Tag Archives: ‘T Kapoentje

Janneke en Stanneke, a 1948 series by Bob De Moor never published in album format (except for one story)

In 1948 en 1949 a new Bob De Moor (under the Artec Studios flag) series saw a publication: ‘Janneke en Stanneke’.

It was the weekly comic strip publication ‘t Kapoentje which published the different stories. ‘Stories’ because many people think that there is only one Janneke en Stanneke story, namely the one which in the end got re-published for the very first time in album format by Ciso Stripgids (via Brabantia Nostra) in 1989.

It’s not all that weird that many people are unaware of the other stories, because if you don’t get published, you easily get forgotten, and that is exactly what happened here.

Janneke en Stanneke, a 1948 series by Bob De Moor never published in album format (except for one story)

The stories got published in a weekly only and got forgotten over time by most people. However, if you paid attention when reading the 1989 publication, you could have seen that the 60-strips long story actually is the follow-up story to another Janneke and Stanneke story. It starts with a text reminding readers what happened just before.

Today we present you the strips 37, 38, 39 and 40 of an unpublished untitled story (in album format that is). Note that none of the Janneke en Stanneke stories actually had a title, which doesn’t really make it easier to know what you are looking at. The duo finds themselves in the company of indians this time.

Don’t look too much for a story, because the series is actually a collection of gas with a loose story woven into it, the same with the story published in album format. Nevertheless, it’s part of De Moor’s heritage and a very good way to see how Bob De Moor‘s technique improved over time.

In the page published today you can see that De Moor is still a bit clumsy as far as the structure of the page, strips and cases is concerned. There clearly was no plan when creating the story or the page in particular. Not surprising, that year he would complete at least 17 stories… so there was no time for much story development let alone a lot of preparation. Things had to move on, and fast because the contracts for new stories kept on pouring in at the Artec Studios.

You can also see that De Moor struggles when it comes to putting people in a position which is not just walking or standing still. Look at case 1 and 2 for instance where he clearly is not at ease with the way he has drawn things. Also the use of a black shadow in the first 2 cases is not well-done (he would excel in it later on in his career through).

Nevertheless, these are stories which definitely deserve a re-publication. We wouldn’t be surprised that the fine people at Brabantstrip will ‘attack’ this in the next months or years (hint hint hint!).

Willem (Koelbloed) De Vrijbuiter in colour

On October 1948 ‘t Kapoentje published the final page of “Willem De Vrijbuiter” (later renamed “Willem Koelbloed” for the publication in De Volksmacht in 1949) which was one of the more realistic stories Bob De Moor would create in his early career and which together with for instance “De Verklikker” (KZV 1949) would form a test platform for his Flemish Trilogy albums.

The final page of "Willem De Vrijbuiter" as published in 't Kapoentje in 1948.
The final page of “Willem De Vrijbuiter” as published in ‘t Kapoentje in 1948.

In 1984 Brabantia Nostra would release “Willem Koelbloed” for the first (and last?) time in album format, more precisely in a split album format together with the 1949 story “De Verklikker”. Just like the other albums by Brabantia Nostra also this one would only be released in black and white only. Note that also in this case there was no trace of the original drawings since those have since gone lots or have ended up in private collections, unreachable to the bigger public.

The final page of "Willem Koelbloed" as published in the album by Brabantia Nostra in 1984.
The final page of “Willem Koelbloed” as published in the album by Brabantia Nostra in 1984.

Today you can see the original colour version of the last page of this 1948 story just like it was published in ‘t Kapoentje some 67 years ago. The scan we took has been slightly altered in order to bring out the colours a bit more clearly but it remains very close to how it was printed. As you can immediately see, the colouring was not exactly perfect on this page as the blue colour was not correctly implemented (unlike the other colours). However, it surely gives this old story that extra touch. Look for instance at the supporting colour used for the text fragments which separates them way better from the other drawings compared to the black and white version. Note also the different heading of the page which is graphically more interesting than the rather boring version of De Volksmacht.

This is again an example of one of those older Bob De Moor stories which would benefit from a reissue in its original coloured version, if only in a limited collector’s only run.

Working hard with Bob De Moor in 1949

By the end of July 1949 Bob De Moor agreed to start working for the Tintin weekly, first as a layout assistant to Evany aka Eugène Van Nyverseel, and this 2 days per week. More than 3 days would be overkill as Bob De Moor knew, because he was around that time busy with – take a seat – 12 (!!) series simultaneously. Nevertheless, even those 2-days would increase the pressure, not in the least by the trips back and forth to Brussels from Antwerp. The scans shown below (just click the images to see the full sized ones) were taken from material found in the archives of the family De Moor.

Page 30 of "De Koene Edelman - Het Heilige Leven Van Johannes Baptista De La Salle".
Page 30 of “De Koene Edelman – Het Heilige Leven Van Johannes Baptista De La Salle”.

To give you an idea of the workload De Moor was confronted with, we’ll show you what he had to deliver in November 1949 for the Flemish weekly youth magazine ‘t Kapoentje (a youth extra of the newspaper De Nieuwe Gids). In the issue of November 24 you find 4 stories which De Moor worked on, all signed as ‘Bob – Artec-Studio’s‘.

The first is “De Koene Edelman – Het Heilige Leven Van Johannes Baptista De La Salle” on a scenario written by Gaston Durnez which you find on page 2.

The clear drawing style was similar to the one used by Jef Nys, Jijé and Sirius for their comic adaptations of all kinds of biographies, Jijé’s “Don Bosco” probably being the best known one. The print in this issue is black on white with red as a supporting – non-dotted – colour.

