There has been discussion here before about the “lost” Jo, Zette & Jocko book, Le ThermoZéro
, how it started life as a Tintin plot by Greg, and was then, at Hergé’s request, reworked by Bob De Moor to feature JZ&J, and that while substantial work was carried out upon it, it has yet to be released, even in its unfinished form.
I’ve now come across a reference to another JZ&J project which was abandoned, but which I’d not
been aware of: La Main Noire
(The Black Hand
Following up the mention I found of it, it appears that in 2011 the Pierre Bergé auction house (they have offices on the Avenue Louise in Brussels, the same street as Hergé had his, and where the Studios Hergé offices are today) held a sale of works by Jacques Martin, long an associate of Hergé, and a major comic artist in his own right (Alix
, et al.).
Amongst the lots on offer were artwork for Tintin magazine, the notorious “gag” page which the members of the Studio once produced to make it appear that they were writing a Tintin book while Hergé was away, and ten pages of notes and rough sketches for the JZ&J project La Main Noire
- where it would seem that M. Martin was writing the scenario, and Bob De Moor was supplying artwork.
These ten pages may be all that was ever done on the book, I can’t say for certain, but the suggestion has been made that the re-drawing of The Black Island
took over the time of the studio, and this other work was set aside, never to be completed.
If you follow this link to the Pierre Bergé website
, and then click on where it says “Téléchargez le PDF”, you will be able to download a heavily illustrated, 114 page catalogue of the sale (with many other interesting items, such as a pages of story from 1947 called L’œil de Perdrix
which could at first glance be mistaken for pages by Hergé from around the time of The Broken Ear
, plus excellent background on M. Martin); the La Main Noire
pages can be found on page 20.