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In Search of "Clever Claire" 
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Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 15:58
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Location: Wolverhampton
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If one strip in `Sparky` comic has proved elusive to get data on it is 1968s "Clever Claire" .

This strip only ran nine weeks in the late spring 1968-gone never to return!

I believe it was one of three strips that `Sparky` comic imported from the Belgian studios of Willy Vandersteen that year. The other two were "Big Billy Bigg" which in Belgium was known as `Jerom` and `The Snooks` otherwise `De Familie Snoek`

Those latter two- thanks to Lew Stringer and Ray (Kashgar) I know a bit about. Both were drawn by Eduard De Rop and quite a bit of data on Wiki can be gleaned on both!

But "Clever Claire" is an utter enigma! All I know is it seems to have been drawn by another artist at the Vandersteen studios- Jean Roba (Male) - but nothing else! I have trawled the internet; including biographies of Roba- but no mention of the strip!

If I knew what it's Belian title was, I might have something to go on!

In all truth, I am not hopeful of getting any further with my search for data on "Clever Claire" (Did she only ever have that nine week adventure and no more!?) But, if anyone on the forum might know something; i'd be eternally grateful! :) :)

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20 May 2016, 14:51
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Joined: 09 Nov 2006, 14:15
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Hi Alan,
Sorry I didn't respond to your pm with regard to 'Clever Claire' sooner. It is possible that the reason you aren't having any luck tracking down her origins is perhaps because this nine week Sparky series is all there exists of her and that she may well have been an abandoned project from the Vandersteen studios that wasn't published widely in mainland Europe. Also, the reason you might not be finding her in any catalogue of Jean Roba's art is perhaps because the artist was a Roba copyist employed by the studio to proliferate his popular style.


20 May 2016, 16:32
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Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 15:58
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Location: Wolverhampton
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Thanks for replying here Ray! I thought this would be something of a `mission impossible` . Along with the 1965 fun strip `Minnie Ha-Ha` "Claire" is the most elusive character to get `any` background on.

I did wonder if there might have been more of her as there was with `Billy` (Jerom) and `Snooks` (Famile Snoek) But, as you say Ray, this nine week adventure was most likely all there was! I wonder how Thomsons (in Sparky) came to commission it?

I would have liked to see more of this strip-had more existed!

Thanks again Ray.

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21 May 2016, 10:14
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Joined: 12 Jun 2018, 10:50
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Clever Claire (Kari Lente) was created by Bob Mau, who didn't work for the Vandersteen Studios (same goes for Jean Roba). :!:


14 Jun 2018, 12:02
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Joined: 03 Mar 2006, 15:50
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how are you Alan ? i ain't seen you on here in months i hope you're ok.


14 Jun 2018, 16:50
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rikki-erik wrote:
Clever Claire (Kari Lente) was created by Bob Mau, who didn't work for the Vandersteen Studios (same goes for Jean Roba). :!:

Thanks for the clarification re 'Clever Claire'. It was only speculation that it was a Vandersteen Studios effort as they provided the other strips mentioned.


14 Jun 2018, 17:30
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Joined: 12 Jun 2018, 10:50
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You're welcome! Glad I could help out on this subject since also in some other posts and other websites 'Clever Claire' was incorrectly related to the Vandersteen studios.
As a Vandersteen enthusiast I did enjoy researching all the studio contributions to Sparky.
Are there any other publications in the UK that Vandersteen did contribute to, that anyone of you is aware of?
Thanks :up:


14 Jun 2018, 23:28
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Joined: 23 May 2006, 20:43
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Without seeing an example of the Clever Claire art it is hard to tell but I do remember a long running strip in Princess that looked like it came from overseas. I can't remember the full title but it was (girl's name) the Minx?


15 Jun 2018, 09:12
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