Belgian Comic Strip Center
Entrance hall of the Belgian Comic Strip Center
|Established||October 6, 1989|
|Location||Rue des Sables/Zandstraat 20|
|Type||History of Belgian comics|
|Visitors||More than 200,000 per year|
|Public transit access||Brussels-Central|
The Belgian Comic Strip Center (French: Centre belge de la Bande dessinée; Dutch: Belgisch Stripcentrum) is a museum in Brussels, located in the Rue des Sables /Zandstraat 20, dedicated to Belgian comics.
History of the building
The building was designed in 1905 by world-famous architect Victor Horta in Art Nouveau style and served as a textile department store, the Magasins Waucquez. After Waucquez's death in 1920, the building began to languish away, and in 1970, the firm closed its doors. Jean Delhaye, a former aid of Horta, saved the building from demolition, and by 16 October 1975, it was designated as a protected monument. Still, the building was in bad shape and victim to a lot of vandalism.
In 1980, architect Jean Breydel and comics artists François Schuiten, Bob de Moor, Alain Baran, Guy Dessicy and Hergé planned to restore the building and give it a new destination as a museum dedicated to the history of Belgian comics. Originally, the museum would be a homage to Hergé, but he suggested honoring the entire Belgian comics industry. In 1983, Belgian Minister of Public Works Louis Olivier decided that the building would be bought by the Direction of Buildings, making it national property. In 1984, a fund was founded which brought together several Flemish and Walloon comics artists. Two years later, the restorations began, with respect for the original architecture, while updating it to modern standards. The mosaics were flown over from Italy and constructed by Italian mosaic workers, because the profession had become obsolete in Belgium.
In the Autumn of 2015, the museum started redecorating its permanent exhibition.
On the ground floor of the museum, a restaurant can be found, a room dedicated to Victor Horta, a comics' store named "Slumberland" after Little Nemo in Slumberland, a library with a reading room and a study centre. The first floor has an auditorium, a room with original comic book pages by various artists and a room dedicated to animation, more specifically the Belgian animation industry, such as Belvision.
The second floor has a permanent exhibition dedicated to the chronological history of the medium in Belgium called "The Museum of Imagination". The exhibit starts off with Hergé and ends with Peyo, covering the pioneers of Belgian comics between 1929 and 1958 and with special focus on the magazines Spirou and Tintin. Each artist has a room dedicated to his work and designed in a playful way.
List of the exhibited comics artists
- Hergé - (The Adventures of Tintin, Quick and Flupke, Jo, Zette and Jocko)
- Jijé - (Spirou et Fantasio, Jerry Spring)
- Edgar P. Jacobs - (Blake and Mortimer)
- Willy Vandersteen - (Suske en Wiske)
- Marc Sleen - (The Adventures of Nero)
- Maurice Tillieux - (Gil Jourdan)
- Bob De Moor - (Cori, de Scheepsjongen)
- André Franquin - (Spirou et Fantasio, Marsupilami, Gaston Lagaffe, Franquin's Last Laugh)
- Jacques Martin - (The Adventures of Alix)
- Morris - (Lucky Luke)
- Paul Cuvelier - (Corentin)
- Victor Hubinon - (Buck Danny)
- Tibet - (Chick Bill, Ric Hochet)
- Raymond Macherot - (Chlorophylle, Sybilline)
- Jean Roba - (Boule et Bill)
- Peyo - (Johan and Peewit, The Smurfs)
Marc Sleen Museum
- Brussels' Comic Book Route
- Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
- Fred Waring Cartoon Collection
- Michigan State University Comic Art Collection
- Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
- "About Us—In Short". Brussels, Belgium: Belgian Comic Strip Center. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Drawing room: The Belgian Comic Strip Center: Tintin". The Independent. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
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