Tag Archives: Olivier Marin

The test drawing for the 1973 version of ‘De Leeuw van Vlaanderen’

In July 1973, Bob De Moor would see his “De Leeuw van Vlaanderen” (after the historical novel written by the Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience in 1838) reissued in the CISO series, namely as CISO 13. For the occasion Bob De Moor completed a different front cover than the one used for the 1952 original and later versions, even post 1973 (such as the De Dageraad version from 1984 which was yet another version). What many don’t know however is that he first created various miniature covers, mostly in black and white, which in themselves are real pearls. But in the collection of Olivier Marin we found a test drawing, in colour…

You can see the different layers in the test drawing.
You can see the different layers in the test drawing.

The drawing itself is quite small, more or less 15 cm x 10cm, but what especially caught my attention was the fact that De Moor had completed the drawing using cut out layers. On the left we have added a picture taken from such an angle that you can see these layers. If you look carefully, you will see that the drawing exist of 3 different layers.

The first, ground layer, represents a whole lot of goedendags next to a big lion, which stands for Flanders.

The complete test version.
The complete test version.

A goedendag was a weapon originally used by the militias of Medieval Flanders in the 14th century, notably during the Franco-Flemish War (also the theme of “De Leeuw van Vlaanderen”). The goedendag was essentially a combination of a club with a spear. Its body was a wooden staff roughly five feet (150 cm) long with a diameter of roughly four inches (10 cm). It was wider at one end, and at this end a sharp metal spike was inserted by a tang. The name “goedendag” derives from Dutch meaning “good day”, with reference to the Bruges Matins massacre in 1302, at which the guildsmen of Bruges purportedly took over the city by greeting people in the streets, and murdering anyone who answered with a French accent. The Flemish themselves referred to the weapon as a “spiked staff” (gepinde staf). Another theory is that it’s related to Germanic/English “dagger”, so instead of “good day” it may have meant “good dagger”. “Dag(ger)” isn’t used anymore in current Dutch, while “goedendag” is still correct in current Dutch as “good day”.

The commercially available version from 1973.
The commercially available version from 1973.

The second layer shows the Flemish soldiers, ready to attack the French oppressors. And on the front row, the 3rd layer, we see Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck. Both protagonists have often been portrayed as patriotic heroes in Flanders because of their passion for Flemish identity. Flemish nationalists credit them with ensuring the survival of the Dutch language in the northern part of Belgium.

But there are several differences with the final version. First of all, as you can see, the test version shows CISO 15 (that would later be Willy Vandersteen‘s Ridder Gloriana’s “De Staalblauwe Boeddha” in the CISO series). Bob De Moor would also change the lettering as used for the title. Plus the subtitle as put in the bottom of the drawing would change from “Het epos van 1302 naar het boek van H. Conscience” to simply “De Slag der Gulden Sporen”. Furthermore you will see that the style of this test drawing and the final drawing is quite different. Where the test drawing is a more sketchy approach, with very warm colours, the final cover artwork turned out to be cold offering a (over?)purified drawing style which he would later improve for the Cori albums from 1979 on. The colours in the final versions are, let’s be honest, rather boring and miss the warmth and depth from the test drawing. Other differences include a different axe in Breydel’s right hand, the missing hand of de Coninck on the left shoulder of Breydel, a few different helmets and slightly differently drawn goedendags.

Bob De Moor was a welcome guest in the CISO series under the editorial control of Danny de Laet. CISO 8 for instance had already seen the publication of another Bob De Moor chef-d’oeuvre, namely “De Kerels van Vlaanderen”.

And the winner for the Jet Magazine contest at the Festival BD Coxyde is…

In June 2014 we published a story on Jet Magazine, which Lombard launched in January 1990 in order to look for brand new comic talent. Today we offer you an original drawing which Bob De Moor made for Jet issue 9 to promote a drawing contest related to the Koksijde Stripfestival aka Strip Koksijde (and Festival BD Coxyde for our French speaking readers), which was a quite well known and popular Belgian comic festival.

The original drawing as used for what we think was a souvenir card in 1990.
The original drawing as used for what we think was a souvenir card in 1990.

We found the original drawing (you can still see some of the pencil drawings here and there) of what must have been used for a ‘souvenir’ card, in the personal collection of Olivier Marin. On the drawing you can see a medal being handed out to the Jet contest winner. However, a black-headed gull spoils the fun as it drops some excrements on the clothes of the winning comic author.

