The Smurfs are celebrating their 60th birthday

Once again this year, Brussels is honouring the bande dessinée with a number of key events. Such an array of activities would be impossible to overlook. From the spectacular comics festival to the wonderful book fair. Aside from the comics festival taking place from 14–16 September, the Belgian capital is offering a series of activities centring on the 9th art throughout the year, as a taste of what’s to follow.

The 9th art will also honour the 60th anniversary of the Smurfs. Yes, 2018 is the “Smurf Year”, which culminates in the creation of one exceptional event: The Smurf Experience.

To promote this rich comic heritage, Brussels and Belgian comic artists will be out in force again at the 45th Angoulême International Comic Festival. And, thanks to the support of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Belgian publishers and authors will have the pleasure of unveiling their works to their audience in Angoulême.

From its early beginnings in the 19th century, the Belgian bande dessinée or comic strip, has garnered true worldwide fame. Many comic illustrators and scriptwriters from Belgium, and Brussels artists in particular, have earned recognition far beyond our borders. As the acknowledged capital of the comic, Brussels has continually honoured the 9th art: museums, galleries, markets, festivals and specialist stores dedicated purely to the bande dessinée.

With the onesus this year being on The Smurfs celebrating their 60th birthday, the event has saved no expense to celebrate them. It all began back in 1958. These tiny blue creatures, the fruit of Peyo’s imagination, first appeared in another series by the same author, ” Johan and Pirlouit “, and instantly won the hearts of readers demanding new stories about the Smurfs.

So this Smurfantastic year will be marked by several events: the 5th iconic Brussels Airlines aircraft will be taking off with a Smurf makeover, a gigantic comic mural will be inaugurated at the heart of the capital and a surprise will be unveiled on the Grand-Place of Brussels. Moreover, the Smurfs share a birthday with another symbol of Brussels, the Atomium which is also celebrating its 60th birthday, with another surprise to mark this double celebration. Lastly, there will be thrills at the Belgian National Day festivities (21 July) at the 20 km Brussels and at the Vandamme Memorial athletics championship – with the highlight being the holding of a special event: The Smurfs, an immersion experience.


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