As we reported a while back, the Brussels based editor BD Must is working on the re-release of Bob De Moor‘s Flemish Trilogy which consists of these 3 albums: “Le Lion des Flandres” (“De Leeuw van Vlaanderen” in Dutch), “Les gars de Flandre” (“De Kerels van Vlaanderen” in Dutch) and “Conrad le Hardi” (“Sterke Jan” in Dutch).
When Jean-Michel Boxus, boss of the Brussels based editor BD Must, started work on the reissue of the Monsieur Tric albums (available here), he also decided to include all of the Monsieur/Professeur Tric/Troc stories which never had been published before in album format. The stories concerned are the ones which never had been published as a one page story in Tintin. What followed was a lot of time going through each and every Tintin issue in order to get hold of each and every ‘missing’ Tric story. They would be added in volume 1 of the Monsieur Tric collection.
One of those stories, titled “Il faut savoir se borner” which can be freely translated as “You must learn to know when enough is enough”, has some extra information attached to it. Published on the 2nd page of the Tintin of 17 February 1951, the 3-case strip sees Tric out on a fishing trip which looks very successful in the first case. Too successful because his boat sinks in the 3rd and final case because of the huge amount of fish he has caught.
You can see that the first case is ‘incomplete’ because the Tintin Stamp was placed in the left bottom corner of the page – not by Bob De Moor, but probably by the same person who also added Snowy in this drawing (it is commonly believed that these “La classe sans maitre” drawings were the precursors to Professeur Tric since the Tric character would appear only a few weeks later). A Tintin Stamp in a Monsieur Tric album? That would have been a no go, so BD Must had to find a solution in order to get the story published.
Since the original drawing was lost, Jean-Michel Boxus asked Bob De Moor‘s son Johan De Moor to restore the drawing to what could have been its original version before it was printed in Tintin. As we all know, this isn’t the first time that Johan De Moor has been restoring drawings from his father in order to be published so the request was a very logical one. In case you missed it, for the last version of “De schele zilvervos” (dutch for”The squint-eyed silver fox”) out via Standaard Uitgeverij, Johan De Moor even completely redrew the cover.
On August 7, 2012, 3 days after the initial request was made, Johan De Moor sent the missing corner of the 1st case to BD Must. You can see the replacement on the left. The drawing was then placed in the cleaned out scan from the Professeur Tric strip and coloured with the rest of the cases.
Thanks to Jean-Michel Boxus for helping out with this article.
Today we can exclusively show you the work in progress on the cover artwork for the “Le Lion des Flandres”. Again, the colours have completely been redone, and the cover is based on the De Dageraad version from 1984. BD Must tried getting hold of the original version but they couldn’t get hold of a document holding enough quality to restore it and re-color it.
The cover we show here is still work in progress as BD Must has not completely finalised the color choice for each element in the drawing. Stay tuned for more updates!
When we interviewed Jean-Michel Boxus from BD Must in April 2014 he told us that he – amongst other things Bob De Moor related – planned to re-release the Flandres Trilogy which consists of the 3 albums “Le Lion des Flandres”, “Les gars de Flandre” and “Conrad le Hardi”. Today we received a first look on the restoration for one of these albums, namely “Conrad le Hardi” (“Sterke Jan” in Dutch).
As you can see below, the colours have completely been redone. The cover of the album refers to the Bédéscope version, but again with a different new colouring. A release date is not known yet but it will be pretty soon. The 3 albums will be released in one go.
A week ago Alain Demaret passed us a black/white version of the “Le Seigneur de Gonobutz” (“The Lord of Gonobutz”) album as prepublished in Le Soir. We presume this was in 1976 as there was also a prepublication of the story in Journal Tintin of 1976. This black and white publication had quite some hick-ups. Today we’ll discuss one already, namely 2 text balloons which remained empty, until 1983.
The page we discuss is page 26 of the Bob De Moor‘s “Le Seigneur de Gonobutz”, more precisely the 3rd frame of the 3rd strip on that page where you can see a grandma shooting at militaries whilst her two grandchildren are cheering. Cheering we said? In the Le Soir version there is no text in the text balloons.
And there wasn’t one either in the Journal Tintin as far as we know (we don’t have that particular issue in our archives – if someone has that issue, don’t hesitate to let us know).
The text from these text balloons is also missing in both the Rijperman and Bédéscope versions as published in 1980 and would only pop up in 1983 in the very correctly released Barelli compendium as published by Rombaldi. The text font however was different to the one used in the rest of the story.
So for 7 years, nobody knew what those kids were exactly cheering. The missing lines are “Vas-y mémé!” and “E’core pan-pan!” which you could freely translate as “Go ahead grandma!” and “Shoot again!”. The “E’core” was used to stress that the kid is really young and doesn’t yet know how to speak well French in this case, because the correct word should be “Encore”.
