La Vache, by Johan De Moor
'La Vache'. Dutch-language version: 'De Koe'. 

Johan De Moor is a Belgian comic artist and cartoonist, known for his work at Studio Hergé.  He worked on the animated TV series 'Quick et Flupke' (1984-1986) and created some extra albums after Hergé's death. De Moor is also known for overseeing and occasionally redrawing, recolouring and relettering comics by his legendary father Bob De Moor. Naturally Johan De Moor also had a career of his own. He created the comic series 'Gaspard de la Nuit' (1987-1991) and 'Kobe de Koe / La Vache' (1992-2002) and various one-shot graphic novels. De Moor is also active as a political cartoonist and teaches comic art at Sint-Lukas in Brussels. 

Early life and career
Johan De Moor was born in 1953 in Wilrijk, Antwerp, as the son of famous Belgian comics legend Bob de Moor. From an early age, he grew up amidst comic legends. His father worked for Hergé and was such a good friend of Willy Vandersteen that Vandersteen became Johan's godfather. De Moor also named the characters in his comic strip 'Les Aventures de Johan and Stephan' after his own sons. Stefan later became a graphic artist. Johan's other brother, Dirk, later gained fame as a conductor and choirmaster. The boys' sister, Annemie, works for publishing company Casterman. Johan De Moor studied graphic arts at the Sint-Lukas Institute in Brussels, where Thierry Culliford (Peyo's son) was one of his fellow students and cartoonist Gal (Gerard Alsteens), one of his teachers.

La Vache, by Johan de Moor
'La Vache'. 

While De Moor respected both his father's work and Hergé, he didn't want to be unfairly compared to them. He underwent more influence from underground comix and artists like Ever Meulen. Instigated by Belgian cartoonist Gal, De Moor decided to become a political caricaturist, publishing his first work in 1978 in De Morgen and for Het Masereelfonds. His cartoons have also appeared in magazines like Pan, Fluide Glacial and  Spirou. Ironically enough De Moor eventually rolled back into comics when his father asked him to be his assistant on drawing 'Tintin'-related merchandise. For a while this seemed a good investment, since Hergé was already old and in ailing health by the late 1980s and his main assistant Bob De Moor widely considered to be his logical successor. Yet after Hergé's death, his widow, Fanny Rémi, decided to not create any new 'Tintin' albums.

Quick et Flupke by Johan de Moor
'Quick & Flupke'.

Quick & Flupke
After Hergé's death in 1983, Johan De Moor got involved with the adaptation of Hergé's classic gag series 'Quick et Flupke' (1984-1986) into a series of animated TV shorts produced by Graphoui. Each short was typically only a minute long. De Moor was scriptwriter and artistic director for all 260 cartoons. He and collaborator Pjotr animated everything in a loose, fluid and more cartoony style than Hergé was known for. The catchy musical intro and outro were composed by Pierre Zurstrassen. 'Quick & Flupke' was broadcast on the Walloon public channel RTBF, the Flemish public channel BRT 1 (nowadays the VRT, though today shown on their juvenile channel Ketnet instead), the Dutch public channel VARA and the French public channel Antenne 2 (nowadays France 2).

Not all TV episodes were directly based on 'Quick & Flupke' gags, though. Some were specifically created by De Moor and Pjotr for the TV series. The 'Quick & Flupke' cartoons sparked off new interest in the original comic series, which led to reprints of all albums. De Moor received permission to adapt some of the TV episodes into comic strip gags. Other were created exclusive for the comics themselves and written by Roger Ferrari. De Moor mimicked Hergé's drawing style so naturally that even fans couldn't tell it wasn't the grandmaster's original art. The 'Quick & Flupke' gags by Johan De Moor can be read in two albums: 'Haute Tension' ('High Tension', 1985) and 'Jeux Interdits' ('Double Trouble', AKA 'Forbidden Games', 1985). 

Gaspard de la Nuit, by Johan De Moor
'Gaspard de la Nuit'.

Gaspard de la Nuit
Unlike his father, Johan De Moor didn't want to slavishly work in Hergé's shadow. In 1988, he developed a more personal style. He teamed up with writer Stephen Desberg and created the series 'Gaspard de la Nuit' (Casterman, 1987-1991), an adventure series full of fantasy creatures, mystery and parallel universes, rooted in traditional Flemish fantasy tales and legends. 

La Vache by Johan De Moor
'La Vache'. 

La Vache
De Moor and Stephen Desberg began doing more graphic experiments in their next series, 'La Vache', which first appeared in À Suivre in 1992. In this series, Johan de Moor showcased his graphic abilities with a collage style, combining old clippings of advertisements with African art influences, while playing with the lettering and the coloring. In 1995, the comic was translated into Dutch by Johan Anthierens, as 'Kobe de Koe'. 

