A previously unpublished Barelli strip showcasing the working procedure

Today we present you a detail which will very well explain how Bob De Moor and Geert De Sutter worked for creating the album “Barelli in bruisend Brussel” album. The detail was sent to us by Geert De Sutter a few weeks ago. The album itself originally was published in 1988 and reissued in 1989 and 1994.

The partially inked drawing.
The partially inked drawing.

Originally commissioned by Hugo Weckx, the Community Secretary of Education / Public Health and Brussels Affairs, it was released in various languages. The detail we show you today has never been published before. The strip was sketched out by Bob De Moor, after that Geert De Sutter worked on the decors while Bob De Moor drew the characters and also inked them. Afterwards Geert De Sutter inked the decors. The strip here shows the inked characters and the decors still penciled.

The final inked results in black and white.
The final inked results in black and white.

The final inked strip in black and white can be seen on the left. You’ll probably will have noticed that it shows the infamous moment when Bob De Moor is being ran over by Barelli in a typical corner accident which De Moor so often used, see for instance also this Blake and Mortimer frame which was published in the first and second edition of the Blake and Mortimer album “Professor Sató’s Three Formulae, Volume 2: Mortimer vs. Mortimer”.

Bob De Moor’s Monsieur Tric as seen by Michel Weyland in 1981

To celebrate the 35 years of the Tintin Journal in 1981, the younger generation of Tintin comic artists was asked to create their version of the older generation’s work. The results were published under “Brouiller les cartes” in a special of Tintin Journal, issue 39 of 1981. One of the 3 pages based on Bob De Moor’s work was created by Michel Weyland (best known for his Aria series), and holds his interpretation of a Monsieur Tric gag as created for issue 17 of the Tintin Journal of 1950, namely “Jardinage”.

The build-up, text and content of both versions differ quite a bit. Let’s have a closer look.

Bob De Moor versus Michel Weyland.
Bob De Moor versus Michel Weyland.

First of all you’ll notice that the Weyland version is in colour, while the original is in black and white (with some grey tones). Next you’ll see that Bob De Moor cut the scene up into 11 frames while Weyland reduced it to just 8 (7 even you don’t count the detail at the end).

You’ll notice that the first frame has an inverse perspective compared to the original drawing. It actually makes sense, because the flow in Weyland’s version is now kept inside the page. This was actually a compositional error by Bob De Moor (as he would recall in later interviews).

Textually, Weyland compresses the first two text balloons in just one and he already puts the spade in Tric’s hands. He also deletes the frames 2 and 3. For frame 4 he decided to let Tric immediately complain about his rheumatism, something which is not the case in De Moor’s version. Frame 5 in De Moor’s version has a neighbour having a chat (laugh?) with Tric. It’s a man. Weyland decides to add a sexy touch to his version and goes for a cute blonde girl. Frame 6 in Weyland’s and De Moor’s version are more or less the same, except that Weyland let’s Tric move to the right, continuing the flow of the action in the page. Frame 7 is not ‘translated’ in Weyland’s version. Frame 8 is more or less the same in both versions, except for the way the van is placed, however the flow of the action is turned similar as Weyland has Tric pointing to the right. Frame 9 and 10 of De Moor’s version are textually melted together in Weyland’s frame number 6. However, visually, frame 10 of De Moor’s version is continued in Weyland’s frame number 7 (embedded in frame 8 and without the text which he moved to frame 6). In the final frame of De Moor’s version we see the astonished neighbour looking at Tric and his horse, but there is sadly enough no cute blonde to be seen in Weyland’s version.

We’ll be commenting the other 2 adaptations (Barelli and Cori) in the next days!

And the winner for the Jet Magazine contest at the Festival BD Coxyde is…

In June 2014 we published a story on Jet Magazine, which Lombard launched in January 1990 in order to look for brand new comic talent. Today we offer you an original drawing which Bob De Moor made for Jet issue 9 to promote a drawing contest related to the Koksijde Stripfestival aka Strip Koksijde (and Festival BD Coxyde for our French speaking readers), which was a quite well known and popular Belgian comic festival.

The original drawing as used for what we think was a souvenir card in 1990.
The original drawing as used for what we think was a souvenir card in 1990.

We found the original drawing (you can still see some of the pencil drawings here and there) of what must have been used for a ‘souvenir’ card, in the personal collection of Olivier Marin. On the drawing you can see a medal being handed out to the Jet contest winner. However, a black-headed gull spoils the fun as it drops some excrements on the clothes of the winning comic author.

