Belgium

Belgian Comic Strip Center- a photo essay

While one wouldn’t think it (I know I didn’t), the Belgian people are big on comics. So big in fact that comics are as popular as those things that Belgium is know worldwide for-beer and chocolate. Belgium is the country that gave us the Smurfs (Schtroumpfs in Flemish translates asΒ Whatchamacallit) as well as Tintin, the cute red haired reporter.

The Center is located in a former department store in the capital’s business district and was designed by the famous Belgian art nouveau architect Victor Horta. It shows examples of comic strips in French, Dutch, and English and the range of comic art features includes science fiction, the Wild West, crime and politics, as well as children’s ones.

It’s a neat visit since parts of it make you feel as if you’re actually in a comic strip while others offer a an interesting historical background on this beloved art.

Helpful Hints:
Β 

-Although signage of the displays are in Flemish and French (the two official languages of Belgium), when purchasing your tickets visitors are given handouts which feature descriptions of the exhibits in other languages, English being one of them.

-Admission for adults is 6 Euros, children 3 Euros. The Center is free with the BrusselsCard and is open every day except Monday.

-Purchase something from the gift shop, it really offers high quality goods. We bought some fantastic Tintin postcards as well as a miniature figurine of Papa Smurf and a book, Tintin au Congo (Tintin in the Congo). While I am not fluent in French, it’s always fun to muddle through the pages and see how much I can translate. Not to mention, a book in a language that you don’t speak is always a good incentive to learn it. I love to collect children’s books in other languages.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I knew about Tin Tin (in fact I have a really cool story for you about that…it is long so I will email you) but I had no idea that Smurfs were Belgian. When were you there? We are thinking about making a stop there on our way to Amsterdam when we next take our students…this sounds like a place they would really enjoy. Thanks!

  • Reply
    the red headed traveler
    October 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    LOVE Tintin πŸ™‚ And I’m always up for a good story!

    I had no idea either about the origins of the Smurfs until I visited. Although I think it’s hilarious what Smurfs translates to. It was in 2010 on my honeymoon (nothing says romance like comics do πŸ™‚ Yes, I definitely think students would enjoy it. I think for a lot of Americans, we hear comics and automatically think of Iron Man, Bat Man, etc but in Belgium their comics definitely show more of a “classic” art I feel.

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