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Blake & Mortimer: The Cinebook Publications

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2Orangy4Crows
Member
#41 · Posted: 11 Oct 2009 23:33 · Edited by: 2Orangy4Crows
george:
There's an interesting preview at the back for 'The Necklace Affair', chronologically two books later, and eight years down the line. The art appears to be a lot more open, taking up more space, and with fewer words. It *almost* looks American, although so far as I can tell the only real difference is fewer panels per line. At least based on a two-page snap-shot.

It does make it look more "wide screen", doesn't it? The larger panels let the art breathe a bit more, I feel. Jacobs' panels, especially the smaller ones, often get somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of detail he puts in.

I wish there was more (or anything!) in English about Jacobs are the original publication of his stories. I always wonder what these mature artists due in the years between volumes. How do they pay the bills? How do they pay for their studios?

All of the Jacobs B&Ms were serialised in "Tintin" magazine, weren't they? So he would have had a steady income from that. I do wonder how the modern BD artists manage though now that "Tintin", "Pilote" etc are all gone?

Interesting you should mention wanting to know more about Jacobs because I came on here to post a query about his life. As we know, he only finished the first part of his final B&M story "The Three Forumlae of Professor Sato" although Bob de Moor later completed the story from Jacobs' script. But looking at the chronology at the back of "SOS Meteors", I notice that Vol. 1 of Sato was published in 1971. But Jacobs did not die until 1987. What was he doing for those sixteen years? Did he just give up on B&M? Or was he ill for the best part of a decade and a half before he died? Can anyone shed some light on this?
jock123
Moderator
#42 · Posted: 12 Oct 2009 09:36
2Orangy4Crows:
I notice that Vol. 1 of Sato was published in 1971. But Jacobs did not die until 1987. What was he doing for those sixteen years?

He was mainly looking after his wife, and himself, both in declining health. He was already 67 when the album came out, past retirement age, and he died when he was 83, so the “lost” years wouldn’t be expected to be that busy, would they?

If I’m understanding the French properly (not guaranteed!), in his autobiography Jacobs says at the conclusion of the publication of the first volume of Sato, he then prepared and revised The U-Ray (an early proto-B&M adventure done after the manner of Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon) for re-publication by Lombard (as he puts it) “in Tintin format”.

This was time-consuming, and took him up to the 2nd of June, 1974. at which point he should have re-started work on Sato. However, this was not to be , as he was badly affected by “une pènible arthrose de la hanche” (“a painful osteoarthritis of the hip”), a condition which he had been suffering from for many years, but not to this degree, as it meant using a cane or even a wheelchair.
Then his wife had a bad fall in 1975, breaking her femur, from which point there were problems up until her death in 1977.

At this point he virtually ends the book, saying that readers would not wish to know, or consider the private life of the author, although he does jest that he is the antithesis of one of Professor Sato’s androids, and as a result his work had come to an end. He does end by saying that he didn’t want to declare Sato his “unfinished symphony”, showing that he was in favour of its completion.

He completed the autobiography in 1979.
2Orangy4Crows
Member
#43 · Posted: 12 Oct 2009 21:07
Thanks for the info Jock. I figured there must have been a long term health issue. I don't think many writers and artists retire at 65; Albert Uderzo, Jean-Claude Mezieres, Roger Leloup, Moebius for example are all still going strong today, even if their output isn't quite as prolific as in the past.
george
Member
#44 · Posted: 13 Oct 2009 21:46 · Edited by: george
2Orangy4Crows:
Albert Uderzo

Co-incidentally, a new Asterix book is imminent

2Orangy4Crows:
It does make it look more "wide screen", doesn't it? The larger panels let the art breathe a bit more, I feel. Jacobs' panels, especially the smaller ones, often get somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of detail he puts in.

It is nicely opened up and, in at least one of the panels, I found my eyes being drawn around the scene to the other characters, something that doesn't naturally seem to occur in the early Jacobs books, if for no other reason than they're stuffed full of text.

2Orangy4Crows:
All of the Jacobs B&Ms were serialised in "Tintin" magazine, weren't they?

It looks like it, but even with that source of income there are huge gaps in output. Of course there would've been income from the albums as well, which would build up along with the portfolio, so I suppose money would've been coming in somehow. A conversation for another time is how the superstars of BD seem to have kept the rights to their characters and stories, whereas the USA (and particularly the UK) they are seen as corporate playthings.

jock123:
He was already 67 when the album came out, past retirement age, and he died when he was 83

It is good to see he enjoyed some sort of retirement, albeit maybe one that wasn't as physically comfortable as we'd all like for ourselves.