Gag 107 of "De Lustige Kapoentjes".
Gag 107 of “De Lustige Kapoentjes”.

On page 7 you see “De Lustige Kapoentjes”, Bob De Moor‘s adaptation of Willy Vandersteen‘s “De Vrolijke Bengels”. The story behind this switch is a complicated one. Vandersteen had left De Nieuwe Gids to start work for De Standaard where he continued the series “De Vrolijke Bengels” in the youth weekly Ons Volkske. With Vandersteen gone, Marc Sleen – who was the chief editor of ‘t Kapoentje – decided to start a new series very similar to the popular “De Vrolijke Bengels”: “De Lustige Kapoentjes”. But instead of drawing it himself, he asked Bob De Moor to work on it. De Moor would work on the series until he joined the Studio Hergé in late 1949. After that Marc Sleen would continue the series. It wouldn’t be the only Vandersteen story De Moor would re-create (see this article on “Babbel & Co”).

Page 15 of "Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd".
Page 15 of “Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd”.

You’ll see that the style used in this page of “De Lustige Kapoentjes” is very similar to the clear line used in De Moor’s later work for the Tintin weekly. The clear line was already very much present there.

On page 10 you find the story “Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd”. The crime story itself would be published in 1988 by De Dageraad in a split album which also holds “De Slaven van de Keizer”. That’s 39 years after first being published in ‘t Kapoentje.

The style of this story is a little bit less developed than “De Lustige Kapoentjes” and looks more hasty. At the same time it also includes a more realistic style used for one of the villains (frame 5), but most of the characters in this story are not really developed graphically. The story would also remain a one-off project and never be turned into a series.

Page 10 of "De Slaven van de Keizer".
Page 10 of “De Slaven van de Keizer”.

The back of the magazine, page 20, features the 4th story of Bob De Moor: “De Slaven van de Keizer”. And this one is in full – partially dotted – colour as you can see. As written above this story would be published together with “Het Halsnoer met de Groene Smaragd” in one single album in 1988 by De Dageraad. Alas, not in colour but in black and white which kinda damaged the overall quality of the series. However, if you want to get hold of this story, you either will have to buy all issues of ‘t Kapoentje featuring this story (expect to pay a lot) or get hold of the album issued by De Dageraad, which, let’s be honest, should be in your collection to start with :). Graphically De Moor is in his element, after all the story is taking him to the sea. The realistic style applied here by De Moor is topnotch and even reminds of Hec Leeman‘s excellent Bakelandt series.

Expect some more of this pearls in the future!

Artec Studios’ hidden collaborators: Mon Van Meulenbroeck (part 2)

A few days ago you could read an article on the work Armand “Mon” Van Meulenbroeck did for Artec Studios, the company founded by Bob De Moor and John Van Looveren. Today we present you another comic which has always been attributed to Bob De Moor, but which is not by Bob De Moor at all: Tim & Tom.

Up until today people claim this is Bob De Moor's work.
Up until today people claim this is Bob De Moor’s work.

The page scan we present you today comes from an issue of the 1949 (another source indicates it was published in 1951) edition of the weekly youth journal ‘t Kapoentje. The comic series is called ‘Tim en Tom’ and the story is called “Tim en Tom erven een Kasteel” (“Tim and Tom inherit a Castle”) and this story has always been said to be by Bob De Moor in many publications (with some writers saying that “one can clearly recognize the Hergé-esque influences…” Really?). Weird, because it doesn’t take much time for anyone familiar with the work of Bob De Moor (or drawing as a matter of fact) to raise a few question marks when seeing this page. The style as used in the drawings has close to nothing in common with what Bob De Moor drew around that time. It also showed some very clumsy drawing (shoes, hands, …) which – although Bob De Moor was working at speed tempo around that time – you would not expect from him. But, the story did come from the Artec studios, you can see the Artec Studios signature on the second strip, and that for instance led to the people from Stripofiel claiming that ‘Tim en Tom’ was by Bob De Moor in their issue nr. 8 from 1974. Danny De Laet – who first also attributed the series to Bob De Moor, rectified his judgement in “De Vlaamse Strip Auteurs” (published by De Dageraad in 1982) on page 43 saying that the ‘Tim en Tom’ story was “definitely not by Bob De Moor”.

An almost sure thing is that the drawings were made by a flemish comic author, the use of ‘ge’ (flemish for ‘you’) was never used in the Netherlands for instance. It’s also seems to be a one-off story which was published in both KZV and in t’ Kapoentje, but which seems to have been interrupted only to be continued in Het Wekelijkse Nieuws. So it doesn’t seem like it that the editorial staff of ‘t Kapoentje were all that happy about the result of the work.

But who was the artist then behind this ‘Tim en Tom’ then? John Van Looveren possibly was the storyteller (he did love the castle theme a lot), but who made the graphics? Armand “Mon” Van Meulenbroeck comes to mind (again), after all, he was the only comic artist ever to be paid by Artec Studios next to Bob De Moor. Compare the first case in the unfinished drawing in this article with the second case in the first strip of today’s scan and you will see a few similarities. But as a whole, it’s a mixed bag of influences; you’ll will recognize a Willy Vandersteen touch (see the postman) next to a not so well executed Hergé imitation.

If you ask us, Bob De Moor didn’t provide rough sketches for this series like he did for the cartoon series we talked about. The series is far from being a graphic chef d’oeuvre, but as a historical document it serves its purpose rather well. After all, the few years that the Artec Studios were active, represented a very important milestone in the history of the flemish comic scene, whether it was Bob De Moor or not making the drawings.