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
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.