Bob De Moor’s version of Thomson and Thompson going Ola

Ola, better known in the Anglo-Saxon world under the brand name ‘Wall’s‘, is an ice cream brand owned by the Anglo-Dutch food and personal care conglomerate Unilever. And back in the (60s?), 70s and eighties they regularly collaborated with the Studios Hergé in order to use the Tintin characters in their adverts, run contests via Tintin Journal etc..

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It was Jean-Claude Registo who pointed us towards an auction where today’s drawing was being sold (it would fetch 500 Euro in the end). The 44,8 x 17,2 cm big drawing was undated and was described as being made by the Studios Hergé. But you don’t have to have a trained eye to instantly recognise Bob De Moor‘s steady hand in the lines.

How do we know it’s for Ola? Well, Thomson and Thompson can be seen enjoying an ice-cream on the left (the left ice-cream being completely drawn). Also, on the right you can see both funny guys next to a big box, which is actually a big freezer holding Ola ice-cream.

There were many different scenes invented for this Ola campaign. Below you can see an example of the duo riding an ice cream float for instance.

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Bob De Moor draws Agent Officer No. 15 on a memo for the Tintin Journal

Bob De Moor is know for having drawn a lot of drawings on all kind of documents. Today we present you a Studios Hergé document which was recently auctioned for a little more than 350 Euro if memory serves me right.

Bob De Moor draws Agent Officer No. 15 on a memo for the Tintin Journal

The document is actually a memo which was used by Bob De Moor to clarify that he had sent 11 coloured pages in the Monsieur Tric series to the Tintin Journal offices situated at the Editions Du Lombard. The pages sent were for the story “Une course de ballon mouvementée”, which was originally published in 1955 but re-published in colour in 1983 (the print was done in a very poor way we must say, it’s a mystery how that ever left the pressing plant to begin with, but more on that later).

Also included in the memo was the information that 2 coloured Quick & Flupke pages were shipped off to the Tintin Journal offices. The letter dates from 29 April 1983, about 2 months after Hergé succumbed (3 March 1983), which shows the studio was at that time still functional and producing (new) material.

But Bob De Moor fans are of course mostly interested in the quick drawing Bob De Moor added on the memo, namely one of Officer No. 15 (Agent Nr. 15 in French) which you must know from the Quick & Flupke series. Like said earlier, De Moor did a lot of these drawings on documents he sent off to the Tintin Journal offices featuring a set of characters, from Blake & Mortimer to Tintin. It kinda shows that De Moor was really enjoying his job, a job which a few years later he’d be forced to quit when the studios disbanded in 1987 and transformed into the Hergé Foundation.

But for the time being, Bob (and Johan) De Moor was still unaware of the enormous storm which would break out…

Dirk Stallaert completed the new cover for the reissue in black and white of the original version of “The secret of Vulcania”

site cover VulcaniaFrom 1 February 1954 until 25 May 1954 the newspapers De Nieuwe Gids, De Antwerpse and ’t Vrije Volksblad published the Snoe & Snolleke story “Het geheim van Vulcania”. The album has since the publication in 1954 never been published in album format, at least not in its original form, black and white that is.
In 1993 the album saw a coloured album release via the Standaard Uitgeverij, however many of the drawings had been adapted to fit a coloured version – as we have shown several times already – so for many people it was still a mystery how the album actually looked like in black and white.

9a41c4e6-7414-11e4-8f09-3cf49d99a6e1We also have to mention that a version of the black and white album had been spread by Het Belgisch Stripgenootschap, albeit in a not so good copied format, and according to our information, this version (which has been reprinted for years) is an illegal one.
But luckily there is the team of Brabant Strip who have now released the black and white version of the album in their Fenix series, including the announcements as published in the newspapers. The album comes with a real cover on top. When looking at the cover you should be able to immediately recognise the hand of no-one else but one of Flanders (even Belgium’s) best comic artists, Dirk Stallaert (Nino, Mieleke Melleke Mol, Plankgas en Plastronneke, …).

I contacted Dirk for some feedback.

BDM: Normally it’s Bob De Moor’s son Johan who takes care of the cover artwork (after the work of his father) for the Fenix reissue series of Snoe & Snolleke. Why did you make the cover this time?

Dirk Stallaert: I honestly have no idea why Johan didn’t draw it this time. I know via Brabant Strip that he didn’t mind me drawing the cover. Maybe he just didn’t have the time for it.

