As a home of the famous characters such as Tintin, Spirou, Bob and Bobette, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Blake and Mortimer, Belgium, the land with more than 700 comics authors, registered at the moment, truly is the homeland of comic books.
Consequently, one of the greatest World’s museums dedicated to the ninth art is situated in its capital, Brussels. The museum is located in one of the Art Nouveau masterpiece buildings built by the famous Belgian architect Victor Horta in 1906.
The initiative for the Comics centre establishment started in the middle 1980s. A group of French and Dutch-speaking strip artists and enthusiasts formed an organization called Belgian Comic Strip Center. They started to lobby for the museum establishment, which was finally succeeded in 1989. Besides running the museum, they are also organizing a Brussels comic route, strip conventions and are here as advisors for the other museums and strip organizations across the World.
The permanent exhibition shows drawing techniques and phases of strip creation from sketching, creating the story and characters till the final production. Formation of the strip is also shown, as well as its connection with Egyptian and Medieval drawings. They are accompanied by a lot of examples from different strip genres, from SF, mythological to kids comic books.
A considerable part of the museum is, as expected, dedicated to Belgian comics heroes, such as Tintin, Smurfs and others already mentioned.
The Comic centre is home of the most extensive comic books collection in the World which is open to the public. It is admirable that a lot of them could be bought in a museum shop as well.
So, The European comic books heart definitely beats in Brussels. If you are just passing by or are going to the city break in Brussels, the Comics centre shouldn’t be missed.