Tag Archives: Olivier Marin

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.

“The last Pedestrian” by Bob de Moor in German (1957 & 2013)

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As it appeared in the Swiss monthly magazine Miggis Kinderpost in 1957.

Olivier Marin (comic artist known from his ‘Les enquêtes auto de Margot’ series) sent us this lovely frontpage from the Swiss monthly magazine Miggis Kinderpost which took over material from the Tintin Journal. The same drawing also appeared in the Tintin journal of course.

This cover was made by Bob de Moor for the Monsieur Tric story “The last Pedestrian” (“Le Dernier Piéton”) which was first published in the Tintin Journal in December 1955.

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As published in the german magazine Reddition in the summer of 2013.

The german magazine Reddition later on published an issue in the summer of 2013 which was entirely dedicated to the Brussels School (Reddition 58 – Brüsseler Schule, Edition Alfons, Verlag Volker Hamann, Barmstedt Juli 2013) and used that same drawing. That image however was restored by BD Must in order to publish it in the complete 5 album set of Monsieur Tric and also shows a more vivid use of colors. You can see that restored image on the left.

Read more on the restoration process in our interview with Jean-Michel Boxus from BD Must.