pays – Les Prénoms” published in… 1988, the same year Charlotte De Meulenaere was born. In other words Charlotte’s card was made around the same time he worked on the Jacques Brel drawings of which we will publish some details later on.

Birth card of Stéphanie De Meulenaere
Birth card of Stéphanie De Meulenaere

The birth card of Stéphanie De Meulenaere has a twist in the text which we don’t often see when it comes to birth cards. Instead of the parents presenting their baby, the text has Stéphanie presenting her happy parents. The baby Stéphanie also yells “Yipee! I have parents!” which corresponds with the phrasing used below. The drawing you see on the left is the original as used for printing the birth cards. It’s one of those cards you don’t throw away of course!

Birth card of Valentin De Meulenaere
Birth card of Valentin De Meulenaere

The birth card for Valentin De Meulenaere has a typical joke from Bob De Moor in it. It looks like it that Valentin had the choice between the names Valentino, Valentijn or Valentine too. Holding the heart shaped box or Valentin’s elder sisters Stéphanie (almost 3 years old by then) and Charlotte (1 year old). A drawing which puts the children at the centre of the happiness.

Note that for privacy reasons we have erased the street and house number from the scans.

Thanks to Annemie and Luc for the scans!

Bob De Moor and Ukkel, part 1

In 1955 the family De Moor wanted to have a house that was closer to the Studio Hergé. So the couple and their kids settled in Ukkel (Uccle in French) one of the 19 municipalities located in Brussels where they found a safe haven on the Coghensquare number 41. Bob and Jeanne De Moor would continue to live there for the rest of their life. Nowadays that part of Brussels is well-known for its posh areas, exquisite restaurants, green spots and high rental rates.

The january 1991 cover of 'De Hoorn' by Bob De Moor
The january 1991 cover of ‘De Hoorn’ by Bob De Moor

The couple De Moor also got involved in the local cultural movements for the flemish residents. They joined the socio-cultural association Het Davidsfonds, the service club Marnixkring and the VVU (Vlaamse Verening Ukkel) to name just a few. For the monthly magazine of the VVU, called ‘De Hoorn’ (‘The Horn’ in English), which brought lots of local news and info on local activities, Bob De Moor created a few covers, posters and cartoons and also once organized an evening with several comic authors including Hergé (we’ll be showing you some photos of this evening in the future). Good to know, the vice-president of the VVU was friend of the family Bob Van Bael, who would later also interview Bob De Moor for a 1986 episode of the popular human interest program Terloops which you can see here.

Today we show you the cover Bob De Moor made for the 200th issue of ‘De Hoorn’, published in January 1991. Printed on 4000 copies this 200th anniversary issue shows a celebrating community (all dressed in 19th century clothes) with a person blowing a horn of course. At the same time the magazine cover also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the ‘Cultuurraad Ukkel’ what you could describe as being the culture council from Ukkel.

This scan was provided to us by Chris Mouton. We contacted the editorial staff of ‘De Hoorn’ for some feedback but got not reply. We’ll keep on phoning/emailing of course.

Cowboys and parachutes in 1946 in Zondagsvriend

On April 11, 1946 the weekly lifestyle magazine Zondagsvriend published a story called “Een dolle weddenschap” (English for “A foolish bet”). The story, spread over the entire page 11 (and a small part on page 14), takes place in 1893 and is about a cowboy who accepts the challenge to jump out of a balloon with a parachute. The story itself is written in the 1st person and is quite a heavy read as it’s full of old dutch phrase turns and thoughts which nowadays sound very archaic and ‘heavy’ in use. But it’s not exactly the (anonymous) text that caught our attention when we saw that page.

One of the 2 drawings that accompanied the story "Een dolle weddenschap"
One of the 2 drawings that accompanied the story “Een dolle weddenschap”

2 drawings accompany this story and both were signed with ‘Bob’, indeed Bob De Moor. We’ll take the 2nd drawing here as it features a lot more details. The drawing shows the ‘fierceless’ cowboy (in fact in the text he says he was terrified) ready to board the balloon. The parachute can be seen on the right of his head, indeed, that big ring with the cords on it. De Moor did put a lot of effort in this particular drawing. It holds 9 characters, each of whom was given an own look and feel, and they are all quite well worked out too. Note also the excellent way De Moor added the shadows in the drawing and the brick surface from where the balloon will be taking off.

The drawing itself is far from being the typical cartoon way of drawing and showed that De Moor was able to create way more than just funny characters in 1946. This drawing has never been re-published after appearing in that 1946 issue, so for most (probably all) this will indeed be the first time you see this.

