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Jo, Zette & Jocko: How big was Bob De Moor's contribution?

#1 · Posted: 4 Dec 2009 02:15

I've read on the forums that Mr de Moor put a huge amount of work into these books.
Did he pretty much draw all the art, save the actual characters which were done by Hergé?
Is this correct and along with the characters Hergé plotted and created the actual story?

Have only just read them again and noticed Captain Haddock's pic in Mr Pumps Legacy. Quite funny!
People have said elsewhere in these forums that perhaps they were related to him hence the pic - I tend to side with the view that they were massive fans of his!!
#2 · Posted: 5 Dec 2009 19:09 · Edited by: jock123
I’m not sure what it was you read in which discussion that leads you to draw the conclusion that his work on these stories was huge, but I’d say his work was probably important, rather than “huge”. The JZ&J series began in the Thirties, well before M. De Moor came to work in the studio, so he wasn’t a major contributor to the early versions of the stories, which came out in black and white.

However, he was probably involved in the re-working of the black and white originals for the colour albums; given that he arrived in 1951, the year the first colour album came out he may not have been there from the get-go (I don’t have my De Moor biography to hand, so I can’t confirm it), but it sounds like something he’d have been adept at, given his facility for working in other people’s styles.

He was a major figure in the genesis of the sixth, un-published book of the series, Le ThermoZéro, for which Hergé gave him the responsibility of adapting a scenario which Greg had written as a Tintin story. Hergé drew eight pages (as a Tintin book) before deciding he couldn’t work freely enough from someone else’s script; however, he thought the idea was good, and set Bob to revise it as Jo, Zette and Jocko’s latest adventure.

It has been estimated by Bernard Tordeur (Hergé archivist and bigrapher of Bob de Moor), that the book is effectively complete, although unfinished - which some have taken to mean that it was waiting for Hergé to add to or approve it in some way, and never got around to it. So it would be fair to say that his work on this book could probably be described as “huge”.
Mikael Uhlin
#3 · Posted: 5 Dec 2009 19:37
Apart from the unfinished ThermoZéro and - possibly - Valley of Cobras, I think de Moor only made minor contributions to the JZ&J series.
The early stories ran in the Tintin magazine 1946-48 (Secret Ray) and 1948-50 (Super Prop), i.e. before Bob De Moor started to work for Hergé. Benoit Peeters has suggested that some of the JZ&J cover illustrations for the magazine in fact were drawn by Edgar P. Jacobs.

Valley of Cobras was serialized in Tintin during 1953-54, and much of that story seems to have been drawn by Jacques Martin, another of Hergé's assistants, but Bob De Moor may have been involved as well.
#4 · Posted: 5 Dec 2009 20:22
Thanks for that, Mikael - I realize that I should have said “possibly involved” where I said “probably involved”, as you make a good case for his participation being minimal. I agree that Jacques Martin is the name that came to mind for me too when thinking of Valley of Cobras.

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