|Publication date 1946 – present|
Creator(s) Edgar P. Jacobs
|Main character(s) BlakeMortimerOlrik|
|Writers Edgar P. Jacobs, Jean Van Hamme, Yves Sente|
Artists Edgar P. Jacobs, Bob de Moor, Ted Benoit, André Juillard
Publishers Le Lombard, Éditions Blake et Mortimer, Cinebook
Genres Science Fiction, Adventure
Similar The Adventures of Tintin, Michel Vaillant, Lucky Luke
Blake and mortimer the yellow m comic overview
Blake and Mortimer is a Belgian comics series created by the Belgian writer and comics artist Edgar P. Jacobs. It was one of the first series to appear in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin in 1946, and was subsequently published in book form by Les Editions du Lombard.
- Blake and mortimer the yellow m comic overview
- Blake and mortimer the secret of easter island english
- Post Jacobs
- Main characters
- Story characteristics
- List of titles
- English translation and publication
- Radio series
- Television series
- Film adaptations
- In popular culture
The main protagonists of the adventures are Philip Mortimer, a leading British scientist, and his friend Captain Francis Blake of MI5. The main antagonist is their sworn enemy, Colonel Olrik, who has appeared in almost every book. Their confrontations take them into the realms of detective investigation and science-fiction, dealing with such themes as time travel, Atlantis and espionage.
Since the death of Jacobs, new books have been published by two separate teams of artists and writers. A television series based upon the series was produced in 1997, entitled Blake and Mortimer.
The books by Jacobs himself are generally set in the very period of their writing, but those authored by others after his death are set mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.
Blake and mortimer the secret of easter island english
When Tintin magazine was launched on September 26, 1946, it included the story, Le secret de l’Espadon (The Secret of the Swordfish) which introduced the characters of Captain Francis Blake of the British Intelligence Service, his friend Professor Philip Mortimer, a leading physicist, and their sworn enemy Colonel Olrik.
The epic of the Swordfish ended in 1949 but Olrik, Blake and Mortimer continued their conflict through a whole series of science-fiction/detective stories that saw them go all the way from the lost continent of Atlantis to the Catacombs of Paris.
After Jacobs’ death in 1987, Bob de Moor completed his unfinished last story.
From 1987, the Jacobs estate, centred on the still-operating Jacobs Studios, republished all of Jacobs’ works.
In the 1990s, after much debate about story authenticity, Dargaud got permission to revive the Blake and Mortimer series, with new stories by a new team of author/draughtsman. The series was still firmly set in the 1950s and included many new regular supporting characters, most notably Blake's colleagues in the security services. Much of series has been created by two separate teams, Van Hamme/Benoit and Sente/Juillard.
The first book, The Francis Blake Affair, was published in 1996. Famous scenarist Jean Van Hamme provided the storylines while Ligne claire specialist draughtsman Ted Benoit (whose style resembles the later Jacobs's) was contracted for the artwork. Purists immediately objected to the choice of Van Hamme and, upon publication, went on to discover some typical Van Hamme plot twists they disliked. Jacobs' science-fiction was noticeably absent with the story focusing on espionage. However the book became a relative success and the publisher decided to continue the line. In the meantime, however, both Benoit and Van Hamme were tied up on other projects and work on the next book started to lag.
Finally, Van Hamme and Benoit managed to finish their album and The Strange Encounter appeared in 2001, with Blake and Mortimer confronting mysterious alien creatures.
This was followed by Sente and Juillard's two-book adventure: The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent (volume 1,The Universal Threat in 2003; volume 2, Battle of the Minds in 2004) which also dealt with Blake and Mortimer's youth and how they first met in pre-independence India.
In 2008 Sente and Juillard released another book entitled The Gondwana Shrine which chronologically follows the events of The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent.
The next adventure in the series, The Curse of the Thirty Denarii, is divided in two volumes and is written by Jean Van Hamme. The first volume, titled Le Manuscript de Nicodemus (The Manuscript of Nicodemus), was drawn by René Sterne, who suddenly died on 15 November 2006, delaying the publication of the book. Sterne's girlfriend Chantal De Spiegeleer eventually completed his work, which was published on 20 November 2009. Aubin Frechon drew the second volume of the adventure, which was published 26 November 2010.
The three main characters of the series were already present in slightly different form in the unrelated, first full length comic strip by Jacobs, Le Rayon U (The U-Ray, 1943). (In the original Jacobs' version it is not specified that Blake and Mortimer are Welsh and Scottish. They are simply two proud Britons serving HM's Government. The post-Jacobs title The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent dwells on their early lives, showing how they met in colonial India.)
Although the series is (no doubt for reasons of euphony) called Blake and Mortimer, it is Professor Mortimer who is often the main protagonist. In the original series, it is mainly he who, through his impulsive character, gets entangled in adventurous circumstances. Blake is the straight man, the serious army officer who comes to the rescue. On the bad-guy side, Colonel Olrik combines characteristics of both heroes.
Blake and Mortimer adventures are characterized by a quest, most often involving adventures underground till the final ending, free and back to the surface. The story structures include some similarities: when the adventure begins certain important but unseen events have already taken place; at the beginning of The Yellow Mark, for instance, the titular character has already made himself known through various activities which the reader only learns about when Mortimer reads a newspaper about these events. Some of the adventures also end with the characters reflecting on what they have learned from their experiences: after his travels through time in Time Trap, Mortimer concludes that rather than dwell on the "good old days" or look forward to a "brighter future", one should be content with the present.
