Published on August 1st, 2019 | by James Drew0
Brussels Comic Festival set to hit town
Calling the huge army of comic fans in Belgium– the country’s annual comic festival is back! From 13 to 15 September, the Brussels Comic Festival will showcase lots of new creations, writes Martin Banks.
For this, the tenth festival, in addition to signing sessions and the wonderful giant-balloon parade, the festival is putting on a number of exclusive exhibitions, talks and shows.
Whether it’s a fun exhibition, the ‘Women’s Voices’ meeting or a drawing battle, there promises to be something for all tastes and all ages.
This year, the festival has chosen the French author Catherine Meurisse as the patron for the third Prix Atomium.
She was a cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo for more than ten years and the author, most notably, of the graphic novels La Légèreté and Les Grands Espaces, published by Dargaud in 2015 and 2018, respectively. She will be present at the festival’s award ceremony on Saturday 14 September at BOZAR.
Brussels Park will once again be home to the festival on 13, 14 and 15 September and, in addition to the now staple giant-balloon parade, the event brings comic fans together for talks, exhibitions, shows, signing sessions and many other activities which everyone can enjoy.
Here,below, is an overview of the exhibitions, talks and shows which span the festival weekend.
CHILDREN OF THE RESISTANCE
It’s spring 1944, and an allied pilot is lost in occupied Belgium… Put yourselves in the shoes of a child from the Resistance so that you can help him get back to England so that he can get back to fighting!
This fun exhibition is based on the Children of the Resistance series by Benoît Ers and Vincent Dugomier. It has been put together especially for a young audience (8-12 years) and gives little ones an educational look at the main themes behind World War Two and the Resistance in France and Belgium, in order to help them understand them. A treasure hunt gives children the chance to step into the shoes of a member of the Resistance: throughout the exhibition, they must solve clues to help the allied pilot get back to England.
A co-production: Le Lombard and the Brussels Comic Festival (visit.brussels)
Venue: BELvue Museum
Dates: 7 August to 6 October
The “Son of Tintin” exhibition evokes the atmosphere of Doel and Rwanda, thanks to Jeroen Janssen’s original drawings.
This Belgian comic artist won the 2018 Adhemar Prize and, in this exhibition, he showcases his notebooks, which are both a real treasure and workshop. Inside them, he has written down the different stories that he has gathered during his investigations, along with sketches.
A co-production: the Brussels Comic Festival (visit.brussels) and Stripgids.
Venue: BELvue Museum – Place des Palais, 7 – 1000 Brussels
Dates: 13 September to 22 September
SPIROU AND BRUSSELS UNDER OCCUPATION
This exhibition gives you the opportunity to venture into the world of Émile Bravo’s Spirou and the Second World War!
It creates a parallel between the “Hope Despite Everything” series and historical documents attesting acts of resistance from the Spirou Comic and from its editor-in-chief Jean Doisy. It gives you an opportunity to discover Émile Bravo’s most beautiful pages from albums from the Hope Despite Everything series, but also learn more about the Spirou Comic, which stopped being published during the Second World War for Resistance efforts. It’s also worth noting that the second volume of Hope Despite Everything will appear in the versions published by Dupois for the Brussels Comic Festival.
A co-production: the Brussels Comic Festival (visit.brussels), the Brussels Parliament and the Dupois and BIP publishers.
Venue: BIP (experience.brussels) – Rue Royale, 2-4 – 1000 Brussels
Dates: 13 September to 28 November
Price: €4 adults / €3 seniors / €1 student / free under 6s – free from 13 to 15 September.
BLAKE & MORTIMER TALK
Meeting put on by the publisher Dargaud François Schuiten will take part in a special talk on the legendary duo, along the series’ various artists. It’s a unique opportunity to talk about Edgar P. Jacobs’ work and the influence that it still has today on comic strip artists. Questions will be answered on topics such as the original work, or the focus of this last chapter on Brussels.
There will be a random audience-member draw and the winners will get to have an autograph from the authors after the talk.
Venue: STUDIO room at BOZAR
Date: Saturday 14 September at 14h
WOMEN’S VOICES MEETING
Lili Sohn, Juliette Boutant, Thomas Mathieu and Aude Mermilliod provide a female account of the world, when women use comics as a platform to describe the world through their eyes.
Aude Mermilliod, working alongside the novelist Martin Winckler, will have the opportunity to break her silence on abortion, which is still a taboo subject and which she skilfully discusses in her album “I had to tell you about it.” Juliette Boutant and Thomas Mathieu will discuss the issue of sexism in our society, in light of the album The Crocodiles.
Finally, Lili Sohn, author of Vagin tonic, will go into detail about how she deals with major female issues, as she humorously does in Mamas, a brief summary of deconstructing the maternal instinct.
The meeting is put on by the publisher Casterman. It has been put together in collaboration with Ladyfest, Elle Belgique, Beabee and Touche Pas A Ma Pote.
Venue: STUDIO room at BOZAR
Date: Saturday 14 September at 16h30.
NOW THAT’S A COMIC! – Bapt & Gaël, Baba
Show arranged in partnership with the publisher Lombard.
A wild and really fun drawing battle featuring the famous Youtubers Youtubers Bapt & Gaël and Baba. Visitors will also be able to discover their new album Now that’s a comic! (published by Lombard), which will be available for the first time at the Brussels Comic Festival. But that is not all! A few lucky winners in a draw will be able to meet Bapt & Gaël and Baba, and enjoy a small snack with them after the show.
Venue: M Room at BOZAR
Date: Saturday 14 September at 15h.
For more information and here.