Comic Strip Art, Brussels
You can’t go far in Brussels, or perhaps anywhere in Belgium, without being reminded of one of the most famous Belgians – Tintin and his creator Hergé (not to mention Snowy the dog). I spotted this great mural in a side street near the Mannekin Pis, while the second photo was taken by Chris at the Brussels Midi station. You’ll also find lots of shops selling comic strip books, which are regarded as serious literature here as they are in France.
If you’re interested in this art form you can visit the Belgian Comic Strip Centre in the Rue des Sables. We didn’t have time for a visit but it’s on my list if we ever return to Brussels some day.
The Marolles is set in the former artisans' quarter of the city. You can access the area by a lift which operates near to the Palais de Justice or just walk downhill as we did. The pretty mural looks almost like a real hat shop but it is simply a beautiful painting. The comic strips, usually on the sides of ugly buildings or buildings which are being renovated, are colourful and a lot of fun a very nice touch to brighten up some of the cities less famous streets. The Tourist Office can provide a map of the latest editions.
BRUSSELS : THE BELGIAN CENTRE FOR COMIC STRIP ART
The visit to this museum is a must for two reasons. First of all, the museum is situated in the beautiful Art Nouveau setting of the Waucquez Warehouses. Secondly, one can see here the history of a very typical art form in Belgium: the comic strip.
The Waucquez Warehouses are considered to be one of the masterpieces of the most famous Belgian Art Nouveau architect, Victor HORTA. Horta built the house in 1906 for the Waucquez family who used it for a wholesale cloth business. The building displays beautifully the principles of Horta's architectural style: sunlight filters from the glass ceiling into the central hall, thereby illuminating the rest of the warehouse in a natural way. The Warehouses were restored between 1987 and 1989.
One of the most typical new art forms for Belgium are comic strips. After World War II, most of the Belgians have grown up with Belgian comic strips. One can say that there used to be two schools : the French-language comics ( = Bandes Dessinés) and the Flemish ones (= stripverhalen).
Of the former, the name HERGE stands out as the most important writer. He is the father of the best known Belgian comic strip: TINTIN.
Willy VANDERSTEEN is the most known name of the Flemish school. His most important creation is SUSKE AND WISKE (in English known as Willy and Wanda). Since the 1950's, however, the entire comic strips scene has boomed in Belgium.
This beautiful museum illustrates this '9th art' in Belgium, with sets of enlarged drawings, three-dimensional recreations, etc. One can also learn everything about the birth and the development of a comic strip album. The museum also has a nice shop with albums and gadgets of the different Belgian comic strip heroes.
Zandstraat / Rue des Sables, 20
From 10am to 6pm
Adults : 6,20 € (Euro) per person.
Seniors : 5 € (Euro) per person
Children under 12 : 2,50 € (Euro) per person
Groups : minimum 15 persons : 5 € (Euro) per person.
The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art An art nouveau building houses the world's first Comic Strip Museum which exhibits over 400 original Tintin plates created by Hergé, as well as 25, 000 other cartoon works.
Rue des Sables 20
Trams 90, 92 and 93; bus 38.
This is a street scenary in the Hoogstraat in BXL - in front of the restaurant "Ici Méme"
A golden tip of my friend Ingrid and a memory on strip albums of the most famous belgian cartoonist Hergé.
Hergé - a pseudonym of Georges Remi's initials (G.R.) in reverse (R.G.) - is the creator of the highly popular comic characters.(Kuifje-Tintin and also Quick and Flupke as shown on my photo !)
This is an extremely famous comic strip in Belgium. Created in 1929 by Herege, the story is about TinTin, an adolescent boy reporter/detective and his dog snowy. Their adventures take them all around the globe. They would have made great VT travelers. The comic strip is colorful and vibrant, and extremely cute, without being too sweet. Check out the comic strip museum for souvenirs. You can also buy memorabilia on line. If you are ever in the Paris Metro, you can buy posters from vendors rather cheaply ($2-$5) In the states they will run you quite a bit of money. Great decor for a little boys room. Better prices on-line. Check out the very well designed website listed below. Go to the list of characters. Great for kids and adults alike.
A common image in most cities, is the presence of someone painted in white, trying to imitate a known statue or figure. It's a job, like many other, with variable quality, inviting people to deposit a coin in front of it.
We saw in Brussels a very uncommon statue, trying to represent Van Gogh, but in a so unbalanced position that no one could ever stay put for more than half a second. But he did.
It was great the admiration of the public, trying to discover the inevitable rigid structure under the coat to support it. No one could find anything, and he really didn't even blink. And the coins kept falling!
I had a comment to my friends - "It's a doll, and by nightfall the owner will pick it and the money". Everybody smiled at the idea, and we kept moving.
Coming back from lunch, the surprise, and the confirmation that I was right: The real living statue was already there, side-by-side with the dummy, and not too quiet - his hand didn't stop, with the international gesture calling for money.
Comic strips and animations are Belgian tradition. This is seriously taken as one of the arts. In Brussels you can visit the Center for Comics strip (20, Rue des Sables). My picture from the museum shows the famous hero Tintin with his dog Milou. You can also try the 'Comic Strip Tour': current Belgian cartoon artists painted original murals on the walls of certain buildings in the center of town.
This is Tintin and Snowy at the comic strip centre ...and also go to the Boutique of Tintin, near Grand'Place (in front of entrance of Agora Galleries).
TINTIN was born on January 1929. He was the brainchild of Geroges Rémi, alias HERGE. Others caracters of this comic is the dog SNOWY, Captain HADDOCK and the scientist (?) Professor TOURNESOL.
Tintin is translated in many languages. Really good legendary comic strip !
Walking around the center of the city is some times like being in a comic ...:) I founded over 7 or more comic wall paints ...