Tag Archives: De Dageraad

Working hard with Bob De Moor in 1949

By the end of July 1949 Bob De Moor agreed to start working for the Tintin weekly, first as a layout assistant to Evany aka Eugène Van Nyverseel, and this 2 days per week. More than 3 days would be overkill as Bob De Moor knew, because he was around that time busy with – take a seat – 12 (!!) series simultaneously. Nevertheless, even those 2-days would increase the pressure, not in the least by the trips back and forth to Brussels from Antwerp. The scans shown below (just click the images to see the full sized ones) were taken from material found in the archives of the family De Moor.

Page 30 of "De Koene Edelman - Het Heilige Leven Van Johannes Baptista De La Salle".
Page 30 of “De Koene Edelman – Het Heilige Leven Van Johannes Baptista De La Salle”.

To give you an idea of the workload De Moor was confronted with, we’ll show you what he had to deliver in November 1949 for the Flemish weekly youth magazine ‘t Kapoentje (a youth extra of the newspaper De Nieuwe Gids). In the issue of November 24 you find 4 stories which De Moor worked on, all signed as ‘Bob – Artec-Studio’s‘.

The first is “De Koene Edelman – Het Heilige Leven Van Johannes Baptista De La Salle” on a scenario written by Gaston Durnez which you find on page 2.

The clear drawing style was similar to the one used by Jef Nys, Jijé and Sirius for their comic adaptations of all kinds of biographies, Jijé’s “Don Bosco” probably being the best known one. The print in this issue is black on white with red as a supporting – non-dotted – colour.

Gag 107 of "De Lustige Kapoentjes".
Gag 107 of “De Lustige Kapoentjes”.

On page 7 you see “De Lustige Kapoentjes”, Bob De Moor‘s adaptation of Willy Vandersteen‘s “De Vrolijke Bengels”. The story behind this switch is a complicated one. Vandersteen had left De Nieuwe Gids to start work for De Standaard where he continued the series “De Vrolijke Bengels” in the youth weekly Ons Volkske. With Vandersteen gone, Marc Sleen – who was the chief editor of ‘t Kapoentje – decided to start a new series very similar to the popular “De Vrolijke Bengels”: “De Lustige Kapoentjes”. But instead of drawing it himself, he asked Bob De Moor to work on it. De Moor would work on the series until he joined the Studio Hergé in late 1949. After that Marc Sleen would continue the series. It wouldn’t be the only Vandersteen story De Moor would re-create (see this article on “Babbel & Co”).

Page 15 of "Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd".
Page 15 of “Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd”.

You’ll see that the style used in this page of “De Lustige Kapoentjes” is very similar to the clear line used in De Moor’s later work for the Tintin weekly. The clear line was already very much present there.

On page 10 you find the story “Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd”. The crime story itself would be published in 1988 by De Dageraad in a split album which also holds “De Slaven van de Keizer”. That’s 39 years after first being published in ‘t Kapoentje.

The style of this story is a little bit less developed than “De Lustige Kapoentjes” and looks more hasty. At the same time it also includes a more realistic style used for one of the villains (frame 5), but most of the characters in this story are not really developed graphically. The story would also remain a one-off project and never be turned into a series.

Page 10 of "De Slaven van de Keizer".
Page 10 of “De Slaven van de Keizer”.

The back of the magazine, page 20, features the 4th story of Bob De Moor: “De Slaven van de Keizer”. And this one is in full – partially dotted – colour as you can see. As written above this story would be published together with “Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd” in one single album in 1988 by De Dageraad. Alas, not in colour but in black and white which kinda damaged the overall quality of the series. However, if you want to get hold of this story, you either will have to buy all issues of ‘t Kapoentje featuring this story (expect to pay a lot) or get hold of the album issued by De Dageraad, which, let’s be honest, should be in your collection to start with :). Graphically De Moor is in his element, after all the story is taking him to the sea. The realistic style applied here by De Moor is topnotch and even reminds of Hec Leeman‘s excellent Bakelandt series.

Expect some more of this pearls in the future!

The strange cover of ‘Het Betoverde Zandtapijt’ and the redrawn 4 strips

In 1985, the publisher De Dageraad would release Magnum 50, aka the Snoe & Snolleke story “Het Betoverde Zandtapijt”. This was the 10th story of the series which originally was published in Nieuws van de Dag from May 26 1954 until September 11 1954. The story would only be released once in album format, namely in the Magnum series, and would also be the very last Snoe & Snolleke to be released via De Dageraad (which by then had already slowed down its publication rhythm).

The cover was an enlarged frame from strip 174 with some extra 'retouches'.
The cover was an enlarged frame from strip 174 with some extra ‘retouches’.

But there are 2 things that are quite interesting about this album, apart from a lot of cheek in tongue ingredients: the cover and the presence of 4 redrawn strips in the back of the album as a (nice) extra.

Let’s first check the cover. At first sight you’d think that Bob De Moor didn’t really bother to make an appealing cover, however, it’s actually not a cover drawing at all, but instead the enlarged first frame of strip 174 completed with ‘vivid’ colours plus – you have to look really well – some extra ‘retouches’ here and there (check the bushes in the top center and the brick right under ‘Snolleke’). Did Bob De Moor add those changes? We doubt it. The album itself says that the albumcover was created by Bob De Moor… and Toine Cools, probably the lay-out guy who did his best to find a decent cover since De Moor obviously didn’t provide a drawing. We asked Johan De Moor if he remembered why there hadn’t been a normal cover drawn for the album, but he had no idea.

