Tag Archives: Hergé

Info wanted on these 2 Bob De Moor ‘Explorers on the Moon’ advert sketches

This morning we received the following scans of 2 drawings (each sized 13,5 x 10 cm), both were sketched by Bob De Moor.

Both sketches feature elements from the 7th Tintin album “Explorers on the Moon”, the first one showing a drunk Captain Haddock floating in space (taken from page 10 in the album), the second showing Captain Haddock jumping high in the airless sky of the moon due to the lower gravity forces (this scene takes place on page 26 of the album) with Tintin and Snowy watching.

We have been asked for some more info on what these sketches were made for. It’s presumed that they were made for bigger drawings to be featured on towels which were sold in the mid eighties like this one below. If you have some more info, please mail us at bernard.vanisacker@gmail.com .

If you pay some close attention to the sketches, you’ll notice that there are some differences when you compare these sketches with the final album versions.

The first sketch has a different angle than the original sketch while the second picture has the moonrocket in the background which is not the case in the album version, and Snowy has also appeared in the sketch, presumably to give it an extra touch as was going to be used for commercial products.

If you have more info regarding these sketches, where the final drawings were used, etc please let us know!

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.

Bob De Moor inspired by Hergé’s ‘Cigars of the Pharaoh’ for ‘Bloske & Zwik, Detectives’?

In 1949, the Poperinge (Belgium) publisher Sansen released a comic by Bob De Moor called “Bloske & Zwik, Detectives” (read also: Bob De Moor’s most expensive album available now? A first edition from “Bloske en Zwik, Detectives” from 1949). The story itself had seen a pre-publication in ’t Kapoentje from December 6th, 1948, until April 28, 1949. Today we pick out 2 strips from this story, namely the first 2 ones from page 16 of the album. The scan comes from a mint copy Bob De Moor‘s nephew Ludo Van Looveren provided us.

The first 2 strips from page 16 of the album "Bloske & Zwik, Detectives".
The first 2 strips from page 16 of the album “Bloske & Zwik, Detectives”.

The reason why we choose these 2 strips is because they resemble some of the antagonists we find back in the Tintin album “Cigars of the Pharaoh” (French: “Les Cigares du Pharaon”) by Hergé: hooded bandits. In both albums the hooded characters are part of a secret criminal society. In “Cigars of the Pharaoh” they are part of an international drug smuggling enterprise. In “Bloske & Zwik, Detectives” they are using the chemical factory Oxy & Co to abduct labourers and conduct radioactive experiments on them. In both albums a lot of the action happens in a secret underground facility. And just like in the Tintin album, the masked villains are in fact people everybody knows and never would have suspected in the first place.

Is this all a matter of coincidence? Maybe, but by 1948 Bob De Moor was already very familiar with the style of Hergé whose work he adored a lot, so it wouldn’t be to far fetched to think that John Van Looveren and Bob De Moor had loosely inspired their story on some of the elements we also find back in the famous Tintin album.

The “Cigars of the Pharaoh” album was the 4th album of the adventures of Tintin and was serialised weekly from December 1932 to February 1934 in the children’s supplement (Le Petit Vingtième) of the conservative Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle. In 1955, it was re-drawn (partially by Bob De Moor) and coloured in Hergé’s distinctive ligne-claire style for republication by Casterman.

On a side-note, the language used in “Bloske & Zwik, Detectives” and more precisely in the 2 strips we publish here is rather archaic, but that’s how (Flemish) Dutch was written back then. Some words have even completely disappeared in written or spoken language. For instance the first case features the verb ‘verneuken’ (english for what literally means ‘to cheat’) which later on would get such a negative sexual connotation (the origin of the verb being ‘neuken’ which stands for having sexual intercourse but said in a very rude way as if you would use ‘to fuck’) that it was preferred to no longer use it, especially in teen comics.

Bob De Moor in Welkenraedt for ‘Tout Hergé’ in 1991

In 1991 the Belgian village of Welkenraedt was the decor for the “Tout Hergé” exhibition which lasted 3 months (from June 8 till September 15). It was the biggest exhibition on Hergé and his work held so far. Johannes Stawowy, from whom we have already received lots of material on Bob De Moor, sent us a few pictures today when he visited the opening night of the exhibition. Of course he met up with Bob De Moor.