Note that the BD Must version as released in 2011 includes the correct text balloons. In later posts we’ll show you that there is more to this Le Soir version which is a bit odd to say the least.
From 1977 (starting on 22/11/1977) to 1978 Bob De Moor saw his reboot of the Cori saga, “L’Invincible Armada – Les Espions de la Reine”, published in Nouveau Tintin, Eppo, Junior, … The cover used to announce this brilliant first part of the rebooted Cori saga on the first glance looks exactly the same as the one used for the album version to be published in 1978 by Casterman.
But Bob De Moor changed a detail that not everyone noticed at the time (and still now a lot are not aware of it). He removed the part where several drowning men are trying to hoist themselves in a dinghy.
Geert de Sutter who assisted Bob De Moor for several years explains it as follows to us: “Bob De Moor saw that there was too much happening in that drawing in order to be the ideal cover. An ideal cover is an image that can catch your attention in the blink of an eye: Cori and Harm in the front and the explosion in the background. The drowning men in-between are otiose, redundant and make the image too complicated. This perfect control of the drawing technique serves the atmosphere.”
And according to de Sutter, that aspect is visible in every Cori album since “L’Invincible Armada – Les Espions de la Reine”: “In the realistic Cori albums there is nothing too much in contrast to the some over the top decorated decors in the 1966 version of “The Black Island”. For instance look at the flowers in the background of page 21 where the fire chief bumps into his wife.”
Bob De Moor didn’t only change the cover. When the story was pre-published in the Dutch magazine Eppo, he also removed a few lines representing vertical reef ropes because those didn’t exist when the Armada, the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in 1588, existed.
The recently released Cori album set by BD Must holds the corrected version, that is without the drowning men. In case you have not ordered this re-release, you’d better be fast, only 1000 were made. You can still order yours straight from BD Must.
“L’Invincible Armada – Les Espions de la Reine” was welcomed as the comeback or revival of Bob De Moor after years of working for the Studio Hergé and it paved the way for more Cori albums.
From 5 January 1956 till 29 Februari 1956, the daily newspaper De Nieuwe Gids (and related titles) published the Uncle Zigomar story “De Sprekende Wandelstok” (Eng: “The Talking Cane”). The story was the 15th and last volume in the series, and unlike other Uncle Zigomar stories it never made it into an album until the fine people from the Flemish non-profit Brabant Strip based themselves on the strips from the newspaper edition to do it in 2001. We’ll be talking extensively about Brabant Strip in the future as they have something really special coming up!
Note that this album was published in a smaller format than usual and counts only 94 strips spread over 24 pages . Bob De Moor had to cut the story short due to his increased workload at the Studios Hergé.
The album cover for the album was made by Bob De Moor‘s son Johan De Moor. The album itself was given for free to the members of Brabant Strip with issue 89 of the BS magazine on 25 June 2001. The edition was limited to 1000 copies and was sold out quite fast. Needless to say that this story was never released in French and has since become a real collectible. BD Must will be re-releasing the series; expect this one to turn up as well in there, and for the very first time in French. But more info later on.
The story itself follows up on the gang’s adventures in the Spanish film “The red caballero”. For this album Oncle Zigomar and Snoe & Snolleke went to the USA, or ‘You-As-Ay’ as Bob De Moor says in his introduction to the story.
On the left you can see the 4 first original strips from the album which recently were sold on a site for € 360. You can easily recognise the clear influence from Bob De Moor’s work for the Studios Hergé (the face of the pilot in drawing 1 and that of the co-pilot in drawing 2 of the 4th strip are typically Hergé’s style of drawing). It’s again a story filled with typical Flemish situation humour.
Olivier Marin (comic artist known from his ‘Les enquêtes auto de Margot’ series) sent us this lovely frontpage from the Swiss monthly magazine Miggis Kinderpost which took over material from the Tintin Journal. The same drawing also appeared in the Tintin journal of course.
This cover was made by Bob de Moor for the Monsieur Tric story “The last Pedestrian” (“Le Dernier Piéton”) which was first published in the Tintin Journal in December 1955.
The german magazine Reddition later on published an issue in the summer of 2013 which was entirely dedicated to the Brussels School (Reddition 58 – Brüsseler Schule, Edition Alfons, Verlag Volker Hamann, Barmstedt Juli 2013) and used that same drawing. That image however was restored by BD Must in order to publish it in the complete 5 album set of Monsieur Tric and also shows a more vivid use of colors. You can see that restored image on the left.
