Tibet’s Chick Bill celebrating his 25th anniversary with Bob De Moor – the demo version!

A while back we posted an article on Tibet‘s Chick Bill celebrating his 25th anniversary. On that occasion the issue 39 of the Tintin Journal of 1978 was dedicated to Chick Bill with tributes from Bob De Moor and his colleagues Walthéry, Peyo, Derib, Franquin, Paape, Greg, Craenhals, Denayer, Morris, Dany, Leloup, Géri, Roba and Reding.

As we explained in that article, Bob De Moor decided to show Monsieur Tric traveling through the desert with a cake that risked to turn bad. The text balloon says: “Let’s not hang on too long, otherwise this anniversary cake risks to turn bad”. Tric had another 1523 miles to do before reaching Wood City… Typical humor from Bob De Moor.

The basic idea for the Chic Bill anniversary drawing.
The basic idea for the Chic Bill anniversary drawing.

Today we can show you the test drawing which Bob De Moor made for this drawing. We found it back in the archives of the De Moor family. It’s a picture not a scan (when it’s scanned, we’ll replace the picture with the new scan). Nevertheless it shows very well how the idea was born. As you can see, the final version shows no differences as far as the text is concerned. The drawing itself is very basic and was nothing more than a quick idea put to paper.

Monsieur Tric in the desert...
Monsieur Tric in the desert…

On the left you see the final version as it was published in the Journal Tintin. For those not knowing the comic series we are talking about, Chick Bill was a Franco-Belgian humorous Western series created by Tibet. It was first published in the Franco-Belgian comics magazines ‘De Avonturen van Koenraad’ and ‘Chez Nous Junior’ in 1953, and began serial publication on October 19, 1955 in Tintin magazine under the title ‘Les aventures de Chick Bill le cow-boy’.

Unfortunately Hergé didn’t like the animal faces used in the series because they were according to Hergé too similar to the Disney style. So Tibet had to change the faces into humans. I say ‘unfortunately’ because the very first Chick Bill adventures had a very special aura, especially because Tibet had succeeded in selecting very well what animal would represent which character. Note also that these first albums were directed at a younger audience, just like the first Tintin albums actually.

Tibet (aka Gilbert Gascard) worked with scripts by Greg, André-Paul Duchâteau and René Goscinny.

A self-portrait from 1941, signed Bob De Moor

After a brief stay in Mexico, with limited internet access unfortunately, we return to our daily routine of news updates. Today we present you an almost 74-year old drawing.

Bob De Moor's self-portrait as made on November 7, 1941.
Bob De Moor’s self-portrait as made on November 7, 1941.

As we all know Bob De Moor loved making self portraits, most often they were more about laughing with himself – a good personality trait actually – but from time to time he also made a ‘genuine’ one, especially in his younger years.

Today we present you a drawing which Bob De Moor made on November 7, 1941. The drawing, signed R. De Moor, was made when the young artist was only 16 years old, and already then he had his distinctive moustache.

We found the drawing – on ‘time yellowed’ paper – in the archives of the family De Moor.

A capstan traced for the Cori album ‘L’invincible Armada 2 – Le Dragon des Mers’

When preparing drawings for his later Cori albums, Bob De Moor preferred to follow the same procedure as he did with Hergé when working on the Tintin albums, and that was to first prepare a case on a separate paper and then careful trace that copy onto another paper from where it was again traced to be put on the final page. Quite a time consuming way of working which Bob De Moor explained in a video which you can see here. It nevertheless helped to get the best possible drawing on the final page without having to start again way too much.

The capstan ready to be traced on the final page.
The capstan ready to be traced on the final page.

Today we present you one of these small tracing papers which Bob De Moor used to complete a case situated in the left bottom corner of page 4 of the Cori album “L’invincible Armada 2 – Le Dragon des Mers” (1980). We found the small piece of paper back in the archives of the family De Moor.

The capstan in its final version of page 4 of the Cori album "L'invincible Armada 2 - Le Dragon des Mers"
The capstan in its final version of page 4 of the Cori album “L’invincible Armada 2 – Le Dragon des Mers”

As you can see the drawing (inverted here as it was to be traced again afterwards to get it back to the original position?) was far from being finished. You can see the original feet positions which differ from the ones used in the final version, also the clothes are different and there eis no background. But on the whole the total concept of the case is already largely present with De Moor mostly being concerned about the manual capstan, as he was obsessed by naval precision in his Cori albums.

