You may be 7 or 77, comics lovers enjoy! Comic Festival is back. Where else then in Brussels. Brussels is the comic strip capital and never stops proving it. There is no shortage of possibilities: visiting the museums and exhibitions; strolling around the many specialist galleries and bookshops; heading off to discover the 47 comic strip murals located all over Brussels; and even eating and sleeping comics … there’s plenty to do for lovers of the 9th art! That’s where legends like Tintin took birth and keep enjoying people around world.
In 2014, Brussels is going to experience a highly colorful weekend from 5-7 September, with its now famous Comics Festival, but also Comics Night taking place in the Parc de Bruxelles, the Balloon’s Day Parade, the Tintin Journal Rally, guided visits and comics exhibitions at the festival and throughout the city. During this one-off weekend, the Parc de Bruxelles will welcome museums, exhibitions, publishers, bookshops, boutiques and signing sessions.
Our paper heroes are everywhere: bookshops, wall murals, exhibitions, art galleries, television, even Hollywood has fallen under their spell: on 21 October 2011 the world premiere of Steven Spielberg’s cinema adaptation of Tintin took place in Brussels whilst the Smurfs, strengthened by their initial success, will be reappearing this summer. The Comics Festival was created in 2010 by the Brussels-Capital Region as the logical continuation of the comic strip themed year organized in Brussels in 2009.
Comic strips lovers will be able to visit bookshops, publishers, museums, exhibitions, boutiques and numerous animations for both adults and children. And similar to the Flower Carpet, this year the Comic Strip Festival is also turning the spotlight on Turkey! As part of the celebrations to mark 50 years of Turkish immigration to Belgium, the not-for-profit association Plateforme 50 is joining forces with the Comic Strip Festival to put on a special program covering the whole weekend: conferences, book-signing sessions, exhibitions, etc. Comic strips from Turkey will be the guest of honour at the 2014 event!
This year, the Comic Strip Festival is focusing on the history of the Comic Strip as well as the current scene! Dozens of authors and storywriters will be numerous conferences on a very topical general theme: “When reality and the Comic Strip meet”. More than a hundred authors will be lining up in the Comic Strip Festival marquees to sign your favourite albums and to unveil their latest masterpieces! The Comic Strip Festival is also a great time to make the most of the many free exhibitions in the marquees, thanks to the involvement of Brussels’ museums (Belgian Comic Strip Center, MOOF, and others), leading Belgian publishing houses (Dupuis, Lombard, Graton, etc.) or independent publishers for you to discover! Plenty of fun and creative activities will delight comic book lovers … there’ll be something for everyone!
On Friday and Saturday evening, the Parc de Bruxelles will be a riot of colour to celebrate the comic strip thanks to a brand new Comic Strip Nights concept! Along the walkways and in the middle of the fountains, several sound-and-light shows will enchant young and old alike.
Balloon’s Day Parade
For the seventh consecutive year, the Balloon’s Day Parade will fill the streets of Brussels to the sound of accompanying fanfares. Escorted by a Police parade and folklore groups, the route taken by the Balloon’s Parade will start once again on the Place des Palais, where the public will first of all be able to see the giant balloons representing the different Belgian comic strip characters, ending up at Place De Brouckère.
Tintin Magazine Rally
Nearly 80 cars and motorbikes depicted in comic strip illustration plates will come to life on Sunday at the Comic Strip Festival! This extraordinary rally will drive around the streets of Brussels before being appraised, on reaching Place des Palais, by a special panel of judges. The cars can then be admired on Place des Palais for the rest of the day.
Tardi and The Great War
As part of the events commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the 1914-18 war, Bozar is hosting a big exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest masters of contemporary comic strip, Jacques Tardi. Well-known for the Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec and the Nestor Burma series and for his work on the First World War, in the last thirty years or so he has become a key figure in French language comic strip.