In the past 2 years we have been using a lot of pictures taken from the archives of Johannes Stawowy, as you can see here for instance. But a few weeks ago Johannes sent us also a couple of scans of drawings Bob De Moor made when corresponding with him or when signing a scrapbook. Today we show you 4 of these dedications.
The first one is a self portrait (a selfie that is nowadays) which was placed in a scrapbook Johannes kept from the events surrounding Bob De Moor‘s visit to Mülheim, Germany back in 1986.
As you can see the drawing was first sketched out and then completed with a marker. You’ll recognise the big nose and typical moustache which have always been part of Bob De Moor‘s self portraits.
Next is a drawing of Lefranc, which De Moor made in November 1988. In case you don’t know why De Moor drew Lefranc (and believe it or not, there are still many who don’t know), De Moor drew the 4th Lefranc album “Le repaire du loup” under guidance of Jacques Martin.
The 3rd drawing is one of Cori which De Moor made in May 1990. By May 1990 De Moor was in between the publication of 2 Cori albums, “L’Expédition maudite” (1987) and “Dali Capitan” (1993) and he had finished the extremely stressful work on the Blake & Mortimer album “Professor Sató’s Three Formulae, Volume 2: Mortimer vs. Mortimer” in February of that year. He was also in the middle of the first harsh criticism regarding the work he had done on said Blake & Mortimer album.
The 4th one is again a self portrait made in August 1986 and which shows De Moor’s head placed on a pencil. It wouldn’t be the last time that De Moor would use his head that way. For the 1989 published graphic biography book “Bob De Moor” released by Warande Turnhout, he would put his head in a Pelikan inkwell.
If you also have such dedications by Bob De Moor, don’t hesitate to send them, especially if they have some interesting details!
Over the past few months we only had a few Cori related posts. In the next days we are going to change this and give you an insight on how Bob De Moor worked to create this excellent series.
Today we present you a sketch of Cori which Bob De Moor created for the “L’Expédition Maudite” album (1987). It’s one of many character sketches which De Moor created whilst preparing this album. If you look well you can see the helplines which he used to proportion Cori‘s body correctly. Layer after layer Cori becomes a real living character.
The Cori le Moussaillon (Cori the Cabin Boy in English, Cori De Scheepsjongen in Dutch) series ran from 1951 until 1993 and counted 5 albums (6 actually, since the first album got redrawn and altered for a later publication to match the style in the newly created albums). It’s quite sure that De Moor based the series on the 1945 series Bart le Moussaillon (Bart de Scheepsjongen) which he created for KZV (Kleine Zondagsvriend). We will presenting you some scans of this series in the next weeks.
The complete 5 album collection of Cori le moussaillon by Bob de Moor has been published by BD Must.
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!
When preparing drawings for his later Cori albums, Bob De Moor preferred to follow the same procedure as he did with Hergé when working on the Tintin albums, and that was to first prepare a case on a separate paper and then careful trace that copy onto another paper from where it was again traced to be put on the final page. Quite a time consuming way of working which Bob De Moor explained in a video which you can see here. It nevertheless helped to get the best possible drawing on the final page without having to start again way too much.
Today we present you one of these small tracing papers which Bob De Moor used to complete a case situated in the left bottom corner of page 4 of the Cori album “L’invincible Armada 2 – Le Dragon des Mers” (1980). We found the small piece of paper back in the archives of the family De Moor.
As you can see the drawing (inverted here as it was to be traced again afterwards to get it back to the original position?) was far from being finished. You can see the original feet positions which differ from the ones used in the final version, also the clothes are different and there eis no background. But on the whole the total concept of the case is already largely present with De Moor mostly being concerned about the manual capstan, as he was obsessed by naval precision in his Cori albums.
For those who don’t know what a capstan is, it is a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to apply force to ropes, cables, and hawsers. The principle is similar to that of the windlass, which has a horizontal axle. The device is considered to be a Spanish invention.
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.
In 1988 the Canadian Québec based publisher Réal Fillion issued a book “Un printemps à Québec” holding a portfolio of 14 drawings in color by some of the most famous comic artist from that time.
The portfolio we talk about here was published on the occasion of the 1st ‘Festival de la BD francophone de Québec’ (FBDFQ) held in April 1988. Réal Fillion was also the organizer of said festival.
Released on only 390 copies the “Un printemps à Québec” book is a hard to find item which however pops up on eBay every now and then.
Note for the Belgian readers : at the CBBD in Brussels they also have a copy in the library which you can scrutinize. The library is a place that is full of treasures for Bob de Moor fans actually. So you know what to do the next time you are in Brussels.
In the book you’ll find illustrations by the following comic artists: François Craenhals, Bob de Moor, Zoran, Antonio Cossu, Jean Morin, Mario Malouin, Martine Boutin and Johan de Moor. On the left you can see the drawing that Bob de Moor made in Québec on April 11, 1988. You can see Cori asking the direction to Réal Fillion where he has to drop a packet of European comics.
Note that one of the Québec comic artists who have since appeared there was Yves Rodier… does it ring a bell? More on Rodier and his encounter with Bob de Moor in the next days.