Tag Archives: Le Lombard

A test artwork version for the 80s version of ‘Barelli à Nusa-Penida (Volume 1)’

In the period 1982-1983 Bob De Moor created an extended version of the Barelli story “Barelli à Nusa-Penida” (volume 1 & 2), which was originally published back in 1951 for the Tintin Journal. The recreated versions were released in album format via Le Lombard with new/reworked pages and other cover artwork. And that’s precisely what we will talk about this time.

While talking with Noël Slangen for this article he mentioned he had a test version of a certain Barelli album cover. Since we know that some of these test versions are real gems, we asked if he could send us a picture. Two days ago we received a photo of said cover and behold, it’s a test version of “Barelli à Nusa-Penida (volume 1)” (version 1981)!

A test artwork version for the 80s version of 'Barelli à Nusa-Penida (Volume 1)'

There are some interesting details regarding this version. The 1st volume is called “1 Les prisonniers de Sambal Oelek” on this test version and not “L’île du Sorcier” like would be the case in the final version as published by Le Lombard.

A test artwork version for the 80s version of 'Barelli à Nusa-Penida (Volume 1)'

The number 21 (see the top left corner) also has vanished in the final version. Interesting to see, De Moor had added ‘collection vedette’ in the bottom left corner, but the album would in the end be released as a normal Le Lombard album (that was about time!) as the cheaper ‘collection vedette’ had ceased to exist as a standalone brand by 1977; the album “La grotte aux esprits” in the Les 3 A series being the final one (n° 50). As a result you see a pencil comment to bar ‘collection vedette’ and instead put the Le Lombard logo (here abbreviated as ‘Lombard’) in the bottom center. The same goes for Bob De Moor’s name which moves to the top middle.

In the final version Bob De Moor would clear some space for the logo (by bending the sorcerer’s body posture, thus making him smaller) which is also demanded in another comment on this test version (‘attention aux measures’) in the bottom right corner.

Note also that this cover artwork is one of several submitted to Le Lombard, the ‘project retenu’ comment indicates this clearly. The cover idea is based on the 1951 version as used in the Tintin Journal nr. 151 as you can see below.

A test artwork version for the 80s version of 'Barelli à Nusa-Penida (Volume 1)'

Lots of thanks to Noël Slangen for revealing this beautiful gem!

The alternative version of Barelli’s ‘Bonne mine à la mer’ cover

Today’s article was triggered by a mail we got from Petja van den Hurk who pointed us towards this blogpost by Peter Velter on the Joost Swarte website.

The article recalled an aborted project from 1975 to unite a number of comics by well known underground authors in one album. But although the project never got realised, Velter did compile the works by Joost Swarte and Bob De Moor in a new book, “Blijf Kalm, Werk In Uitvoering”. The book (rather a magazine) itself is a quite limited edition and was only made available to people close to the project and the artists themselves (or their family in the case of Bob De Moor).

You can preview the book right here.

One drawing stood out and that’s an alternative cover for the Barelli album “Bonne mine à la mer”. There are a few things to say about the cover. First of all you will notice that De Moor already made a previous version on the same page and then placed a newer version on top – you can see the border right under the heading. A detail is also that De Moor had no idea yet what number the album would be in the Collection Vedette.  And significant is that the artwork was immediately in French (many people still think erroneously that De Moor first wrote his scripts etc. in Dutch).


In 1975 Bob De Moor would see the “Bonne mine à la mer” album released via Le Lombard. It would be the only full album released so quickly after being published in the Tintin journal (n°6-14 1974). It was the follow-up album to the 1972 story “Barelli et le Bouddha boudant” and through 32 pages Barelli discovers the world of the radio pirates which often broadcasted from boats in the late seventies.

The alternative cover is based on page 17 of the album, more precisely case 7 and 8 as you can see below.


It shows Barelli’s yellow Alpine Renault almost falling off a cliff. The composition of this alternative cover looks quite dynamic with falling rocks etc. but perhaps it didn’t really represent enough the red line of the album, namely radio pirates. So in the end De Moor would go for the rubber boat heading towards a radio pirate boat.

The album was most recently re-issued by BD Must editions and is an absolute must for Tintin fans as you will recognise many scenes which will immediately show you what drawings Bob De Moor worked on for the Tintin albums around that time.

The 3 editorial musketeers at Le Lombard: Bob De Moor, André-Paul Duchâteau & Yves Sente

In 1989 Haarlem born Rob Harren (Lombard Nederland) was asked to put Le Lombard back on the rails and especially make sure that their comic authors got pre-publications, something which until today is key to get a (new) comic series off the ground. He contacted Bob De Moor and Belgian comics writer and mystery novelist André-Paul Duchâteau to join Le Lombard as artistic director and publisher at Le Lombard. More precisely Duchâteau would become responsible for the detective series of the Lefrancq imprint but both would have their say in what was to be published.

In reality Rob Harren knew that he needed people who others would trust and who were household names. De Moor and Duchâteau were both and they made sure that Le Lombard was able to get its business back on track.