Thanks to Petja van den Hurk, we can confirm that the drawing was used in Jet issue 9, page 5. In issue 10 of Jet the magazine also announces the 2nd contest adding that the 5 winning submissions will be exhibited at the ‘Stripfestival van Koksijde’ (July 20-28, 1991). The drawing is added in small next to it.

Still about the drawing, Bob De Moor also added an extra linguistic joke, namely the person wearing a T-shirt /sweater with the word ‘Bof’ on it. ‘Bof’ is commonly used after or before the French phrase “Je ne sais pas”, meaning “I don’t know”.

Since we have many collectors reading our website, you can expect an update sooner or later.

Bob De Moor pays tribute to his drinking buddy Willy Vandersteen in 1990

On Wednesday August 29th the Flemish newspaper De Morgen published a series of article around Willy Vandersteen who had died the day before. On page 5 of the Focus extra they also published an article about Bob De Moor‘s friendship with Willy Vandersteen plus a cartoon Bob De Moor had made the day before for the occasion.

Willy Vandersteen (15 February 1913 – 28 August 1990) was a Belgian creator of comic books and is best known for Suske en Wiske (published in English as Spike and Suzy). His career spanned 50 years during which he created a large studio and published more than 1,000 comic albums in over 25 series, selling more than 200 million copies worldwide. Hergé even called him “The Brueghel of the comic strip”.

The 1990 tribute to his friend Willy Vandersteen.
The 1990 tribute to his friend Willy Vandersteen.

In the article itself Bob De Moor says that Vandersteen has been a big influence for him when he started out as a comic artist. The article also relates how De Moor was asked to join the Vandersteen Studio, which he declined as he wanted to work for the Hergé Studios. It’s no surprise that the article also includes some lines on how Hergé has had a big influence on the work of Willy Vandersteen. It resulted in what would be Vandersteen’s best albums, also known as the blue series with such albums as “Het Spaanse Spook”, “Het Geheim van de Gladiatoren”, “Het Gouden Paard” and so on. Bob De Moor also says that with the death of Willy Vandersteen he has lost a very good friend with whom he usually went out drinking until very early in the morning.

That latter detail from their friendship is also shown in the cartoon Bob De Moor made, and which we show you today. The drawing shows De Moor and Willy Vandersteen (disguised as the Spanish Ghost) having a drink. Bob De Moor says: “You need to come and haunt us a bit more often Willy, then we can have a drink like in the good old times of the Gard Civic!” The Gard Civic was the jazzclub-to-be in Antwerp situated at the Stadswaag, but it no longer exists. However, it’s clear that both men were regulars at the establishment.

The name of the pub referred to Garde Civique or Burgerwacht which was a Belgian militia created in October 1830 shortly after the Belgian Revolution. As a formation, it acted as a quasi-military “gendarmarie”, with the primary role of maintaining social order within Belgium until its disestablishment in 1920.

But let’s continue to check this cartoon. If you look well, you can also see a jug of beer called “Geuze Lambik” standing on the ground next to Bob De Moor. It’s a wordplay referring to the Gueuze beer (or Geuze) which is a type of lambic, a Belgian beer (lambic being replaced with Lambik, the Flemish name of a character in the Spike and Suzy stories). Good to know, Vandersteen based the name on… Gueuze Lambic, the beer he loved so much. And the circle is round.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder seen through the eyes of Bob De Moor (Part 3)

Yesterday we published a follow up to our March 5th article about the cartoon ‘Salon van de Vlaamse Humor‘ by Bob De Moor. We were able to prove that the drawing dated from the 60s. And today we can also pinpoint a final date to it: 1961. It was again Yves Kerremans who went searching for some extra info.

The cover of the 1961 publication, see the signature of Bob De Moor, 8th from the left.
The cover of the 1961 publication, see the signature of Bob De Moor, 8th from the left.

Yesterday we showed a table which was printed in the 1971 publication of “Beknopt Verslach een overzicht van 20 jaar Salon van de Vlaamse Humor“ which showed that Bob De Moor had participated in the first 5 editions of the ‘Salon van de Vlaamse Humor’: 1952, 1954, 1959, 1961 en 1963. Since the cartoon clearly showed De Moor’s style from the 60s we were pretty sure that the cartoon had either been drawn in 1961 or 1963.

The Bob De Moor bio as published in the booklet.
The Bob De Moor bio as published in the booklet.

