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Coeur Valliants: when did it cease to exist?

#1 · Posted: 10 Oct 2007 16:15 · Edited by: Borschtisov
In the children's paper Coeurs Vaillants, when exactly did it cease to exist when the Nazis invaded? At what point did The Valley of the Cobras get interrupted?

I know "Jo and Zette in the Land of the Maharajah" started publication in serial format on April 9, 1939, but I haven't been able to find the date when it ended.

Can anybody help?
#2 · Posted: 10 Oct 2007 16:56 · Edited by: Balthazar
Hi Borschtisov.

According to the Wikiopedia article on Franco-Belgian comics, Coeur Valliants didn't cease to exist when the Nazis invaded France, and in fact continued to be published throughout the war.

Here's the link to the article:


And here's the relevant passage:

Interestingly, a lot of the publishers and artists who had managed to continue working during the occupation were accused of being collaborators and were imprisoned by the resistance, although most were released soon afterwards without charges being pressed.

As an example, this happened to one of the famous magazines, Coeurs Vaillants ("Valiant Hearts"). It was founded by abbot Courtois (under the alias Jacques Coeur) in 1929. As he had the backing of the church, he managed to publish the magazine throughout the war, and was of course charged with being a collaborator. After he was forced out, his successor Pihan (as Jean Vaillant) took up the publishing, moving the magazine in a more humorous direction.

That doesn't answer your question about when Jo and Zette in the Land of the Maharajah ended its serial run in Coeur Valliant. But if the story started in April 1939, maybe it just had time to reach its conclusion before France fell to the Nazis in May-June 1940.

In any case, if the magazine kept going for the duration of the war, then presumeably Hergé would have able to keep drawing the strip and sending it in even after the fall of France, if he'd needed to. Though I don't know what the logistics of posting artwork from occupied Belgium to occupied France would have been.

I couldn't find much else on Coeurs Valliants on the web, though logic tells me there must be more details about the magazine on a French website somewhere, given how seriously they take their BD history.
#3 · Posted: 10 Oct 2007 18:10 · Edited by: Borschtisov
Thanks for the reply, Balthazar.

What you suggested about "The Valley of the Cobras" being finished before the Nazis invaded makes sense; I did the math myself, and it had more than enough time to finish. However I always thought that "The Valley of the Cobras" was interrupted because of the war, and only finished a couple decades later in "Tintin Magazine". All the information seemed to suggest that.

For instance, on the back of the book it reads:

"Here [The Valley of the Cobras] is one of the best, begun originally in 1939, but only achieved its final form nearly twenty years later."

And also this on the "Jocko's Jungle" website:

"Although the book was originally published in 1957, Hergé began work on the adventure in 1939 with a working title of Jo, Zette and Jocko and the Maharajah referring to the Maharajah of Gopel. Hergé stopped [see that; 'stopped'] working on the title during World War II where in occupied Belgium..."

So I don't know. But it would appear to be as you suggested; that it was finished before the invasion.

Thanks again for your reply.
#4 · Posted: 10 Oct 2007 18:57 · Edited by: Balthazar
I've just remembered something else, though. At the outbreak of war in September 1939 Hergé (who had already enlisted as a reservist) was called up and posted to an infantry company in the North of Belgium. (That info's from Harry Thompsons's biography.)

Apparently, he still managed to draw and send in his weekly two pages of Tintin (The Black Island) for Le Petit Vingtieme, but it occurs to me that he may just not have found time during his army life to continue produce the Jo, Zette and Jocko pages for Coeur Valliants as well. That bit's just speculation on my part, but it could mean that, even though there would have been time to finish publishing the story before the Nazis took control of France, and even though Coeur Valliants kept going throughout the war anyway, Hergé may have actually stopped working on the story as early as September 1939 (ie: sometime before the Nazi occupations of Belgium and France.)

That's mostly more guesswork, though! Jockosjungle probably knows more. I'd temporarily forgotten his excellent website.
#5 · Posted: 10 Oct 2007 19:49 · Edited by: Borschtisov
I seem to have accidentally stumbled upon the answer to my question.

Check this link out:


It's in French, but if that is no hindrance to you go to the post for 10-12-2003. It's talking about the French Box Set which contains the original black & white versions of JZ&J. For you strictly English-speakers it says:

"Interesting box set which does indeed finally bring to the foreground these slightly forgotten characters (that Hergé himself gave up rather quickly). But the choice to republish the Belgian version from "Le Petit Vingtiéme" rather than the original one from "Coeurs Vaillants" deprives us of the square boards, qq images... and especially of the beginning (23 pages) of "In the Land of the Maharajah", which will become "The Valley of the Cobras" in '57. Too bad."

Again I did the calculations, taking into account the 23 pages given, and it shows that "In the Land of the Maharajah" stopped publication on September 10, 1939; which lines up perfectly with the speculation given by you, Balthazar.

Of course, this information might not be correct; but it is very surprising indeed that it matches the date in which Herge left for the North of Belgium to take up his duties. So in the light of all that, I am inclined to think that September 10, 1939 is the correct date for the stoppage of JZ&J.

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