Milkmaid by Johan de Moor
Parody of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's 'Het Melkmeisje' ('The Milk Maid').

Work in the 1990s, 2000s and 2016s.
In 1992, Bob De Moor passed away, leaving his final album in the 'Cori de Scheepsjongen' ('Cori le Moussaillon') series unfinished. With help of his  father's script, Johan and his brother, Stephan de Moor, took over and completed the story, published as 'Dali Capitan' (1993). Two years later, a collection of his press illustrations appeared at Points Image, titled 'Je Sais Tout'. In 2001, 'La Vache' was transferred from Casterman to Lombard, where it was retitled as 'Lait Entier'. In 2004, De Moor started a sequel to Rudyard Kipling's classic novel 'Jungle Book', called 'Le Dernier Livre de la Jungle' (2004-2007) with Desberg and Henri-Joseph Reculé at Lombard. While Desberg wrote the story and script, Reculé did the drawing and De Moor the coloring and lettering. In 2015, he published the graphic novel 'Coeur Glacé' with writer Gilles Dal. It deals with the a middle-aged man overthinking his life, and is full of surreal imagery. 

Graphic contributions
In 1993, De Moor was one of several Bronzen Adhemar winners to pay a graphic tribute to Marc Sleen in the book 'Marc Sleen. Een Uitgave van de Bronzen Adhemar Stichting' (1993). He joined various Belgian cartoonists to make special cartoons and comics for Gilles Dal’s book "België, Et Cetera" (Van Halewyck, 2016), a funny look at the history of Belgium. In 2020 he joined 75 Dutch & Flemish comic artists to make a graphic contribution to the free collective comic book ‘Striphelden versus Corona’ (Oogachtend, Uitgeverij L, 2020). The book was intended to support comics stores who had to close their doors for two months during the lockdown at the height of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. 

Cartoon by Johan de Moor
Cartoon by Johan De Moor, depicting king Albert II writing his 2008 Christmas speech with suppressed anger, which won De Moor the Press Cartoon Belgium. 

In 1989, Johan De Moor won the Bronzen Adhemar, the official Flemish Community Cultural Prize for Comics. De Moor also won the Grand Prix at the Festival BD Sierre. In 1995, he and Stephen Desberg received a prize for "Best Humour Story" at the Comics Festival of Angoulême, France, for the second album of 'La Vache'. In 2008, Johan De Moor won the Press Cartoon Belgium Award for a cartoon published in the magazine Pan. It depicts Belgian king Albert II working deep at night on his Christmas speech, trying to surpress his anger at the politicians unable to form a government. In 2019 he won this award again with a cartoon referencing the #metoo movement: it depicts a beer card and a spoof of the slogan "Men know why" by beer brand Jupiler.

Between 16 May and 10 July 2013, De Moor was one of several Flemish comic artists to exhibit original artwork during the 'Wereld van de Strips in Originelen' ('The World of Comics in Originals') exhibition in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels. The exhibition, organized by art critic and museum curator Jan Hoet and politician Dany Vandenbossche, later gained controversy when N-VA politician Jan Peumans objected to a French-language speech balloon on the official expo poster. Since the posters were already printed, the speech balloon was simply blanked. Numerous participating comic artists protested against this censorship, with several, including De Moor, asking to have their own cartoons and comics to be removed from the expo. 

Coeur Glacé by Johan de Moor
'Coeur Glacé'. The monster peering over the wall is a nod to Gustave Doré's big-eyed gnarled monster from his illustrations to 'The Days of Chivalry, or the Legend of Croquemitaine' by Ernest L'Épine. In the back we can also spot Stephen Hillenburg's 'SpongeBob Squarepants.'

Teaching career
De Moor was also a teacher in comic art at the Dutch language Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels. He established the school's comics program together with Nix in 1998.

De Moor's 'La Vache/ De Koe' was honoured with a comic book wall in March-April 1999, located in the Rue du Damier/Damstraat 23, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route. It was designed by E. d'Hainaut, G. Oreopoulos and D. Vandegeerde. On 12 December 2008, De Moor designed another comic book wall at the Place Victor Horta/Victor Hortaplaats in Brussels. It depicts numerous comic characters running out of a comic book. 

He is one of several Belgian cartoonists who are a member of the collective and website The Cartoonist, established by Marec, where Belgian cartoonists make their archived and new work available to the public. Johan De Moor was a strong influence on Jeroen Janssen

Sint-Lukas in Lambiek
In 2003, students of the Sint-Lukas in Brussels exhibited their work in Gallery Lambiek, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the school's Comics section. The event was organized by the teachers Johan de Moor (third from the left) and Nix.

Series and books by Johan De Moor you can order today:


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