But the quest has now reached its end. Yesterday evening Yves Kerremans informed that he had found back a publication of said salon in 1961 (the 4th edition), in which the cartoon we have been writing about is also published. In other words, the enigma has been solved :). The booklet also holds a short bio of Bob De Moor which we publish on the left.

Thanks to Yves Kerremans for tracking this down!

Pieter Bruegel the Elder seen through the eyes of Bob De Moor (Part 2)

On March 5th we published an article on a cartoon ‘Salon van de Vlaamse Humor’ by Bob De Moor which was published in postcard format in 1980. We also said in that article that it was highly doubtful that the cartoon had been made that same year, but instead probably in the early 60s. That seems to be correct like new information sent by Yves Kerremans shows.

Page 8 of VTB Maandschrift issue 141 from 1971.
Page 8 of VTB Maandschrift issue 141 from 1971.

That info indicates that the cartoon was already included in the 1971 publication “Beknopt Verslach een overzicht van 20 jaar Salon van de Vlaamse Humor“, which was part of a series by the VTB (Vlaamse Toeristische Bibliotheek). The small book, with a cover by Pil, includes a couple of illustrations (Marc Sleen, Bob De Moor, Pil and Jef Nys) next to a text about the actual salon plus a table showing the participants of the 9 editions of the Salon which took place between 1952 and 1971. From that table results that Bob De Moor participated in the first 5 editions: 1952, 1954, 1959, 1961 en 1963.

The table showing the years Bob De Moor participated to the 'Salon van de Vlaams Humor'.
The table showing the years Bob De Moor participated to the ‘Salon van de Vlaams Humor’.

The small book includes 2 drawings by Bob De Moor, the actual drawing we already showed (page 8) and also a drawing (made in 1961) representing Mark Liebrecht and Bob Van Bael (page 10). We’ll get back to this particular 2nd drawing in a later article as we also found that same drawing in a 1961 issue of ‘De Autotoerist’.

Sure thing is that the cartoon ‘Salon van de Vlaamse Humor’ was – as we already thought – not made in 1980 but way before, our guess: 1961 or 1963. We are also trying to trace back the other drawings Bob De Moor made for the Salon.

Barelli in a pimped seat: the sketch and the final version

Update: Also Editions Le Lombard have no clue what the card was used for.

In 1987 the Lombard publishing house would release a postcard featuring Barelli, Anne Nannah and what seems to be 4 other colleagues in an office. On the back of the card we can see ‘Copyright by Lombard 1987 De Moor’ plus the phrase “Pour ta promotion, sincères félicitations”. The card comes from the archives of Olivier Marin. But that’s not the only reason why we present you this card today. We actually found back the counterpart (the sketch that is) in the archives of the family De Moor, which kinda gives you a very good idea what the early beginning of this postcard looks like.

The final version as printed by Lombard in 1987.
The final version as printed by Lombard in 1987.

We tried to obtain some information on this postcard and especially for which particular occasion this postcard had been created or commissioned. We talked to Yves Sente, who referred us to André-Paul Duchâteau (Belgian comics writer and mystery novelist who worked with Tibet on Ric Hochet). Unfortunately André-Paul Duchâteau couldn’t recall for what the postcard had originally been created but he thought that it could have been for the promotion of Bob De Moor himself that year as artistic director at Lombard. However, that only happened in 1989.

It’s our guess that the card was used throughout the company, but if anyone knows a bit more on this, please contact us.

The sketch made by Bob De Moor.
The sketch made by Bob De Moor.

Let’s check the sketch Bob De Moor made. He didn’t change a lot compared to his first sketch (which was OK’d as you can in the upper left corner. The only difference is actually that Anne Nannah wasn’t in the first sketch or at least he had not yet chosen her to be the character on the right of Barelli.

This is a nice example of what various archives can deliver. We’ll continue to match various archives to present your further examples.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder seen through the eyes of Bob De Moor (Part 1)

In 1979 and 1980 the Stripcentrum Karel Driesen, aka SDK, released a series of postcards including work by Franquin, Willy Vandersteen, Marc Sleen and also Bob De Moor. The postcards nowadays fetches up to 35 Euros, depending on the comic author featured, nevertheless they are not that widely known, at least not to the big public.

The cartoon as published in 1980, but probably dating from the late 60s.
The cartoon as published in 1980, but probably dating from the late 60s.

