Bob De Moor made 3 drawings for the Snoeck youth calendar in 1947

A while back we published a story about a Catawiki item, a calendar from 1947. We were correct to assume that the cover art was not by Bob De Moor but two of our readers, Chris Mouton and Olivier Marin, pointed out that although the cover was surely not by Bob De Moor the calendar did hold 3 drawings by Bob De Moor inside. Which of course changes everything.

In 1946 Bob De Moor was asked to make 3 drawings to go with a story inside  a 1947 youth calendar to be published by the Flemish Ghent based publisher Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon. Called ‘Snoeck’s Jeugdalmanak’ this (17 x 24 cm) booklet counts 40 pages.

The publisher’s name will ring a bell with our Dutch speaking readers as this is indeed the same publisher which has been releasing the popular yearly Snoecks calendar (and this since 1782).

One of three drawings featured in this 1947 calendar.
One of three drawings featured in this 1947 calendar.

The style used for the 3 drawings shows a very talented Bob De Moor at work. On top he uses a clear line style of which many still think he would only develop years later. It suffices to see the waitress he added on the left to know that this was no amateur at work.

One point of critique ‘could’ be added. Although the whole looks (and is) very balanced Bob De Moor did not put the stress on the kid (Marietje) but on the waitress in the front. A bit weird since Marietje is one of the main characters in the story told.  A small detail and up for discussion of course.

This item is very rare to find, if you see it, be sure to pick it up because you’ll probably never get the chance again.


2 sketches by Bob De Moor up for auction last weekend (part 1)

This weekend the Liège based auction house BD Enchères (aka Les Carmes Ltd.) auctioned 2 sketches by Bob De Moor (thank you to Fred from Centaur Club – Forum Blake & Mortimer for the hint). We have no idea yet what price the two items fetched but they were estimated to reach between 80 to 150 euro per piece. We have contacted the auction house for some good quality scans and will update this article with the new scans if we can get hold of them. So today we’ll briefly discuss the first drawing, allotment 413.

Allotment 413 of the recent auction by BD Enchères
Allotment 413 of the recent auction by BD Enchères

The page holds a sketch of the pages 17 to 20 of the 1987 Cori album “L’expédition maudite”. You’ll see that the drawings don’t correspond with the actual pages in the album, indicating that Bob De Moor changed quite a lot afterwards. The sketch is in pencil with notes written in pen. Due to the not so clear scan in the catalogue it’s not really clear what the notes are about but we could distinguish that the notes are written in French. Not that weird since Bob De Moor was mainly writing his material in French first by that time.

Note that it was with this album that Bob De Moor won the ‘Angoulême International Comics Festival Prix Jeunesse 9–12 ans’ aka the ‘Alfred du meilleur album jeunesse’ in 1988. Nowadays the price is called the ‘Alph’art Jeunesse 9-12 ans’.

You can download the catalogue of the auction right here.

Adolf Hitler pastiche in ‘The Lord of Gonobutz’

In the 1976 Barelli album “Le seigneur de Gonobutz” (“The Lord of Gonobutz”) the military theme is omnipresent. The fact that Bob De Moor & Hergé just had finished the Tintin album “Tintin and the Picaros” isn’t really strange to that. Also in the album by Hergé the military is omnipresent. Whereas Hergé tackled the South-American regimes (left and right), Bob De Moor decided to loosely base his new Barelli album on Hergé‘s scenario for his very own take on dictatorships.

The Nazi Swastika like flag + Adolf Hitler painting the wall.
The Nazi Swastika like flag + Adolf Hitler painting the wall.

Just like in “Tintin and the Picaros”, “The Lord of Gonobutz” starts with an ‘involuntary invitation’ to another country (Barelli and his aunt are kidnapped to Rocca Negro by uncle Victorino) and just like in “Tintin and the Picaros”, “The Lord of Gonobutz” holds references to the Nazis.

Lieutenant Grimca gives orders to Adolf Hitler
Lieutenant Grimca gives orders to Adolf Hitler

In the Tintin story Colonel Sponsz, the former chief of the Bordurian secret police ZEP, is clearly etched on an SS-officer (although he is a member of a communist regime in “The Calculus Affair” he wears a uniform which reminds of that of the SS as designed by Hugo Boss) and in “The Lord of Gonobutz” we not only see a very Nazi-like flag being used but we also find out that none else but Adolf Hitler himself painting the wall of a house, which is a clear reference to Hitler’s first unsuccessful artistic career as a painter in Vienna, Austria.

