In the easter 1946 edition of KZV aka Kleine Zondagsvriend, Bob De Moor illustrated a story called “De duivel uit den hollen boomstronk” (The devil from the hollow tree stump) in the ‘Professor Goudzoeker vertelt’ series. The illustration – a splendid one – was one of many Bob De Moor would make for KZV for all kind of standalone stories for which he only took care of the illustrations and not of the text itself.
We have been diving into our own archives to showcase you some of these illustrations. Today is the first one. It’s also the first time since 1946 that the illustration which we show you today sees the light of day again, and the very first time it’s being published on the internet too.
The story itself is written in Dutch (albeit in a post-WW2 version with a slightly different spelling and a somewhat obsolete way of writing). The plot is the following: a soldier is asked to buy 2 horses in Turnhout (that’s near Antwerp). During his journey to Turnhout he gets robbed by an old man. After desperately trying to find the robber for hours and hours, he falls asleep inside a hollow tree stump, which gets axed by a band of bandits including the old robber. When the bandits fall out with each other, one of them calls for the devil. The soldier jumps out of the tree stump which is already set on fire after which he collects the money plus lots more which the bandits had stashed away.
The illustration Bob De Moor made (and signed as ‘Bob’) shows this last scene. You can clearly see that the way of drawing instantly reminds of the style used by Walt Disney (which you can also find back in the album “Le Mystère du vieux chateau fort” released in 1947 via Campéador). Several elements also can be traced back to Bob De Moor: the shoes, the way the floor is drawn, both elements which we find back in the series Hobbel & Sobbel and Bart De Scheepsjongen which De Moor was drawing during that same period. The vivid colouring is pretty astonishing and was one of the key ingredients of KZV back in those days.
The original drawing probably went lost as is the case with many of the drawings De Moor made during that time.
Bob De Moor would create several watercolor paintings throughout his career. For many amongst you that won’t be such a surprise as this side-hobby was also documented in the must-have-but-now-deleted Bob De Moor biography “Bob De Moor. 40 ans de bandes dessinées, 35 ans aux côtés d’Hergé” which Le Lombard released in 1986. In the De Moor archives we found quite a few of these paintings. Today we present you a painting from 1947, the year in which Bob De Moor saw his career launched as he was creating more and more series for such publications as Kleine Zondagsvriend, NV De Gids, Nieuws van de Dag, Zweep, Week-end etc..
The painting is signed ‘R. De Moor ’47’ and has never seen the public eye until now. It shows a very old, tear down house with a straw roof and a water pit at the edge of a forest (on the right). It’s set in late Fall/Winter, recognizable at the first glance through the leafless three. The wind is being evoked by the position of the three (bending right) and the stratocumulus shaped clouds drifting from left to right. On the path you’ll also see a small pool of (frozen?) water.
The 1947 painting we show you here might also remind you of the setting you see in the 1947 album “Le mystère du vieux château”. Page 28 of that old album for instance also shows a house with a straw roof and the house has the same bended entrance. Did Bob De Moor create this painting based on his work for the album or was this painting created before the album saw the light of day? We will never know of course. But one thing is sure, the artistic elements in the painting and in the album refer quite a bit to the style Walt Disney had been using in his 1937 movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. A style which Bob De Moor adored back then. We’ll get back to Walt Disney in the future when we show you some pictures of a trip Bob De Moor made to one of the Walt Disney theme parks.
Speaking of “Le mystère du vieux château”, the Dutch reprint is not ready yet. We’ll publish an article when it’s out and normally we’ll also have an article up with the team that worked on the restoration of this album.