Brussels: The Comic Strip Experience: a 3,000 m2 comic strip world to be discovered for free

From 11th-20th September 2020, the Comic Strip Experience will offer an immersive exhibition in the impressive setting of the Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis. Visitors can stroll through the decors of their favourite heroes, in a journey that will take them to nine different worlds. The time has come to discover them and the other activities available during this unique event dedicated to Comic Strip.

We are all having to deal with the current health situation. Unfortunately, this year it was not possible to organise a traditional Comic Strip Festival, with its 100,000 regular visitors, its hundreds of authors present, and its dozens of stands full of discoveries., the organiser of the Comic Strip Festival and the Brussels Tourist Office, has decided to continue with a Comic Strip event in the European capital for this unique autumn, a comic strip festival that has been re-imagined but has the same DNA: conviviality, discovery, sustainability, good food and, of course, safety.

The immersive exhibition in detail

The Comic Strip Experience is a free immersive exhibition on the world of comic strip (registration required). Visitors will discover the enchanting world of Yakari's Great Prairie, walk into the classroom of Ducoboo and immerse themselves in the world of Star Wars. It will be a relaxing break with your family or in your bubble. Here are the worlds that can be discovered during this new exhibition.

Spike and Suzy – (WillyVandersteen / Standaard Uitgeverij)

The immersive adventure begins with Spike and Suzy, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary. Professor Barabas will welcome visitors to his strange laboratory. This is an opportunity to learn more about the secrets that bind the two heroes to Brussels. You can also see the heroes in their famous car “Vitamitje” (Vitaminette in French), one of professeur Barabas’ thousands of inventions, which appeared for the first time in the album “De sprietatoom” (le Rayon Magique in French) in 1946.

Yakari – (Chamblain & Derib/ Le Lombard)

Around the new giant Yakari balloon and in the heart of a real American Indian village, young and old alike will discover this fascinating world and learn more about respect for nature and sustainability.

Yasmina and the Potato Eaters (Wauter Mannaert – Dargaud – Standaard Uitgeverij)

(winner of the 2019 Willy Vandersteen Award at the previous Atomium Awards and in the 2020 Atomium Children's Award selection). There's nothing like taking a break in the large vegetable garden of Yasmina and the potato eaters and discovering all her tricks for concocting "good food".

Screenshot 2020 09 05 At 12 33 55

Lucien and the Mysterious Phenomena - Casterman (Le Lay & Horellou / Casterman)

(2020 Atomium Children's Award selection) Discover Art Nouveau with Lucien and the mysterious phenomena. Inside Mr Price's splendid building, visitors will learn more about this architectural movement and the art of " vivre ensemble " (living together).

The alternative Belgian comic strip

Ten young Belgian authors present their wonderful worlds. An exhibition introduces you to alternative comic strips with original works by Charlotte Pollet, Martis Ghost, Gabri Molist, Aniss El Hamouri, Felix Laurent, Exaheva, Aurélie Wilmet, Rebecca Rosen, Stéphane de Groef and Mathilde Van Gheluwe. This new generation recently edited a comics trip with alternative comics publishers.

Ducoboo - Le Lombard

Ducoboo, the unmissable national dunce, will welcome young and old to his classroom and give them some tips (to not follow) for cheating.

Gaston's office - Dupuis

At a time when remote working is in vogue, visitors will be invited to discover Gaston Lagaffe's improbable office and his zany inventions.

Star Wars - 501st FanWars Garrison South Belgium

Welcome to the galaxy far, far away of Star Wars. FanWars and their garrison of Imperial Soldiers will accompany visitors in a setting that features a 6m high Imperial AT-AT quadripod and a giant BB8 balloon, both well known to fans of the saga.

The Korean Webtoon - Korean Cultural Center

An invitation to discover Webtoons, the digital comic strips loved by Koreans. This is an unprecedented collaboration with the Korean Cultural Centre in Brussels.

15 giant balloons will be distributed along the route

There will be no Balloon’s Day Parade this year, to comply with health safety rules. But the famous giant balloons featuring comic book heroes will be present and will accompany visitors along their journey. Indeed, some 15 balloons will float in the majestic Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis. Ducoboo, Spirou, Tintin, Smurf, Papa Smurf, Lucky Luke, Gaston Lagaffe, BB8, Blork, the Cat, Boule, Dooly, Toto and the Atomium will all be present. This year, two new balloons will join the joyful troupe: Yakari and a Spike & Suzy balloon. Even Moucherot, the hero of our 2020 poster by François Boucq, will make an appearance for this edition.


At the end of their tour, visitors can take a break at the 200 m2 shop run by the Brussels bookshop Filigranes. This is a strategic collaboration with Marc Filipson, a well-known bookseller in the capital, who has been kind enough to participate in this festive and original event.