If you can now find the Barelli, Monsieur Tric or Cori albums in excellent hardcover editions, then that is largely due to the small Belgian editor BD Must éditions who took it upon themselves to start reissuing the work from Bob de Moor. Since 2001 the Brussels based editor has been releasing limited deluxe albums including work from a variety of artists. After the 8 albums from Barelli in 2011, the 5 albums from Monsieur Tric in 2012, we are now served the 5 albums from Cori (aka ‘Cori, the cabin boy’), again in hardcover. The albums are available in french, dutch and german. Note that the french version has an extra dossier “Récits de mer” (featuring 3 stories which were previous unreleased in album format) and 5 ex-libris prints. The dutch and german versions have a certificate signed by the family de Moor.
You can order this package from BD Must (all 3 languages).
We had a chat with Jean-Michel Boxus from BD Must on the occasion of the reissue of the 5 Cori albums.
BDM: Where does this passion for the work of Bob de Moor come from? You already released the Barelli and Monsieur Tric series via BD Must so I guess there are some real passionate Bob de Moor fans behind the publisher?
JM: Yes, there are 2 real passionate people behind BD Must who love comics and the clear line. As far as I am concerned, I mostly grew up with comics from the Tintin Journal signature (the Brussels school). I learned to read in the Tintin Journal. Back then I remember that a Barelli episode was published in there, “Le Seigneur de Gonobutz”, which had left a big impression on me. I discovered Cori a little bit later when I was 12 years old. That series really fascinated me.
BDM: Was it the family de Moor who approached you for these reissues?
JM: The idea came from BD Must but the children of Bob de Moor really welcomed the idea. Without their help this would have been impossible to do.
BDM: Was it easy to get hold of the rights from Casterman (Cori) and Le Lombard (Barelli, Monsieur Tric)?
JM: It was actually, neither Casterman nor Le Lombard had any specific projects in the pipeline with the material. And BD Must had already published a dozen of deluxe editions including the albums of the Franka series, so we were able to show the de Moor family that we had the knowledge and a high quality standard needed.
BDM: What was the source for the reissues?
JM: The difficulty was indeed to gather good quality reproduction material. The help from the de Moor family has been precious in this regard. But certain stock conditions caused that a certain number of films got damaged overtime and were sometimes just no longer usable. A few just couldn’t be found back. Each project had its very own technical challenges. For Barelli for instance we could use films which already had been partially digitalized. We however missed the colors for the “Bouddha Boudant” so that album was colored again. Also some stories in the “Barelli mène l’enquête” album had to be colored again.
As far as Monsieur Tric is concerned, there simply weren’t any films available. We only had 29 coloring ‘blues’ from the Studio Hergé (and that on a total of 150 pages…). It really has taken us some detective work to get hold of the old stitched albums in black and white, and to trace back all the Tintin issues (or the dutch Kuifje as BD Must published them in Dutch and French) with the gags of Monsieur Tric. All has been scanned, cleaned out and colored.
Certain collectors have also helped a great deal; one of them even offered me Monsieur Tric pages which had never been published before.
As for Cori, only a part of the old films were still usable. We had to complete the coloring for “l’Expédition Maudite” for instance. The biggest work consisted in coloring the first volume, “Sous le Drapeau de la Compagnie”. Before that the original 1951 version had only consisted in black & white. That’s where Johan de Moor‘s expertise has been very valuable, especially when it comes to the colors of the ships’ flags.
BDM: I understood that you are already working on several other works from Bob de Moor? Can you unveil already something for our readers?
JM: Regarding Bob de Moor, I indeed have some very concrete projects, namely the Flandres Trilogy which consists of the 3 albums “Le Lion des Flandres”, “Les gars de Flandre” and “Conrad le Hardi”. Next to that there is also the Oncle Zigomar series. I also work on 2 other classics from the Journal Tintin: the “Chevaliers Blancs” series by Liliane and Fred Funcken (12 albums), and the material from “Jari” by Raymond Reding.
BDM: I noticed that you have also entered the german market with Cori, der Schiffsjunge. A calculated risk or…?
JM: Cori, der Schiffsjunge is available now in Germany and Barelli will follow in german in June 2014. We have been working for almost one year already on these publications with a team of german translators specialized in comics. The translator of Barelli (who also translated “Dali Capitan” in german) is a real Bob de Moor fanatic. So it really stays a work of passionate people. It’s actually a challenge to translate Barelli because it holds a lot of puns. Certain titles, such as “Bonne mine à la mer”, only work well in french, but it’s amusing to see how the translators did find solutions.
As far as the commercial aspect is concerned, it’s a new challenge, but there are some real passionate fans of the clear line (and Bob de Moor) in Germany! The german magazine Reddition for instance published an issue in the summer of 2013 which was entirely dedicated to the Brussels School (Reddition 58 – Brüsseler Schule, Edition Alfons, Verlag Volker Hamann, Barmstedt Juli 2013). We at BD Must offered them a cover by Bob de Moor (for the Monsieur Tric story “Le Dernier Piéton” aka “The Last Pedestrian”) which I had restored in order to publish it in the complete 5 album set of Monsieur Tric (editor’s note: see the image on the left).