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Comic Strip Route in Brussels
22.05.2024

Friends, fans, big fans and others curious about the wonderful world of comics, please stop by.

Welcome to Brussels, one of the cradles of comics with great characters created here by writers and cartoonists who were born, grew up and imagined in the same streets you are about to walk through.

We're going to show you all the places you should visit if you're into comics or if you're just curious and eager to see street art. From Tintin to the latest murals in Brussels.

Lots of drawings, lots of painting, lots of art and imagination.

 

Comic Strip Route and the Murals of Brussels | From the street to the museum

This is definitely one of the first things you should do in Brussels; the Comic Strip Route. It pays tribute to all the characters that were created there, as well as, of course, their beloved creators.

Lucky Luke, the man faster than his shadow, Tintin, The Smurfs or Spirou are just some of the names that have accompanied our childhood, still follow us in our maturity and even continue to instil in our children.

Tintin, with his incredible and international adventures, was the one who kick-started the heyday of both Belgian and European comics. Hergé, its author, almost unwittingly gave voice to a whole generation of cartoonists who have brightened the lives of millions of people.

We know when these characters, and many more, appeared in our lives, but when did they appear on the streets of Brussels? In 1990, the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, which we will talk about later as it is a must-see, proposed decorating the streets of Brussels with huge frescoes that would serve both to promote the comics and the authors, as well as paying tribute to them.

The measure was a success and, moreover, brought added value to the Belgian capital. Thanks to this, its museums and the numerous actions and events organised by the city, since 2012 Brussels has been the world capital of the ninth art, as the world of comics is known.

In total, Brussels has more than 50 murals spread throughout the city. Each one not only tells the story of an author or his or her creation, but also tells a story about the street where it is located or the neighbourhood. A real museum in the street.

 

Places and Murals of the Comic Strip Route

Grand Place area of the Comic Strip Route

Let's start our route through the most central places that will lead us to truly historic stories and characters. If we combine Brussels and Comic Strip, I think we all know what our first stop will be.

 

The Tintin mural

Rue de l'étuve

The international and immortal Tintin appears with his inseparable Snowy to kick off our tour. Alongside them is Captain Haddock. These three beloved characters are depicted escaping down a flight of stairs. The mural is just a few steps away from the national monument par excellence; Manneken Pis or peeing boy. Two of the best-known figures of both the city and the country, separated by just a few metres.

The Dany Mural

Rue de Chêne

You've already visited Tintin, had your photo taken with the Manneken Pis and tasted some of the best Belgian craft beers in one of the best taverns in Brussels; Poechenellekelder. Although if you're more of a coffee person, you've left the Manneken Pis Café behind at the previous junction.

Next stop? Olivier Rameau's Mural, full of light and fireworks, where Colombe Tiredaile takes us by the hand into a world full of beauty and joy.

The mural of Monsieur Jean

Rue des Bogards 28

Monsieur Jean's mural plays with light and shadow, turning simplicity into art. Monsieur Jean can be seen as an anti-hero figure, and here we see him inside a brasserie surrounded by people drinking beer.

The mural of the twins Kinky and Cosy

19 Rue des Bogards

The Kinky and Cosy Mural is just around the corner. These twins, real destroyers of everything around them, were born from the imagination of the Belgian cartoonist and writer Nix. Here they are in their room, surrounded by references to Belgian culture such as beer, Chips and Brussels sprouts.

Their influence and fame became such that the French newspapers Le Monde signed them for its digital circulation, where they provided users with their particular vision and reaction to current news.

The Schuiten Mural

Rue du Marché au Charbon

Schuiten's Mural is best understood if you are familiar with his work. It appears to be a continuation of the street, with grey columns and buildings in the background beyond the Grand Place. But in reality it is a nod to his own work, where he speaks of secret parallel worlds, with access through walkways known only to a few, masterpieces like Brüsel. Schuiten cannot be understood without Brussels, and Brussels loses a bit of itself if you don't know Schuiten.

Frank Pé's mural

Rue du Marché au Charbon

We are not moving from the street to discover what was the first mural fresco in the city. Broussaille, as the mural is called, was created by the Brussels artist Frank Pé, an artist of enormous technical quality. It conveys dynamism and concepts such as happiness and freedom.

The Carin Mural

Rue Marché au Charbon

We continue along one of the most prolific streets in the whole city of Brussels, which is saying a lot. We meet the British detective and gentleman Victor Sackville, who walks the cobbled streets of the Belgian capital at the beginning of the 20th century, at the height of the First World War. Always in the service of King George V of the United Kingdom and always a gentleman, author Francis Carin takes his obsession with detail to the extreme.

The mural by Ric Hochet

Rue de Bon Secours

Nearby we see a man about to fall, but how many things can be happening in a single second? This timeless nod to Gilbert Gascard, better known by his pseudonym Tibet, is one of the best frescoes in all of Brussels. Ric Hochet is a fantastic detective who will immerse you in a thousand adventures and enigmas.

