In 1970 the Journal Tintin started with the pre-publication of the Lefranc album “Le repaire du loup”. As you all know, this album was drawn by Bob De Moor under guidance of Jacques Martin. The 4th album in the Lefranc series would surprisingly only be released some 4 years later by Casterman.
In the archives of Olivier Marin, we found a pencil drawing on Schoeller’s Parole paper of what seems to have been the sketch for what was to become the cover artwork of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970. The cover shows a falling Lefranc. But let’s take a closer look to the first and the final version, because there are some differences to be seen.
On the left you see the sketch which has a Lefranc falling in a slightly different angle, with his body more bent. His arms also point upwards and not downwards like on the published version. This is probably due to the different postures one sees in the Lefranc albums, where the bodies always tend to be a bit more stiff. Next we see that Bob De Moor put the album title followed by “par Jacques Martin / Bob De Moor”. This was omitted in the final version and we are not sure why. Perhaps it was considered that the Lefranc series was known enough to go without the name of the authors? Nevertheless you can already see the initial design of the front cover with that very powerful wolf’s head on a red background taking 1/3 of the page.
Note also that the Journal Tintin logo and baseline have not been ‘framed’ like in the sketch but instead are shown over the actual drawing letting the action flow untouched in the background.
This cover is by far considered as one of the best De Moor did for the Journal Tintin, and now you can finally see that the strength was already there in the initial sketch.
“Le Repaire du loup” was the 4th volume in the Lefranc series by Jacques Martin, but unlike the first 3, this 4th volume was drawn by Bob De Moor. Pre-published in the Belgian Journal Tintin between April 21st 1970 and 8 September 1970 it was finally published in album format in 1974 by the Belgian editor Casterman.
This year, 41 years later (!), the French editor Ludovic Gombert will release a ‘remastered‘ big format (28,5 x 38 cm) of this album, limited to just 250 copies! The re-edition will be published in black/white. The full technical info can be found here.
When we say ‘remastered‘, we mean that every page will have been cleaned in order to offer you the best possible printing. To show you how the editor will proceed, we received 2 examples showing you in detail what this ‘remasterisation’ will entail. The first detail is a drawing and as you can see the first picture shows some artefacts while the second has been cleaned out completely. This is a manual job, which means lots and lots of work hours to get the job properly done.
The second example shows a text balloon, before and after, and again you can see that there is a lot of working being executed right now to give you the best possible printing quality. Expect the album to be ready by the 2nd trimester of 2015 with a price of 99 Euro. We’ll post pre-order links when the become available.
The other volumes are planned to follow in chronological order later on, but more when we the info is confirmed.
In 1965 while Hergé was on holiday Jacques Martin and Bob de Moor made a fake Tintin page (the so called famous ‘planche bidon’) which the Swiss Lausanne based magazine L’illustré took for a real genuine Hergé page. When Hergé got to see the article he wasn’t too pleased, but afterwards asked on numerous occasions to buy the page from Martin. Martin agreed on one condition: that he would not destroy the page. Hergé (silently) did not want to agree on those terms so it seems. The page, on which Bob and Jacques worked on for a couple of days, ended up in a Jacques Martin auction many years later (together with the unfinished work for the Jo-Zette & Jocko story “La main noire”).
Critics would later say that they would have recognized it as being fake since it missed the ‘naturel’ from Hergé. Personally I (Bernard) am more inclined to think that noone would have seen the difference. Heck, at the moment they are even selling Hergé drawings which were in fact made by Bob de Moor and Jacques Martin to begin with. The Studios were very well integrated in each new Tintin album and learned from Hergé how to work (and vice versa). It’s my belief that minimizing the role of the Studios is some kind of art revisionism. Hergé was key, but his colleagues were therefor not less important. And we should keep in mind that the Studios did deliver high quality work (with a few exceptions maybe).
Bob de Moor and Jacques Martin were close friends. Here’s a tribute from de Moor to Martin. Mark the reference to the Lefranc album “Le repaire du loup” which they completed together. If someone has a better quality scan, please let us know!
In this 9 minute interview from 2009 the late Jacques Martin talks about the work Bob de Moor did on the Lefranc album “Repaire du Loup” and how their collaboration started. We posted it on our Facebook page for easier sharing.
This 4th Lefranc album got published in Tintin magazine from 1969 on and was only published in album format somewhat 5 (!!) years later. It was the first album where Martin decided to let a lot of the work being completed by a close collaborator.
Jacques Martin being a very ‘franc’ personality was damn good at telling stories from the past whether it was from his own life or in his albums.
After Jacques Martin left the Hergé Studios he also took with him the material from the uncompleted Jo et Zette story “La main noire” he collaborated on with Bob de Moor. The lot ended up in an auction last year. Included in the set were 4 crayon drawn pages, 2 pages in red pen and the synopsis itself. The lot was up for auction at PB&A auction house in 2011.
It’s not really clear if Martin actually had the right to take this uncompleted album with him (let alone sell it even) as it was a product by the Hergé Studios.
Good to know, de Moor also provided illustrations to the “Le Nain noir” by Scott Walter. Coïncidence?
Note that amongst the other lots on offer we also found back the notorious gag page which the members of the Studio once produced to make it appear that they were writing a Tintin book while Hergé was away.