The sketch for Lefranc’s ‘Le repaire du loup’ cover of the Journal Tintin of April 21st, 1970

In 1970 the Journal Tintin started with the pre-publication of the Lefranc album “Le repaire du loup”. As you all know, this album was drawn by Bob De Moor under guidance of Jacques Martin. The 4th album in the Lefranc series would surprisingly only be released some 4 years later by Casterman.

The sketch as made by Bob De Moor for the cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.
The sketch as made by Bob De Moor for the cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.

In the archives of Olivier Marin, we found a pencil drawing on Schoeller’s Parole paper of what seems to have been the sketch for what was to become the cover artwork of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970. The cover shows a falling Lefranc. But let’s take a closer look to the first and the final version, because there are some differences to be seen.

On the left you see the sketch which has a Lefranc falling in a slightly different angle, with his body more bent. His arms also point upwards and not downwards like on the published version. This is probably due to the different postures one sees in the Lefranc albums, where the bodies always tend to be a bit more stiff. Next we see that Bob De Moor put the album title followed by “par Jacques Martin / Bob De Moor”. This was omitted in the final version and we are not sure why. Perhaps it was considered that the Lefranc series was known enough to go without the name of the authors? Nevertheless you can already see the initial design of the front cover with that very powerful wolf’s head on a red background taking 1/3 of the page.

The cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.
The cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.

Note also that the Journal Tintin logo and baseline have not been ‘framed’ like in the sketch but instead are shown over the actual drawing letting the action flow untouched in the background.

This cover is by far considered as one of the best De Moor did for the Journal Tintin, and now you can finally see that the strength was already there in the initial sketch.

Reminder, this year, 41 years later, the French editor Ludovic Gombert will actually release a ‘remastered‘ big format (28,5 x 38 cm) of this album, limited to just 250.

Bob De Moor explains how he worked on ‘The lake of Sharks’ animation film (The Johannes Stawowy Archives – Part 4)

Johannes Stawowy‘s personal archives of Bob De Moor‘s visit to Mülheim, Germany back in 1986 keep on revealing their secrets. Today we received some further material which Bob De Moor drew during the Q&A session in March 1986. As you might remember, In this article we showed you a photograph of Bob De Moor explaining how he worked on the “Lake of Sharks” animation film.

A sketch by Bob De Moor made in Mülheim, Germany in 1986.
A sketch by Bob De Moor made in Mülheim, Germany in 1986.

Today we present you a frontal shot of said drawing. We have enhanced the colors a bit for clarity because the combination of cheap paper, markers and some 29 years didn’t exactly improve the quality. The drawing shows 3 sequences in which Bob De Moor explained how the animators had to work in order to bring Tintin to live for the “Lake of Sharks” animation film. Although graphically this is quite hasty work, the intention here was to instruct and not to create a good drawing of course.

Tomorrow we’ll show you 2 more drawings, which unfortunately also suffered from the time and also some water damage. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to meet Tintin, Snowy and Thomson and Thompson

Previously unpublished birthday drawing from 1965 finally revealed…

Unlike what many might thing, there are a lot of drawings being made by comic artists which risk to never see the light of day, especially if they have been giving to a relative who is not into selling these treasures. Today I reveal you such a small treasure which I spotted when I visited Annemie De Moor and Luc De Meulenaere a while back.

The birthday card for Annemie De Moor in 1965.
The birthday card for Annemie De Moor in 1965.

The small 15×15 cm drawing was created by Bob De Moor in 1965 for the 7th birthday of their daughter Annemie ‘Annemieke’ De Moor. The drawing is an exquisite example of the drawing style which De Moor handled in the mid sixties and features Balthazar and 2 other figures all holding flowers. The colors are quite vivid and thus quite attractive for a 7 year old girl.

The text balloon says “Lovely flowers for Annemieke’s birthday. Congratulations, Annemieke”. The drawing is signed Bob De Moor right under the drawing but on the bottom right we also see the line “from mum and dad 18 December 1965”.

The picture we show here is a photograph, we’ll be updating the article with a better photograph on due time.

The genesis of the cult car Citroen traction avant 22 model drawing by Bob De Moor (part 3)

In the past few months we dedicated 2 articles to the cover drawing which Bob De Moor completed in August 1992 for the 1994 publication “La 22, Enquête sur une mystérieuse Citroën”. The book, written by Hervé Laronde and Fabien Sabatès and published via the French publisher Rétroviseur, features the very last drawing Bob De Moor would complete before succumbing to cancer in August 1992. That this is indeed the last drawing he would make had been confirmed by De Moor’s wife Jeanne De Belder.

The drawing as pencilled by Geert De Sutter
The drawing as pencilled by Geert De Sutter

A few days ago Geert De Sutter, who has assisted Bob De Moor on several (new and re-published) albums, sent us a scan of the pencil drawing of this cover and he also told us how Bob De Moor and he worked together to complete this cover artwork. Bob De Moor made a rough sketch of what he wanted on the cover after which Geert De Sutter started drawing the actual cover.

