BRUSSELS, Belgium – From 2 to 4 September, Brussels and the Parc de Bruxelles in particular will be bubbling with the ninth art during the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. Each year publishing houses come from far and near to take part in this not-to-be-missed event for fans of cartoon strips. At this seventh edition, there will be some forty publishers and 25 authors, for signings, entertainment, talks, games, exhibitions and other craziness.
Le Lombard will play a special role as this publishing house is setting up shop under the marquees of the Comic Strip Festival to celebrate its 70th birthday and hand out its Raymond Leblanc Award to a young creator. Johan de Moor, one of Le Lombard’s emblematic authors, has designed the poster for the 2016 edition.
Under the marquees of the Comic Strip Festival, which will take over the Brussels Park during the first weekend in September, some very famous players from the cartoon strip world will be meeting up. Among the publishers will be all the regulars, such as Dupuis, Dargaux, Casterman, Glénat, Joker, Kana, le Lombard, Urban Comic and many others, plus some great names that will be attending the festival in Brussels for the first time, including Ballon Media and Delcourt-Soleil, while dozens of small publishers will be setting up shop along the aisles of the marquees.
Here is a glimpse of what can be expected from the publishing houses at the beginning of September.
Le Lombard celebrates its 70th birthday
The publishing house that brought the adventures of Tintin, Ducobu, Quick & Flupke, Benoît Brisefer, the Smurfs and Thorgal into the world and was one of the founders of the ninth art’s history in Belgium is celebrating its 70th anniversary. For the occasion, Le Lombard gave carte blanche to one of its major authors, the celebrated Johan De Moor (Ice-Cold Heart, The Cow, etc.) to create the poster for the 2016 Brussels Comic Strip Festival. The publishing house will also be prominently displayed under the marquees and has concocted a very varied programme in a 300 m² space. There will be an exhibition dedicated to the collection La Petite Bédéthèque des Savoirs, a children’s course offered by the Latouche Institute, a plunge into the 2nd World War Resistance movement, plus talks about the adventures of Tintin, a giant Pictionary, animated lectures and contests galore.
During the press conference of the Brussels Comic Strip Festival, Le Lombard will be handing out its own celebrated annual Raymond Le Blanc award for young creators. This is Europe’s biggest award for “young cartoon strip talents”, which offers significant assistance to the winning author at the start of a promising career.
The Spirou Festival organises its third edition
The incredible success of the Spirou Festival since its first edition in 2014 has made it into one of the Brussels Comic Strip Festival’s not-to-be-missed events. In an even larger area than previous years, the meeting of fans of Spirou and Dupuis will only attract more ardent admirers: with book signings by some 40 authors, including Yoann, Zidrou, Feroumont, Kox, Dodier, Janry and Matthieu Reynès, live drawing sessions with portraits by Bercovici, children’s workshops, a show by the Mastodonte workshop, masterclasses, an area dedicated to GROOM, the new Spirou magazine, and an unending selection of entertainment.
Delaf and Dubuc, authors of the world-famous The Bellybuttons, will be the guests of honour at this year’s festival, which is dedicated to Quebec.
Ballon Media will represent Dutch language cartoon strips
For the very first time, a huge area will be reserved for Ballon Media, which will present a wide range of comic strips in Dutch by the publishers Blloan & Ballon Comics, Casterman, Dargaud, Dupuis, Le Lombard and Glénat. There will also bring together both quality graphic novels and unforgettable Belgian cartoon strips with Tintin, Spirou, Largo Winch, XIII, Thorgal, Jommeke and many others.
In addition, to duly celebrate the 70th birthday of Lucky Luke, Ballon Media has also announced some great surprises and signings by well-known names to honour the lonesome cowboy.