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A lot for comic lovers in Brussels this year


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When it comes to Comics, no country celebrates the 9th art like Belgium. This year once again, European capital Brussels is honouring the bande dessinée with a number of key events. Such an array of activities would be impossible to overlook. From the
unmissable comics festival to the book fair, taking in the Smurf Experience, the capital of the 9th art is honouring it more than ever this year.

From its early beginnings in the 19th century, the Belgian bande dessinée or comic strip has garnered truly worldwide fame. Many comic illustrators and scriptwriters from our country, and Brussels artists in particular, have earned recognition far beyond our borders. As the acknowledged capital of the comic, Brussels has continually honoured the 9th art: museums, galleries, markets, festivals and specialist stores dedicated purely to the bande dessinée.

To promote this rich comic heritage, Brussels and Belgian comic artists will be there in force again at the 45th Angoulême International Comic Festival. And, thanks to the support of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Belgian publishers and authors will have the pleasure of unveiling their works to their audience in Angoulême. 2018 is also “Smurf Year” culminating in the organisation of one exceptional event: The Smurf Experience. Aside from the comics festival taking place from 14–16 September, the Belgian capital is offering a series of activities centring on the 9th art right through the year, a taste of which is to follow.

The Smurfs are celebrating their 60th birthday

It all began back in 1958. These tiny blue creatures, fruit of Peyo’s imagination, first appeared in another series by the same author, ” Johan and Pirlouit “, and instantly won the hearts of readers demanding new stories about the Smurfs. In 2018, they will be celebrating their 60th birthday.

This Smurfantastic year will be marked by several events: the 5th iconic Brussels Airlines aircraft will be taking off with a Smurf makeover, a gigantic comic mural will be inaugurated at the heart of the capital and a surprise will be unveiled on the Grand-Place of Brussels. Moreover, the Smurfs share a birthday with another symbol of Brussels, the Atomium which is also celebrating its 60th birthday, with another surprise to mark this double celebration. Lastly, there will be a thrills at the Belgian National Day festivities (21 July) at the 20 km Brussels and at the Vandamme Memorial athletics championship – with the highlight being the holding of a special event: The Smurfs, an immersion experience.

The new Flemish comic strip

The new Flemish comic festival brings together a string of talented authors, who are all developing their own individual style. However, their artistic differences do not stop these hungry young artists from sharing the same ambition: conquering the world (of the comic strip). They include Brecht Evens, Nix, Olivier Schrauwen, Pieter de Poortere, Simon Spruyt and Judith Vanistendael. Translated into several languages, they are renowned for their illustrating and scriptwriting qualities, both in Belgium and internationally.

Dates : until 03/06/2018

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Chinese comic panorama

While the oldest illustrated Chinese book dates from 868, well before Gutenberg invented the printing press, the manhua (Chinese comic strip) really began to take off in the first half of the 20th century, as it did in Belgium. Mr Wang, the first serial comic strip hero, appeared in 1929, the same year as Tintin. And Sanmao, the most famous Chinese comic strip character, was created in 1935, at the same time as ” the Blue Lotus “, Tintin’s adventure in China! Yet the Chinese comic strip also includes the lianhuanhua, which has its origins in a thousand- year tradition of storytelling through images.

Dates : 13/02/2018 > 09/09/2018

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Everybody loves Tintin

The comic strip will be exhibiting at the Brussels Book Fair

At its Imaginary Palace, the Brussels Book Fair will be offering wonderful live drawing sessions featuring the stars of the 9th art such as Enki Bilal, Benoît Sokal or François Boucq. This workshop will offer an opportunity for a total immersion in the world of comic strip artists with multimedia screenings. At the Comix Factory, visitors will also get a chance to enjoy the buzz of a drawing studio and to learn more about the comic strip of tomorrow, somewhere between tradition and the digital world. Don’t miss : the Comics Night on 23 February. This festive evening will be inviting all authors present to take part in an impressive mural that will impress everybody.

