Tag Archives: Ludo Van Looveren

Bob De Moor’s drawing of his baby nephew Ludo Van Looveren

On May 7 1944, whilst Antwerp (and the rest of Belgium) were still under German occupation, John Van Looveren became a father of a boy, Ludo. John was Bob De Moor‘s brother-in-law and married to Bob’s sister Alice De Moor. Both John and Bob were very close around that time. Bob had for instance illustrated a story by John a year earlier relating the story of John and his friend Edmond Claes trying to flee (in vain) for the German invaders.

When the then 18-year old Bob visited the freshly born Ludo Van Looveren, he made the following drawing of baby Ludo. You see the very young Ludo (probably just a few days or weeks old) sleeping in his bed whilst enjoying his dummy. Bob De Moor signed as ‘R. De Moor’ and added ‘1944’. The paper the pencil drawing was made on has coloured over the years and judging on some marks has also been thumbtacked to a wall or on a cabinet for quite some time. The colouring on the border furthermore shows it was framed (and coloured by the light) later on before it ended up in Ludo’s own archives where he has kept it away from any further light damage.

Bob De Moor portret ludo van looveren 1944

It’s the first time that this drawing has been published and it depicts a Bob De Moor who is mastering his sketching more and more. Compare it with this drawing made 3 years earlier and you can recognise that De Moor has evolved quite a bit. A good detail is Ludo’s eye which has been very well drawn and the cheek. A soft stroke and shadows do create a better effect than the harder lines he would have used a few years earlier.

Bob De Moor portret ludo van looveren 1944 detail

Bob De Moor decided to also add some black pencil shadow on top of the grey pencil strokes (in order to put some emphasis we presume), but he stopped halfway through, probably because he saw it was making the drawing too hard.

But what happened to that cute baby? Well, Ludo apparently inherited some of the family De Moor’s genetics plus his father’s sense for imagination as he’d become an interiors architect docent following his graduation in 1968 at the ‘Nationaal Hoger instituut voor bouwkunst en stedenbouw Antwerpen‘ (now known as ‘Henry Van De Velde Instituut‘), a renown school for architecture and actually born out of the arts school Bob De Moor had been going to.

The same year Ludo married Corry De Souter and in 1969 his first son was born, Arik followed by Bram in 1972. By then Ludo had become a docent interior architecture at the ‘Hoger instituut Coloma, Mechelen‘, nowadays known as the ‘Thomas More Hogeschool‘.

In 1974 Ludo Van Looveren developed a shared passion with Bob De Moor when he started building his very own yacht, which would be completed 6 years later in 1980. In 1984 he would even take a sabbatical year to go and sail to Portugal. The sailing virus never left the couple Van Looveren and after retiring in 1999, the family Van Looveren has enjoyed several sailing holidays.

Thanks a lot to Ludo Van Looveren for sawing this drawing!

Le grand nettoyage, a 1945 cartoon by Bob De Moor

When World War 2 ends in Europe in 1945 with the German surrender to the Western Allies and the Soviet Union in late April and early May 1945, Bob De Moor was probably among the first ones to celebrate this. For years he had been waiting for the allies to liberate Europe and in the final months he had also been a victim of the retaliation attacks of Nazi-Germany on Antwerp with their doodlebugs (aka V-1 and V-2 – the V stood for ‘Vergeltungswaffe‘ in German, ‘retaliation arm’ in English) in which he lost two fingers and suffered further injuries on his legs. In short, it was time that the war ended.

"Le grand nettoyage" (1945)
“Le grand nettoyage” (1945)

And what better way to celebrate the end of World War 2 than with some cartoons?

Today we present you one of the cartoons he made during that time. The one we see here is called “Le grand nettoyage” (the big cleaning). We found the cartoon in the archives of Ludo Van Looveren and it’s our guess that the title was given by John Van Looveren, the father of Ludo and brother-in-law of Bob De Moor. It’s possible that the cartoon ended up in a french written publication though we can’t tell for sure.

Let’s take a closer look. The cartoon shows a woman cleaning a house, called Europe. She is dressed in the American Stars & Stripes, with a Union Jack scarf and the communists symbols of the hammer and sickle from the Russian flag used on her apron. The 3 countries were part of the alliance against Nazi-Germany. The rubbish that is being swept out of the house includes a machine-gun, a German helmet with bullet holes, a big swastika, several medals with swastikas on, insignias, a broken bayonet or saber, a saber hilt, and a Nazi soldier cap which is also shot to pieces. In short, the trio had been cleansing Europe from the Nazis.

