In the period 1982-1983 Bob De Moor created an extended version of the Barelli story “Barelli à Nusa-Penida” (volume 1 & 2), which was originally published back in 1951 for the Tintin Journal. The recreated versions were released in album format via Le Lombard with new/reworked pages and other cover artwork. And that’s precisely what we will talk about this time.
While talking with Noël Slangenfor this article he mentioned he had a test version of a certain Barelli album cover. Since we know that some of these test versions are real gems, we asked if he could send us a picture. Two days ago we received a photo of said cover and behold, it’s a test version of “Barelli à Nusa-Penida (volume 1)” (version 1981)!
There are some interesting details regarding this version. The 1st volume is called “1 Les prisonniers de Sambal Oelek” on this test version and not “L’île du Sorcier” like would be the case in the final version as published by Le Lombard.
The number 21 (see the top left corner) also has vanished in the final version. Interesting to see, De Moor had added ‘collection vedette’ in the bottom left corner, but the album would in the end be released as a normal Le Lombard album (that was about time!) as the cheaper ‘collection vedette’ had ceased to exist as a standalone brand by 1977; the album “La grotte aux esprits” in the Les 3 A series being the final one (n° 50). As a result you see a pencil comment to bar ‘collection vedette’ and instead put the Le Lombard logo (here abbreviated as ‘Lombard’) in the bottom center. The same goes for Bob De Moor’s name which moves to the top middle.
In the final version Bob De Moor would clear some space for the logo (by bending the sorcerer’s body posture, thus making him smaller) which is also demanded in another comment on this test version (‘attention aux measures’) in the bottom right corner.
Note also that this cover artwork is one of several submitted to Le Lombard, the ‘project retenu’ comment indicates this clearly. The cover idea is based on the 1951 version as used in the Tintin Journal nr. 151 as you can see below.
Lots of thanks to Noël Slangen for revealing this beautiful gem!
In 1981 the city of Clichy (a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France) organised it’s 8th comic festival (from 12 til 14 June included). For the occasion Bob De Moor was a central guest together with Jean-Claude Fournier. Jean-Claude Fournier, known simply as Fournier, is a French cartoonist best known as the comic book artist who handled Spirou et Fantasio in the years 1969-1979.
Especially for the occasion De Moor made a special drawing featuring Barelli, Anne Nannah and himself. The drawing is one of those typically circle-sized De Moor drew over the years. In the drawing you can see Barelli and Anne Nannah dancing just like De Moor who is swinging on the music of whilst drawing the scene with the aforementioned characters.
The music featured is clearly De Moor’s own jazz & blues music taste. And he has been dancing a lot looking at the state his shoes are in (plasters, parts falling off, nails coming out).
We found this drawing in the now defunct comic magazine Archéopteryx n°2 which featured a special for the festival which was hidden in the archives of the family De Moor.
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. A few days ago we presented you the first of 3 pages which were based on Bob De Moor’s work. Today we present you the version the belgian comic author Servais (full name Jean-Claude Servais) made of the 2nd page of the first Barelli album “L’énigmatique Monsieur Barelli” which was published for the very first time in issue 31 of the Tintin journal from 1950. You might now Servais from his own work (Isabelle, La Tchalette, Tendre Violette, …) which holds some erotic touches.
But there is no erotism in his Barelli page 🙂 . On the left you can see both the version by Bob De Moor and the one by Servais. The version Bob De Moor drew is the original one as it was published 65 years ago on page 17 of issue 31 of the Tintin journal from 1950.
Once again the number of frames and even strips has been reduced compared to the original, 8 frames compared to 11 in the original and 3 strips compared to 4 strips in the original. The reason is simple, Servais‘ version stops after frame 8 of the original version, it’s not sure why really. You will also notice that Servais has opted to keep the text completely intact.
The real difference lays in 2 frames which get a more dramatic sense due to the composition. The frames 1 and 5 both have a different composition compared to the original. The frames drawn by Servais are a lot more dramatic than the ones drawn by Bob De Moor. This effect is reached by putting the back of Barelli (in frame 1) and that of the servant (frame 5) way bigger (without the feet) than in the original. It’s our belief that Bob De Moor would also have opted for this if he had drawn those pages again in a later stage of his career.
