A few weeks ago I was able to trace back a few copies of Hop!, a French comics magazine. In issue 25 of that magazine, dating from 1981, there’s a 4 page article written by Jean Marie Smits on the flemish production by Bob De Moor including a drawing which hasn’t been republished before.
We got in touch with Smits to know something more on the background of this drawing, but he unfortunately couldn’t recall from where exactly the drawings originated. However he guessed it had probably been published in Ons Volkske which ran from 1932 until 1988. Next to Bob De Moor you can also find work from Gommaar Timmermans, Hurey, Gilbert Declercq, Gert Ronde, Karel Verschuere, Jo-El Azara, Tibet and many other Kuifje related collaborators.
The drawing shows a moustached person resting in a sofa while enjoying a cigar and some liquor. You can recognise a steel pocket hip liquor flask on the table next to the bottle and a drinking glass. It’s our guess this drawing dates from the time De Moor was working on his first Barelli album. You can recognise the typical legs De Moor was drawing around that time (we’re speaking of the period 1949-1951).
This 64 page issue is actually full of interesting material apart from the Bob De Moor link, to start with the cover drawing which is a Le Rallic one (there’s some Hergé elements in there if you look well). Le Rallic, full name Étienne Le Rallic (1891–1968), was a French illustrator and comics artist. The 5 page coverage based on an interview Jean-Claude Rochereau had with this artist is a must read if you are unaware of this talent. A bit further in this issue you also find the short story “La Cavalière du Texas” by Le Rallic.
Hop! could rely on quite an international brigade of collaborators and not surprisingly we also find the Flemish comic connaisseur Danny de Laet back in that list.
On August 4 you could already read how Bob De Moor was asked to help out the Vandersteen heirs when in 1991 a republication of the Tijl Uilenspiegel story “Opstand der Geuzen” via the Standaard Uitgeverij was imminent. As we explained in that article De Moor’s help was needed because the Vandersteen Studios could no longer locate the original drawings of the pages 39 and 40 and also lost the artwork of the cover. Bob De Moor redrew both pages plus the cover artwork.
Today we continue with Bob De Moor‘s involvement in Willy Vandersteen‘s Tijl Uilenspiegel, but this time way back in time. It’s the year 1953 and after the success of the first story, “Opstand der Geuzen”, Tintin publisher Raymond Leblanc asks Vandersteen to create a follow-up story. Small detail, initially artistic director Hergé was against publishing this second chapter. But nevertheless two weeks after the final page was published of “Opstand der Geuzen”, a new story started, “Fort Oranje”.
But unlike Bob De Moor who by then enjoyed his job at the Hergé Studio (despite still continuing the daily comic Snoe & Snolleke for the daily newspaper De Nieuwe Gids for instance), Vandersteen was still undergoing the deadly daily publishing deadline for the De Standaard/Het Nieuwsblad newspapers in which he published Spike and Suzy (“De tamtamkloppers”, “De knokkersburcht”, “Het geheim van de gladiatoren”, “De circusbaron”, …). On top of that came his weekly Spike and Suzy pages for the Tintin weekly (“Goud voor Rome” / “Le Gladiateur – mystère”). So it doesn’t take rocket science to see that such a publication rhythm was simply a bit too much, even for Willy ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Vandersteen. Some helping hands were needed.
He asked 2 Belgians working at the Tintin weekly for help: his friend and colleague Bob De Moor and french speaking Tibet (Rik Ringers, Chick Bill). Both accepted. We know for sure that Bob De Moor inked the cover of “Fort Oranje” (the one from the Tintin weekly because the album cover as you know it was created in 1955 and Bob De Moor was not involved in the creation of that one). We write ‘inked’ because it is often said on fora etc. that De Moor has also drawn the cover, which is not true. Besides inking the cover he also helped on the decors for that same album. It’s close to impossible to trace back who did what in that album, so we will leave it up to your imagination. But make sure to check the way the trees, bushes and plants have been drawn and compare these to the plants you can find in for instance the first Cori album (Ciso 18). You’ll notice quite some similarities. And since the story has quite a lot of ships featured it’s not unthinkable that Bob De Moor also worked on those too.
It’s being said here and there that Karel Verschuere also collaborated on this album. However Ronald Grossey’s Willy Vandersteen biography “Studio Vandersteen – Kroniek van een legende 1947-1990” only names Bob De Moor and Tibet as having worked on this second Tijl Uilenspiegel album. Since all protagonists are dead, we will never know for sure of course.
In 1980 a pair of stickers were sold for UNICEF. The stickers were part of an action that was directed to raise awareness that hunger was still a problem (and it also was against the sale of weapons to countries were this was the case). The anti-weapon vs food subject is present in the drawings by Bob de Moor, Dany, Franquin, Peyo and Roba.
The 8 stickers represented various drawings made for the occasion by Bob de Moor, Peyo, Dany, Tibet, Derib, Franquin, Roba, and one which we can’t seem to identify (the ‘monk’ saying “La faim? J’ai déjà donné”). In the Bob de Moor drawing you see Barelli holding up an empty sac of rice while a military hands out bullets to an undernourished kid. Note that the military has a South American uniform almost the same one as the ones in “Tintin and the Picaros”. The black and white drawing of this Barelli sticker is available in Bob de Moor. 40 ans de bandes dessinées, 35 ans aux côtés d’Hergé but now you can also see the colored version.
Note that Franquin‘s – excellent and to the point – drawing was also used for a poster action. For those that don’t understand French, Gaston Lagaffe is saying “Are you sure we are helping them?” while giving an undernourished kid the milk bottle rocket.
Here’s a Ric Hochet anniversary cartoon on which Bob de Moor collaborated with that other flemish multi-talented artist Dirk Stallaert. The cartoon features scenarist A.-P. Duchâteau and Tibet next to a whole string of cartoon characters all drawn by Stallaert (who with Nino already has shown he is perfectly able to complete the Alph-Art album in a perfect Hergé/de Moor way… but that’s another discussion).