On April 11, 1946 the weekly lifestyle magazine Zondagsvriend published a story called “Een dolle weddenschap” (English for “A foolish bet”). The story, spread over the entire page 11 (and a small part on page 14), takes place in 1893 and is about a cowboy who accepts the challenge to jump out of a balloon with a parachute. The story itself is written in the 1st person and is quite a heavy read as it’s full of old dutch phrase turns and thoughts which nowadays sound very archaic and ‘heavy’ in use. But it’s not exactly the (anonymous) text that caught our attention when we saw that page.
2 drawings accompany this story and both were signed with ‘Bob’, indeed Bob De Moor. We’ll take the 2nd drawing here as it features a lot more details. The drawing shows the ‘fierceless’ cowboy (in fact in the text he says he was terrified) ready to board the balloon. The parachute can be seen on the right of his head, indeed, that big ring with the cords on it. De Moor did put a lot of effort in this particular drawing. It holds 9 characters, each of whom was given an own look and feel, and they are all quite well worked out too. Note also the excellent way De Moor added the shadows in the drawing and the brick surface from where the balloon will be taking off.
The drawing itself is far from being the typical cartoon way of drawing and showed that De Moor was able to create way more than just funny characters in 1946. This drawing has never been re-published after appearing in that 1946 issue, so for most (probably all) this will indeed be the first time you see this.