Adolf Hitler KO thanks to Sophia Barelli
Adolf Hitler KO thanks to Sophia Barelli

Bob De Moor decided to put Hitler in quite a subordinate position (next to his chief Lieutenant Grimca) ridiculing him totally. And as icing on the cake, Barelli’s aunt Sophia even succeeds in smothering him with her weight as she jumps in his arms as a mouse appears. He doesn’t return to consciousness, at least not in the story.

This album is a must if you want to see how much the styles of Bob De Moor and Hergé were symbiotic. The album is stylistically excellent, although we’d have preferred a more worked out cover for the album itself. The story isn’t really meant to be taken serious and goes from joke to joke.

Barelli in the military!

2 days ago we posted a drawing on which you can see Monsieur Tric saying: “Bonjour de Laponie! A Michel, bien cordialement“, signed Bob De Moor 1968. Today we not only replaced that drawing with a proper scan, but we can also offer you another drawing made by Bob De Moor for that same person, Michel X. The drawing was not drawn in an album but was a stand alone.

barelli-dedicace-michelThis 2nd item from Michel’s collection shows Barelli in a semi-military outfit (helmet and 3 stars on his shirt) and was sent to him by Bob De Moor during his military service in the Belgian Army in 1976. Small detail, the 3 stars are – according to us – not correctly added (unlike the correct horizontal placement in the UNICEF drawing we posted earlier).

The text balloon reads “Alors mon gaillard, on se la coule douce hein?!” which can be loosely translated into english as “Well then my boy, are you taking it easy?!”

In the Belgian army 3 stars indicate that you are a captain. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery. In NATO countries the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1 (lieutenant or first lieutenant) and one below an OF-3 (major or commandant). The rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field.

Bob the (decor) builder in ‘Tintin and the Temple of the Sun’

A while back we posted an article regarding the small Tintin promotional animation film Bob De Moor worked on for the Société Générale in 1969. Bob De Moor drew the decors in pencil while Claude Lambert would color them. Bob De Moor and Claude Lambert would also work on another movie, the “Tintin et le temple du soleil” (English: “Tintin and the Temple of the Sun”) also released in 1969. Lambert would be supervising that part as can also seen in the opening credits for the animation film. Other people who worked on the decors included Roger Flament, Jean Torton and Michou Wiggers.

Bob De Moor is mentioned in the opening credits for the animation film.
Bob De Moor is mentioned in the opening credits for the animation film.

Note that a remastered version is available on Amazon.

Bob De Moor‘s work would not be limited to just drawing the decors of the film in pencil. An album was also released via Casterman holding scenes from the film and it was Bob De Moor who took care of adding Tintin and co on the decors (a bit like what happened with “Tintin and the Lake of Sharks”). But more on that later on when we take a closer look at this album which never saw a reprint and is not always easy to find (in case you are still searching for a copy).

If you look back at it, you’ll see that the animation in this film looks outdated, but nevertheless  it must be said that there are some really well-worked out decors throughout the film.

One of the decors Bob De Moor worked on.
One of the decors Bob De Moor worked on.

For Belvision it would be their 5th long animation film. The year before they had launched “Astérix & Cleopatra” which was a real success, not in the least because this time it was co-realized by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo unlike the 1967 film “Asterix the Gaule”.

Another example of a decor Bob De Moor worked on.
Another example of a decor Bob De Moor worked on.

The “Tintin et le temple du soleil” film was a co-production between Belgium, France and Switzerland and merged the Tintin albums “The Seven Crystal Balls” and “Prisoners of the Sun”. Although there had been a first long animation film of Tintin before (“The Calculus Affair” by Ray Goossens in 1964 which was totally based on the TV-series Belvision had produced), “Tintin et le temple du soleil” is considered to be the very first real long Tintin animation film intended for cinema use.

Based on a scenario by Greg, many scenes from the 2 books were deleted and events were changed and some were added. The first book was condensed into the first 15 minutes of the film and their was the extra role for the Great Inca’s daughter next to Zorrino. You’ll also notice that Thomson and Thompson accompany Tintin and Captain Haddock in the film on their quest to rescue Calculus. In the book they keep on looking for Tintin and his friends, even on the South Pole.

Hello from Lapland (signed: Monsieur Tric)

In 1967, after one year of total absence, Monsieur Tric would reappear in the Tintin/Kuifje weekly with the story “Le sapin de Laponie” / “De spar uit Lapland”. The 4-page Christmas story was featured in the issue with number 51 published on December 19. It would take another year before Bob De Moor would return with another Monsieur Tric story, again a Christmas one, when “Vacances d’hiver” / “Meester Mus gaat naar de wintersport” would be published in issue 52 published on December 24 1968.