Another difference is the colour use. Servais (or his colourist) has opted for brown, yellow and red colours throughout the page whereas blue is very present on the original page. We are trying to get hold of Servais to get some more details.
Geert De Sutter sent us a few scanned pages of the preliminary sketches Bob De Moor made. The scans exist because Bob De Moor always asked that Geert De Sutter would make A3 copies of the sketches before to start working on them. The page we show you today is the first page of the “Barelli in bruisend Brussel” album.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the story is originally written in Dutch unlike the other Barelli albums which were originally written in French (and often not well translated into Dutch).
The page composition is already complete and also the characters are all placed on the page. The decors are not worked out, that will be the job for Geert De Sutter.
There are a few things though that have changed. In the first frame you see that Bob De Moor added an arrow to move the newspaper article up because the text that he wanted to add would never fit correctly in the frame. Note also that Anne Nannah is called Anna Nash here. The text itself in the news article is more or less the same although you’ll see a progressive spelling for the word ‘theater’; Bob De Moor uses ‘teater’, without the ‘h’. You also see this in the second frame where De Moor is again using the more progressive spelling, this time for the word ‘acteur’ (actor in English); he uses ‘akteur’ with a ‘k’. Note also that he had it replaced by ‘artiest’ but then reused the word ‘akteur’.
The rest of the page holds nu differences, except for the last 2 frames. You’ll see that the stickers weren’t added originally and that the objects jumping out of the luggage are a bit more diverse in the final version.
Also interesting is the text written in the left upper corner of the page. You can see the following text written by Bob De Moor: “22 Okt. verschijnt teksten geitenrijders reportage eind september”. The text itself is not really grammatically correct but it’s an interesting note, because De Moor refers to “De geitenrijders” which was the original name of the 1956 album in the Snoe & Snolleke series. The album would indeed be published in 1989, a year after this note was added via Casterman but under the title “De zondebokken”.
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.
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 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
During the 60s and 70s, Lombard would publish several collections at a rather moderate price. The low price also had as a result that the French versions didn’t come in the normal hardcover versions but – very unusual on the French speaking bookmarket – in a cheaper paperback version. The stories were often also shorter, 32 instead of 44 pages.
In the Collection Vedette, released between 1970 and 1977, Lombard would present 50 titles. It was a follow-up to the Histoires du Journal Tintin collection. A few authors only saw a release of their albums in this format and thus never saw a hardcover release. Nevertheless, the collection holds several pearls and this not only from Bob De Moor‘s Barelli but also from Mitteï (Les 3 A), Uderzo (Oumpah-Pah ), Dupa (Chlorophylle), Greg (Rock Derby), Attanasio (Spaghetti), Tibet (Le club des Peur-de-rien), and so on. In short, it would be rather short-sighted to consider this collection to be the graphic dustbin of Lombard.
One of the Barelli stories published in this collection is the 1976 paperback “L’énigmatique Mr Barelli”, originally published in the Journal Tintin in 1950 – 1951 and in 1956 in album format.
This 1976 version stays faithful to the original version and thus holds 14 pages less than the later released versions in the 80s. The 14 extra pages were added to fit Lombard’s new album concept demand. The original last page from that 1950/1951 story is the one you see on the left. We’ll get back on all these differences later on.
But let’s get to the point of this post. Bob De Moor would create several cover projects for the release of this particular album in 1976, and more than just one design would make it in album format one way or another (the 1980 version is different from the 1976 one for instance). But one project never made it to publication and that’s the one we present today (thanks Alain Demaret for the hint!). The cover shows Barelli in various disguises including The Merchant of Venice – he is an actor after all – with Inspector Moureau looking quite surprised. Perhaps this project looked a bit too disturbing or unclear, so it never made it to the next stage.
A small print of this cover was released in the big-sized “Le Lion de Flandre” released by Éditions Michel Deligne in 1976. This proves that the drawing indeed comes from the very same session as the final artwork for this 1976 Collection Vedette album.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This 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.