Whilst Tintin and his dog Snowy’s appeal is universal and enduring (Spielberg is currently making a trilogy of his adventures in 3D), there are plenty of other Belgium cartoonists whose work will be familiar to you; Jijé, Morris (who invented the lovable cowboy Lucky Luke), Frank Pé of Brousaille fame, the smurfs creator Peyo and many more besides have made Belgium synonymous with the ‘clean line’ style of comic strip art.
There are many places in the centre of Brussels that pay homage to these early auteurs of animation, from Museums to bookshops to street art. Here are few suggestions:
Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art, Rue des Sables 20, Tel. (0)2 219 1980
Located in an emblematic art nouveau building, the Centre of Comic Strip Art is actually many museums in one. ‘The Birth of the Comic Strip’ illustrates its journey, from conception for publication, whilst ‘The Museum of Imagination’ honours the art’s heroes. The centre’s library contains the largest collection of books on the subject to be found anywhere in the world.
Marc Sleen Museum, Rue des Sables 31-33, Tel. (0)2 219 19 80
Just down the road from the Centre of Comic Strip Art, this small museum (located in an old newspaper office) shows the work of post-war political cartoonist and visual commentator Marc Sleen, creator of ‘The Adventures of Nero’.
La Maison de la Bande Dessinée, Boulevard de l’Impératrice, 1, Tel. (0)2 502 94 68
The best comic bookshop in central Brussels, with a permanent exhibition space on the work of Jijé and huge selection of comic books (both past and present) and assorted paraphenalia. The most celebrated of Brussels’ numerous comic strip murals are both located on the corner of rue Plattesteen and rue du Marché Chabón. On one side, is the looming figure of Frank Pé´s most famous character Brousaille and his girlfriend crossing the very same street, whilst on the other is Francis Carin’s secret agent Victor Sackville in the same, immediate setting, though depicting the street as it was in WW1.
Not far away of rue de l’Etuve, Tintin himself can be seen running down a fire escape with Snowy and Captain Haddock.