A tribute to Bob De Moor (20/12/1925 – 26/08/1992)

Today exactly 22 years ago Bob De Moor passed away. With his disappearance the Franco-Belge comic scene lost a monument. For the occasion we contacted a few comic authors who have known Bob De Moor to send us a tribute. Today we publish 4 of these drawings which clearly show the respect these comic authors had for Bob De Moor. A few other comic authors wanted to send a drawing too but were swimming in work and unable to deliver their work on time. Next time you can expect these.

Each drawing we publish today comes with an explanation of how the comic author is linked to Bob De Moor. None of these drawings have been published before and some were made especially for the occasion.

Tribute by Régric
Tribute by Régric

The drawing on the left is by Régric aka Frédéric Legrain, a French comic author we all know from Lefranc, his Barelli pastiche published in 2013 by NetCom2, “Été Indien pour la Mini” and so on. Régric is an avid Bob De Moor fan too and especially in “Été Indien pour la Mini” he is paying tribute to Bob De Moor. Note that for his Lefranc series he chose to go for a style that mixes both the styles of Bob De Moor and Jacques Martin. It was also Bob De Moor who encouraged him to continue drawing. You can follow the work of Régric on his blog. For his fine tribute to Bob De Moor Régric decided to go for a picture of Bob ‘Knight’ De Moor during the Cori era with a few of the characters he worked on placed on his chest.

Tribute by Roger Brunel
Tribute by Roger Brunel

Roger Brunel is often called the ‘King of the Pastiches’ and of course he had a take on Barelli too. The story was published in the 3rd volume of the “Pastiches” series at Glénat Publishing back in 1984. In the pastiche Barelli was renamed Barille or ‘Keg’ in English. Barelli also appears on the front cover of the album next to many others such as Ric Hochet, Lefranc, Quick & Flupke, Natascha, Spike and Suzy, Benoît Brisefer and so on. His website can be consulted here. On the left you see the tribute he made for today’s news with a clear reference to his pastiche work and to the Bécassine series Bob De Moor was supposed to continue. Good to know, Roger told us he wasn’t aware that Bob De Moor had worked on Bécassine but thought it to be a good idea. Great minds think alike…

Tribute by Hec Leemans
Tribute by Hec Leemans

For Hec Leemans Bob De Moor was the very first comic artist he met face to face when he was just 15 years old. Already during that first meeting he gave him some useful tips. Says Hec: “I always remembered them: clarity for everything in your drawing.” Later on both Hec and Bob would be actively involved in the CBBD (Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée) in Brussels and remain very close friends. You can find more info on Hec’s work on his website. Today’s drawing shows a tribute to Bob De Moor which was originally supposed to be shown during the news of August 27 1992 on the Flemish commercial TV station VTM. For some reason it was never aired, so finally you get the possibility to see the drawing. The dutch text on top of the drawing reads “Bob had the lights of the Scheldt River in his eyes”. The sentence refers to 2 things, the Dutch proverb ‘pretlichtjes in de ogen hebben’ (English: eyes that twinkle with joy) and “De lichtjes van de Schelde”, a Dutch seaman’s song from 1952 by Anton Beuving and Bobbejaan Schoepen about a sailor who wants to return safe and sound to his family. The song became a Flemish evergreen. By mixing both the proverb and the song Hec Leemans has been able to catch both the seaman inside Bob De Moor and his joyful character.

Tribute by Pierre Gay
Tribute by Pierre Gay

Pierre Gay was a young cartoonist who got hired 13 months after Hergé‘s death as an assistant to Bob De Moor. He will be the last cartoonist to be hired by the Studios Hergé. He stayed from 1984 until 1986 and worked on several projects with Bob De Moor including (but not limited to) “Marilyn et Staline vont en avion” and a cover for a Danish and English edition of the double album collectors’ edition of “Destination Moon”/”Explorers on the Moon”. We’ll be interviewing Pierre Gay in the next weeks. In the meantime you can visit the website of Pierre Gay right here. On the left you see Pierre’s contribution, which is based on a drawing he made in 1986 for Bob De Moor‘s 60th anniversary. For today’s occasion he adapted the Latin texts. As you can see it is based on the portrait Bob De Moor made of Drake, featured on the first page of the Cori album “Le Dragon des Mers”. Do you see the Tintin reference?

