Bob De Moor was one of the masters of the Belgian Clear Line style. He is best known for creating series like 'Meester Mus' ('Monsieur Tric'), 'Cori de Scheepsjongen' ('Cori le Moussaillon') and 'Barelli' for Tintin, but he was also a loyal assistant to Hergé and Jacques Martin and a versatile contributor to Flemish comic magazines. Born Robert De Moor, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in his native city Antwerp. He began his career with the AFIM animation studios during the Second World War, where he worked alongside artists like Ray Goossens and where was mainly involved drawing backgrounds for productions like 'Smidje Smee' and 'Pimmeke'.
He was injured from a piece of shrapnel during the liberation, and lost the middle and ring finger of his left hand. Shortly after the war, he began a steady production of comic strips for the Belgian press. To keep up with the workload, he eventually founded the Artec Studio with his brother-in-law John van Looveren, who did the business part and some scriptwork. Other artists involved were Armand van Meulebroeck and Jef and François Cassiers.
De Moor had a keen interest in shipping, which he showcased in 'Bart, de Scheepsjongen', his first comic for Kleine Zondagsvriend that started in 1945. He continued his collaboration with this magazine with the adventures of 'Inspecteur Marks', 'De Lotgevallen van Hannes Boegspriet', 'Hobbel en Sobbel' and 'Dat Wondere Pimpeltje', among many other stories.
During the same period, De Moor made illustrations and cartoons for ABC and Zondagsvriend, while creating new comic strips for Week-End ('Professor Quick', 'De Lotgevallen van Babbel & Co') and 't Kapoentje, the children's supplement of Het Volk edited by Marc Sleen. De Moor developed the first incarnation of 'De Lustige Kapoentjes', a comic that served as a follow-up to Willy Vandersteen's 'De Vrolijke Bengels'. Many artists have drawn the comic since then, often with a changing cast, such as Marc Sleen, Hurey, Jean-Pol, Jef Nys, Karel Boumans, Jo and Tom Bouden. De Moor also drew 'Willem de Vrijbuiter' and several independent stories for the magazine.
De Moor's first publication in the French language was 'Le Mystère du Vieux Château Fort', a comic album scripted by John van Looveren and published by Campéador in 1947. De Moor remained a regular in the Flemish press throughout the 1950s, with strips like 'Monneke en Johnekke', 'Janneke en Stanneke', 'Bloske en Zwik', 'De Koene Edelman', 'Vodje de zwerver' and 'Het Leven van J.B. de La Salle'.
De Vergeten Stad (1949)
Artec's incredible production further included illustrations for Het Handelsblad and De Nieuwe Gazet, for which De Moor also made the stopcomic 'Petrus en zijn rakkers', and drawings for De Volksmacht, Overal, Pum-Pum and Het Wekelijkse Nieuws. He drew the strips 'De lotgevallen van de familie Kibbel' for De Nieuwe Gids (1947) and 'Vodje de zwerver' for De Zweep (1947-49), before joining Ons Volkske in 1949 with 'Het wonderschip', 'Oorlog in het heelal' and 'Mieleke en Dolf'.
De avonturen van Nonkel Zigomar, Snoe en Snolleke (French edition)
De Moor started a collaboration with the newspapers Het Nieuws van de Dag in 1950, for which he created 'Nieuwe Avonturen van Tijl Uilenspiegel' and 'De avonturen van Nonkel Zigomar, Snoe en Snolleke'. Of the latter, fifteen stories were created of which four were published in book format by Periodica in Brussels in 1956. More stories were reprinted in the Magnum series by publisher De Dageraad in the 1970s and 1980s, by Casterman in the 1980s and by Brabant Strip in the 2000s.
De Leeuw van Vlaanderen
In 1949, he began his association with Kuifje, the Flemish equivalent of Tintin magazine by Éditions Lombard. His first work for the magazine was a comics version of Hendrik Conscience's historical novel 'De Leeuw van Vlaanderen'. It was published in a book by Standaard in 1952, the same year that De Moor submitted another Conscience adaptation, 'De Kerels van Vlaanderen'.
Monsieur Tric (Meester Mus)
De Moor additionally appeared in the Walloon version Tintin, with the gag strips 'Fee en Fonske' ('Bouboule et Noireaud') and 'Professeur Tric' (later renamed to 'Monsieur Tric'). He established a Clear Line style in the tradition of Hergé and Jacobs, and created his first continuing series starring the actor/detective 'Monsieur Barelli' in 1950. At first presumably aided by Jacques van Melkebeke for the script, 'Barelli' appeared in new adventures in 1951 and 1952, and then in 1964, 1972, 1974 and 1976.
De Moor produced 'Sterke Jan' ('Conrad le Hardi') in 1951, before creating his best known series in the following year, 'Cori le Moussaillon' ('Cori de Scheepsjongen'). Cori was another showcase for De Moor's passion for boats and nautical adventures. It wasn't until 1977 that the series was continued. In Tintin, he also drew the humorous comic 'Pirates d'Eau Douce' in 1959, as well as the gag strip 'Balthazar' from 1965 to 1967.
The reason for the irregular appearances of De Moor's series in Tintin can be found in his employment by Hergé studios in 1950. Very quickly he became the first assistant to the Master. He worked on the re-styling and modernization of older Tintin comics and did backgrounds for new ones, starting with 'Objectif Lune' ('Destination Moon'). He was involved in the studio's promotional art and animation projects until after Hergé's death in 1983.
Les Trois Formules du Professeur Sato
De Moor also assisted his close friend Willy Vandersteen on his 'Tijl Uilenspiegel' stories for Tintin in 1952-53, and took care of the drawings of 'Le repaire du loup', the 1970 episode of Jacques Martin's 'Lefranc'. Following the death of Edgar P. Jacobs in 1987, he completed the second installment in the 'Blake & Mortimer' episode 'Les Trois Formules du Professeur Sato' in 1989.
The death of Hergé in 1983 gave De Moor time to create new stories with 'Cori' and 'Barelli', by the he was aided by his own assistant, Geert de Sutter. In 1989, he was appointed artistic director of the publishing house Le Lombard, and chaired the board of directors for the Belgian Center of the Comic Strip in Brussels until his death in August, 1992. In 1990 he was on the editorial board of JET, the first European magazine for young talent published monthly by Le Lombard. Bob de Moor's final 'Cori' album was completed in January, 1993 by his artist son, Johan de Moor.
Kuifje in de Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis