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Eric Heuvel: January Jones (not from Mad Men)

#1 · Posted: 4 Sep 2011 15:42
I found this website which features scanned panels from comic books which show characters from different comics mixing together: such as Blake and Mortimer making a on-off appearance in "Valérian and Laureline", a popular science-fiction comic series.

Unfortunately I can no longer find this site and thus cannot post a link. (Is that a huge sigh of relief I hear from our moderator friends?)

The webmaster of the site included some scans in particular which stood out. These were from a Dutch comic called "January Jones" about a woman aviator in the 1930s (renamed "Jennifer Jones" in the French version) which is drawn in a ligne claire style similar to Herge's.

(I doubt if she has anything to do with actress January Jones from "Mad Men" since her books date back to about 1986.)

In one adventure, "De schatten van koning Salomo" (Dutch for "King Solomon's Treasures"), she meets the same captain of the smugglers' ship in which Tintin meets Oliveira da Figueira in "Cigars of the Paraoh". Herge based him on the adventurer Henry de Monfreid, and he introduces himself as such to Ms. Jones (good piece of research here).

A lovely scene includes a desert Sheik opening a crate but instead of guns he finds some "useless comic books" and furiously throws them away. These are in fact copies of "Cigars of the Pharaoh" as it was published in the 1930s. He was obviously not based on Patrash Pasha, the Sheik Tintin fan.
#2 · Posted: 5 Sep 2011 16:46 · Edited by: Rocky
I'd forgotten that scene! The January Jones artwork (by Eric Heuvel) is very much in Herge's style, the stories (by Martin Lodewijk) are good too. None of the books were ever published in English but a two part story appeared in French ('Le Crane De Mkwawa' and 'Le trésor du roi Salomon' published in hardback by Glenat) which is how I first discovered the series while perusing BDs in a French shop in London in the early 90s. It took a long time to track down the rest of the series, only available as second-hand Dutch paperbacks.
The first book, Dodenrit naar Monte Carlo, was possibly published in French (as Course Contra La Mort) but I've never found that.
The books are

1. Dodenrit naar Monte Carlo (Death Ride to Monte Carlo)
2. De Schedel van Sultan Mkwawa (The Skull of Sultan Mkwawa)
3. De Schatten van Koning Salomon (King Solomon's Treasure)
4. Het Pinkerton Draaiboek (The Pinkerton Case)
5. De Hoorns van de Stier* (The Horns of the Bull)

*Written but never published. Rumoured to be published some time in 2011 in Eppa magazine.
#3 · Posted: 5 Sep 2011 18:06 · Edited by: Balthazar
Thanks for flagging up this series, mct, and the further info, Rocky. I'd not come across these books or this illustrator before, but, from a bit of googling I found some sample pages on line, and they look very interesting. I see that she's flying a de Havilland Comet in at least one of the books, which is a plus for old aeroplane nerds like me!

To me, Heuval's drawing and colouring style looks influenced by Willy Wandersteen as well as Hergé, though no doubt there are numerous Dutch and Belgian clear line cartoonists whom I don't know, whose influence may also be there in in the mix.

Let's hope someone like Cinebooks brings out the series in English one day. (Maybe I should try the French versions in the meantime, as my terrible French is better than my non-existent Dutch!)

I noticed when Googling that two Heuval-illustrated comic books not in this series - Family Secret and The Search - have been brought out in English.
#4 · Posted: 15 Jan 2014 13:49 · Edited by: Moderator
A series of "January Jones" omnibus editions are due out in French later this year. French-language readers can click here for details.

Link removed includes a drawing by artist Eric Hewell in which January Jones is introduced to Tintin. She remarks: "I see what you mean. A perfect line in which one can regonise the master's style. My artist has a lot to learn from him..." Hewell's way of being modest!

Moderator Note: Link removed - you know that it can get us into trouble to share links to fan art, and you know that it's against our forum policy, so why do you insist on trying to slip them past? It's tantamount to trolling.

The Very Disappointed Tintinologist Team
#5 · Posted: 22 Jan 2014 11:57
Nice to see them being translated into French, BDMust seems to be developing into a very specialised publisher of marginalised artists in deluxe formats - they also currently have Bob De Moor's Barelli and Monsieur Tric.

I can't imagine anyone publishing January Jones in English any time soon, though I'd love to see it if they did!
#6 · Posted: 5 Sep 2016 22:56
"The first book, Dodenrit naar Monte Carlo, was possibly published in French (as Course Contra La Mort) but I've never found that."

I can confirm that his was printed in French with that title - I found a copy in the Gite we stayed in last week in France.
#7 · Posted: 7 Sep 2016 17:32
Thanks for confirming that, Crazy Jay. I wonder whether it was the new publication (see mct16's post for link) or the old, which has a different cover. I'm wary of posting links but if you do an image search for 'Course Contra La Mort' you'll see both versions. The older one uses the character name 'Jenny Jones'.

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