Dates : 22 > 25/02/2018

Location : Tour & Taxis

The Smurf Experience

60 years after their creation, 2018 will be “Smurf Year” culminating in an exceptional highlight event: The Smurf Experience. The world conceived by Peyo will come to life through a series of unique experiences, taking place over a full-immersion circuit. An unforgettable family experience will also be highlighting Smurf values: friendship, tolerance, working together, respect for others and nature. The wonderful world of the Smurfs will extend over 1500 m2. Using holograms, enhanced reality or Kinect effects, both children and adults will learn about the customs of this restless and peaceful tribe, even when they are threatened by their sworn enemy, the infamous Gargamel, who will not rest until he has erased this haven of peace from the face of the earth! And the little ones will get a chance to fulfil their dream of experiencing a real Smurf adventure in Smurf skin and at Smurf scale.

Dates : 09/06/2018 > 29/01/2019

Location : Brussels Expo

Catel : Women’s careers in drawing

Catel has become, in just two decades, a big celebrity in the the French-language comic strip scene, through her portraits of famous women. The Strasbourg-born artist started out by illustrating a number of comic books and annuals for children before drawing her first fictionalised biographies. Meeting the author and screenplay writer José-Louis Bocquet would have a formative effect on the trajectory of her work. Together, they would tackle an album dedicated to Edith Piaf. The graphic novels “Kiki de Montparnasse”, “Olympe de Gouges” and “Joséphine Baker” would follow. She will be meeting Benoîte Groult and talking about the life of Rose Valland and also Mylène Demongeot. Somewhere between graphic literature and comic strip, Catel has earned a retrospective at the Comic Strip Museum.

Dates : 19/06/2018 > 25/11/2018

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Magasin Général

Magasin Géneral (General Store) is series drawn and written by Régis Loisel and Jean-Louis Tripp. The two colleagues combined their talents from 2006 to 2014 in creating, in nine instalments (or volumes!), a moving village symphony, which brings 1920s rural Quebec marvellously to life. As funny as it is sweet.

Dates : 25/09/2018 > 10/03/2019

Location : Comic Strip Museum

Urbanus

In the early 80s, the Belgian illustrator Willy Linthout dreamt up a comic strip based on the Belgian comic Urbanus. « Het fritkotmysterie » (or the chip shop mystery) is the first album in a saga that would run for more than 170 episodes. Purposefully loud, with its absurd characters and amazing story lines, it was enormously successful. Welcome to the surrealist universe of Urbanus!

Dates : 11/12/2018 > 26/05/2019

Location : Comic Strip Museum

The Brussels Comics Festival, the 9th fair for the ninth art !

Since its launch in 2010, the Comics Festival has become the essential meeting point for all comics lovers. Young and old, amateurs or specialists, everyone shares a passion for the ninth art and each year they meet at various activities put on for them. Last year, in 2017, the Comics Festival presented the Atomium Comic Strip Prize for the first time. This was Brussels’ way of showing its support for creative endeavour, bringing together existing initiatives by awarding these prizes, the majority of which were presented as cash prizes to enable the winners to finance their work. In total, at least 100,000 euros in prize money was given out to 7 artists.

Given the notable success of this first round, prizes are being awarded again this year with some new features to be announced shortly.

Dates : 14 > 16 /09/2018

Location : Brussels Park

BALLOON DAY PARADE & TINTIN RALLY

Cars on the stroll!

The comic figure giant balloon parade will be taking over the capital on the weekend of the Comics Festival. The spectacular balloon inflation will begin in the morning. In the afternoon, Spirou, Tintin, Le Chat, Boule, Lucky Luke and their new friends will start their annual game and will be taking over the main streets of Brussels. It will then be the turn of the ancestors of the Tintin Rally to sweep into the capital ending their journey on the Place des Palais.

Date : Comics Festival

Location : Brussels city centre

So, lot to love in these comic characters celebrated in Belgium like nowhere else. Many events to plan in advance. Just be there, if you love comics.