Johannes Stawowy and Bob De Moor in Welckenraedt in 1991. You can see Bob De Moor's wife Jeanne De Belder sitting on the right. Guy Decissy can be seen on the far left.
Johannes Stawowy and Bob De Moor in Welckenraedt in 1991. You can see Bob De Moor’s wife Jeanne De Belder sitting on the right. Guy Decissy can be seen on the far left.

Today we present you some pictures taken in 1991 at the Welkenraedt Exhibition. You’ll recognise several people which have been part of the Tintinosphere for a long time, such as Zhang Chongren (on whom Hergé based the Chang character which was introduced in the album “The Blue Lotus”), Guy Decissy and of course Bob de Moor (and his wife Jeanne De Belder).

Here are some more pictures.

Johannes Stawowy and Bob De Moor in Welckenraedt in 1991.
Johannes Stawowy and Bob De Moor in Welckenraedt in 1991.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also Zhang Chongren was present in Welckenraedt.
Also Zhang Chongren was present in Welckenraedt.

Tintin turns into Hergé, a 1971 drawing up for auction at Sotheby’s

In 1971 Bob De Moor was asked to create the cover artwork for a special issue of ‘Les cahiers de la bande dessinée’ on Hergé. He decided to give them a ‘Tintin gone Hergé’. A shocking exercise that leaves Snowy shocked (to the point of loosing the bone he so much cherishes).

The 1971 drawing by Bob De Moor.
The 1971 drawing by Bob De Moor.

As you can see, Bob De Moor gave Tintin the head of Georges Rémi aka Hergé, including the typical Tintin haircut. On the suitcase several titles of Tintin albums were added: “Le temple du soleil”, “Le Sceptre d’Ottokar”, “Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge”, “Cokes en stock”, “On a marché sur la Lune”, “Tintin au pays des Soviets”, “Les Cigares du pharaon”, “L’Oreille cassée” and “Vol 714 (pour Sydney)”.

The coloured version for the 1972 publication.
The coloured version for the 1972 publication.

So why do we show you this drawing today? Well, the 21 x 27 cm big drawing is being put up for auction on March 7th in Paris, France by Sotheby’s which expects it to reach between 1.800 and 2.500 Euros.

The ‘Spécial Hergé’ counted 81 pages and would be published in 1972 in between a Gotlib and a Roba special. The cover held a coloured version of the drawing stressing even more the resemblance with Tintin. You can see a scan on the left.

It would not be the last time that De Moor would put someone’s head on a Tintin body…

A capstan traced for the Cori album ‘L’invincible Armada 2 – Le Dragon des Mers’

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.

The capstan ready to be traced on the final page.
The capstan ready to be traced on the final page.

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.

The capstan in its final version of page 4 of the Cori album "L'invincible Armada 2 - Le Dragon des Mers"
The capstan in its final version of page 4 of the Cori album “L’invincible Armada 2 – Le Dragon des Mers”

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.

We’ll be digging up more of these gems of course.

Bob De Moor goes Edgar P. Jacobs in 1984 + rare radio interview

Today we present you a document which Bob De Moor sent to the editorial staff of the Journal Tintin, more precisely to Jean-Luc Vernal, the editor in chief of the Journal Tintin from 1979 to 1988, and which has been sold on Catawiki recently. We also have a rare interview with Bob De Moor which Régric (comic author behind Lefranc, Été indien pour la Mini, …) pointed out to us.

The note dating from 1984 with Mortimer as drawn by Bob De Moor.
The note dating from 1984 with Mortimer as drawn by Bob De Moor.

But first the document, it’s dated October 11 1984 and handles the shipping of a plate called “S.O.S. Météores”, but contrarily to what the seller on Catawiki implied, it’s not about a page from the Blake & Mortimer album “S.O.S. Météores”, but the very funny pastiche Bob De Moor made in 1978 and which was published in the Journal Tintin nr 49.

The most important detail on this sheet of paper is however the head of Mortimer which Bob De Moor drew on the paper using a simple pen. It would take until 1987 for Bob De Moor to draw the Edgar P. Jacobs characters again, namely for the “Mystère à Montreuil : Une enquête de Blake et Mortimer”.

Next is a 50 minute (!) interview which Bob De Moor gave on April 11th 1990 to France Culture. This interview is quite worth checking out, although it’s in French and thus not for everybody understandable. But on the other hand it’s a very good possibility to hear Bob De Moor’s voice again, crystal clear this time.