Tribute by Yves Rodier
Tribute by Yves Rodier

And at the last minute Yves Rodier, the Franco-Quebec comic strip author who got widely known for having completed “Tintin and Alph-Art“ but who has in the meantime built himself a career with various comic books such as  Pignouf et Hamlet, Aventures de Simon Nian and more recently El Spectro, also sent us his version. Het met Bob De Moor at the ‘Festival BD’ in Brossard, near Montréal, in September 1991. They already had corresponded a few times before, regarding his version of “Alph-Art” which he was drawing at the time. You can read more on this in the interview we had with Yves a few months ago. The drawing Yves made for this Bob De Moor tribute features Tintin, Barelli and Balthazar with the text: “What a big man our Bob was” referring to both his career, his actual length and perhaps even more to the friendship and appreciation Yves felt for Bob.

We want to thank all contributing comic authors for their work and as Bob De Moor would say: “Viva boma, pattatten met saucissen!”

New album by Johan De Moor ‘Coeur Glacé’ out now!

Out now is the brand new album, “Coeur Glacé” (Eng. “Ice cold heart”) by Johan De Moor, son of Bob De Moor, on a scenario by Gilles Dal. The book can now be ordered via Amazon France and via all local comic stores of course.

For the launch of the promo campaign of the book Johan De Moor and  Gilles Dal launched a video (you can view it below) which acts as an interview of Gilles Dal by Johan De Moor but with the duo clearly taking the piss out of… Johan De Moor.

The book itself comes as a hardcover edition and brings a rather dark story. Those who read it will quickly realize why we say ‘dark’.

It’s not the first time that Johan De Moor has collaborated with Gilles Dal, they also co-worked on “Comment devenir belge en 10 leçons. You can check out some more of Gilles Dal work right here.

French edition of ‘Le mystère du vieux château’ canceled

We are sorry to inform you that the French edition of “Le mystère du vieux château” originally planned via the Brussels based editor La Crypte Tonique (you might know them from their recent Paul Cuvelier editions) on 300 copies has been canceled. Technical issues are at the basis of the cancelation.

The cover of the Dutch version to be released by Brabant Strip.
The cover of the Dutch version to be released by Brabant Strip.

If you want to get hold of the book re-edition, we advise you to get the edition in Dutch, to be released by Brabant Strip on 1000 copies later this Fall. The edition by Brabant Strip will have the title “Het Mysterie van de oude burcht” and can be pre-ordered at most Flemish comic stores.

The cover of this Dutch edition  can be seen on the left.

The differences from a crayon page from ‘Barelli et le Bouddha boudant’ and it’s final version

In 1972 Bob De Moor would create “Barelli et le Bouddha boudant” (published in Tintin in 1972), the first new full Barelli album after 1964’s “Barelli et les agents secrets”. For this album Bob De Moor abandoned the sketchy way as used in “Barelli et les agents secrets” and returned to the clear ‘Tintin’ line. If you look well you’ll see a lot of similarities between the style used in the Tintin albums “Flight 714” and “Tintin in Tibet” (especially the way Indian / Pakistani people are drawn). Looking back it’s also a clear indicator of the symbiosis between Hergé’s style and that of Bob De Moor which you would find in “Tintin and the Picaros” including lots of close-ups, but more on that later.

The penciled version of page 4 of "Barelli et le Bouddha boudant"
The penciled version of page 4 of “Barelli et le Bouddha boudant”

Today we present you a penciled sketch – provided to us by Freddy Oudhof – of page 4 which was made for this album and for which the pieces would in the end turn up on page 4 and 5 of the final album. On this page sketch you see 8 frames, numbered from 14 till 21. This is part 2 of a bigger page with the frames numbered from 6 till 13. Let’s have a look at what we present you today. We really advise you to take this particular Barelli album in order to follow the following explanation more closely.

The final version of page 5 of "Barelli et le Bouddha boudant" in Dutch
The final version of page 5 of “Barelli et le Bouddha boudant” in Dutch