Blake and Mortimer are sometimes shown to live in the same house, sharing an apartment in the same manner as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Many francophone comics have had similar themes of confirmed bachelors living together, including Tintin and Captain Haddock, Asterix & Obelix, Spirou & Fantasio, and Tif & Tondu. These series were all first published during a time when censorship of youth publications was very stringent, and segregation between girls and boys was applied with rigor.
Jacobs always drew his stories as being contemporary and based on real environments, so the first few titles have a 1950s look and feel while the last installments are decidedly 1970s. One exception to this rule is, again, Time Trap, which starts in the present (i.e. early 1960s) but whose action, due to a sabotaged malfunctioning time machine, largely takes place in the 51st century, and includes a short ventures in medieval times and a stopover in the Jurassic period. Post-Jacobs stories are so far integrated in the chronology of the first ones, therefore taking place in the 1950s and 1960s.
The art style of E.P. Jacobs, although typical of the Belgian comics drawings (called "clear line" or "ligne claire"), is specific in its extensive use of light colors and shots very similar to what can be found in film production. (The panoramic view over London by night opening The Yellow Mark being a good example.)
The writing, on the other hand, is noted for its high verbosity, with captions and word balloons frequently stating the action that's also depicted visually.
List of titles
1-11: story and art by Edgar P. Jacobs
12: story by Edgar P. Jacobs, art by Bob de Moor
13, 15: story by Jean Van Hamme, art by Ted Benoit
14, 16-17, 18, 21, 23: story by Yves Sente, art by André Juillard
19: story by Jean Van Hamme, art by René Sterne & Chantal De Spiegeleer
20: story by Jean Van Hamme, art by Antoine Aubin & Étienne Schréder
22: story by Jean Dufaux, art by Antoine Aubin & Étienne Schréder
Additionally, the storyboard sketches by Jacobs of Volume 12, left incomplete at the time of his death, have been re-issued in 1996 outside of the series as Dossier Mortimer contre Mortimer (ISBN 2-87097-022-6).
English translation and publication
Like many Franco-Belgian comics, Blake and Mortimer initially had limited publication in English. Cinebook Ltd have now published the majority of the series.
The Blake and Mortimer Editions published English translations of all three parts of The Secret of the Swordfish in 1986, both parts of The Mystery of the Great Pyramid in 1987 and The Yellow "M" in 1988.
Catalan Communications, under its 'Comcat' line of books, published two books in inexpensive trade paperback copies in the US. They released:
There were also plans to release Secret of the Great Pyramid in 2 volumes, and then The Yellow Mark, but the company went under before they could get a chance to realize them.
Cinebook Ltd have been publishing English language translations of Blake and Mortimer since 2007. The following volumes have been released to date:
Further volumes are scheduled as follows:
The album The Time Trap was adapted into a radio play in 1962.
In 1997, the company Ellipse made an animated series containing 26 episodes, which made up 13 stories, 4 of which were entirely new and not based on existing books.
Several attempts have been made to adapt The Yellow M to film, although none has been successful. Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia announced that he was working on an adaptation of the comic to be released around 2010; this project never came to fruition. At one point, it was rumored that Hugh Laurie and Kiefer Sutherland were to play Blake and Mortimer respectively. Since then, however, nothing has come of this project.
In 2014, French publisher Ystari Games released the deduction and social table top board game Blake & Mortimer: Witness.
In 2011, French publishers Dargaud and Anuman Interactive launched the first video game adapted from the Blake and Mortimer series. Blake and Mortimer: The Curse of the Thirty Denarii is a hidden objects game featuring 3D and comic-strip environments.
In popular culture
In 2005, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route, a wall was designed in the Rue du Houblon/ Hopstraat in Brussels which depicts the cover of The Yellow "M". The wall was designed by G. Oreopoulos and D. Vandegeerde.
Blake and Mortimer have made cameo appearances in various comic book series; particularly those series that are set in the same period of history, the twilight of the British Empire. The cameos are often a tribute to their creator, Edgar P. Jacobs.
Another example is the popular Belgian comic series concerning the adventures of MI5 agent Colonel Clifton. Clifton once featured in a story entitled Jade, published in 2003. In it he meets two characters called Blake and Mortimer, though even as caricatures they bear little resemblance (perhaps deliberately) to Jacob's originals. The story includes elements from the original books, such as the entrance to the secret passage from S.O.S. Météores and the cave that doubles as a submarine base in L'Affaire Francis Blake.
In 2005 Dargaud published a parody entitled Menaces sur l'Empire ("The Empire Under Threat"). This was a humorous presentation of the adventures of Blake and Mortimer and was certainly not part of the canon (in fact, the space reserved for the series' title reads "Les Aventures de Philip et Francis" as opposed to "Les Aventures de Blake et Mortimer"). Jokes included:
Tigresse Blanche (White Tigress) by Yann and Conrad is another Belgian comic series featuring the adventures of a Chinese Communist woman spy in post-World War II China. It features a British agent, Sir Francis Flake, whose friend (based on Mortimer) gets drunk on the announcement of Indian independence.