The young Bob De Moor signed the drawing as Bob and also added Copyright R.D.M. (which stands for Robert De Moor, his real name). That copyright is again an indication that the drawing was meant for publication.

The first comic Bob De Moor ever made when he was 13 years old: Robinson Crusoe

Bob De Moor has drawn a lot before he started publishing in magazines and newspapers. We were lucky to lay our hands on a lot of this early material via access to various private collections and of course thanks to the families De Moor and Van Looveren who have provided us with a lot of material, which we will release bit by bit. Today’s drawing comes from the private collection of Olivier Marin in whose huge collection we found a small notebook holding De Moor’s very first comic, that of Robinson Crusoe.

Click to enlarge and enjoy this very rare document.
Click to enlarge and enjoy this very rare document.

The comic was drawn in the notebook De Moor used in school to write down his mathematics lessons when he was only 13 years old. The 7 pages (holding 2 strips each, with each case numbered separately) and 2 separate images (one even next to a mathematical equation) were completed in pencil and show De Moor’s early talent as comic author. We show you page 4 of this comic and as you can see the page was divided in 6 cases.

Shadows, a wrecked boat (his fascination for the sea), action, it’s all there already and in a style which is surprisingly fluent for a 13-year old. Take for instance case 20 and 21 in which Robinson Crusoe is saving Friday and running to a cave where he talks to Friday, in which must have sounded like gobbledegook to the poor man. The bodies are quite well drawn (check the proportions, the mimic of Crusoe, …) and show De Moor’s sense for composition, already at that age.

Note that most of the characters in the story have a face profile or show a frontal face. It’s what De Moor felt most at ease back then and as it happens it’s also always that what early drawings from comic authors will show if you start checking them.

It wasn’t and wouldn’t be the only time that De Moor would work with Robinson Crusoe as a character in his early (or later) years but from his early years this is the only complete comic that has been preserved.

Was it Hergé or Bob De Moor who drew the Tijl Uilenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak series? Het Nieuws Van De Dag reveals the truth

On September 7th 1950 the newspaper Het Nieuws Van De Dag announced a brand new story from Bob De Moor, “Het vals gebit” featuring Tijl Uilenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak, which would start the day after. It was the second album which Bob De Moor drew for that series after he debuted earlier that year with “De nieuwe avonturen van Tijl Uilenspiegel”. We traced back that very journal, thanks to Ludo Van Looveren who had a copy at home, and today we bring you that article and the drawing that accompanied that very article.

The illustration that accompanied the Bob De Moor interview.
The illustration that accompanied the Bob De Moor interview.

The illustration that accompanied the article has never been published again since 7 September 1950, so it’s with some pride that we can present you this drawing, more than 64 years after it appeared for the first and last time!

The article (spread over page 1 and 3) itself talks about who is exactly behind the Tijl Uilenspiegel series. The article says that many readers say they recognize the hand of Hergé in the comic series. “Not far away from the truth” the article says, “as it’s Bob Demoor (sic)”. Bob De Moor, 24 years old and living in Kontich near Antwerp at that time, was by then working for both the Journal Tintin and Hergé; and indeed, his style had already been influenced heavily by that of Hergé. The interviewer furthermore continues with questions about his earlier work and his youth in the Parish Library where he devoured pirate stories.

Note the wrongly spelled name of Bob De Moor.
Note the wrongly spelled name of Bob De Moor.

You can read both newspaper excerpts on the left (will be easy if you read Dutch, a bit more difficult if you don’t). It’s written in the typical old-fashioned style and very ‘stiff’ for today’s readers.

De Moor also alludes furthermore what the story “Het vals gebit” (“The false denture”) is all about, referring to a few lines from the popular Flemish song “De Vlaamse Leeuw” (“The Flemish Lion”).

Part 2 of the story as published on page 3.
Part 2 of the story as published on page 3.

Not surprising, in the story the duo Tijl Uilenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak had to save Flanders which was in trouble (hence the Flemish Lion with dental problems in the illustration). But we’ll come back on the actual content of this precise story as it can’t be explained in just a few lines, the historical context being a quite complicated one. It suffices already to say that this album was among the most politically inspired ones he would ever make.

The album would only be released for the first time as a softcover in 1984 in the Magnum series by the publisher De Dageraad including cover artwork by Bob De Moor which was created in 1984 or 1983 especially for the occasion. It would never be published in French, the content being probably too Flemish to interest non ‘locals’. The 2nd (and last) edition was actually a special deluxe hardcover re-edition made in 1997 via Bonte Uitgeverij on only 48 copies and this on the occasion of “Damme boekendorp”, a book event in Damme, near Brugge.