(Editor’s note: In a phone call we had with Johan De Moor, he confirms that it was a lack of time but he also stresses that he was pretty sure that Dirk Stallaert was the perfect man for the job. Case proven.)

BDM: Have you chosen the scene (visible in the strips 37, 38) on which the cover is based or was it suggested to you?

Dirk Stallaert: It was Yves Kerremans from Brabant Strip who suggested to use that scene.

BDM: I suppose it’s not an easy task to invent a cover for an album, which is not yours to begin with. Were there elements in this album that made it a difficult task?

Dirk Stallaert: Aaaah, it’s always a difficult task to try and get things right. Even for my own work it’s always a difficult task to make a cover and when I have to work in someone else’s style it’s even more difficult. I have just received the album yesterday and what stands out I think is the thickness of the lines… it’s quite heavy I must say and the fish isn’t flexible enough to my taste. But like I said, there’s always something to complain about. “Le plaisir de se voir imprimé” is a pleasure which I haven’t had this time. I quite like how the sky looks though. I nicked the idea from “The Black Island”. But don’t tell anyone!

BDM: Ha, as always you have succeeded in perfectly representing the style though as used by Bob De Moor in the album, but keeping your own ‘schwung’ (the sawfish that is).

Dirk Stallaert: I’m quite glad you have discovered the ‘schwung’, because I missed that flexibility. I had documented me really well and had first made a few sketches of the sawfish.

(Editor’s note: Dirk Stallaert sent us the sketches below.)

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As always the pencil sketches are a lot more fluent and expressive. The shark which you can see in the sketch didn’t make it in the final version. It’s often a problem when using the clear line, you only have one line, and that one has to be the perfect one.

Taking hurdles with Bob De Moor

While going through the archives of the family De Moor I stumbled on this cartoon which must date from the era when Bob De Moor worked for several magazines, which dates this drawing between 1946 and 1951. The drawing itself has no reference to what magazine it was published in but looking at the style used, it’s my guess it’s probably from around 1946.

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The cartoon was published with a typed caption under it, and that legend can be found on the back of the drawing and it reads: “Wees gerust madame Peeters, dat was mijn zoon. Hij oefent zich voor de vijf honderd meter hindernissen.” The text is in dutch of course and says this: “Rest assured Mrs Peeters , that was my son. He is practicing for the five hundred meters hurdles.”

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Nowadays this would be considered to be some kind of ‘Druivelaar-scheurkalender‘ humour as we refer to it in Flemish, indicating it sounds obsolete. But back then this was typical situational humour which people liked.

But what is the most interesting is of course the drawing itself. De Moor is perfectly showing where the athlete has been jumping using several motion lines. Surprisingly he doesn’t add any expression lines around the face of madame Peeters to show her surprise. Perhaps that would have added too much extras in the drawing. The same goes for the curtains which are clearly moving.

You can clearly see that this drawing was a quick job, although well executed, the characters are not really abundant in details and the whole decor is rather sober. Nevertheless, all is there and De Moor shows that he knows how to make a drawing dynamic. Final detail, that hanging lamp looks a bit odd. I have spent some time cruising through a few online catalogs to find a similar one, but couldn’t find any.

If someone knows when this drawing was published, let me know at bernard.vanisacker@gmail.com and if you find that lamp, don’t hesitate to inform me too :).

Info wanted: where was this bank cartoon first used and in which context?

In 1975 issue 3 of the magazine Stripklub Nieuwsblad (one of the many publications by Karel Driesen) dedicated 7 of its 16 pages to Bob De Moor. The cartoon we show you today was one of 2 printed on page 11 of this magazine. But we have more questions than answers regarding this cartoon…

In December 2014 you could already see the first one being discussed on the Bob De Moor website. That one was kinda straight forward as far as the joke goes, but today’s one needs some extra context, and precisely that context is unclear to us (and to the family De Moor), hence why we really need some input from our readers.

Click to view a larger image.
Click to view a larger image.

The drawing style of this cartoon is similar to the first one, and is probably made around the same time as the first cartoon, 1968 that is. The cartoon shows a bank from which a lot of banknotes are flying out the front door. But what is this cartoon really about?

You could argue that a bank usually only sees money going in through the front door and not going out, but that is most probably not what Bob De Moor referred too. Note that there is a strong wind outside as you can deduct from the people walking outside, the curly lines and leaves flying to the right.

One detail suggests that there is something more going on. As you can see, the man leaving the bank looks very surprised and that is stressed by the ‘aura’ lines indicating his surprise. Perhaps that man had just left that money in the bank? Sure thing is that this person is the only one being singled out by De Moor in this drawing so something is going on there, but what precisely?