 

Place Saint-Géry area of the Comic Strip Route

The Yslaire Mural

Rue des Chartreux

A beautiful mural in honour of the impossible love between Julie, a courtesan with money, and poor Bernard Sambre. An Angel observes the sad ending of this love story, set in the middle of the French Revolution, from above. Below, graffiti-style phrases make the visitor read and think. The Angel of Sambre is a delicate, sweet and sad work.

The Goscinny et Uderzo Mural

Rue de la Buanderie

Goscinny and Uderzo are the signers of this brilliant mural that reminds us of the beloved characters Asterix and Obelix. Those who spent so much time with us in our childhood, who told us a thousand stories and taught us as many lessons.

The bravest people have been translated into no less than 110 languages, taking their experiences to every corner of the planet. In Brussels, they can be found next to the playground of a primary school.

The Morris Mural

Rue de la Buanderie

If we are talking about international characters, we cannot forget the eternal Lucky Luke, the fastest cowboy in the west. In this mural we see him aiming, of course even before his shadow, at the Dalton brothers, who always end up falling for the cowboy's speed and cunning.

The Bob de Moor Mural

21 Rue des Fabriques

We come to the only one of all the murals that has been done in the form of a cartoon. Bob de Moor, considered by many to be the right-hand man of the mythical Hergé, is the creator of Cori le Mousaillon, the protagonist of this cartoon with which he sails the seas and where it seems that we will be able to continue reading in the next corner.

The Franquin Mural

Rue de l' Ecuyer

We leave the Place Saint-Géry area behind us, but not before passing by the mural of Gaston, a friendly, messy and somewhat mischievous young man who could not miss the mural appointment. In this one, he can be seen doing his own thing, leaning out of the window looking at the result of one of his pranks. Born from the hand of André Franquin.

 

Places to visit to complete your Comic Strip Route

If you have already done the route of the murals by seeing the most important ones, or if you are a true fan who has seen them all, now you can continue your journey by taking a look at other corners of the city that pay homage to the ninth art.

 

Sculpture of the Smurfs

Side of the Horta Gallery

A gigantic statue of a Smurf, yes you just read the words gigantic and Smurf in the same sentence, greets us at the entrance to the Horta Gallery. It is one of the many nods that the city makes, not only to comics and their authors, but to the Smurfs in particular, as they are a real attraction.

The Smurfs mural, Les Schtroumpfs

Carrefour de l'Europe

Visit one of the most original and most Brussels-referenced frescoes in the whole city. It is not like all the others, on a wall, but on a ceiling. You will have to go through the passage located in the Carrefour de l'Europe to be amazed by the mural of the Smurfs.

Among the 76 Smurfs in this fresco, you will discover crisps, the Atomium, the carpet of flowers, the Ommegagn, which is a procession that began in 1348, and the Meyboom, both celebrations listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The artists from Urbana vzw. were responsible for this fantastic and laborious work.

Belgian Comic Strip Museum

Rue des Sables 20

Also known as the Comic Art Museum Brussels, this is a must on your trip to Brussels, whether you are a big fan of the ninth art or just know some of the most popular characters.

Immerse yourself in all the history, techniques, genres and styles within the world of comics and enjoy more than 25 years of the institution's history. All the big names in the industry, all the names behind the murals you've seen and much more await you here.

Its more than 200,000 annual visitors witness how comic art and Art Nouveau merge in this institution that goes beyond the art of creation and delves into the meaning and work of the great artistic works of the sector.

Its permanent and temporary exhibitions are spread over the building's 4,200 m² of floor space. A monument in itself, it is a must on your route through Brussels.

Galerie Champaka

Rue Ernest Allard 27

Art gallery specialising in the world of comics, just a few steps from the Church of Notre-Dame du Sablon. It has very complete exhibitions and if you want to take home an original souvenir, a real work of art, this is the place for you.

MOOF

Rue du Marché aux Herbes 116

Less than a five-minute walk from the Grand Place, this modern museum exhibits, among other things, original figures of the best-known characters from the world of comics.

The museum opened its doors in 2012, and across its more than 1,300m2 you'll discover its permanent exhibitions and numerous temporary ones that change content and theme every six months, something very unusual, which makes it a must-see.

Comic Strip Festival

This is definitely the festival for you. Since 2009, Brussels has been celebrating the big comics festival, known as the "fête de la bande dessinée". It takes place the first weekend of September every year.

There you will find everything from workshops and autograph signings of great artists and cartoonists to exhibitions and many other activities.

 

Comic book shops

Finally, we can't pass up the opportunity to remind you that there are places where you can be surrounded by all the charm of the ninth art and take a souvenir home with you.

Tintin Boutique

Rue de la Colline 13

True Tintin fans will not be disappointed. Right next to the Grand Place, you will be able to enjoy a whole universe dedicated exclusively to Tintin. Shop in the spirit of a museum or vice versa, put it any way you like, but the important thing is that you'll have a great time with the option of taking something back with you.

Game Bubbles shop

Pl. du Jeu de Balle 79

Comic book shop full of objects and toys of the main characters of the ninth art.

Brüsels Bookshop and Slumberland Bookshop

These bookshops have several locations throughout the city of Brussels. Their collections of comics and comic books are among the most comprehensive in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Done