The redrawn strips 81-84 which were added as extra in the album.
The redrawn strips 81-84 which were added as extra in the album.

Now let’s jump to the second odd thing in this album. In the back you find a redrawn version of the strips 81 till 84. Graphically it’s not very different, although the way the shoes are drawn clearly indicate this is Bob De Moor anno 70-80 at work. But if you look at how the action is shown, a few things have changed. Case 1 of strip 81 sees the action inverted (creating a more readable composition), the same happens for the 2nd case in strip 83 where Uncle Zigomar is now looking to the right (again creating a more readable composition). At the end of strip 84, the scream now goes outwards the page, again to keep the flow of the action going in the correct reading direction.

There is a little bit less black used here and there but there’s also some added, see for example the 2nd frame in strip 81. A version meant for a coloured version of the album? Unlikely, Bob De Moor would never redraw complete pages if there weren’t obvious reasons (also see these articles on “De sigarillos van koningin Thia” and “Het Mollenrijk”). The page we present you here had no reason whatsoever to be redrawn except for some compositional reasons.

The old strips 81-84, here recut to be presented as a page.
The old strips 81-84, here recut to be presented as a page.

So we presented Johan De Moor another theory, what if this page was meant as a test page for a complete redrawing of the Snoe & Snolleke series to show what was possible? Johan De Moor: “That’s indeed possible, I presume Bob quickly realised that this would be too much work. You know, this wasn’t all that strange, because many artists wanted to redraw their old material. But just like other short lived projects, this was never finished and so we ended up with the coloured albums with cleaned out black backgrounds and very minimal corrections. Having said that, you mustn’t underestimate the work that had to be done when correcting the black parts in the pages, it was very time consuming.”

Bob De Moor would start work on the re-edition of the Snoe & Snolleke albums via Rijperman and Casterman around that time. Weirdly enough, the album would never see a reprint via Rijperman, Casterman or De Standaard Uitgeverij.

Bob De Moor’s ‘Le Lion des Flandres’ / ‘De Leeuw van Vlaanderen’ restored – soon out via BD Must

A few days ago we showed you a first glimpse on the work done by BD Must for the re-release of the Flandres Trilogy by Bob De Moor which consists of the 3 albums “Le Lion des Flandres” (“De Leeuw van Vlaanderen”), “Les gars de Flandre” (“De Kerels van Vlaanderen”) and “Conrad le Hardi” (“Sterke Jan”). We then showed you a first glimpse on the restoration for one of these albums, namely “Conrad le Hardi”.

The restored version - work in progress - of "De Leeuw van Vlaanderen".
The restored version – work in progress – of “De Leeuw van Vlaanderen”.

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!

A Bob De Moor story which definitely needs a re-edition… with correct full coloring

In 1959 the Tintin Journal published the Bob De Moor story “Pirates D’eau Douce” / “De Zoetwaterpiraten” in the issues 26 till 40. The one-off story of 30 pages featured the adventures of Dic, Vic & Mic (Dik, Vik, Mik in the dutch version). On the flemish side, De Moor would see the story published in Ons Volkske (from issue 50 in 1959 till issue 28 in 1960). The story would mean the final flemish school inspired album from Bob De Moor who would from now on opt for the clear line from the Brussels school with Hergé and Jacobs being the perfect examples.

If you compare this story to the last Johan & Stéphan album (aka Oncle Zigomar) you can notice that Bob De Moor‘s style had undergone quite some influence from Hergé. The drawings are cleaner, preciser. It’s obvious that De Moor was able putting extra work into finishing the drawings as he was no longer under pressure of prepping the pages with the killing rhythm and deadlines which newspapers imposed. And you can say with certainty that this story would never have seen the light of day if it weren’t for Hergé asking him to join the studio.

For some odd reason, it would take De Moor more than 23 years to see the story published in an album format, the fact that it only counted 30 pages is probably one of the main reasons (Le Lombard only wanted to release 44 page stories of Barelli for instance). In 1983 both Magic Strip and De Dageraad (in their Magnum series) would publish the story, with Magic Strip opting for a hardcover.

The color horror (watch the roof of the house). First case is from the Tintin Journal, the second is from the Magic Strip version, the 3rd is from the De Dageraad version.
The color horror (watch the roof of the house). First case is from the Tintin Journal, the second is from the Magic Strip version, the 3rd is from the De Dageraad version.

Color-wise the story suffered a lot of problems though. The coloring in the Tintin journal for instance consisted of several shades of grey and red which turned some of the details invisible especially when the darker grey was used. On top the films weren’t really matched correctly one on another, as a result the colors exited the drawings.

Also the album versions suffered the same faith, more or less. The flemish De Dageraad version got even darker ‘colors’ with another mismatch of the films (you’d think that at least one of the errors would have been avoided, but alas). The Magic Strip version had the same colors as the Tintin Journal (still too dark of course) but the colors luckily stayed inside the lines this time.

Sure thing is that this album needs a reedition with a good coloring in the style of Tintin.