It also came to our mind that this is maybe part 2 of a 2-image cartoon which Driesen might have forgotten to add.

If you have extra info about this cartoon, please let us know at bernard.vanisacker@gmail.com .

Rocket roof trouble with Hergé and Bob De Moor

Together with Editions Moulinsart, the French publisher Hachette has been releasing 2-weekly ‘En avion Tintin‘ packages via newspaper shops in Belgium. The packages hold an airplane, helicopter or rocket, a figurine and a 24-pages book explaining the background of the Tintin story in which the airplane appeared plus historical info on the airplane itself.

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So far 41 packages have been released, but last week package 41 was quite an interesting one because it holds the V-2 shaped moon rocket (and a Professor Calculus figurine) next to a booklet with some extra info on the space vehicle.

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In the booklet you can see several cases from the “Destination Moon” album but also a page (which would later become page 29) sketched by Hergé showing the rocket leaving via a dome shaped roof which reminds of a star observatory (maybe that’s why Hergé mistakenly chose that kind of roof). As some might know, it was Bob De Moor who suggested to Hergé to use a horizontal roof opening instead of a dome. Hergé agreed and that’s how the final drawing does not feature a dome. De Moor had just started working for the Studios Hergé that year, 1951 that is.

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According to the author of the attached booklet however, the opening dome looked a lot more spectacular than the version Bob De Moor suggested, and which Hergé implemented. Maybe that might be the case, but architecturally speaking, that opening dome was not really the best choice. As a matter of fact, it would have been an architectural nightmare (the roof needs to fold in order to properly work). Like we all know, Hergé wanted to stay close to the real thing in his post World War 2 albums, hence the correct implantation of Bob De Moor‘s very valid suggestion.

For Bob De Moor the V-2 shaped rocket Hergé had in mind must have evoked some nasty memories, as he got wounded in a rocket attack, albeit a V-1 one. The V-2 was the successor of the V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe 1 in German), and was way more accurate than the V-1.

The V-2 itself was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon”, designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of V-177 on 20 June 1944.

But that is history of course.

Exclusive Blake & Mortimer material revealed via this Bob De Moor website

Late last year Dargaud published a Blake & Mortimer album holding the complete “Les Trois Formules Du Professeur Satô” series, in this case 2 albums of which the second album, “Professor Sató’s Three Formulae, Volume 2: Mortimer vs. Mortimer”, was drawn by Bob De Moor based on the sketches Edgar P. Jacobs made several years before.

blake-mortimer-integrales-tome-5-3-formules-du-professeur-sato-les-integrale-completeAs we all know, up until today, people have mixed feelings about that second album, although when you are well informed you can only decide that Bob De Moor did exactly what Jacobs would have wanted.

The Blake & Mortimer – Intégrales – tome 5 – 3 formules du Professeur Satô (Les) – Intégrale complète album is available now from Amazon France.

But that is a complete other discussion and today we’ll focus on 2 drawings (sketches for the album cover artwork) which popped up in this new album edition. The origin of this drawing is not well known to the public, so here’s the story, and yes, this site was involved in discovering the sketchs and having them included in the album (hence why the names Olvier Marin and Bernard Van Isacker are also mentioned in the ‘thank you’).

As we documented in the past, early last year we went to pay a visit to Olivier Marin, who many will know as artist behind the albums / series “Les déesses de la route”, “Le mystère de la traction 22”. Olivier has a nice collection of originals of Bob De Moor, and that collection also includes a few Blake & Mortimer drawings, including 2 test drawings for the cover artwork, which hadn’t been published before.

The first drawing shows a coloured sketch of the final version of the cover (and thus does not differ that much from the published version). You can see it below.

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More interesting is the 2nd alternative version which consists of 2 parts, the underlaying drawing is as it seems a sketch by Edgar P. Jacobs on which Bob De Moor placed a film to construct a more finished version of the cover. We have no idea why De Moor (or the Edgar P. Jacobs right owners) went for a new version and not for this sketch, perhaps the composition was just not good enough.

You can see the effect below, first you see the original sketch by Edgar P. Jacobs, and then the filter superposed by Bob De Moor adding his drawing to Jacobs’ sketch.

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As soon as I noticed these drawings I contacted the family De Moor and one thing led to another and they ended up in the new edition as exclusive new material. Or how coincidence can make things happen!

Extended thanks to Olivier for his collaboration!

