BRUSSELS, Belgium – Running from 2 – 4 September, the Brussels Comic Strip Festival will take place under the marquees in the Parc de Bruxelles as well as outside. Brussels will show more than ever that it deserves the title of comic strip capital. Comic strip walls, museums, and bookstores will be in the spotlight while special comic strip activities will pop up around Brussels throughout the weekend and beyond.
Once again this year, the whole of Brussels will be decked out in comic strip colours for the first weekend of September. The occasion to highlight the fact that Brussels is bursting with can’t-miss comic strip places: whether it is the 53 comic strip walls scattered around the city, the numerous specialised bookstores and museums, ninth art lovers have found their headquarters.
Comic strip hot spots connected by the Little Train and the Comic Strip Pass
Everyone in the Brussels ninth art world is coming together for the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. A Little Train will link these hotspots throughout the weekend. Free of charge, it will make its way through the streets of Brussels from the Brussels Comic Strip Festival’s marquee entrance. It will take visitors on a tour several kilometres in length, passing by, or stopping at, the Comic Strip Museum, the MoOF (Museum of Original Figurines), the Korean Cultural Centre which will present its second comic strip exhibition, comic strip walls, specialised bookstores, and other points of interest.
A free Comic Strip Pass comes with this tour and offers discounts at museums and stores.
Free guided tours
Another way to explore these comic strip sites is to take advantage of the free guided tours led by professional guides specialising in comic strips. On one hand, there will be a walking tour of comic strip murals dotting the European capital: over the course of an hour and a half, the guides will share the unique history of the murals, these sections of abandoned walls decorated with comic strip themes.
On the other hand, there will be a three-hour bicycle tour departing from, and returning to BIP (Brussels Info Place) that runs to Laeken, off the beaten path, and visits jewels like the Corto Maltese mural and the Parc de Laeken.
The tours are available in French, Dutch, and English at regular intervals throughout the day.
Special Comic Strip Festival activities
Aside from all that, original activities and random events are worthy of mention.
The Improv League, in addition to its performances under the marquees, will offer fans the chance to take full advantage of two weekend performances at the Marni Theatre. The Improv Match will obviously be enhanced with the concept of randomness: along with three comedians, the show will include two cartoonists. Together, they will share a funny improvisational moment, combining theatre and drawing.
The Cinematek will also play along by presenting a comic strip film each day during the Brussels Comic Strip Festival weekend. Personalities from the comic strip world whose works inspired the film or vice versa will introduce “Paul in Quebec,” “The Army of the Twelve Monkeys,” and “Planet of the Vampires.” The films will be shown in their original language with subtitles in French and Dutch or English.
In the city from 2 to 10 September, City 2 will honour the heroes of Spirou and the Spirou Journal; the Belgian Comic Strip Centre invites young and old on a guided tour of the “Frank Pé – Passions of a Faun” exhibition by the author himself; at the Brussels Francophone Parliament, a retrospective exhibition celebrates ten years of the Raymond Leblanc Prize; the Korean Cultural Centre presents a Belgian-Korean exhibition about the two countries on the theme of “Our Parents’ Lives”; the Japanese Embassy’s Cultural and Information Centre will host an exhibition that invites spectators to meditate on the idea of manga through a comparison of works from different periods; finally, 64_pages, designed as a springboard for young authors, offers them the opportunity to display their works at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre’s Gallery.