Today’s card, ‘Salon van de Vlaamse Humor’, dates from 1980 and is according to the information on the card the first one in the 3rd series. The title of the cartoon can be translated as ‘Salon of the Flemish Humor’ and shows 5 artists with the central figure being the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (who also has the biggest artwork exhibited). The 4 others have names which are related to comics or humour: D. Gag, J. Verstrip, M. Kartoen and Vandermoppen (Dutch for what could be D. Gag, J. Comics, M. Cartoon and Joker in English).

Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 'De Vlaamse Spreekwoorden' from 1559.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s ‘De Vlaamse Spreekwoorden’ from 1559.

The painting which Pieter Bruegel the Elder is standing for is called ‘De Vlaamse Spreekwoorden’, Dutch for ‘The Flemish Proverbs’ and actually exists. Known under the name The Blue Cloak or The Topsy Turvy World, the 1559 oil painting depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch language proverbs and idioms.

With the cartoon you might think that Bob De Moor wanted to show that today’s artists still have a lot to learn from Bruegel’s inspirational work. This is also suggested by the rather minimal artwork which is presented behind the 4 other artists and which is rather poor compared to the splendid painting by Bruegel.

The style reminds of the styles used in this, this and this drawing which all date from the 60s, thus it’s far from sure that it actually dates from 1980 like the back of the card seems to imply, instead we think it also dates from the late 60s. If anyone has some extra info on this drawing, let us know!

The first comic Bob De Moor ever made when he was 13 years old: Robinson Crusoe

Bob De Moor has drawn a lot before he started publishing in magazines and newspapers. We were lucky to lay our hands on a lot of this early material via access to various private collections and of course thanks to the families De Moor and Van Looveren who have provided us with a lot of material, which we will release bit by bit. Today’s drawing comes from the private collection of Olivier Marin in whose huge collection we found a small notebook holding De Moor’s very first comic, that of Robinson Crusoe.

Click to enlarge and enjoy this very rare document.
Click to enlarge and enjoy this very rare document.

The comic was drawn in the notebook De Moor used in school to write down his mathematics lessons when he was only 13 years old. The 7 pages (holding 2 strips each, with each case numbered separately) and 2 separate images (one even next to a mathematical equation) were completed in pencil and show De Moor’s early talent as comic author. We show you page 4 of this comic and as you can see the page was divided in 6 cases.

Shadows, a wrecked boat (his fascination for the sea), action, it’s all there already and in a style which is surprisingly fluent for a 13-year old. Take for instance case 20 and 21 in which Robinson Crusoe is saving Friday and running to a cave where he talks to Friday, in which must have sounded like gobbledegook to the poor man. The bodies are quite well drawn (check the proportions, the mimic of Crusoe, …) and show De Moor’s sense for composition, already at that age.

Note that most of the characters in the story have a face profile or show a frontal face. It’s what De Moor felt most at ease back then and as it happens it’s also always that what early drawings from comic authors will show if you start checking them.

It wasn’t and wouldn’t be the only time that De Moor would work with Robinson Crusoe as a character in his early (or later) years but from his early years this is the only complete comic that has been preserved.

Tintin turns into Hergé, a 1971 drawing up for auction at Sotheby’s

In 1971 Bob De Moor was asked to create the cover artwork for a special issue of ‘Les cahiers de la bande dessinée’ on Hergé. He decided to give them a ‘Tintin gone Hergé’. A shocking exercise that leaves Snowy shocked (to the point of loosing the bone he so much cherishes).

The 1971 drawing by Bob De Moor.
The 1971 drawing by Bob De Moor.

As you can see, Bob De Moor gave Tintin the head of Georges Rémi aka Hergé, including the typical Tintin haircut. On the suitcase several titles of Tintin albums were added: “Le temple du soleil”, “Le Sceptre d’Ottokar”, “Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge”, “Cokes en stock”, “On a marché sur la Lune”, “Tintin au pays des Soviets”, “Les Cigares du pharaon”, “L’Oreille cassée” and “Vol 714 (pour Sydney)”.

The coloured version for the 1972 publication.
The coloured version for the 1972 publication.

So why do we show you this drawing today? Well, the 21 x 27 cm big drawing is being put up for auction on March 7th in Paris, France by Sotheby’s which expects it to reach between 1.800 and 2.500 Euros.

The ‘Spécial Hergé’ counted 81 pages and would be published in 1972 in between a Gotlib and a Roba special. The cover held a coloured version of the drawing stressing even more the resemblance with Tintin. You can see a scan on the left.

It would not be the last time that De Moor would put someone’s head on a Tintin body…