BD Must re-published this story in their Monsieur Tric  package (volume 5 to be precise, page 20-23) which you can order right here.

So why do we bring up this story? Yesterday Michel X contacted us to inform he had a drawing by Bob De Moor from 1968 on which you can see Monsieur Tric saying: “Bonjour de Laponie! A Michel, bien cordialement“, signed Bob De Moor 1968. It must be that Bob De Moor made this drawing somewhere right after New Year’s Day of 1967 as he was still in the mood of Monsieur Tric visiting Lapland.

The drawing is made with Chinese ink and colored with what we presume is ‘écoline’, a liquid watercolor paint. According to Johan De Moor ‘écoline’ was the favorite coloring technique used by Bob De Moor but we’ll let him tell more on that in the future. The whole is drawn on a cardboard support and measures 8 cm X 11 cm.

As it happens this drawing was sent to Michel after having contacted Bob De Moor via the Tintin weekly.

For those wondering what Lapland is (shame on you really), it is a region in northern Fennoscandia, largely within the Arctic Circle. It stretches across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. On the north it is bounded by the Barents Sea, on the west by the Norwegian Sea and on the east by the White Sea. The name Lapland refers to land inhabited by the Sami people, formerly called Lapp people, which is now considered derogatory. One of these Sami is also depicted wearing his traditional clothes in the Monsieur Tric story.

If you want to know more about this fantastic geographical spot, check this Wiki page. It’s a must-visit region.

PS: A better scan will be added in the next days…

Bob De Moor makes his entree with Professor Cosinus at the Tintin weekly

On September 29, 1949 Bob De Moor saw his very first work published in the Tintin weekly. He had been hired by Karel Van Milleghem to aid Eugène Van Nyverseel (aka Evany) with the layout work of Tintin, more precisely to make small drawings, do the lettering etc.

Professor Cosinus, the first drawings for Tintin/Kuifje.
Professor Cosinus, the first drawings for Tintin/Kuifje.

The first story for which Bob De Moor delivered some accompanying drawings can be seen on the left. It’s about a certain Professor Cosinus. Bald, he is confronted with someone suffering from a black hairy tongue, a side-effect of using Penicillin. The affliction is caused by bacteria or fungi in the mouth, which make the tongue appear black and hairy. They can grow to 15 times their normal length actually. Tasty no?

Anyhow, Penicillin can also provoke a sudden hair growth (not just on the tongue) and as a result Professor Cosinus decided to rub his bald head with Penicillin. Little did he know that Penicillin is not only known to cause temporal hair growth, it can also provoke hair loss with people with high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, depression and so on.

We’re not sure what the problem was with Professor Cosinus, but he starts losing his hair the moment he arrives at the table. He leaves ashamed and ridiculed by his fellow academy members. You would have thought that Professor Cosinus was a bit smarter than that, since he is a member of the Science Academy.

The style used here is quite similar to the one he would use for Mieleke & Dolf aka Fee & Fonske aka Bouboule et Noiraud in French which would start to appear later that year.

Babbel & Co, a flemish series pur sang, but when was it created? (Part 1)

Between February 1949 and January 1951 Bob De Moor saw another series published in the weekly lifestyle magazine Weekend besides Professor Quick, namely “De lotgevallen van Babbel & Co”. This one page series told the story of Evarist Babbel and his family consisting of his wife Hortense, and his kids Mon and Tinneke. Kept under close watch by his wife Hortense, Evarist did however manage to create a turmoil here and there, but so did his wife. As it happens, Evarist looked like an early more cheeky version of uncle Zigomar.

A sequence from this old Bob De Moor/Artec Studios story.
A sequence from this old Bob De Moor/Artec Studios story.

Some say that the series was a rip-off of Willy Vandersteen‘s “De familie Snoek” which was published between 1945 and 1954 (and rebooted between 1965 and 1972). Truth to be told, if you closely look at both series, there is little to no similarity to be found.

You will notice that the drawing style is not similar to that of the drawings De Moor would make for a series which was published around the same period: the adventures of “Tijl Uilenspiegel”. We say ‘published’, because we are not so sureBabbel & Co was also ‘created’ then.

Nevertheless, there are 3 possible explanations for this rather big difference in style.

