In 1989 Casterman and Rijperman released the first color album version of the Johan and Stefan album “De Zondebokken” (“Les Bouts Emissaires” in French, and “De Geitenrijders” in the original Flemish version which was also the very first Snow en Snolleke album ever). For that reedition Bob De Moor would prepare a lot of different versions of the cover artwork.
Today we present you one already which we found back in the collection of Olivier Marin and which was made for a Rijperman version in mind (the title is also in French and not in Dutch). The drawing was made on drawing stationary from the Hergé Studios as you can see and is rather small, but drawn in a very swift and fluent way.
The black and white drawing is quite different from the final version as you can see below.
In this early version you see Snoe and Snolleke (renamed Johan and Stefan in the dutch version – Johan and Stephan in the French version) together with Uncle Zigomar (ridiculously translated Oom Watje in Dutch) looking at a goat statue placed on a high pedestal. Zigomar is holding a hammer, referring to his role as a sculptor in this album.
You will notice that De Moor ‘deleted’ a sculpture in the background in order to make Zigomar more visible.
Zigomar seems terrified of the statue, which is not really all that logical, it’s a statue after all. And that might well have been Bob De Moor‘s reason not to go into this direction. Add to this that compared to the final version this one has a lot less action, you just see the trio watching the statue. In the final version, you find inspector Evaristus who is about to be knocked down whilst watching a sculpture of a goat.
Small detail, the scene presented on the cover artwork of the album never happened in the album, in reality Evaristus was watching an empty pedestal. But Bob De Moor wanted to get the goat statue central in the drawing’s action.
To get an idea how the cover artwork for the very first black and white album version from was, check this scan.
A week ago Alain Demaret passed us a black/white version of the “Le Seigneur de Gonobutz” (“The Lord of Gonobutz”) album as prepublished in Le Soir. We presume this was in 1976 as there was also a prepublication of the story in Journal Tintin of 1976. This black and white publication had quite some hick-ups. Today we’ll discuss one already, namely 2 text balloons which remained empty, until 1983.
The page we discuss is page 26 of the Bob De Moor‘s “Le Seigneur de Gonobutz”, more precisely the 3rd frame of the 3rd strip on that page where you can see a grandma shooting at militaries whilst her two grandchildren are cheering. Cheering we said? In the Le Soir version there is no text in the text balloons.
And there wasn’t one either in the Journal Tintin as far as we know (we don’t have that particular issue in our archives – if someone has that issue, don’t hesitate to let us know).
The text from these text balloons is also missing in both the Rijperman and Bédéscope versions as published in 1980 and would only pop up in 1983 in the very correctly released Barelli compendium as published by Rombaldi. The text font however was different to the one used in the rest of the story.
So for 7 years, nobody knew what those kids were exactly cheering. The missing lines are “Vas-y mémé!” and “E’core pan-pan!” which you could freely translate as “Go ahead grandma!” and “Shoot again!”. The “E’core” was used to stress that the kid is really young and doesn’t yet know how to speak well French in this case, because the correct word should be “Encore”.
Note that the BD Must version as released in 2011 includes the correct text balloons. In later posts we’ll show you that there is more to this Le Soir version which is a bit odd to say the least.
Today we show you 2 more plates which were adapted by Bob De Moor for a release in color, again from the 1954 story “De Gele Spion”. The pages we show you today include the strips 117-120 and 125-128. As you can see on the first 4 strips the whitening Bob De Moor‘s assistent Pierre Gay applied didn’t only serve to get rid of the black shadows and decors but also to detail people in the front which he originally added in total black (see the last case of strip 118 for instance or the first case of strip 119). He also removed the original strip numbering and wrote them again on in pencil on the border of the pages.
Pierre Gay – the last artist to be hired at the Studio Hergé – worked on this particular pages and recalls: “This is a job I have done (the adaptation). All what you see in bright white used to be inked in black, to look like shadows on the black and white release. The idea was to draw over these shadows to get details for the color release of 1986 (Editor’s note: the album was released in color in 1987). The texts were masked under white parts of paper glued onto them for bilingual versions. The “dirty” marks on the texts are remains of glue.”
As we remarked already, some collectors have restored similar pages in their original form, not all that difficult since the white paint is soluble in water.
Note that the Dutch version of “De Gele Spion”, although announced for a 1988 release in color in Dutch via Casterman, was only released in French in color in 1987 via the Casterman distributed Boogaloo imprint. As a result Brabant Strip released it in 2004 in their Fenix Collection, the original black and white one in Dutch (à la Bob De Moor) that is with the black still intact. Another album, “De rode caballero” also never saw the day of light in color in Dutch, although prepared and announced by Casterman in 1989. “De zwarte draak” was announced by Casterman but in the end released 4 years later via Standaard Uitgeverij.
The list of (un)released albums in color in Dutch:
De gele spion (Casterman – 1988) announced but never released in Dutch
Het haatserum (Casterman – 1989)
De sigaren van koningin Thia (Casterman – 1989)
De schat van Baekelandt (Casterman – 1989)
De zondebokken (Casterman – 1989)
De rode caballero (Casterman – 1989) announced but never released in Dutch
De zwarte draak (Casterman – 1989) announced but never released
De zwarte draak (Standaard Uitgeverij – 1993)
Het geheim van Vulcania (Standaard Uitgeverij – 1993)