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E.P. Jacobs: CBBD Exhibition "ODYSSÉE aux origines de Blake et Mortimer"

jock123
Moderator
#1 · Posted: 24 Jan 2023 11:14
The Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (CBBD) in Brussels is preparing to host an exhibition to celebrate an early work of E.P. Jacobs, friend and colleague to Hergé, and also the "father" of Blake & Mortimer.

George recently mentioned here that the book The U-Ray is to be released in English for the first-time ever.

Le Rayon "U" (The U Ray) is a romantic science-fiction space-opera written and drawn by Jacobs in the style of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. Jacobs' first-ever strip-work was as a Raymond copyist, providing Flash Gordon episodes to a Belgian paper during WWII, after the occupation made it impossible to get new episodes from the U.S. when it enterd the war; the German authorities quickly forbade the paper to publish American material in any form, and Jacobs turned his hand to creating a new original work in a similar vein.

Of special interest to readers of Blake & Mortimer are some of the characters who appear in The U Ray, as not only does the cast resemble some of the figures one would find in the echt Flash Gordon, they bear uncanny resembelances to even more familiar friends: Marduk is the the story's Professor Zaroff analog, but who's face is that of the figure who later became Mortimer; Calder is the story's Prince Barin, who resembles Blake, and Dagon is the villain of the piece who transformed into Olrik (and is a self-parody of Jacobs himself).

The new exhibition, ODYSSÉE aux origines de Blake et Mortimer, is designed to spotlight this period in history, and to look at Le Rayon "U" as a bridge between American and European comics, and the rôle it played in the development of Jacobs' later series.

It is to run from the 7th of April to the 1st of October, 2023 at the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée - Musée Bruxelles, Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Brusells, and will be undoubtedly worth a visit if you are in the city (it always is, but even moreso on this occasion )!

It's also been mentioned (some time ago now), that Jean Van Hamme (XIII, Largo Winch) has been writing a new volume featuring Marduk, Calder & Cº, which continues the adventures started in The U Ray; La Flèche Ardente (The Flaming Arrow), scripted by Van Hamme and drawn by Christian Cailleaux and Étienne Schréder will be published on the 24th of March 2023, as Volume 2 of the series Avant Blake & Mortimer (Before Blake & Mortimer).

As Volume 1, Le Rayon "U" itself gets a relaunch at the same time - as a bibliophile edition of the 1943 Bravo version (recoloured in period style by Bruno Tatti, using the same palette of colours as Jabobs did), and in a standard (also recolourd version).
It's not yet clear to me if the bibliophile edition is to be presented in the original landscape orientation, as cover thumbnails I have seen use the portrait version of the regular version. I also will need to investigate more to see if the "standard" edition makes use of the Bravo version, and if so, if this stands along side or replaces the revised standard version made by Jacobs in 1974 - do let me know if you have the information!
george
Member
#2 · Posted: 27 Jan 2023 14:06
It's also been mentioned (some time ago now), that Jean Van Hamme (XIII, Largo Winch) has been writing a new volume featuring Marduk, Calder & Cº, which continues the adventures started in The U Ray; La Flèche Ardente (The Flaming Arrow), scripted by Van Hamme and drawn by Christian Cailleaux and Étienne Schréder will be published on the 24th of March 2023, as Volume 2 of the series Avant Blake & Mortimer (Before Blake & Mortimer).

Interesting. I wonder if the existance of a sequel was the trigger for Cinebook to add 'The U Ray' (much nicer in French) to the schedule? Of course, like social media, there's always the need for content so it might've rolled up even with this book giving it a boost. Saying that, I rate the chances of them bringing us the Ralf König Lucky Luke as around zero!

It's not yet clear to me if the bibliophile edition is to be presented in the original landscape orientation, as cover thumbnails I have seen use the portrait version of the regular version. I also will need to investigate more to see if the "standard" edition makes use of the Bravo version, and if so, if this stands along side or replaces the revised standard version made by Jacobs in 1974 - do let me know if you have the information!

Hot link to twitter below so might not work or will vanish one day but the Centaur Club twitter has a cover that states:

"EDGAR P. JACOBS
LE RAYON 'U'
Avant Blake et Mortimer
Le Rayon "U"
ÉDITION BIBLIOPHILE PRÉSENTANT UNE QUARANTAINE DE PAGES DE MATÉRIEL GRAPHIQUE INÉDIT D'E. P. JACOBS
SCENARIO ET DESSIN EDGAR P. JACOBS 96 PAGES 23,7 X 31 CM CARTONNE NOIR ET BLANC 29,99 € 44,50 CHF
TIRAGE LIMITÉ À 8000 EXEMPLAIRES
En librairie le 24 mars 2023"

I don't know if those dimensions are tall or wide though!

[imgs=https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FnOD-EXWQAAUvc7?format=jpg&name=large]Twitter link to details of Rayon U[/imgs]

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FnOD-EXWQAAUvc7?format=jpg&name=large

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