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Balloon’s Day Parade, Tintin Rally to end Brussels’ summer on a high note

Balloon’s Day Parade

As it does each year, the month of September in Brussels will start with a bang as the 8th annual Brussels Comic Strip Festival gets under way. To mark the occasion, the European capital’s streets will be cheerfully decked out in the thousand and one colours of the “Balloon’s Day Parade.” At the same time, the Tintin Magazine Rally will bring its share of activities and new attractions to make this latest edition a real party.

Everybody loves Tintin

New happenings this year

  • A Gaston balloon will appear at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival to celebrate his 60th birthday
  • The Ducobu balloon will also make its parade debut this year.
  • This year the Comic Strip Rally will specially feature cars ripped right from the pages of the Tintin and Spirou magazines.
  • Instead of the customary single kick-off, there will be four starts this coming Sunday, 3 September.
Comics have no age bar

Since its debut in 2010, the Brussels Comic Strip Festival has become the main event for comics fans. Young and old, novices and experts, all share a passion for the ninth art and come together each year to participate in the variety of activities on offer.

Great occasion for kids to learn
Children get to have first hand experience of drawing cartoons

On Sunday, 3 September, comics fans will eat, sleep, and breathe Belgian comics thanks to the seamless combination of the “Balloon’s Day Parade” and the Tintin Magazine Rally. The parade of giant comics character balloons will invade the capital early in the afternoon. Next, the forerunners of the Tintin Magazine Rally will reach the capital, ending their journey on Place des Palais.

Writers are there to sign the books
Artists are there to give some lessons in sketching
There is art of sculpture of cartoon characters
And cartoon characters themselves in live
There are games to play, from angry birds…
…to simpsons on play machines
There is everything from billboards…
… to food stalls, loved by everyone!

Balloon’s Day Parade

Once again this year, the “Balloon’s Day Parade,” will roll through the streets for nearly two hours. This time two new balloons, Docobu and Gaston, will be delighted to take part in the procession. The spectacular balloon inflation will begin in the morning on Place des Palais.

Parade of the balloons
a big pomp and show!

Over the course of the afternoon, Spirou, Tintin, Le Chat, Boule, Blork de Kid Paddle, Lucky Luke, and their new friends will begin their annual promenade and take over Brussels’ main arteries. During this latest edition, schools (circus, music, sport, etc.) from all over Belgium will be in charge of the parade.

Tintin Magazine Rally

All the Tintin’s cars!

Since its first running in 2013, the Tintin Magazine Rally has become an essential event at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. This year the rally will take place once again and Tintin Magazine will host Spirou Magazine. In all, about 100 collectors’ cars will participate. In another significant new development, the event will start at four different locations: Lier, Verviers, Jumet, and Anderlecht.

Cars on the stroll!

On Sunday, 3 September, period cars that have appeared in Tintin Magazine and Spirou Magazine since 1946 will lead the way. At about 2 PM, after completing a nearly 100 kilometre course, these legendary cars will arrive on Place des Palais. It’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse in the comics of yesteryear and rediscover these rare gems.

with all the characters!

Two people per car will be invited to dress up and join the rally and take part in a meal among fans. At the end of the rally, a panel will award prizes to the teams and cars that were the most faithful to the two magazines’ original illustrations.

…also top of the class designs!

So if you are fascinated with anything related to comics and cartoons or want to give your cartoon loving kids a treat, than plan a trip to Brussels this September.

More than 100,000 comics lovers meet in Brussels

Stripfeest
Stripfeest

The 5th Comics Festival, an initiative of the Brussels-Capital Region’s Government with the support of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, the City of Brussels and COCOF (College of the French Community Commission)  and organised by visit.brussels, came to an end Sunday last and was a great success.

On Friday and Saturday evening, the Comic Strip Nights in the Park of Brussels were a real hit. The drawing concerts, the water shows and the open air cinema all managed to captivate the audience.

Balloon Parade
Balloon Parade

On Saturday afternoon, the Place des Palais was the venue for the start of the Balloon’s Day Parade, a parade of helium-filled balloons inspired by the American tradition, but Brussels’ version was mainly made up of comic book characters. This year, Tintin, Kid Paddle, Boule and Spirou were joined by Lucky Luke.