The first thing you will notice is that the action in the final version is longer than what is proposed on this first version. Frame nr. 14 in this 1st version would end up as a cliffhanger on page 4 of the album while frame nr. 15 would be deleted for the final version. Frame 16 would get a more close-up approach, and this for a particular reason. It enabled Bob De Moor to give the chauffeur of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kroensjir an even bigger presence by adding more stress on the large chest. Note also that originally the driver and his two bosses were wearing turbans (see the following frames where it wasn’t really erased). Frame 17 has a few differences compared to the final version. Not only is the chauffeur on this first version behind Barelli, the text is also different. In this first version the Minister of Foreign Affairs introduces himself whereas in the final version the chauffeur would do the introduction, something which is more official of course. You’ll also see that in this first version the Minister of Foreign Affairs has a less pronounced nose. Frame 18 and 19 follow the album version although frame 19 has a better graphical overview in the final version. Frame 20 is completely different. From a frog’s perspective Bob De Moor switched to a bird’s eye view which is way more interesting visually. The reason is simple. In the end Bob De Moor realized that he was able exposing the 4 men below way better in a bird’s eye view than in a frog’s perspective. It also made the drawing way less ‘packed’ than in the first version. You’ll also see that the text in the first version is different to the final version. Finally, frame 21 not only has a different setting (the original version is at Barelli’s front door while the final version locates the 3 men inside Barelli’s home) it also has a completely different text. Frame 21 would also be placed on a different strip compared to this first version.

The final thing you will notice is that all the texts are in French. Indeed, Bob De Moor wrote the Barelli’s in French first after which they were translated into Dutch, albeit not by De Moor. It would result in some really bad Dutch translations, but we’ll focus on this in another article where the worst examples will be showcased. A reason more to enjoy this series first of all in its French version. A final detail, the original title for this album, “Barelli et le Bouddha boudant”, was already known in an early stage as you can see in the bottom left corner.

Chris De Moor immortalized as Henry the Fowler by Bob De Moor

On June 24th 1989 Chris De Moor, oldest son of Bob De Moor, celebrated his 40th birthday at the Salle St Pie X in Forest, Brussels (BE). The invitation for that birthday party was created by Bob De Moor (thanks to Alain Demaret for the tip and scan). As usual it also holds references to his son’s real life. We asked Chris De Moor for some input.

Drawing made for Chris De Moor's 40th birthday.
Drawing made for Chris De Moor’s 40th birthday.

Chris: “My father got the inspiration for this drawing from a (now lost) 1981 picture from the opera in Ghent 1981 where I pose in the costume of the medieval king Heinrich der Vogler (English: Henry the Fowler) from Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” which plays on the banks of the the Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde / French: Escaut). Hence also the crown and the sword. The candle setting fire to the cap is a typical Bob-joke.” Originally Chris also wanted to become a graphical artist like his father. He has had a training at the academie of Uccle (1961-67) and at Sint-Lukas in Brussels (1969-72). But says Chris: “I haven’t been drawing for more than 40 years now and haven’t kept anything worth showing.”

Chris De Moor in 1981
Chris De Moor in 1981

Instead of drawing, he built himself an international career as a bass singer. From 1973 until 1982 he was a member of the De Koninklijke Muntschouwburg (French: Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie) aka De Munt where he was able to show his love for opera. At the same time he studied at the conservatory in Brussels (song, opera and concert singing) and won prices at song contests in Antwerp (BE), Paris (F), Barcelona (SP) and Vercelli (IT).

He is a regular guest at the Vlaamse Opera (Flemish Opera) where he played the role of Commendatore (“Don Giovanni”), Prince Gremin (“Jevgenij Onegin”), Gualtiero (“Edgar”), Horn (“Un Ballo in Maschera”), Mr. Flint (“Billy Budd”), Nachtwächter (“Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”), Tchélio (“L’Amour des trois Oranges”) and so on.

Chris De Moor, second from the left. This photo was taken during a meeting for this website.
Chris De Moor, second from the left. This photo was taken during a meeting for this website.

He was also a guest singer at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (“Nabucco”, “La Damnation de Faust”) and various festivals. Next to this he performed in The Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, but mostly in France in the opera houses of Toulouse, Strassbourg, Tourcoing, Montpellier, Marseille, Nantes, Avignon with ‘La Grande Ecurie et La Chambre du Roy’ directed by Jean-Claude Malgoire.

The opera repertoire of Chris De Moor is quite elaborated. He has sung in “Zaide”, “Le Nozze di Figaro”, “Don Giovanni”, “Die Zauberflöte”, “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”, “La Bohème”, “Turandot”, “Nabucco”, “Otello”, “Rigoletto”, “Un Ballo in Maschera”, … Chris’ vocal performances can also be found on several CDs/LPs including Rameau’s “Platée” and Händel’s “Messiah” again directed by Jean-Claude Malgoire, both available on Amazon France.

As we told you already, the De Moor family has more than just something with music. More on this in the future.