It was however Bob De Moor himself who inked the drawing and as it seems he didn’t change any detail during this procedure as Geert De Sutter also confirms (see also page 386 of the Bob De Moor biography by Ronald Grossey where this particular drawing has been referenced).

The documentation of Bob De Moor for the Citroën cover.
The documentation of Bob De Moor for the Citroën cover.

Geert also provided us with a scan of the documentation which Bob De Moor had sent him in order to draw the Citroën. You can see this original reference material on the left. You’ll notice that the original source material used was quite old (it was a very old model after all).

With this 3rd article we have been able to show you the complete genesis of this particular Citroën drawing. We have several other such examples which will show you bit by bit. Thanks to Geert De Sutter for the material provided.

Barelli and Tintin in Germany (The Johannes Stawowy Archives – Part 3)

In November 2014 we presented you 2 articles based on Johannes Stawowy‘s archives of Bob De Moor‘s visit to Mülheim, Germany back in 1986, and more precisely the Q&A session which took place on March 14 & 15 of 1986. There is a lot more that can be told from this visit to Germany, so today we bring you part 3.

Barelli - Mülheim, Germany, 1986
Barelli – Mülheim, Germany, 1986

But Bob De Moor did more than just answering questions as you can read in this and this article. Johannes now sent us 2 extra photographs of drawings which Bob De Moor made in Mülheim.

They were drawn on the paper board that De Moor used during his Q&A session and on which he drew various examples of Tintin characters and explained how they were being drawn for use in the animated Belvision film “The lake of Sharks”. Note that this is/was not the easiest way of drawing as many comic authors will acknowledge.

Tintin - Mülheim, Germany, 1986
Tintin – Mülheim, Germany, 1986

The first drawing shows Barelli reading his own adventures and saying that the stories are great. The second one shows a very simplified drawing of the cover of the Tintin album “Red Rackham’s Treasure”. If you look well you can actually see Bob De Moor‘s signature on the bottom right with underneath it, ‘Studios Hergé‘.

In the next days and weeks we’ll continue with more articles based on the archives of Johannes Stawowy.

1954 Snoe en Snolleke album ‘De zwarte draak’ finally to be released in original version in 2015

Good news reaches us from the Brabant Strip headquarters. The team behind Brabant Strip have been able to find the original newspaper clippings of the 1954 Snoe and Snolleke story “De zwarte draak” (“The black dragon”) during a foray at the Vossenplein in Brussels.

Notice the difference in language in both versions.
Notice the difference in language in both versions.

This re-edition is important for many reasons. First of all, as you probably know, the original version of this story as published in De Nieuwe Gids (and related newspapers) from 12 October 1953 until 30 January 1954 was in a flemish dutch. That very cosy language got annihilated when the Casterman and Standaard Uitgeverij re-editions replaced it by a dutch which was way too much ‘dutchified’. Both editors (and especially their translator) seemed to have forgotten that Snoe and Snolleke were Flemish and not Dutch to start with.

Next, we also showed you in the past that a lot of drawings for these re-editions were adapted because they were printed in colour. A move which makes sense. Also, some drawings were completely changed as you can see here and in the case of this upcoming album, no less than 4 strips were missing in the final re-edition (it’s not sure why these 4 strips were not included, perhaps Bob De Moor didn’t find them useful enough or the originals were missing or it simply wouldn’t have fit in the 46 pages that were planned for the album version – we’ll update this when we find more info). Brabant Strip will edit this album in black & white in its Fenix Collection including the 4 missing strips. On the left you can see an example of the newspaper clipping versus the version as edited by Standaard Uitgeverij.

Note that the re-furbished “De zwarte draak” was originally supposed to be published by Casterman in 1989, but in the end it was Standaard Uitgeverij which would edit it in 1993. 22 years later we now will finally also have the original version in black & white!

And that’s not all, it seems like it that also the newspaper clippings from the “Het Geheim van Vulcania”, the follow-up album from 1954, have been retrieved. Also these ones will be released in album format, in 2016. Until now only a poor photocopy bootleg version of the album was being sold here and there.

Tintin and Captain Haddock go Stella Artois with Bob De Moor

In the archives of the family De Moor we stumbled on a drawing Bob De Moor made for the Studios Hergé (Publiart to be precise) and it shows Captain Haddock, Tintin and Snowy on a boat. Tintin is pointing to a star on the horizon – which is in reality a pint of beer from the Stella Artois brand – and shouts “Stella à babord” which stands for “Stella on the port bow!” The reason why Tintin is referring to Stella and not Stella Artois is because Stella Artois is informally often called Stella. Good to know, stella is also the Latin and Italian word for “star”.

Tintin goes Stella with Bob De Moor
Tintin goes Stella with Bob De Moor

The drawing was according to us never used, at least we couldn’t find back any finalised publicity that represents this drawing. In case you have seen this before, contacts us please.