Once again this year, Moulinsart joined forces with the Comic Strip Festival to whisk visitors away into the world of our favourite little reporter. More than 60 classic cars and bikes featured in the Tintin stories were on show this Sunday 7 September. The rally set off on a journey around some of the comic book highlights of Brussels, taking in the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve as well. The vehicles ended up in the Place des Palais, where a panel of judges from Moulinsart awarded the prizes for the cars that best matched Hergé’s drawings.

Stripfeest
Stripfeest

Last but by no means least, the Comics Festival –which for the first time took place in the Park of Brussels – enchanted young and old alike under a 3,000m² marquee, bringing together Brussels’ bookshops and comic book collectors including the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, the MOOF, Forbidden Zone, the Musée Hergé, the Spirou Festival and more than 150 different authors.

Come! Drive to the Tintin rally

Tintin RallyOnce again this year, Moulinsart is joining forces with the Comics Festival to whisk visitors away into the world of our favourite little reporter. More than 60 classic cars and bikes featured in the Tintin stories will be on show on Sunday 7 September. The theme will be like last year, the Journal Tintin . The rally will be setting off on a journey around some of the comic book highlights of Brussels, taking in the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve as well. The vehicles will end up in the Place des Palais, where they will stay for the rest of the day so that members of the public can take the opportunity to admire them.

There are still places available so if you own a vehicle that was featured in Tintin’s adventures between 1946 and 1993, you still have time to apply to take part in the rally. Given the huge success of the first rally, this year more than 60 vehicles are due to take part in the event. At the end of the race, a panel of judges from Moulinsart will award the prizes for the cars that best match Hergé’s drawings.

Herge MuseumIf the file is accepted, the car and two people will be invited to participate in this free wonderful adventure! However, if an applicant can demonstrate that his vehicle – which does not appear in the list – has appeared in the newspaper, he will also be entitled to submit an application. It must indicate: the year of publication, the number of the newspaper and the page bearing his car or his bike.

Rally leaves Brussels at 9am (exact location to be confirmed). The rally will follow a route of about 100km from Brussels (D’Ieteren Gallery) in Brussels, and will step Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve. From 2.30pm – 6pm, there would be a car exhibition in the Place des Palais and judging by the panel. Entry to the rally is absolutely free. A must for all die hard TinTin fans.

Comic festival is coming back!

Comic FestivalYou 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.

Comic stripsIn 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!

Comic FestivalThis 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

Balloon Day ParadeFor 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

Comic StripNearly 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.

 

Comics are right at home in Brussels

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 organised in Brussels in 2009. In 2013, Brussels is going to experience a highly colourful weekend from 5-8 September, with its now famous Comics Festival taking place in Place des Palais, but also a 3D projection mapping on the Place Royale, the Balloon’s Day Parade, the Tintin magazine, guided visits and comics exhibitions at the festival and throughout the city, in particular at the Palais des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) and at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre. During this one-off weekend, the Place des Palais will welcome museums, exhibitions, publishers, bookshops, boutiques and signing sessions.

Brussels most well-known citizen is a comic star
Brussels most well-known citizen is a comic star

Marquee area

All aboard at Place des Palais! Billions of blistering blue barnacles! Comic strips lovers will be able to visit bookshops, publishers, museums, exhibitions, boutiques and numerous animations for both adults and children. Get ready to bump into characters who have stepped straight out of their ‘box’ purely to meet you.

