The most beautiful comic strips and an International Pavilion: Comic Strip Festival

From 14 to 16 September 2018, Brussels is once again shining a spotlight on the “ninth art”. As in previous years, publishers will be getting involved by organizing a number of events and surprises. And because comic strips have no borders, an international pavilion will also be opening its doors for the comic strip festival.

Every year, the Comic Strip Festival is “the place” to come for many big names in the comic strip world. Don’t miss this year’s event. From an improv competition to a special screening, via a treasure hunt, comic book fans of all ages will be able to dive in tot he world of some of the big names in the world of the “ninth art”.



As well as having the chance to meet the most loyal publishers to the Comic Strip Festival, this year, visitors will also get the opportunity to see a large number of Flemish publishers. There has been one major publisher from the north of the country missing from the event in the past. This year, the Comic Strip Festival is proud to welcome Standaard Uitgeverij.

It is also delighted to be welcoming ten or so independent publishers who do our capital proud, including L’Employé du Moi, FRMK, La 5e couche & Les Impressions Nouvelles. And that isn’t all. When you think of publishers, you also think of authors and book signings. All sorts of activities and events will be put on for visitors.

Comics Festival


The International Pavilion

Although Belgium is particularly proud of its comic strip heritage, many other countries also have a fantastic track record in this field. Of these, 17 cultural delegations from other countries will be setting up their stalls in the International Pavilion to introduce their work and enjoy a great opportunity to share their passion.

EUNIC Brussels countries: Basque Country, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Turkey). Members of the European National Institutes for Culture cordially invite you to find out about their country’s comic strip heritage. As well as a joint exhibition, talks and signing sessions, each country will be putting on workshops.

Camões, Portugal (Institute for Cooperation and Language, I.P. – Portugal)
Portuguese artist Paulo Monteiro will be putting on a workshop for budding artists aged between 12 and 18. The workshop, entitled “Comment faire de la BD sans savoir dessiner ?” (How do you create a comic strip when you can’t draw?) will be given in French. Saturday 15 September at 11am.

Lithuania (Republic of Lithuania’s Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium)
Three young comic strip artists – Lote Vilma Vītiņa, Mārtiņš Zutis and Rebeka Lukošus – will be putting on a workshop for young comic strip fans aged between 6 and 10. The children and artists will create a short comic strip in the form of a “Leporello” (workshop in English).

Poland (Polish Institute)
Artist Berenika Kołomycka will be putting on the workshop entitled “Couleurs et émotions en BD” (Colours and emotions in comic strips) for children aged 9 and above. She will help them understand the importance of colours in comic strips, and how to use them to express emotions.

Hungary (Balassi Institute – Cultural Department of the Hungarian Embassy)
Thanks to their 3D app, artists Levente Németh, Attila Futaki and János Mészáros will make an interactive printed page during the workshop entitled “Comment un personnage de bande dessinée peut-il prendre vie sur votre smartphone ?” (How can a comic strip character come to life on your smartphone”).

Estonia (Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU)
Artists Estoniens Maarika Martins, Anna Ring and Anna Eespere will be putting on a wacky workshop based on spontaneity and the unpredictable, which can often lead to creative discoveries! For any age, in English.

Turkey (Yunus Emre Institute)
Artists Özcan Özcan and Arzu Akbulut introduce you to Miniature Art. They will be presenting this ancient technique that requires a high level of precision, thanks to incredibly detailed drawings of birds inspired by their latest work, “Songs of the Birds – Mantıkut-Tayr’’.

Basque Country (Etxepare Basque Institute)
Basque artist Begoña Durruty will be putting on a workshop for young children entitled “Fan de dessins” (Drawing fan), in French.

Romania (Romanian Cultural Institute in Brussels)
The workshop entitled “Histoires visuelles créatives” (Creative visual stories) put on by Mircea Pop invites participants to explore, experiment with, follow and even break the rules for creating a comic strip, thanks mainly to electronic design. For any age, in English.

Czech Republic (Czech Centre in Brussels)
Jonáš Ledecký from the Czech Republic will be putting on a workshop entitled “Karel Čapek en bande dessinée” (Karel Čapek in comic strips), based on the adaptation of stories due to be published in Setpember.

Luxembourg (Luxembourg Embassy in Brussels)
Artists from Luxembourg will be here on all three days for signing sessions and to take part in a number of round table discussions within the international pavilion.

Comics Festival

“Animate Europe” – International Comic Competition 2017

How can we “reanimate” Europe? Several artists will try to answer this question via this exhibition. Come and explore the work of 75 artists from around Europe in some original exhibits. Several competition finalists will also be here to sign books and take part in a round table discussion.

Alifbata (Arabic comic strip)

A publishing company based in Marseille, specializing in translating and publishing comic strip authors from North Africa and the Middle East, Alifbata will be unveiling the catalogue for the exhibition entitled “Nouvelle génération : la bande dessinée arabe aujourd’hui” (New generation: Arabic comic strips today) at the Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image in Angoulême from 25 January to 4 November 2018. As well as the exhibition, the catalogue will be showcasing more than forty authors from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. Alifbata will also be focusing on the work of Barrack Rima, between Brussels and Beirut, via an exhibition of original storyboards and dedications by the artist.

South Korea (Korean Cultural Center in Brussels)

The Korean Cultural Center will be presenting four Korean comic strip authors in the exhibition aimed at children: “Childhood – Where is your heart now?”: YOON Seungun, HA Minseok, HONG Seungwoo and SOBOGI. The authors will be available for signing sessions, as well as putting on drawing demonstrations throughout the weekend.

Egypt (TokTok Mag)

What is a TokTok? The name comes from Tuk Tuk, the noise the engine makes. It’s that noisy, dangerous yellow and black vehicle that is such a popular means of transport in the busy neighborhoods of Cairo. And the TokTok Mag? The first edition of TokTok was released in January 2011, in a climate of social revolution. The quarterly magazine echoes the day-to-day reality of Egypt, encompassing comedy as well as tragedy. TokTok Mag will be presenting original storyboards, limited edition posters, the magazine in Arabic, and best-of versions in French.

La Réunion (Les Éditions des Bulles dans l’Océan)

An independent publishing company founded 8 years ago, Les Éditions des Bulles dans l’Océan is dedicated to promoting promising young authors. Come and see some of the work of these artists, who come from a little corner of paradise, and meet them at one of the signing sessions.

Italy (Lucca Comics & Games by LUCCA CREA srl & Istituto Italiano di Cultura)

For several years now, Lucca Comics & Games have been brining Italian “fumetti” (“comic strips” in Italian) to Brussels. This year, three artists will be meeting their Belgian readers and signing their work: Fabio Civitelli, one of the main artists involved in Tex Willer, the iconic Italian comic strip; Salvatore Callerami, author of the fantasy comedy Dandelion; lastly, Riccardo Pieruccini will present his latest steampunk parody, Prussians vs Aliens.

Havana, Algiers and Moscow (Maison Autrique)

Comic strips are everywhere you look in Brussels. That is much less true of Havana, Moscow
and Algiers. Time for a renaissance! The renaissance of a popular art form that can turn its hand to anything, including heritage. Without ignoring some serious studies and scientific publications dedicated to the subject, Maison Autrique simply wanted to make its own contribution by incorporating an imaginary dimension that is nevertheless based on a reality that is sometimes hidden, but always true. Maison Autrique will be putting on an exhibition based on its publication “Kronikas 2”, as well as signing sessions with authors from Brussels, Algeria and Cuba (including Etienne Schréder, Jeroen Janssen, Thierry Mondelaers, Rémi Desmosts, Izquierdo and Lysbeth Dauont-Robles).