A safe visit

The Comic Strip Experience will have the Brussels Health Safety Label (launched in collaboration with the international certification company SOCOTEC at the start of summer). It will be held in accordance with the rules imposed by the National Security Council. Visitors will also be asked to respect the organisation's hygiene rules based on the government health measures at the time of the event. They will be requested to get acquainted with these rules on the Comic Strip Festival website before going to the site.

Reservation required

To offer visitors the best possible experience and ensure their safety, the Comic Strip Festival has implemented a mandatory online reservation system. Booking is very simple: visitors just choose the day and time slot that suits them best, the number of participants and that's it. More information and booking on: https://frontoffice.byemisys.c...

Comic Strip in Brussels

The Comic Strip Experience journey doesn't stop at Tour & Taxis. Exhibitions, guided tours and the Brussels Graphic Mook will take visitors to the Canal District and beyond to continue their discovery of the comic capital.

Movie Drive

The open-air cinema was created this summer on the Tour & Taxis site and will offer two exclusive free screenings for The Comic Strip Experience (registration required):

o Saturday at 6 pm: Snowpiercer: film inspired by the French comic Le Transperceneige made in 2013 by Bong Joon-ho, the now famous South Korean director who won several awards for his film "Parasite" last year.

o Sunday at 3.30 pm: Ducoboo 3: adaptation of the famous Belgian comic book "L'Élève Ducobu", the film by Élie Semoun relates the crazy adventures of a student who tries to get good grades in every way possible and imaginable.

Discovery of the Canal District with the Brussels Graphic Mook

Published especially for the Comic Strip Experience, the first "Brussels Graphic Mook" will take curious visitors to discover the districts along the Brussels canal axis. The texts are enhanced by original illustrations by comic book authors: Yohan Sacré, Monsieur Iou, Yannick Pelegrin, Rebecca Ann Rosen, Alice VDM, Gabri Molist and Bram Algoed plunge the reader into the atmosphere of these multicultural neighbourhoods. This is an opportunity to discover the surroundings of the Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis. The publication can be browsed online or purchased at the Comic Strip Experience shop (free with any purchase in the shop).

The exhibitions

Together - Korean Cultural Center - until 30 October

As we face the paradoxical challenge of living in this age of non-contact in a hyper-connected society, the coming celebration of the 120th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Korea and Belgium next year gives us pause to question what it means to be together. Building a connection often starts with curiosity, which accompanies excitement for the unknown. For this 7th Belgian-Korean Comics Exhibition, we chose four Korean manhwa - Dooly the Little Dinosaur, Narrow Room, Woori & Sunhwa, and CUBIC- and three Belgian comics- Us Two Together, Sugar, and Madame Catherine.

Introducing and exchanging Korean and Belgian comics through exhibitions such as this is part of an ongoing effort from both sides to get to know each other better, because comics is a familiar art form for both nations and a strong commonality that connects us together.

Pico Bogue and his family - Comic Strip Museum - until 13 September

Pico Bogue is a family story. In this original series by Belgian and French authors, Alexis Dormal puts into images the stories of Dominique Roques, his mother. Their work is inspired by their daily life but also by characters such as Calvin & Hobbes and Mafalda. These mother and son accomplices create a tender, lively and mischievous universe, illustrated in watercolour for even greater fluidity and spontaneity.

The imaginary inventory, Kronikas - Maison Autrique - until 20 September

Kronikas is a multicultural experience of writing, illustration and comic strip. An imaginary inventory of the heritage of the cities of Havana, Algiers and Moscow, as experienced by the authors who live there. To date, the project has resulted in three publications, whose original plates are on display.

Billy and Buddy, 60 years of everyday happiness - Comic Strip Museum - until 30 September

Apart from being a great story of friendship and humour, Billy and Buddy is first of all a poetic theatre created by Brussels cartoonist Jean Roba in the comic magazine Spirou in 1959. With nearly 1,500 gags and almost 40 beautiful hardback albums, the series has captured the imagination of three generations of children thanks to the complicity of a little boy and his dog and their funny, tender humour.

Juanjo Guarnido - Comic Strip Museum - until 8 November

Known for his remarkable Blacksad series, Juanjo Guarnido excels in producing watercolour drawings and creating moods. The exhibition allows visitors to discover the fascinating world of a major contemporary author, from the first pencil sketches to the final plates!

Signing sessions and workshops at Filigranes (Arts-Loi – Kunst-Wet)

Throughout the festival, Filigranes will be hosting workshops and exclusive signing sessions in their bookshop on avenue des Arts – Kunstlaan.

More information on https://comicsfestival.brussel...

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