Thanks to Petja van den Hurk, we can confirm that the drawing was used in Jet issue 9, page 5. In issue 10 of Jet the magazine also announces the 2nd contest adding that the 5 winning submissions will be exhibited at the ‘Stripfestival van Koksijde’ (July 20-28, 1991). The drawing is added in small next to it.

Still about the drawing, Bob De Moor also added an extra linguistic joke, namely the person wearing a T-shirt /sweater with the word ‘Bof’ on it. ‘Bof’ is commonly used after or before the French phrase “Je ne sais pas”, meaning “I don’t know”.

Since we have many collectors reading our website, you can expect an update sooner or later.

Barelli in a pimped seat: the sketch and the final version

Update: Also Editions Le Lombard have no clue what the card was used for.

In 1987 the Lombard publishing house would release a postcard featuring Barelli, Anne Nannah and what seems to be 4 other colleagues in an office. On the back of the card we can see ‘Copyright by Lombard 1987 De Moor’ plus the phrase “Pour ta promotion, sincères félicitations”. The card comes from the archives of Olivier Marin. But that’s not the only reason why we present you this card today. We actually found back the counterpart (the sketch that is) in the archives of the family De Moor, which kinda gives you a very good idea what the early beginning of this postcard looks like.

The final version as printed by Lombard in 1987.
The final version as printed by Lombard in 1987.

We tried to obtain some information on this postcard and especially for which particular occasion this postcard had been created or commissioned. We talked to Yves Sente, who referred us to André-Paul Duchâteau (Belgian comics writer and mystery novelist who worked with Tibet on Ric Hochet). Unfortunately André-Paul Duchâteau couldn’t recall for what the postcard had originally been created but he thought that it could have been for the promotion of Bob De Moor himself that year as artistic director at Lombard. However, that only happened in 1989.

It’s our guess that the card was used throughout the company, but if anyone knows a bit more on this, please contact us.

The sketch made by Bob De Moor.
The sketch made by Bob De Moor.

Let’s check the sketch Bob De Moor made. He didn’t change a lot compared to his first sketch (which was OK’d as you can in the upper left corner. The only difference is actually that Anne Nannah wasn’t in the first sketch or at least he had not yet chosen her to be the character on the right of Barelli.

This is a nice example of what various archives can deliver. We’ll continue to match various archives to present your further examples.

The sketch for Lefranc’s ‘Le repaire du loup’ cover of the Journal Tintin of April 21st, 1970

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.

The sketch as made by Bob De Moor for the cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.
The sketch as made by Bob De Moor for the cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.

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.

The cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.
The cover of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970.

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.

Reminder, this year, 41 years later, the French editor Ludovic Gombert will actually release a ‘remastered‘ big format (28,5 x 38 cm) of this album, limited to just 250.

Bob De Moor congratulates Christiane & Charly in 1990!

On September 22nd 1990, Christiane De Meulenaere & Charly Collin married and especially for the occasion Bob De Moor created a drawing which was used to congratulate the newly wed couple. The connection with the family De Moor is the following, Christiane De Meulenaere is the sister of Luc De Meulenaere, husband of Annemie De Moor, daughter of Bob De Moor (thanks to Luc for clearing that one out)

Only Monsieur Tric and Balthazar are missing...
Only Monsieur Tric and Balthazar are missing…

We found the invitation back in the archives of Olivier Marin (yes, it’s a name that will pop up regularly as his has quite a nice collection of rarities concerning Bob De Moor).

On the drawing we find Barelli and Anne Nannah; Cori; Snoe, Snollke and Oncle Zigomar. While Barelli has a ribbon with two hearts in his hands (having the letter C printed on both), Anne Nannah is carrying a bouquet of flowers. Cori decided to bring along a small miniature ship and Snoe & Snollke carry a present. Oncle Zigomar from his side is holding a huge heart shaped garland decorated with flowers and the inscription Christiane 22-9-2-1990 Charly. Missing are Monsieur Tric and Balthazar.

The drawing was signed Bob De Moor and is quite a rarity, so if you find one, don’t miss the opportunity to get one for your own collection!

