The Bob de Moor Facebook page
includes a video dated July 2009 in which Jacques Martin
tells of how he and de Moor worked together on one of his albums.
The video is in French and here is an English translation for people interested in de Moor.
Martin begins by explaining how de Moor got involved with Hergé. In 1948, E.P. Jacobs, who had done most of the background artwork on Tintin
, split from Hergé, and Hergé needed to find another artist who was just as talented.
The editor of Kuifje
, the Flemish version of the weekly Tintin
magazine, recommended de Moor. De Moor's early work on Tintin
included the Moon
Martin especially goes on about de Moor's talent in imitating the drawing of other artists, but stresses that he was not a scriptwriter. He also describes him as very nice and affable.
Martin then tells of how he was looking for a collaborator for his own series Lefranc
which is about a reporter who travels the world fighting crooks (sounds familiar).
De Moor told him that he was interested and since the Studios Hergé was not doing much work at the time, Hergé agreed to let him work with Martin.
Martin himself went to a valley in the Swiss Alps in order to research the area where he was to set the adventure. There he heard of a local story which inspired the plot: about how the local council deceived and ruined some foreign entrepreneurs. The result was Le Repaire du loup
(The Wolf's Lair
) which is set in a Swiss valley. (As far as I know it is not available in English.)
Martin and de Moor wanted to work on more books together, but this was blocked by Hergé! Martin is not sure why this was, since Tintin
stories were only coming out every five years or so, and thus Hergé could have spared de Moor from time to time.
He implies that it may have had something to do with him previously quitting the Studios, whereas de Moor was still under contract, and needed Hergé's permission to work on other projects.
Curiously, it seems that Hergé did not stop de Moor from working on another series where his talent in imitating the work of other artists came in useful. (Martin says that it was the classic French comic Bécassine
, but I cannot find any other indication that de Moor ever worked on that series.)
De Moor was "sacked" (Martin's words) from the Studios Hergé in 1985, after Hergé's death, and he and Martin considered working together again but then de Moor was asked to finish Jacob's uncompleted Blake & Mortimer
story Professor Sato's Three Formulæ
and died soon afterwards.
Martin describes the work de Moor did on Le Repaire du loup
: Martin would draw rough sketches describing the action and then de Moor would draw the actual panels that were published. He even kept a file with detailed drawings of each of the characters in the comic. Martin suggests that this was to avoid confusion, such as drawing a scene featuring Gritz, a friendly character, when he was supposed to put in Valadin, an antagonist.Le Repaire du loup
was published in Tintin
magazine in 1969-70, but was not collected in book form until fours years later.
Martin explains that this was partly due to him switching to a new publisher, Casterman, which also took his other series "Alix", which is set in Ancient Rome. Apparently he pitched them to Casterman along with Jacobs' Blake & Mortimer
and Jean Graton's Michel Vaillant
He concludes by describing how in about 1991 he was invited to visit the Swiss valley where he set Le Repaire du loup
and even made a couple of speeches. Apparently the locals did not bear a grudge for him exposing a local scandal.[Update: In re. Bob working on Bécassine, as mentioned above, this blog post on the Bob de Moor site has uncovered samples of the work he did in 1962/63, following a proposal that he take over the series - Moderator)