An ad for Kleine Zondagsvriend (K.Z.V.) in 1946 by Bob De Moor

A few weeks ago we stumbled on a 1946 collection of ‘Zondagsvriend‘ and started turning pages and pages and pages. The bundle helt 10 drawings by Bob De Moor which so far have never been re-published in any format. They sometimes show the comic author Bob De Moor at work in a way very few people know. It also shows a Bob De Moor working on improving his drawing technique.

Cartoon by Bob De Moor published in the Zondagsvriend of 18 July 1946
Cartoon by Bob De Moor published in the Zondagsvriend of 18 July 1946

Today we present you a first drawing from this collection. It’s an ad in the format of a cartoon for the ‘Kleine Zondagsvriend’, the magazine for kids which originally came for free with ‘Zondagsvriend’. The cross selling would actually be a recurrent affair for Bob De Moor who would make more cartoons like this.

Hobbel and Sobbel
Hobbel and Sobbel

In this specific drawing we see a certain mister Van Pereghem being questioned by his boss, asking him why he is always too late on Friday. Van Pereghem replies that on that day the ‘Kleine Zondagsvriend’ arrives for his kids (implying he also reads it?). You’ll notice the slightly wobbly way in which De Moor drew the furniture in this cartoon, which still reminds of his time at the AFIM studios in Antwerp where the Walt Disney way of drawing was a must. Nevertheless the whole looks very balanced and shows real craftsmanship (look at the chair of the boss for instance). The same style of drawing was omnipresent in his Hobbel & Sobbel comic series which he was working on around the same time this cartoon was published.

‘Zondagsvriend’ was a weekly lifestyle magazine, published by NV De Vlijt between 1930 tot in 1965. Besides current affairs, sports, film, art and royalty it also brought cartoons and comics. Although collectors would later on mostly know the children’s edition ‘Kleine Zondagsvriend’ (K.Z.V.) ‘Zondagsvriend’ itself also included cartoons. Artists who contributed to ‘Zondagsvriend’ included Jan Waterschoot, Rik, Marc Sleen, Ray Goossens but also Bob De Moor.

Bob De Moor goes Nosta in 1954

On December 14th 1950 the ‘timbre Tintin‘ was launched. This was a kind of gift voucher in the format of a stamp which needed to be cut out and which could be exchanged for products derived from the Tintin Journal such as chromos, wallets, pencils, soaps, stationary, shirts, etc… These stamps were included on products from participating brands. They were an instant succes and boosted the sales of the weekly, the participating brands and also launched the name of Tintin as an established comic. Participating brands included Materne (jam), Victoria (chocolates), etc..

The Nosta capsules
The Nosta capsules

But besides these stamps, the Tintin Journal also pushed kids to collect capsules from bottles (later on the Tintin stamp would be printed on the capsules too). The Opwijk (Belgium) based dairy Nosta did such an action in 1954. Kids had to return 100 capsules – the first got a cup with their name on it – and those who did that before June 30th 1954 won a Tintin Journal subscription for 2 months.

"Aventure au Far-West" with Nosta
“Aventure au Far-West” with Nosta

And that’s where it gets interesting for Bob De Moor fans because few people will know that Bob De Moor also drew a one page comic for Nosta‘s promotional campaign in 1954, called “Aventure au Far-West”. It was Chris Mouton who sent us a scan of the french written leaflet (it does exist in dutch too, but we haven’t been able to trace a copy of that one, yet) holding a cover (also by Bob De Moor), the actual comic and some explanation on the action.

The comic was not signed by Bob De Moor but you will instantly recognize his hand. Although it’s not that weird that his name is not added – it was often not added to drawings inside the Tintin Journal anyhow as you can see here and here – you’d expect that a one page comic would have some identification.

These were the later used capsules by Nosta with the Tintin Stamp.
These were the later used capsules by Nosta with the Tintin Stamp.

The 3 main characters participating in this one page comic are Nono (a little cowboy) Stanette (a little cowgirl, nothing to see with Danette from Danone) and Rossinante (their horse, but also that of Don Quichotte). The Nosta intrigue is that they end up first in a chariot rally thanks to the fact they have drunk Nosta milk.

The drawing is very well executed and shows De Moor at his best. Although the 2 main characters do not really have typical De Moor faces, you’ll notice that the rest of the work on this comic is 100% De Moor and was most probably executed while working for the Tintin Journal.

We are busy trying to find some extra info on this specific campaign and will update the article (or post an extra one – you still haven’t seen the cover artwork which is a jewel) as soon as we get it. Of course, if you have this in Dutch or French, feel free to contact us.