A 1960s Journal Tintin cartoon by Bob De Moor – Part 2

Two weeks ago you could read about a Journal Tintin publicity cartoon created by Bob De Moor. The cartoon presented on our website came from the mold used to print the cartoon in the actual publication. It was Olivier Marin who acquired this rarity and also him who made the print so we were able to show it to you.

A print made from the original old.
A print made from the original mold.

Today we present you a second cartoon, again taken from a mold which Bob De Moor collector Olivier Marin saved from destruction. The cartoon is, unlike the previous one, in Dutch, and was used to promote Kuifje, the Flemish (Dutch written) counterpart of the French written Journal Tintin. In the drawing you can also see Monsieur Tric sitting in the dentist’s waiting room next to – surprise, surprise – smiling people. Unlike what you’d expect, they don’t show any fear because their dentists has the (latest?) issue of Kuifje ! Speaking of a unique selling proposition… You can also see a kid rushing into the dentist’s ‘operating theatre’ after the dentist says “Next!”.

As you can notice there is no signature present on this print, and it wasn’t present on the mold used either. Weird.

A 1960s Journal Tintin cartoon by Bob De Moor – Part 1

In the 60s Bob De Moor created several cartoons which have been published left and right, in bigger and smaller magazines. Most of these publications are close to unknown to most of you today and are often very difficult to trace back. It’s also not always easy to find out where a drawing was actually published. In some cases it’s not even possible to find back the drawings…

A Journal Tintin publicity cartoon by Bob De Moor.
A Journal Tintin publicity cartoon by Bob De Moor.

And that was the case with the drawing we present you today. The cartoon you see here comes from the mold used to print the cartoon in the actual publication. The original drawing might have gone lost or is now in the possession of a private collector who hasn’t made it public. It was Olivier Marin who acquired this rarity and also him who made the print so we can show it to you today.

The cartoon is a publicity for the Journal Tintin and you can see the kid yelling: “Shorter! Shorter! I haven’t yet finished reading my Journal Tintin!” The style used here is the same as the one we have shown you here and here and can be situated somewhere in the sixties, we presume it is after 1965.

There is a whole series of these cartoons which were published back then in a similar style. We’ll present you a selection of these bit by bit. If you know where the cartoon originally has been used for, let us know!

Happy New Year with this 1953 rarity

To end the year in beauty, we’re offering you a Christmas/New Year’s cartoon which Bob De Moor made for Publiart on December 28th 1953. The original drawing comes from the collection of Olivier Marin, which many will know as artist behind the albums / series “Les déesses de la route”, “Le mystère de la traction 22”, …

Christmas/New Year's cartoon which Bob De Moor made for Publiart on December 28th 1953.
Christmas/New Year’s cartoon which Bob De Moor made for Publiart on December 28th 1953.

The drawing we present you here shows very well how Bob De Moor often reworked his original drawing to get it as perfect as possible. If you look closely, you’ll see that the drawing consists of no less than 3 layers, all glued one on top of the other to correct an inking, to correct a composition or to add a different background.

We have no idea in which Publiart publication this was published, if someone can give us a clue, please let us know! Brabant Strip published an article in their recent issue referring to this article. And luckily for you they did know where this drawing was used. As it happens the Belgian radio/television broadcast NIR/INR had started with a new section, namely ‘variété’. Nobody else but Bob De Moor – via Publiart – is asked to make a special Christmas/New Year card for the NIR/INR. The card was made both in dutch and french.

The Publiart reference
The Publiart reference

Brabant Strip will also publicise a correction in their next issue as they had wrongly assumed that Publiart was not involved in the making of this card. The back of the drawing however clearly has a Publiart reference and this despite the fact that the company was officially only created in July 1954… but  Guy Dessicy told us a while back that Raymond Leblanc had already launched it way before that.

This is the last article for 2014, we wish you a Happy New Year and rest assured, 2015 will bring a lot more treasures from one of the best comic authors Belgium has known.

Artec Studios’ hidden collaborators: Mon Van Meulenbroeck (part 1)

The Artec Studios were founded in order to sell Bob De Moor‘s comics with or without scenarios by John Van Looveren and this to a rather huge number of publications. However, some of these drawings were not (completely) by Bob De Moor. Due to the enormous work that Van Looveren contracted, several people started helping out. Today we present you such drawing which was completed by Armand “Mon” Van Meulenbroeck but which has been on the market as being a Bob De Moor drawing, just like several others.