New Snoe & Snolleke album edition ‘De zwarte draak’ released, but another one, ‘Het Geheim van Vulcania’, in the pipeline via Fenix Collection by Brabant Strip vzw

Out now is the brand new edition of the Snoe & Snolleke album ‘De zwarte draak’ which was first released in album format in 1993, albeit in an adapted coloured version, by the Standaard Uitgeverij.

De zwarte draak - coverFor this version the people behind the Fenix Collection by Brabant Strip vzw were able to get hold of the original newspaper prints published between October 12 1953 and January 30 1954 included. This also means that they were able adding 4 strips which were missing in the 1993 album version! And not only that, as we have several times indicated already, the 1993 version was in a kind of unreadable Dutch, plus it was missing a lot of the original black parts in the drawings due to the fact it was adapted for being printed in colour.

But there’s more to this version, because unlike the 1993 version, this 2015 version holds a cover which although based on the 1993 version (which was originally drawn by Bob De Moor), this time was executed by his son, Johan De Moor. If you look closely you’ll see some differences, for example some of the pen lines (on the chest of the beheader) differ a little bit from Bob De Moor‘s.

2016 will see some more restored work hitting the shop shelves as the fine people behind Brabant Strip vzw are also preparing the release of the full uncensored version of “Het Geheim van Vulcania”, a black and white album version which so far has only been available in a not so high quality pirate version.

For the fans of the older work of Bob De Moor, this album is an absolute must have! You can get hold of it in every better comic store in Flanders and The Netherlands.

Serdu pays respect to Bob De Moor in 1993

In 1993 Serdu (aka Serge Duhayon) published a cartoon paying tribute to Bob De Moor who had died, and this just like many other artists around that time. And that cartoon is the one we present you today.

Serdu pays respect to Bob De Moor in 1993

We haven’t really got an idea in which publication this cartoon/tribute appeared, so if someone has an idea, let us know so we can complete that missing link.

The drawing itself shows Serdu next to a huge hand with a text ballon saying – and we translate this loosely in order to keep the spirit of the cartoon – “I have tried to draw Bob De Moor respecting the proportions compared to my ‘importance'”. In French the word ‘taille’ is used, but with a double sense as it can mean both size and importance.

dessin7The 35cm X 27cm big drawing is currently being sold on eBay for only 30 Euros.

Serdu, born in 1940, is a Belgian artist living in Hollain (Brunehaut). He has been active between 1960 and 2000 and has been published in many magazines, newspapers etc.. With over 400.000 drawings realised in the past 55 years he is for sure one of the strongholds in Belgium as far as output. He also published a couple of comics compiling his cartoons including “Freud Fiscal”, “Lbres Pensées”, “Sur le Vif”, “C’est la Vie”, etc..

You can find out more about Serdu on his official website.

A forgotten Bob De Moor drawing from Ons Volkske

A few weeks ago I was able to trace back a few copies of Hop!, a French comics magazine. In issue 25 of that magazine, dating from 1981, there’s a 4 page article written by Jean Marie Smits on the flemish production by Bob De Moor including a drawing which hasn’t been republished before.

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We got in touch with Smits to know something more on the background of this drawing, but he unfortunately couldn’t recall from where exactly the drawings originated. However he guessed it had probably been published in Ons Volkske which ran from 1932 until 1988. Next to Bob De Moor you can also find work from Gommaar Timmermans, Hurey, Gilbert Declercq, Gert Ronde, Karel Verschuere, Jo-El Azara, Tibet and many other Kuifje related collaborators.

The drawing shows a moustached person resting in a sofa while enjoying a cigar and some liquor. You can recognise a steel pocket hip liquor flask on the table next to the bottle and a drinking glass. It’s our guess this drawing dates from the time De Moor was working on his first Barelli album. You can recognise the typical legs De Moor was drawing around that time (we’re speaking of the period 1949-1951).

This 64 page issue is actually full of interesting material apart from the Bob De Moor link, to start with the cover drawing which is a Le Rallic one (there’s some Hergé elements in there if you look well). Le Rallic, full name Étienne Le Rallic (1891–1968), was a French illustrator and comics artist. The 5 page coverage based on an interview Jean-Claude Rochereau had with this artist is a must read if you are unaware of this talent. A bit further in this issue you also find the short story “La Cavalière du Texas” by Le Rallic.

Hop! could rely on quite an international brigade of collaborators and not surprisingly we also find the Flemish comic connaisseur Danny de Laet back in that list.

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