From 9 to 11 September, the ninth art will take centre stage in Brussels with the BD Comic Strip Festival. It's a new name for the Comic Strip Festival, which returns in its original form after two years of events adapted to the health situation. The animations, signing sessions, activities, conferences and the ever-present giant balloons return, to the great pleasure of comic book lovers and fans of the genre. All this in the unique and grandiose setting of Tour & Taxis.
Here’s an overview of the programme .
Several extraordinary exhibitions will also be held at Tour & Taxis and the Comics Art Museum.
The Comics Arts Museum
The Houba Show!
In the shadows of the Colombian jungle lives a creature that has captured the hearts of generations of readers and made them howl with laughter. After all, no other "secondary character of a comic strip" has ever generated so many emotions, surprises and such tenderness. The Marsupilami is a modern hero: he is strong and fragile at the same time, he protects his family but also his forest, he is funny, but has stayed candid... This most extraordinary imaginary creature is celebrating its 70th birthday this year: an opportunity to delve into the intimate lives of its creators and animators. The exhibition is a yellow and black, spotted homage that allows you, literally and figuratively, to take your first steps into the colourful and enchanting world of the Marsupilami.
8 September to 15 January 2023
Naruto. The ninja phenomenon
Since the series was launched in Japan in 1999, the Naruto manga has continued to conquer readers and expand its universe, becoming the third best-selling manga in the world today. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the French publication of this iconic series, the Comics Art Museum is delighted to be honouring the oeuvre of Masashi Kishimoto in a brand-new exhibition. It's an invitation to (re)discover this cult manga's highlights and best bits.
8 September to 13 November
Tour & Taxis
Grendizer (Bajram, Dorison, Cossu, Sentenac, Guillo)
Summer 1978: A giant Japanese robot storms onto our television screens and captures the imagination of children everywhere. He quickly becomes omnipresent, in playgrounds, in toy shops, in newsagents, on mustard pots... But what's his name? Grendizer, of course!
Some of the children of 1978 have since become well-known comic book authors but have never forgotten the heroes of their youth. With the permission of Gō Nagai, Grendizer's Japanese creator, five young authors embarked on a crazy adventure: to add a final episode to the cult saga, resurrecting all the old heroes, but also the invaders from Vega and their terrifying Golgoths.
Already exhibited in Angoulême and Paris, the exhibition is making a stop in Brussels for the BD Comic Strip Festival weekend. On the programme, a hundred or so prints, blow-ups and reproductions let the public immerse themselves in the universe of this final episode of Grendizer's inter-planetary adventures.
Free exhibition 9 to 11 September
Chez Marylène, la frite est belle (Anne Simon)
"Chez Marylène, la frite est belle" is a playful exhibition that covers the key themes explored in Anne Simon's Les Contes du Marylène, such as feminism, criticism of capitalism and patriarchy, and power struggles…
It's an enchanting journey through all 5 volumes of the saga: La Geste d'Aglaé, Cixtite Impératrice, Boris l'Enfant Patate, Gousse & Gigot and L'Institut des Benjamines. A real immersion in the atmosphere of Marylène country, its inhabitants and its history, and into the world of Anne Simon. With scale reproductions and original comic strips, Anne Simon's offbeat universe offers a festive and colourful atmosphere.
Free exhibition 9 to 11 September
The giant balloons
Visitors will be able to admire the famous giant comic strip character balloons that will be scattered around the festival site. This year, two new balloons featuring heroes Naruto and Marsupilami will be making their debut.
No BD Comic Strip Festival is complete without signing sessions! Countless major authors will be on hand to delight comic strip fans. In total, nearly 200 signing sessions will be held on the Tour & Taxis site. Details and schedules will be published in the coming weeks on the festival website.
Encounters and activities
The publishing houses and their authors have put together a programme full of encounters centred on emblematic heroes, hot topics and new trends such as citizens' comics or the theme of romantic relationships within the LGBTQIA+ community. The world of the ninth art has long reflected the concerns of our societies. And that's not all! Throughout the festival they will be offering a number of fun activities for all ages.
The international Pavillon
While Belgium is particularly proud of its comic book heritage, many other countries also boast impressive records they can be very proud of. Cultural representations from these other countries will be setting up shop in the International Pavilion to showcase their works and be part of a unique moment of exchange.
The 2022 Atomium Prizes
Comic book creation has become more fragile in recent years. It's often difficult for comic strip professionals to make a decent living from their work. For over five years now, Brussels authorities have organised the Atomium Comic Strip Prizes as part of the Brussels Comic Strip Festival, to provide support for creation and authors. Most of these prizes are awarded in cash to enable the winners to finance their work. This year, 9 prizes will be awarded on 9 September as part of the BD Comic Strip Festival, totalling more than €95,000.