I've always thought B&M perhaps suffers a bit in its reputation for being wordy and perhaps stiff, but I was interested to read that Cinebook say it is their second highest selling title (I put the link through an online translator so, to be honest, they could have said it was their second worst selling title...)

George
2Orangy4Crows
Member
#45 · Posted: 14 Oct 2009 23:07 · Edited by: 2Orangy4Crows
george:
It looks like it, but even with that source of income there are huge gaps in output. Of course there would've been income from the albums as well, which would build up along with the portfolio, so I suppose money would've been coming in somehow.

The first nine volumes were all produced at a pretty good pace though - all published between 1950 and 1962. Given that B&M is one of the big names in BDs, it's reasonable to think that a steady income from royalties would have accrued by that stage. And it also possible he was supplementing his income with non-BD work as many artists do. Would he have been entitled to any royalties from the Tintin stories he worked on?
george
Member
#46 · Posted: 21 Jan 2010 15:03 · Edited by: george
The newest volume - The Affair of the Necklace - has just come out. I've not had a chance to do much more than skim it so far but what I see confirms the opinion we had that the art has opened up since the last story. In fact, flipping from the first page to the last you could be forgiven for thinking the change is visible over the 60 odd pages collected here.

The back of the book has a two page preview of the next volume - The Voronov Plot - and tells us what the following three volumes will be. If you are a fan of Yves Sente and André Juillard you are in luck: The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, vol1; The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, vol 2, and; The Gondwana Shrine.

If Cinebook stick to their two-volumes per year schedule than I suppose the earliest we'll get more Jacobs is late 2012!!

George
george
Member
#47 · Posted: 31 Jan 2010 13:15
2Orangy4Crows:
Would he [EP Jacobs] have been entitled to any royalties from the Tintin stories he worked on?

According to the Pierre Assouline book 'Hergé: The Man Who Created Tintin', yes he was. On pg126 he states: "Hergé offered Jacobs a 10% royalty for the works on which they had collaborated" by which he seems to mean the non-story illustrations they put together. In addition to this there were payments made for the comic book: "Jacobs drew the backgrounds and received 45% of the royalties".

There's not a lot more in (English version of) the book about this sort of agreement unfortunately, but it is an interesting enough statement in its own right. On the face of it 45% is exceedingly generous and would, I imagine, bring in a healthy sum to supplement the earnings Jacobs would be getting in his own right for B&M.

George
2Orangy4Crows
Member
#48 · Posted: 13 Oct 2010 18:39
The latest delivery from Cinebook has also brought with it their Winter/Spring 2011 catalogue and the good news that their Blake and Mortimer output is increasing to three publications per year. Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent is due in January (Part 1) and April (Part 2). No date for Gondwana Shrine but I would assume around September/October.

Since they're moving to three per year, I wonder if this means Secret of the Swordfish is on the slate for 2012?
george
Member
#49 · Posted: 23 Oct 2010 20:57 · Edited by: george
2Orangy4Crows:
Since they're moving to three per year, I wonder if this means Secret of the Swordfish is on the slate for 2012?

One would hope so; 2011 certainly seems to be focused on Andre Juillard and Yves Sente. Once these volumes are published there'll be little non-Jacobs work left to translate, although I see another Van Hamme authored two-album story is about to be concluded in French (I really don't like that cover...).

Actually, Cinebook seem to be fast becoming the unofficial English-language publisher of Jean Van Hamme. I see they plan publishing his and Rosinski's 'Western' next year. Saying that, I doubt Cinebook will be in any hurry to bring us 'Epoxy'. I won't link to that one... :-)

The latest Cinebook B&M has some nice supplementary materials in the back. In addition to the standard preview of the next album there's a four-page interview with the creators which reveals a number of Tintin 'homages' buried in the art and text of 'The Voranov Plot'.

George
mct16
Member
#50 · Posted: 8 Nov 2010 21:26
george:
there's a four-page interview with the creators which reveals a number of Tintin 'homages' buried in the art and text of 'The Voranov Plot'.

"a number of Tintin 'homages'"? I quickly noticed the use of the restaurant and waiter from "Ottokar" in the scene where the traitor from the embassy first calls her KGB contact but didn't spot any other. What other references are there to Tintin?

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