The inked cartoon, signed AVM.
The inked cartoon, signed AVM.

Mon Van Meulenbroeck was an early friend of Bob De Moor and he was just like his friend Bob De Moor forced to work at the German Erla factory (see also our article on this 1944 painting by Bob De Moor where we talk about the Erla factory). That friendship led to Mon Van Meulenbroeck being asked to join the Artec Studios team to help with Bob De Moor‘s growing output.

The cartoon we present you today was signed by AVM which stands for Armand Van Meulenbroeck and dates from 1947/1948. It’s unclear whether Bob De Moor delivered him penciled indications, but there are indications to believe he did (De Moor literally said in an interview in the 70s that he did offer quickly penciled sketches and indications after which ‘a friend’ completed the final drawings). This procedure was also suggested in Ronald Grossey‘s biography of Bob De Moor. Sure thing is that Van Meulenbroeck tried to make his work in the spirit of De Moor’s including the same inking style which is similar to that of Bob De Moor. The gag is called “Hoger en Hoger!” (Higher and Higher).

The uncompleted almost completely erased penciled cartoon on the back.
The uncompleted almost completely erased penciled cartoon on the back.

But the ‘clumsy’ way Van Meulenbroeck drew the feet/shoes is a good indication that this is clearly not Bob De Moor at work. If you compare similar work (the shoes for instance, the postures, …) by Bob De Moor around that time you will clearly spot the difference (read the Brabantia Nostra books to spot it). The cartoon itself here shows a kid walking on stilts and apparently standing so high that he gets picked up by a low flying plane. Surprisingly enough, the back of the drawing revealed an almost completely erased cartoon. This incomplete cartoon included a joke about a tram which the leading figure is taking. Again you can notice the typical ‘wrong’ shoes by Van Meulenbroeck in the first frame.

Tomorrow we’ll show you another drawing which has been considered a Bob De Moor one by many, although it’s clear from the first frame that this is not Bob De Moor at work, at all.

The Artec Studios years have not been well documented over the years, making it very difficult to know who did what. In a document which Danny De Laet wrote in 1979 it’s said that Artec Studios also employed the Woodpeckers brothers Jef and François “Cois” Cassiers but the bookkeeping from Artec Studios only revealed payments to Mon Van Meulenbroeck.  which means that either the brothers Cassiers did everything for free or that they have never worked for Artec Studios at all.

Special thanks to Olivier Marin (“Les déesses de la route”, “Le mystère de la traction 22”, …) for letting us dig in his archives and Ronald Grossey for his feedback.

Hold-up cartoon by Bob De Moor from the 60s

In 1975 issue 3 of the magazine Stripklub Nieuwsblad (one of the many publications by Karel Driesen) dedicated 7 of its 16 pages (yes, it indeed was really a very small magazine) to Bob De Moor. But it must be said that these pages did include quite a lot of material which you will never find elsewhere. The cartoon we show you today was one of 2 printed on page 11 of this magazine. Thanks to Luc Demeulenaere for providing the publication. Today we present you this cartoon originally created in (or before?) 1975 1968 and first published in the Laurel et Hardy magazine from that year (thanks to Olivier Marin for this correction).

An atypical cartoon by Bob De Moor.
An atypical cartoon by Bob De Moor.

The drawing style of this cartoon clearly reminds of the more nonsense style he used for Balthazar and if it weren’t for some elements, many would not even recognize it as being a Bob De Moor cartoon. However, the typical curled line behind the running kids is a clear indication we have a clear line cartoonist at work with his graphical roots embedded in the Hergé style. The only conclusion you could draw around that time was it had to be a Bob De Moor (and it being signed helps too of course). The cartoon presumably was used during a cartoon exhibitions at the Belgian coast, we guess at the Cartoonfestival Knokke Heist, though we aren’t sure (if you have more information on this cartoon, let us know).

Interesting detail, the magazine also features material from Leo Fabri (Marjolijn, Mirmoeff), according to Bob De Moor the best Flemish comic artist around that time. The name Leo Fabri, or at least his work, will ring a bell with many Flemish readers as his drawings and cartoons were omnipresent in the De Standaard / Het Nieuwsblad / De Gentenaar newspapers from 1968 till late in the 80s. His style is quite a refined one and very much influenced by the 60s and 70s ‘flower power’ way of drawing. One of those artists which don’t get enough attention truth to be told.