The three formulas of Professor Sato is a story of Blake and Mortimer in two volumes. This is the last adventure of these characters realized by Edgar P. Jacobs.
Jacobs began this story, which will make up volumes eleven and twelve of the series, in 1972. He wrote the full script, but due to health problems, he stopped drawing. He died in 1987, leaving his work unfinished. Three years later, the publisher asked another cartoonist, Bob de Moore, to finish this Blake and Mortimer adventure from the script and sketches left by Edgar P. Jacobs. Readers have had to wait 18 years before knowing the end of the story!
In Professor Sato’s Three Formulas, Philip Mortimer, who is in Japan, finds himself embroiled in a story of technology theft. He must help his friend, Professor Sato, a scientist specializing in cybernetics and robots.
It won’t be long before you realize that Olrik is behind this story. Mortimer therefore decides to call Francis Blake to come and lend him a hand.
Discover in this book the complete breakdown of the story made by Edgar P. Jacobs before he died. The pages are exactly as the author left them, with his annotations, corrections, collages etc. The drawings are more or less developed: some boxes are inked while others are barely sketched, with only the most important details (position of the characters, the composition of the box, object or detail which will be important, etc.).
A magnificent book which gives us a good overview of Jacobs’ talent and his way of working.
- Blake & Mortimer/Studio Jacobs, 2015
- ISBN 978-2-8709-7239-7
- 23.7 cm x 31 cm, 112 pages, hardcover
- 19.99 €
- Order online: CollectorBD, Amazon
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
A collection of Jacobs’ last two albums, the first pencilled with some inks and the second with breakdowns. It doesn’t mention if this is full size, but I was able to find the cover of the first album online and it was 23 cm × 29.3 cm, while older interior pages were 30 cm x 40 cm. Either way, it’s an intriguing look into Jacobs’ process, with the full text put into the panels and then the art developed. Blake & Mortimer is a very wordy comic after all.
The presentation of the art is exceptional: every page is clear and without issue. Looking at the first album, there are limited inks, but everything in pencil and various colours. Interestingly Jacobs coloured Mortimer’s red hair in every panel. Copious margin notes, working through the word balloon text and some notes. This is where my lack of French hurts, as I wasn’t able to decipher too many of them. No correction fluid as it was too early in the production process. The second album is all roughs and breakdowns in pencil, with what appears to be yellow highlighted sections for replacement or correction. All but five pieces are scans of the original art.
For extras there is the introduction, essay about the work, and some rejected pages.
A very direct design with bright endpapers and back cover, contrasting the cream interior pages. We have two text pages with no decoration or embellishment and the original art. There is a chapter divider between the two albums with a single enlarged image.
The production is excellent: a hardcover with sewn binding of medium matte paper. The paper has an wonderful texture and shows the art wonderfully, yet it’s very light. The book feels about half the weight you’d expect when first picking it up.
I’m a fan of the art, with Jacobs’ distinctive style. This was the first original art I came across , as I’m slowly exploring the world of bande dessinee AE format books. This was an inexpensive introduction to Jacobs and his process. And yet another term for a collection of original art, this time découpage original, which I’m translating as “first cut” or first take.