In the interview Bob De Moor discusses in detail “Les 3 Formules du professeur Satō – Mortimer contre Mortimer” (which had been released just a few weeks before), the censorship Jacobs had to undergo in France, the spies in the life of Jacobs, the absence of women in the work of Jacobs and Hergé, Hergé asking to add the Johan & Stephan album “Le renard qui louche” in the Journal Tintin, … and so on. Bob De Moor also talks about co-signing the album and… you can hear Bob De Moor sing à la Edgar P. Jacobs! You’ll have to take the rather hoity-toity Andy Warhol / René Magritte chitchat by some of the other studio guest for granted but each time Bob De Moor quickly brings the listener back to the real thing: the art of comics. Recommended listening!

Artec Studios’ hidden collaborators: Mon Van Meulenbroeck (part 2)

A few days ago you could read an article on the work Armand “Mon” Van Meulenbroeck did for Artec Studios, the company founded by Bob De Moor and John Van Looveren. Today we present you another comic which has always been attributed to Bob De Moor, but which is not by Bob De Moor at all: Tim & Tom.

Up until today people claim this is Bob De Moor's work.
Up until today people claim this is Bob De Moor’s work.

The page scan we present you today comes from an issue of the 1949 (another source indicates it was published in 1951) edition of the weekly youth journal ‘t Kapoentje. The comic series is called ‘Tim en Tom’ and the story is called “Tim en Tom erven een Kasteel” (“Tim and Tom inherit a Castle”) and this story has always been said to be by Bob De Moor in many publications (with some writers saying that “one can clearly recognize the Hergé-esque influences…” Really?). Weird, because it doesn’t take much time for anyone familiar with the work of Bob De Moor (or drawing as a matter of fact) to raise a few question marks when seeing this page. The style as used in the drawings has close to nothing in common with what Bob De Moor drew around that time. It also showed some very clumsy drawing (shoes, hands, …) which – although Bob De Moor was working at speed tempo around that time – you would not expect from him. But, the story did come from the Artec studios, you can see the Artec Studios signature on the second strip, and that for instance led to the people from Stripofiel claiming that ‘Tim en Tom’ was by Bob De Moor in their issue nr. 8 from 1974. Danny De Laet – who first also attributed the series to Bob De Moor, rectified his judgement in “De Vlaamse Strip Auteurs” (published by De Dageraad in 1982) on page 43 saying that the ‘Tim en Tom’ story was “definitely not by Bob De Moor”.

An almost sure thing is that the drawings were made by a flemish comic author, the use of ‘ge’ (flemish for ‘you’) was never used in the Netherlands for instance. It’s also seems to be a one-off story which was published in both KZV and in t’ Kapoentje, but which seems to have been interrupted only to be continued in Het Wekelijkse Nieuws. So it doesn’t seem like it that the editorial staff of ‘t Kapoentje were all that happy about the result of the work.

But who was the artist then behind this ‘Tim en Tom’ then? John Van Looveren possibly was the storyteller (he did love the castle theme a lot), but who made the graphics? Armand “Mon” Van Meulenbroeck comes to mind (again), after all, he was the only comic artist ever to be paid by Artec Studios next to Bob De Moor. Compare the first case in the unfinished drawing in this article with the second case in the first strip of today’s scan and you will see a few similarities. But as a whole, it’s a mixed bag of influences; you’ll will recognize a Willy Vandersteen touch (see the postman) next to a not so well executed Hergé imitation.

If you ask us, Bob De Moor didn’t provide rough sketches for this series like he did for the cartoon series we talked about. The series is far from being a graphic chef d’oeuvre, but as a historical document it serves its purpose rather well. After all, the few years that the Artec Studios were active, represented a very important milestone in the history of the flemish comic scene, whether it was Bob De Moor or not making the drawings.

Bob De Moor says goodbye to Hergé in De Zwijger of 1983

On March 9 1983 the Flemish satirical weekly De Zwijger (English: The silent one) invited several comic authors for a tribute to Hergé who had passed away the week before on March 3. For the occasion De Zwijger invited such comic authors as Theo van den Boogaard, Luc Zeebroek (which is another nickname for Kamagurka), Jan, Kamagurka, Mark Smeets, Quirit, Luk Vandevijver, Zak, Dirk Stallaert, Evermeulen, Gal, Marc Sleen, Zak and also Bob De Moor. Good to know, Theo van den Boogaard worked out a 4 page story with Quick & Flupke based on drawings by Hergé.

Where is Bob De Moor?
Where is Bob De Moor?

But back to Bob De Moor. Strangely enough he wasn’t mentioned on the front of the issue as you can see on the left although a tribute was published on page 7. It must have been an odd reason because most of the other comic authors don’t really play in the same league as Bob De Moor.