For those who don’t know what a capstan is, it is a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to apply force to ropes, cables, and hawsers. The principle is similar to that of the windlass, which has a horizontal axle. The device is considered to be a Spanish invention.

We’ll be digging up more of these gems of course.

A 1960s Journal Tintin cartoon by Bob De Moor – Part 1

In the 60s Bob De Moor created several cartoons which have been published left and right, in bigger and smaller magazines. Most of these publications are close to unknown to most of you today and are often very difficult to trace back. It’s also not always easy to find out where a drawing was actually published. In some cases it’s not even possible to find back the drawings…

A Journal Tintin publicity cartoon by Bob De Moor.
A Journal Tintin publicity cartoon by Bob De Moor.

And that was the case with the drawing we present you today. The cartoon you see here comes from the mold used to print the cartoon in the actual publication. The original drawing might have gone lost or is now in the possession of a private collector who hasn’t made it public. It was Olivier Marin who acquired this rarity and also him who made the print so we can show it to you today.

The cartoon is a publicity for the Journal Tintin and you can see the kid yelling: “Shorter! Shorter! I haven’t yet finished reading my Journal Tintin!” The style used here is the same as the one we have shown you here and here and can be situated somewhere in the sixties, we presume it is after 1965.

There is a whole series of these cartoons which were published back then in a similar style. We’ll present you a selection of these bit by bit. If you know where the cartoon originally has been used for, let us know!

One version of the many ‘Barelli et le bouddha boudant’ test drawings

In 1974 Bob De Moor would publish “Barelli et le bouddha boudant”. Among Bob De Moor fans, the story and especially the cover of this album are widely considered as being the best in the Barelli series. Not many know however that Bob De Moor actually completed several versions of the album cover, not one, not two, not three, not four, not five but many more. Today we present you one of the covers which never made it to the final version. Thanks to Olivier Marin who gave us an insight in his vaste collection and where we discovered this item.

An enhanced test version of the cover for the 1974 album "Barelli et le bouddha boudant".
An enhanced test version of the cover for the 1974 album “Barelli et le bouddha boudant”.

We found today’s drawing on a page on which Bob De Moor had drawn 6 versions of the Barelli cover. 3 of these were added on the front of the page, 3 more were added on the back (of which 2 are less developed than the other 4). Just like the title makes you suspect, the recurrent character on all of these drawings is a bouddha.

A hint why this cover never made to the final version is that it bares a similarity with a cover Bob De Moor did for another Barelli title, namely for the modernised cover version of “L’énigmatique monsieur Barelli”, including a Barelli with his back on the main action. You can discover the same Barelli with the action happening in the background on this “Barelli et le bouddha boudant” test cover.

The actual drawing is only 15 cm high, but we enlarged it here to give you a better view. Note that this cover was really quickly drawn and probably only took him a few minutes to complete. You will also notice that the title is in French, not surprising as Bob De Moor was writing his scenarios more and more in French by then. His mindset probably was also more French since he had been working for years amongst French speaking colleagues. That’s a lot of ‘French’ in just a few sentences, but it underlines the why.

Black day for artists worldwide as freedom of speech ends in bloodbath at French office Charlie Hebdo

With over 12 people killed and several severely injured during a terrorist raid by Islam extremists on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, January 7th, 2015 will go into history as the 9/11 of art. So far the shooting cost the lives of 5 cartoonists: Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, Philippe Honoré and Tignous.

Johan De Moor's answer to the barbaric killing at the Charlie Hebdo HQ.
Johan De Moor’s answer to the barbaric killing at the Charlie Hebdo HQ.

When we reached out to Johan De Moor yesterday afternoon he was in shock, having known several cartoonists personally. He promised to send us a cartoon and this morning we received these 2 drawings, the first being a rework of Charb‘s last drawing, drenched in very dark cynical humor. We’re sure that Charlie Hebdo would have loved it

"Mercredi 7 janvier", the second cartoon by Johan De Moor.
“Mercredi 7 janvier”, the second cartoon by Johan De Moor.

