The heart of the Brussels Comic Strip Festival will be under the big top in Parc de Bruxelles/Warandepark. Many activity booths, workshops, exhibitions, comic book signings, conferences, and much more will welcome young and old alike from September 2-4, 2016.
In addition to the five major publishing houses, and tens of small and micro publishers, the many merchants and BD booksellers and 250 authors present, the chapters of the Comic Festival will bubble with cultural, recreational and professional activities on first weekend of September. This year, the Comic Festival aims to launch on the discovery of the ninth art of close or distant lands.
An international pavilion will welcome representatives from more than ten countries around the world, as well as their authors, their works and their curiosities.
For the third consecutive year, the Comic Festival programme is complemented by a double series of conferences, hosted by the authors and designers of all backgrounds. This year, the first series is entitled “Comics around the world”. Quebec, the guest of honour this year, and the participants of the International Pavilion will host discussions, round tables and presentations to lead visitors through the culture of the ninth art. The second series, “When Comics become teachers”, analyses how comics can offer everyone current topics, society matters and sometimes complex science.
BD Schools and Academy
Belgium has been the birthplace of many comic heroes and indispensable authors. Today, many aspiring artists seek to go out in search of adventure and become, who knows, the next Peyo, Hergé or Edward P. Jacobs. Several Belgian or international high schools help these people to embark on their professional ambition. The Tournai Academy of Fine Arts, the Professional School of Contemporary Arts (Switzerland), the school of Saint-Luc in Brussels (Numerical Arts) and the Academy of Watermael-Boitsfort and Châtelet will present their programme and their teaching in the chapters.
Thanks to the cooperation of specialised galleries, Brussels area museums, and publishing houses, a number of free exhibitions will pop up under the big top. These vital partners are also bringing the renowned exhibitions and retrospectives of their author. It’s a chance to discover unexpected gems or original drawings! For example, Zinezone, which each year exhibits independent authors from the alternative comic world, will present an exhibition of sixty original boards and drawings of nearly sixty square metres, which will trace the 25-year history of Éditions Cornelius. La Petite Bédéthèque des Savoirs, a didactic collection combining the knowledge of specialists with designer talent, decrypts subjects in fields as diverse as history, science, religion, philosophy, literature, pop culture, etc. This concept can be discovered in an interactive exhibition in the chapters.
The the Tardioli-Cauwenberghs universe will display its collections of hand-made works in limited series, inspired by the world of Belgian comics. We will especially come across their Espadon, from the adventures of Blake and Mortimer, and their fascinating Face to Face collection, with duels between characters from Belgian comics. PIXI, the famous manufacturer of metal figures, will be there in person. The Jeu de Bulles gallery in Brussels will also flaunt its impressive collection of pieces from the world of Hergé. Finally, the 22 cartoonists of The Cartoonist will celebrate the comic strip and its heroes in their exhibition, with which they have grown up and frequently referred to in their own drawings.
And this is but a brief selection: the Centre belge de la bande dessinée, The Cartoonist, BD Enchères, Banque Dessinée, 501st FanWars Garrison and the 9th Art Gallery also provide a nice compilation of the most original surprises.
Workshops and entertainment
In addition to the necessary Spirou Festival and entertainment and games planned for the 70 years of Lombard, an infinity of other options are available to all festival-goers. Those who want to laugh uproariously can relax in the spectacle of the improvisation of the actors of the Ligue d’Impro, led by Quebec’s designers. Those who like to see things large can admire the giant fresco which Frank Pé will make during the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. Those who want to engage in the delicate art of caricature can follow the advice of the Atelier 24. Finally, the “geeks” and fans of manga can meet in Belgotaku to hunt for manga treasure, to read or to learn to draw the Japanese way. For the most avid of new horizons, the International Pavilion will reveal the comic in all its diversity.
Finally, toddlers and youth will see their creativity challenged; they will have fun tinkering, becoming revampers or by colouring in the Kids Zone, or learn the ropes of humorous comics by creating their own board at the Macadam Valley stand. The more adventurous will visit the “Sky High Survival”, an inflatable structure over six metres high erected by Éditions Kana.