From left to right: André-Paul Duchâteau, Bob De Moor & Yves Sente
From left to right: André-Paul Duchâteau, Bob De Moor & Yves Sente

Another – now famous – writer would join Le Lombard in 1991, first as editor and later in 1992 as publishing director: Yves Sente. Knowing a lot of authors through his work as an editor, Sente branched out to writing comics, specializing in continuing existing successful series where the original author had died or was no longer interested in it, for instance Blake and Mortimer and Thorgal. He also created two new short series.

Yves Sente says farewell to Bob De Moor in  Hello Bédé.
Yves Sente says farewell to Bob De Moor in Hello Bédé.

It was that very Yves Sente who sent us a picture last night of an editorial meeting that took place in March 1992 at Le Lombard in Brussels. On the picture you see the young Yves Sente on the right with Bob De Moor and André-Paul Duchâteau on the left.

A different picture from the same session accompanied Yves Sente‘s farewell article in the special Bob De Moor issue of Hello Bédé magazine published on 6 October 1992. We added a scan of said page on the left.

Jet comic magazine launches with Bob De Moor cover artwork

Issue 1 of Jet, published in January 1990
Issue 1 of Jet, published in January 1990

In January 1990 Lombard launched a brand new comic talent seeking magazine for the french speaking and dutch speaking market: Jet. The plan was to release 10 issues every year. The issues were sold separately for more or less € 3,40 or for € 28,20 if you chose a yearly subscription. Distributed in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and The Netherlands, the magazine would however fold after 11 issues in a market where comic magazines were selling less and less.

The magazine’s editorial staff consisted of Rob Harren (general director/editor), Jean-Luc Vernal (editor in chief), A.-P. Duchateau (scenario writer/literary editor), Bob De Moor (artistic director/comic author) and Georges Permin. The aim was to launch new talents and show them to the public because as Rob Harren would prophetically write in his editorial: “… the options for young comic authors have become close to inexistent”. Little would he know that Jet would suffer exactly the same faith 13 months later.

Positive as always Bob De Moor says that the stories in that (and the following) issue promise a brilliant future for the participating comic authors. For the occasion the magazine launched a € 2.500 contest. While the winner would take that nice amount home, other prizes for the 4 runner ups would include the Deluxe edition of Hergé as published by Lombard, 50 and 25 Dargaud/Lombard albums of your choice and a one day visit at Lombard.

The cover Bob De Moor created shows Pieter Breughel having a go at winning the € 2.500 contest. The subject of his comic: the fall of Icarus (with Icarus thumbing down right into the sea just in front of him). In Breughel’s comic version he lets Icarus alive though (in Greek mythology, Icarus fell into the sea and drowned). It’s a comic after all.

Note that the drawing itself (the front rock part & plants, the sea with the boat, the falling Icarus in the sea, the city in the background) refers to Breughel’s own painting “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus“. Technical examinations in 1996 showed that it could as well have been a good early copy by an unknown artist of Bruegel’s original, but that’s just a discussion between ‘specialists’. The lines are very sketchy for this cover and serve the purpose as De Moor probably wanted to look the drawing dated as if it were an actual old ink sketch.

3 cartoons by Peter de Smet
3 cartoons by Peter de Smet

Included in this issue are also 3 cartoons by Peter de Smet showing a mustached gentlemen in a suit judging the entries for said contest. Yeps, indeed, de Smet made cartoons of Bob De Moor. As you can see on the left, they are quite funny. For the non-french speaking readers, the first cartoon has a text balloon saying “Of course this is a blanco page, you need to give some freedom to the reader’s imagination!”, the second says “What do you mean with ‘not innovative’ enough?”, and the last one says “Belive me or not, but the moment I saw her I knew we didn’t stand a chance.”

Teun Berserik aka Barelli
Teun Berserik aka Barelli

The biggest revelation for the clear line fans will be the drawings by Teun Berserik (son of the well known Dutch graphic artist Hermanus Berserik) who also drew his version of what you would think is probably Barelli. But it’s actually a self portrait by Berserik. The story he published in Jet, “Le chat”/”De Kat”, is completely in the style of Hergé/De Moor (reminding also that of Eric Heuvel). It would remain one of his few published stories in said style as he is a lot more active as illustrator. More recently he released “Vincent van Gogh – De vroege jaren” which got quite some positive feedback for its aquarel style.

Johan De Moor presents new album “Coeur Glacé” with a tongue in cheek video

Out on the 22nd of August is the brand new album, “Coeur Glacé” (Eng. “Ice cold heart”) by Johan De Moor, son of Bob De Moor, on a scenario by Gilles Dal. The video which Le Lombard has put online is a real pearl as far as promoting a comic album is concerned and shows that Johan De Moor has inherited the joking genes from his father (in case you weren’t convinced already by his many cartoons).

The 6:32 video acts as an interview of Gilles Dal by Johan De Moor but with the duo clearly taking the piss out of… Johan De Moor. Johan De Moor acts as a comic author who is unknowingly plagiarizing Johan De Moor… can you still follow? Things get a lot clearer when you watch the actual video below.

You also will notice some of the pages for the album – and no to serious comments on them, after all ‘he’ is plagiarizing Johan De Moor – and if we are not wrong some clear line influences too… The album “Coeur Glacé” can now be ordered on Amazon France. Recommended reading!

It’s not the first time that Johan De Moor works with Gilles Dal, they also co-worked on “Comment devenir belge en 10 leçons. You can check out some more of Gilles Dal work right here.