The second marks the day of terror. Voicing a thought can mean the end of your life, also in Europe. Freedom of speech in Europe is under threat and it remains to be seen if other magazines and cartoonists will censor their work in order not to end up dead themselves. For those opposing to the freedom of speech, always remind these words (often erroneously quoted as being from Voltaire): “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

And this morning Johan sent us this picture of Belgian cartoonists united for Charlie Hebdo and the freedom of speech and art. You can see Johan De Moor, second on the right.

Belgian cartoonists united for Charlie Hebdo.
Belgian cartoonists united for Charlie Hebdo.

Bob De Moor goes Edgar P. Jacobs in 1984 + rare radio interview

Today we present you a document which Bob De Moor sent to the editorial staff of the Journal Tintin, more precisely to Jean-Luc Vernal, the editor in chief of the Journal Tintin from 1979 to 1988, and which has been sold on Catawiki recently. We also have a rare interview with Bob De Moor which Régric (comic author behind Lefranc, Été indien pour la Mini, …) pointed out to us.

The note dating from 1984 with Mortimer as drawn by Bob De Moor.
The note dating from 1984 with Mortimer as drawn by Bob De Moor.

But first the document, it’s dated October 11 1984 and handles the shipping of a plate called “S.O.S. Météores”, but contrarily to what the seller on Catawiki implied, it’s not about a page from the Blake & Mortimer album “S.O.S. Météores”, but the very funny pastiche Bob De Moor made in 1978 and which was published in the Journal Tintin nr 49.

The most important detail on this sheet of paper is however the head of Mortimer which Bob De Moor drew on the paper using a simple pen. It would take until 1987 for Bob De Moor to draw the Edgar P. Jacobs characters again, namely for the “Mystère à Montreuil : Une enquête de Blake et Mortimer”.

Next is a 50 minute (!) interview which Bob De Moor gave on April 11th 1990 to France Culture. This interview is quite worth checking out, although it’s in French and thus not for everybody understandable. But on the other hand it’s a very good possibility to hear Bob De Moor’s voice again, crystal clear this time.

In the interview Bob De Moor discusses in detail “Les 3 Formules du professeur Satō – Mortimer contre Mortimer” (which had been released just a few weeks before), the censorship Jacobs had to undergo in France, the spies in the life of Jacobs, the absence of women in the work of Jacobs and Hergé, Hergé asking to add the Johan & Stephan album “Le renard qui louche” in the Journal Tintin, … and so on. Bob De Moor also talks about co-signing the album and… you can hear Bob De Moor sing à la Edgar P. Jacobs! You’ll have to take the rather hoity-toity Andy Warhol / René Magritte chitchat by some of the other studio guest for granted but each time Bob De Moor quickly brings the listener back to the real thing: the art of comics. Recommended listening!

The smoking kid, a watercolor painting from 1947

68 years ago, in 1947, Bob De Moor painted a drawing which has been part of the toilet ornaments of the family De Moor for years. Not surprisingly the drawing remained in the archives of the family De Moor and we can show it today for the very first time.

A 1947 drawing by Bob De Moor.
A 1947 drawing by Bob De Moor.

The watercolor painting shows a kid smoking a tobacco pipe, and looking at the kid’s body posture, his dad or mother just caught him in the act; you can see the light shining from the left, indicating someone opened the door. The drawing offers an insight in how the equipment of a smoker in 1947 looked like. You’ll see a collection of tobacco pipes gathered on the wall in a holder that has the text “Moge het pijpje u smaken en ‘t leven u gelukkig maken” which can be freely translated as “Enjoy your pipe and let life make you happy”. These wooden holders were omnipresent in many households back then and the one represented on this painting was actually commercially available.

The painting, signed R. De Moor ’47, also features a tobacco mug where tobacco was kept in plus a Union Match box with matches laying on the floor.

There’s also a detail showing that the kid’s family is not all that rich, he has no belt but uses a rope to keep his pants up. And staying with the kid, his shoes are typical Bob De Moor shoes for that time, look at the Hobbel & Sobbel shoes for instance and compare. You’ll clearly see a similarity.