Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / Hergé and Studio Hergé /

Did Hergé employ assistants?

picaros
Member
#1 · Posted: 21 Apr 2004 21:58 · Edited by: picaros
This was a question that I've always wanted to ask, but didn't thinking that it lacked imagination. Here goes nothing..

Did Hergé employ any assistants in his work? I noticed in several of the books (Broken Ear, Blue Lotus, In America, Ottokar's Sceptre) that the artwork seemed more "simplistic" looking than the others. e.g. in Blue Lotus, the art suddenly changes two or three pages into the book where the pictures suddenly become less detailed and streamlined (at the staircase scene). . Anyone else think that he had apprentices throughout his profession?
tybaltstone
Member
#2 · Posted: 21 Apr 2004 23:44 · Edited by: tybaltstone
Hergé did indeed have assistants - a studio in fact on his later adventures. The beginning of The Blue Lotus is from the redrawn section from 1955 (more part of Cigars of the Pharaoh I think), but Lotus was an important work, and the first to employ his new carefully researched and attentive style, so it remained the original 1930s version - thankfully! Of course Lotus did have his first assistant in the shape of Chang Chon-Ren.

Hergé collaborated with the brilliant Edgar P. Jacobs, at first as his colourist (I think - sorry this is from memory, so excuse the blurred details) and later as a background artist. Hergé always insisted on drawing the characters himself. Roger Leloup became his transport expert. Bob de Moor was his closest assistant, and when Hergé cut down his studio staff, he worked on one or two books with only Bob de Moor (was it Tibet?).

Most of his assistants had successful strips of their own in Tintin Magazine - Jacobs, Leloup, Bob de Moor, Van Melkebeke (spelling??) and released albums of their own too.

I'm sure someone else could give a much better answer... I need my books to check these facts!

- Garen.
Cholmondeley
Member
#3 · Posted: 22 Apr 2004 00:21
Piggybacking onto this discussion and taking it in a slightly different direction...

Looking at The Blue Lotus it is obvious that the first four pages were drawn at a later date to the remainder of the book as the line becomes thinner, the proportions of the characters become squatter, and the composition of the individual pictures become more simplistic. But am I right in thinking Land of Black Gold is another book with drawings coming from different eras? I know it was originally written in two bursts, with the war intervening in the middle, and that it was revised before publication in Britain, but which pages come from when?

To my eyes the pages before and including page 20 are from a later date to most of the ones after. But occasional pages after 20 seem to be late additions also: 28 and 56. Am I imagining this? It's bugged me ever since I first read the book in 1978!

Andrew
pauldurdin
Moderator Emeritus
#4 · Posted: 22 Apr 2004 01:54
Herge collaborated with the brilliant Edgar P. Jacobs, at first as his colourist and later as a background artist.

Just to make that clear, Jacobs did the colouring and backgrounds. I believe the collaboration started with Explorers on the Moon, but it may have been before that.

Land of Black Gold was completely redrawn after the war (I think - this is from memory!). The story remained basically the same, though with some switches of nationalities and people (British Palestine replaced by Khemed, for starters). One noticable change is Haddock's appearance: when the earlier version was written, Haddock hadn't been invented. Thus the Captain's hastily-added phone call to explain his non-appearance, and his never-to-be-told story of how he turned up in Khemed. :)

I don't remember how far the original got, but Chris or Richard can probably answer that! In fact, they could probably answer it all better...

Paul
picaros
Member
#5 · Posted: 22 Apr 2004 02:26
This is all so perplexing. The first four books, with the exception of Cigars of the Pharaoh, are all drawn in the comic-strip style, though Cigars stands out because its so lushly drawn.
After The Broken Ear, the series converts into the trademark style with the beautifully drawn Black Island.
As Garen mentioned, he did seemed to have a crew of assistants, making it difficult to pinpoint which book(s) Hergé actually did.
I think it's quite unusual to see the artwork revert back and forth from the 1950's to the 1930's!
And then there would be the idea of re-edits/re-prints, especially during the war, to top it off.
But I didn't seem to find anything different with Land of Black Gold, in my opinion.

Whew! This is one topic that could use some extra feedback.
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#6 · Posted: 22 Apr 2004 09:40
You're right, this is a confusing topic. The earliest original artwork you'll see in a modern Tintin book is in The Blue Lotus, page 5 onwards. This dates directly from 1933.
Cigars wasn't put into colour until 1955, when it was completely redrawn.
The Black Island was coloured using the original artwork in 1943, but Hergé completely redrew it for the modern edition in 1965.
You'll notice a similar change in style in King Ottokar's Sceptre too - before the tourist brochure on Syldavia, Tintin appears in his earlier style. Afterwards, in the second half, he is in his more modern incarnation.
This is due to Edgar Pierre Jacobs, who helped Hergé to colour and redraw the books during the war, and he substantially Balkanised the Syldavian setting.
I believe the first story they worked together on was The Seven Crystal Balls, and though after a few years they never really worked together in the same capacity, they did occasionally collaborate.
Probably Hergé's closest assistant was Bob de Moor, who started out on Destination Moon and continued working for Hergé until his death in 1983.
It was de Moor who Fanny Remi originally considered as an artist to finish Tintin and Alph-Art, but she later rejected the idea of creating new Tintin albums after her husband's death.

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.

Reply



  Forgot your password?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!