In 1970 the Journal Tintin started with the pre-publication of the Lefranc album “Le repaire du loup”. As you all know, this album was drawn by Bob De Moor under guidance of Jacques Martin. The 4th album in the Lefranc series would surprisingly only be released some 4 years later by Casterman.
In the archives of Olivier Marin, we found a pencil drawing on Schoeller’s Parole paper of what seems to have been the sketch for what was to become the cover artwork of the Journal Tintin number 16 of the 21st of April 1970. The cover shows a falling Lefranc. But let’s take a closer look to the first and the final version, because there are some differences to be seen.
On the left you see the sketch which has a Lefranc falling in a slightly different angle, with his body more bent. His arms also point upwards and not downwards like on the published version. This is probably due to the different postures one sees in the Lefranc albums, where the bodies always tend to be a bit more stiff. Next we see that Bob De Moor put the album title followed by “par Jacques Martin / Bob De Moor”. This was omitted in the final version and we are not sure why. Perhaps it was considered that the Lefranc series was known enough to go without the name of the authors? Nevertheless you can already see the initial design of the front cover with that very powerful wolf’s head on a red background taking 1/3 of the page.
Note also that the Journal Tintin logo and baseline have not been ‘framed’ like in the sketch but instead are shown over the actual drawing letting the action flow untouched in the background.
This cover is by far considered as one of the best De Moor did for the Journal Tintin, and now you can finally see that the strength was already there in the initial sketch.
Reminder, this year, 41 years later, the French editor Ludovic Gombert will actually release a ‘remastered‘ big format (28,5 x 38 cm) of this album, limited to just 250.