Schedule

Aside from sales of new or second hand comics offered by comic strip sellers and bookshops, marquees will house a number of surprises:

  • exhibitions and animations offered by different comic themed museums in Brussels and its surroundings (Hergé Museum, CBBD (Belgian Comic Strip Centre), Marc Sleen Foundation, Comics Cafe…)
  • space dedicated to Japan, managed by ‘Japan Expo Belgium’: events, exhibitions…
  • a large exhibition thought up by pupils from the Saint-Luc School of Art and the presentation of creations by former students.
  • numerous signings by around a hundred authors from all walks of life thanks in particular to the collaboration of large publishers
  • a multidisciplinary stage which will see both “live” cartoonists as well as a Cosplay competition or “comic strip” musicians tread the boards…
  • guided visits with a theme specially conceived for the Comics Festival

 Guest of honour

In addition, the Comics Festival has the pleasure of welcoming a very special guest in 2013: the Region of Taiwan! The Taiwanese Cultural Centre in Paris is joining the event to present and introduce to the Comics Festival audience the excellent authors from the Region of Taiwan. The public will be able to meet famous artists who will attend in person to sign the works! In this way, the Comics Festival is tying in with the Belgian Comic Strip Centre which from the start of September will be running an exhibition on Maître Chiu, a renowned Taiwanese artist who will also be in attendance at the Festival!

Cinematek

For the first time, Brussels Cinematek is joining the Comics Festival and is offering a special programme for the weekend: two comic strip authors will present a film which has had a significant influence on their work, then will be available for a signing after the session.

Comic strip themed dinner

To celebrate the Comics Festival, take part in an original concept: a colourful dinner to honour our paper heroes! This lively event with a “street food” theme will particularly appeal to children and families. On the menu: exquisite creativity; a cartoon universe and animations rich with drama, al served up in the famed Brussels Food Trucks! To top everything off, diners will also be able to see a sound and light show put on as part of the Comics Festival.

Balloon’s Day Parade

For the sixth 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 at the very heart of the Comics Festival, 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. As in every other year, a new balloon will be created to adorn the Balloon’s Day Parade again.

The “Tintin magazine” car rally

This year, in collaboration with Moulinsart, a rally involving around forty cars and motorcycles represented in the boards of different comic strips from the Tintin magazine will leave from Place des Palais and will then pass through different mythical comic strip places in Brussels and through the Hergé Museum. On their return to Place des Palais, the cars will be evaluated by a jury selected by Moulinsart and the most authentic among them will be officially named “The Tintin magazine car”. The cars will them remain exhibited for the rest of the day to be admired by all!

COMICS SHOW – 3D COMICS LIGHT SHOW

Enormous video projections will be displayed over an area 20 m high by 150 m wide! This homage to the 9th art will use video mapping, a projection technique which enables almost any surface to be transformed into a dynamic video screen. From Tintin to Marsupilami via Blake and Mortimer, the animated characters interact with the architecture of the prestigious façades of the Place Royale in a customised production. This festival show will offer an innovative combination of video, light, 3D, laser, pyrotechnics… 

The little surprise this year: the new mascot of the Brussels Comics Festival! Spectators at the Comics Show will have the opportunity to discover this new character which over the years will become the official emblem of the Comics Festival. And during the first part of this show, two comic strip authors will face each other in a huge, musical “Battle of the Comics” projected onto the façades of Place Royale!

NIGHT-TIME EVENTS

On Friday evening, the comic strip themed museums and bookshops and galleries in the centre of Brussels join in the activities in Place des Palais to ensure a colourful Comics Night! Concerts, exhibitions, signings and a Comics Show, on Friday evening, Brussels will be breathing comic strips! There will be a large Hall of Fame exhibition organised in collaboration with Editions Dupuis which the public can see in the marquee area and different bookshops participating in the night-time events: almost 200 boards showing illustrations of Spirou as seen by 200 well-known authors will scattered around Brussels!

LAUNCH PARTY

On Thursday 5 September, the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) will host the launch part for the Comics Festival! This launch party, which will be attended by professionals from the world of Comics in Brussels, Ministers from Brussels and cultural journalists, will consist of three events in one: the opening of the exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the launch of the Comics Festival and the presenting of the Grand Prix Saint-Michel! In fact, and for the second consecutive year as part of the Comics Festival, the Prix Saint-Michel, the oldest award in the world of Comics in Europe, will be awarded to the winner of the competition: created in 1971 by André Leborgne, this prize has already been awarded to, among others, Edgar Pierre Jacobs, Victor Hubinson, Morris, Hergé, Hugo Pratt and Jijé.