Update: Roger Leloup has confirmed us that he did not work on the page Bob De Moor created for the Jo & Zette version of the “Thermozéro” album.

Last year the news popped up that the unreleased Tintin album “Thermozéro” with a scenario by Greg would get a release after all. Back then we hinted at the possible inclusion of the pages drawn by Bob De Moor for the Jo & Zette version of this aborted story. However, things seem to turn out differently now that Benoît Mouchart, editorial director at Casterman has announced in a post on his Facebook profile that the publication of this much wanted story is put on hold. Mouchart: “Nous discutons depuis deux ans et demi avec Fanny et Nick Rodwell, mais aussi Didier Platteau, pour que cette histoire paraisse… Pour le moment, c’est repoussé sine die. Wait and see…” (English: “We have been talking for two and a half years now with Fanny and Nick Rodwell , but also with Didier Platteau , so that album could be published… For the moment, it is pushed back indefinitely. Wait and see …”) For the good understanding, Didier Plateau co-created Les Éditions Moulinsart together with Fanny and Nick Rodwell.

Copyright © Hergé / Moulinsart
Copyright © Hergé / Moulinsart

We won’t hide our disappointment because this is a project that is a very interesting one, not only because there’s a lot to be told concerning the genesis of the storyboard, but also because “Thermozéro” had undergone several transitions. From being a Tintin album, it was later on pitched to be a Jo & Zette album drawn by Bob De Moor and this after Hergé had dropped the Tintin version. It’s fairly possible that also Roger Leloup (Yoko Tsuno) has been working on the cars for the Jo & Zette version just like he did on the first pages of the Tintin version of “Thermozéro” of which a picture (showing Leloup at work) can be seen on the left. The frame is taken from this video.

Click on the image to see a bigger size - 2 versions of the opening page of the Jo & Zette version of "Thermozéro". Copyright © Hergé / Moulinsart
Click on the image to see a bigger size – 2 versions of the opening page of the Jo & Zette version of “Thermozéro”. Copyright © Hergé / Moulinsart

In the archives of the De Moor family we stumbled on a few pages in different stages of development. Today we present you 2 versions of the opening page. In the 2 versions you can see several differences which we will describe one by one.

The first thing that struck us was the TV scene on top of the 2 pages. When checking the first page you’d think it’s just a doodle, but the same TV scene pops up in a later version which seems to indicate it was to be part of the original page, or was it meant as the heading for a Tintin Journal publication? You’ll also notice the visual similarity with the tabloid journalist in the “Les Bijoux de la Castafiore” album (page 22 in the album).

The first frame is of course more elaborated in the later version, however none of the surroundings were added, just the cars (by Bob De Moor this time and not by Roger Leloup). The 2nd frame has a car put more in the foreground (a Renault front with a Citroën Ami back it seems almost). The 3rd frame has a change in gesture of the moustached tourist, probably to avoid that the same arm pose would be repeated 3 times in a row. In the 6th frame, De Moor went for a less higher position, again probably to avoid too much repetition.

Let’s see if we will get a book in the same style as the excellent “Hergé et les Bigotudos” by Philippe Goddin in the foreseeable future after all (before we are all too old to read it).

To know some more on the genesis of the (Tintin) story, check this video interview with Greg (in French).

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