  1. By January 1949 Bob De Moor had fallen out with his brother-in-law John Van Looveren with whom he had formed Artec Studios in 1948. The reason for the fall-out was the increased work pressure because apart from the series he made for Artec Studios Bob De Moor also started to work for the Tintin weekly in 1949. The whole packet turned out to be way too much work for De Moor. It forced him to deliver half completed drawings for Artec Studios, sometimes just rough pencil sketches while he kept his best work (and dedication) for the Tintin weekly. In short: rushed work. But even for a chameleon like Bob De Moor the style difference is rather big…
  2. A 2nd explanation is that the series might have been created much earlier. After the affair went to court in December 1950, Van Looveren lost, but the court also ruled that he was allowed to keep some drawings. It’s our belief that the pages for the series “De lotgevallen van Babbel & Co” were part of that deal where the Artec Studios could keep some pages and publish them after De Moor had left. Stylewise it is almost sure in this case that the pages were created before 1949/1950, although they only saw a release between 1949 and 1951. Good to know, both brothers-in-law would reconcile years later and burry the hatchet for good.
  3. A 3rd option is that this series was being worked on by one of the collaborators of Bob De Moor at Artec Studios, namely Mon Van Meulenbroeck. It is known that for at least one series De Moor only quickly penciled the drawings while another artist penciled and inked the rest. Was this the case here?

We’ll be coming back on this in a future article with even more details. For now, let those grey cells do their job…

The yellow spy with and without shadows

From September 13th 1954 until 31 December 1954 Bob De Moor saw his Snoe en Snolleke album “De Gele Spion” published in ‘t Vrije Volksblad, Nieuws van de dag, De Nieuwe Gids and De Antwerpse Gids. Later on in the 80s he was asked to rework the album for a publication in color. Since Catawiki has right now an original drawing up for auction from this specific album we thought it might be the perfect opportunity to see the corrections that were added on that item in order to re-release the album in color.

The adapted B/W version to be used for the albums in color
The adapted B/W version to be used for the albums in color

The complete page being auctioned this week is the one holding the strips 177 till 180 (that is page 47 in the Bedescope and Boogaloo versions for the French speaking).

For the publication in color in the eighties Bob De Moor, assisted by Geert De Sutter, reworked the material in order to remove the black parts in the drawings. As a result this page on auction has many white spots where the duo removed the black (in other parts of the album black parts were also replaced by drawings and not just removed, especially when it were characters or parts of the decor).

The 3 different versions.
The 3 different versions.

Here you see a detail which very well represents the differences. In the middle you see the original drawing from 1954 (albeit with a French text – note also the not so excellent way the original Dutch text was removed and replaced by a french text), on the left you have the corrected version from the 80s where the black spot has been whitened, on the right you have the colored version, with an adapted French text, this time with decent lettering.

A restored page from "De gele spion"
A restored page from “De gele spion”

In connection with this, there was also a page auctioned a while back from the same album, but this one had all the black parts still intact. A fake one? Not really, in fact this page had been restored to the old version (and quite well executed too) based on the version as published in 1954. You can see that restored page on the left. You’ll see that the original/restored version in black and white is a lot more balanced than the black and white version used for the colored albums. Not so weird because it was meant to be in black and white originally.

And a 3rd colored version of ‘Tintin and the Lake of Sharks’ auf Deutsch pops up

Yesterday one of our readers, Alexander Gawlick, contacted us to inform that the version of ‘Tintin and the Lake of Sharks’ which was completely inked by Bob De Moor was also published in Germany, namely in the German comic magazine ZACK in 1973 (issues 46-50). ZACK was a German magazine similar to Tintin and Pilote and was published from 1972-1980. It mostly took over the series that appeared in the other 2 magazines and so secured series like Tintin, Michel Vaillant, Dan Cooper etc. of a presence in Teutonia too. It would pop up again in 1999.

The German version, rather yellowish...
The German version, rather yellowish…

The scan we offer you here has a rather yellowish color use which – as Alexander pointed out to us – might indeed be due to a different printing method and paper. Another thing you will notice is that the text balloons hold printed text and not the manually added text like we could see in the version for Tintin Journal, the Dutch versions from Televisier and Pep, and in the French version as printed in Le Soir and La Patrie.

Although some keep on saying that these colored versions are not official ones (and even claim that there were no publications holding this colored versions – weird, we have some of the magazines in our hands here), this appearance in ZACK proves again that there was indeed an officially sanctioned color version being provided to several magazines for publication. It remains odd that this version popped up in several comic magazines but never saw the light of day in the Tintin Journal (and La Patrie, …) which went for the version as we know it from Casterman albeit with a different lettering. Maybe this was a specific demand by Hergé.

Just in case you have lost track of the various versions, there’s the black and white strips as published in Le Soir, the colored version for Pep for instance, the differently lettered version as it appeared in Tintin Journal, the chromo version released by Casterman, and the final version as released by Casterman.

The quest continues.