While we await our copy to arrive to give you a proper scan, we already were sent a first tiny picture, which we have used today.

Farewell to Hergé by Bob De Moor
Farewell to Hergé by Bob De Moor

The drawing sees Hergé walking away towards the sun with the Marlinspike Hall (French: Le château de Moulinsart) on the right. A drawing falls out of his art folder, that of Tintin and Snowy. Below on the right you see the sentence “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In…” taken from an American gospel hymn. First recorded on May 13, 1938 by jazz musician Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra, the hymn itself expresses the wish to go to Heaven, picturing the saints going in through the Pearly Gates. For that reason it is entirely appropriate for funerals. We have asked the family De Moor to have an insight in the music collection of Bob De Moor and we are pretty sure that the version by Louis Armstrong can be found in there. Unless it’s the version which Elvis Presley recorded… we’ll update this story when we know more!

Some more info on the weekly De Zwijger, because there’s an extra link with the family De Moor. It was launched in 1982 by journalist and publicist Johan Anthierens and Herman van Hove. That very Johan Anthierens would later on translate several Johan De Moor albums into Dutch in a way that no other translator ever succeeded in doing.

The weekly would file for bankruptcy in 1984 after it had published a critical article on Roularta. Bad luck because that publisher happened to be a business partner of the publisher Biblo, which edited… De Zwijger. The move resulted in a loss of sponsors. Add to this the massive workload for Anthierens and the recipe for failure was created. Even though the publisher Kritak accepted to release it after they were dropped from Biblio, it was too late for the weekly which stopped being published in June 1984.

The end also meant the end of a Flemish magazine in the style of Le Canard enchaîné or Charlie Hebdo.

Below is the version by Louis Armstrong.

Fanny Rodwell says NO to new Tintin album

"La veuve d'Hergé sort de l'ombre" - Paris Match 8-14/05/2014
“La veuve d’Hergé sort de l’ombre” – Paris Match 8-14/05/2014

Since Bob De Moor wanted to complete the unfinished “Tintin and Alph-Art” album, but was refused to do so in the end, we thought that this particular newsbit might interest more than just one reader (and that’s probably an understatement).

Note: It’s not the intention to start posting Tintin news on this website, but when it’s relevant to Bob De Moor, we will.

The Belgian edition of Paris Match (8 – 14 May) has an interview with Fanny Rodwell, the wife of the late Hergé , and although it’s one of the very rare Fanny Rodwell interviews, it was as a direct hit. Yes, the interview is worthy of a headline that has already made it to the Belgian-French speaking Tintin world in record time, and will soon reach the English-speaking fans as well.

The interview, done by Emmanuelle Jowa, is quite an interesting read (and accompanied by rather nice pictures of Fanny Rodwell), although it’s mainly human interest-minded – it’s for Paris Match, after all. You’ll learn for instance that Fanny Rodwell eats meat while her husband Nick Rodwell is a ‘végétalien’. Yes, with an ‘l’, which means he is a die-hard vegetarian. Not really information one would call interesting. But after one page of more small talk, Fanny Rodwell says a few things which are more interesting, with the no-bomb falling on page 68.

"La veuve d'Hergé sort de l'ombre" - Paris Match 8-14/05/2014
“La veuve d’Hergé sort de l’ombre” – Paris Match 8-14/05/2014

Fanny Rodwell is very clear: there will be no new album of Tintin, not now, not in 2017, not in 2050, not in 2053 and not in 2054. In short, there will never again be a new Tintin album, “Out of the question” she even says further on in the interview when the journalist keeps insisting. However, that doesn’t exclude unfinished albums such as the “Thermozero”, of course, as we all know by now since that option is currently being studied by Moulinsart and Casterman.

It’s interesting to see that Fanny Rodwell is very laid back when it comes to the future of Tintin. Regarding possibly losing Tintin to the public domain she says: “That’s life, it’s like that. And anyway, I will no longer be alive by then.” She continues by saying that society might again have changed by then and “maybe Tintin will no longer be in the mind of the youngsters (…) he may be forgotten by then.

From the interview we also learn that she has no info on when the next Tintin film by Steven Spielberg will be released and that she is pretty sure that the first film wasn’t a big commercial success “or Spielberg would have already started with the next one“. When asked who she considers to be as talented as Hergé she names Paul Cuvelier and Jacques Laudy.

To be continued…