For the non beer fanatics, a Stella is a pilsner beer of between 4.8 and 5.2% ABV (Alcohol by volume). It has been brewed in Leuven, Belgium, since 1926, although it is being brewed in other locations as well now. A lower alcohol content (4% ABV) version is also sold in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada and New Zealand and actually tastes different due to this; Belgians often refer to this version as being dishwater. Stella Artois is one of the prominent brands of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.

A 1962 cartoon featuring a priest and his ‘churchavan’…

In 1962 Bob De Moor was one of the winners of what we suppose was the ‘Kartoenale‘, a yearly cartoon evenment in Knokke-Heist (at the Belgian coast) which was organised for the very first time in 1962. The cartoon we show you today was the cartoon that made him win that year.

The priest on holiday with his churchavan...
The priest on holiday with his churchavan…

The style in which this cartoon has been drawn is very much unlike other Bob De Moor drawings and it is a good example of how De Moor broke out of the graphic confinements from time to time to present a new style which he would only use for a short period of time or just for one kind of drawings, in this case a cartoon. The drawing itself shows a priest in soutane outfit going on a holiday trip with his caravan, which is actually a small church on wheels, a ‘churchavan’ in short. At that moment caravans started to get more and more popular so it isn’t a surprise that this ‘gadget’ shows up in his work.

There are various cartoons which Bob De Moor made during these years, especially for contest like the ‘Kartoenale’.

Hobbel & Sobbel in colour or in black & white?

From issue 14 on (1947), the weekly youth magazine KZV aka Kleine Zondagsvriend started publishing the stories from Hobbel & Sobbel. Unlike many other older series from Bob De Moor, this one was – just like Bart de Scheepsjongen – partially published in colour (and partially in grey tones and partially in black and white) when it appeared in the weekly magazine. It would however never be edited in colour (when applicable) in album format. And that’s a pity because those original coloured strips have their charm.

On top you see the black & white version as published by Brabantia Nostra in the 4th volume of their Bob De Moor series in 1983. Underneath you see the coloured version which we scanned from the original KZV publication.
On top you see the black & white version as published by Brabantia Nostra in the 4th volume of their Bob De Moor series in 1983. Underneath you see the coloured version which we scanned from the original KZV publication.

The example we show you today was originally published in KZV issue 3 (on the frontage) which appeared on January 20th 1949. The only time this story saw a reprint was when Brabantia Nostra released its ‘Bob De Moor Reeks’ holding the Hobbel & Sobbel adventures in 2 volumes (3 & 4). Alas, the albums were – due to financial reasons – printed in black & white and thus the coloured pages of Bob De Moor‘s early work were hidden under a grey mist.

In the example on the left we compare both versions. On top you see the black & white version as published by Brabantia Nostra in the 4th volume of their Bob De Moor series in 1983. Underneath you see the coloured version which we scanned from the original KZV publication.

Needless to say that the latter is superior in clarity and quality than the Brabantia Nostra one and this without any additional digital cleaning being done. But it would be a bit too easy to point the finger to Brabantia Nostra, because today’s scanners are superior to what this Dutch editor had to work with and it’s after all thanks to this Dutch editor that many can still enjoy this early – and still quite enjoyable – work by Bob De Moor.

Note also that the original drawings and films of this series have gone lost forever (that was already the case in 1983), which means that the pages which De Moor had coloured for KZV but which were published in grey tones in said magazine can never be restored to their original colouring as De Moor had intended it. Nevertheless, let’s hope that this long forgotten series will see a reprint soon in the quality it deserves because even when not coloured, today’s scanners can do a superior work to the scanners from the early 80s and some digital cleaning can restore this series to its intended glory.

Bob De Moor congratulates Christiane & Charly in 1990!

On September 22nd 1990, Christiane De Meulenaere & Charly Collin married and especially for the occasion Bob De Moor created a drawing which was used to congratulate the newly wed couple. The connection with the family De Moor is the following, Christiane De Meulenaere is the sister of Luc De Meulenaere, husband of Annemie De Moor, daughter of Bob De Moor (thanks to Luc for clearing that one out)

Only Monsieur Tric and Balthazar are missing...
Only Monsieur Tric and Balthazar are missing…

We found the invitation back in the archives of Olivier Marin (yes, it’s a name that will pop up regularly as his has quite a nice collection of rarities concerning Bob De Moor).

On the drawing we find Barelli and Anne Nannah; Cori; Snoe, Snollke and Oncle Zigomar. While Barelli has a ribbon with two hearts in his hands (having the letter C printed on both), Anne Nannah is carrying a bouquet of flowers. Cori decided to bring along a small miniature ship and Snoe & Snollke carry a present. Oncle Zigomar from his side is holding a huge heart shaped garland decorated with flowers and the inscription Christiane 22-9-2-1990 Charly. Missing are Monsieur Tric and Balthazar.

The drawing was signed Bob De Moor and is quite a rarity, so if you find one, don’t miss the opportunity to get one for your own collection!