Tag Archives: Jef Nys

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!

Mieleke & Dolf / Bouboule & Noiraud make their entry in 1949

In 1949 Ons Volkske started to publish the adventures of Mieleke & Dolf / Fee & Fonske  which was also published in the Flemish weekly Kuifje. In French the series was known as Bouboule & Noiraud from the publications in Junior – from 1954 on – and in the Journal Tintin – from 1949 on. This series has unfortunately never been published in book format, except for an extremely limited run (we talk about 50 copies at maximum) via Jean-Pierre Verheylewegen in 2001 (or 2002), and even this publication didn’t include those strips published in the Journal Tintin. The family De Moor was so kind to provide us with material from this publication, more specifically we’ll show you the 3rd strip of this series as published on January 27, 1949 in Ons Volkske.

The 3rd strip of this series as published on January 27, 1949 in Ons Volkske.
The 3rd strip of this series as published on January 27, 1949 in Ons Volkske.

The one strip gag “De avonturen van Melee en Dolf” is part of the many series Bob De Moor saw published at the end of the 40s in magazines and youth extra’s for newspapers. Other series that consisted of one strip cartoons included the adventures of Vodje, Kareltje or yet De Rosse. They all have in common that they also never have been published in book format (except for the above mentioned limited run). Note that not all the cartoons were published as a strip. De Rosse for instance was often published as a square with 4 frames. The same happened once to Mieleke & Dolf when the Journal Tintin published the cartoon as a vertically positioned 3-frame strip to better fit the page layout.

A detail of Bouboule & Noiraud as published in the Journal Tintin in a more Hergé like style.
A detail of Bouboule & Noiraud as published in the Journal Tintin in a more Hergé like style.

The whole is a typical example of the typical flemish one strip cartoons which were independent from each other and as such never needed a cliff hanger, just a joke. Situation humor is key in such case. The jokes remind a lot of the early one page gags of Hergé‘s Quick & Flupke. On the flemish side of the comic world you could compare the type of humor with the one you could find in the early cartoons of Jommeke which Jef Nys would create in 1955 for the catholic weekly Kerk en Leven (also known in Flanders as ‘het parochieblad’). Truth to be told, Nys used a full page to develop his gags whereas Bob De Moor only used 3 to 4 frames at maximum. Sometimes De Moor would use plenty of dialogues but mostly the dialogues were quite limited.

Over the years the style in which the comic was drawn changed quite a bit, from the loosely drawn first strips as you can see here to a graphically more styled duo as published in the Journal Tintin. In the cartoons published for the Journal Tintin you clearly start to notice the influence of Hergé‘s style of drawing, less ‘bubly’, more refined. You could also say that he seemed to have had more time to finish the drawings although one must admit that the strips created for Mieleke & Dolf are amongst the finest cartoon style work De Moor would develop in the late 1940s.

Jef Nys used to collaborate with Bob De Moor on an animation film

10154149_640219222694570_1709309963_nDid you know that besides Bob De Moor another young Flemish cartoonist started working at the cartoon filmstudio AFIM? His name: Jef Nys ( Jommeke, De Kapoentjes, Langteen & Schommelbuik). He collaborated on the 12’25 cartoon “Smidje Smee” (animation about the legend of a blacksmith who sells his soul to the devil – see the image below), together with Bob De Moor in 1942, although Nys is not always credited in the info available on this short animation film.

Nys only stayed for a very short time at the AFIM studios: after 4 days the principal of the academy warned him he would be expelled if he didn’t return right away to the academy instead of wasting his time at the AFIM studios like that other bohemian De Moor… Nys left while De Moor stayed but after a V-bomb destroyed the academy’s garden the institution got closed and Nys started working for the Antwerp based architect Maurits De Vocht. The rest is history!

The short film is still being shown here and there at festivals. We haven’t been able finding a copy yet.

The animation studio AFIM was founded in Antwerp in 1940, by Ray Goossens together with Jules Luyckx and Henri Winkeler. They created a number of short animated movies, of which “Smidje Smee” (1942) was the most successful. 3 other cartoons included “Rapi Roum and Metamorfose” (1940), “Hoe primmeke ter wereld kwam” (1941) and “De lamme maakt een ritje” (1947).