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The comic strip route on the streets of Brussels

by Vanessa White

There is hardly any other city in the world to have so many comic book stores. There is also hardly any other city where the characters of the comic books have escaped the pages and have scattered around the facades of the buildings in the central part of the city. Lift your head up, keeping your hat with a hand, and enjoy Brussels in comics.

Tens of characters of comic books have escaped the pages and have scattered around the facades of the buildings in Brussels.

Even if you are in the Belgian capital city to do some important European business, or if you have just stopped for a while to have a beer as a tourist, you must not just look down at the ground while walking around! Looking up is compulsory so as not to miss some of the tens of comic characters staring at you curiously from the walls of the building.

The love affair between Brussels and the comic books has a long history – two magazines – Tintin and Spirou, sprang up in the beginning of the XX century. Some of the most beloved comic books of several generations were created here - The Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Tintin, Gaston Lagaffe…

Brussels, of course, has a comic book museum – the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, where you can learn useful and interesting information, but it is much more inspiring to just walk down the streets of the Belgian capital city and get acquainted with your favourite characters in person. The mural paintings are so well integrated into Brussels’ architecture that you can miss noticing them. Apart from the graffiti on the walls, the comic book characters are revived in 3D form, too, such as the statue of comic book hero Gaston Lagaffe on Pacheco Boulevard.

You can join some of the paid guided bike tours and walks along the comic strip route but probably the best way is to just start your own journey with a map in your hand (a perfect map is available in the bottom) and enjoy your treasure hunt.

If you wish to complete a real theme day, you should finish at the Comic Strip Village (Stripdorp/Le Village de la BD, situated at the Sablon Square) in the central part of Brussels, where you will find a gallery, a comic book store and a café, where you can have a rest surrounded by colourful comic strips.