Belgian comics

Belgian comics

Belgian comics are a distinct subgroup in the comics history, and played a major role in the development of European comics [cite book |last=Dierick |first=Charles |title=Het Belgisch Centrum van het Beeldverhaal |origyear=2000 |publisher=Dexia Bank / La Renaissance du Livre |location=Brussels |language=Dutch |isbn=2-8046-0449-7 |pages=83.] , alongside with France with who they share a large common history. While the comics in the two major language groups and regions of Belgium (Flanders with the Dutch language and Wallonia with French) have each clearly distinct characteristics, they are constantly influencing one another, and meeting each other in Brussels and in the bilingual publication tradition the major editors have. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 52-53] As one of the few arts where Belgium has had an international and enduring impact in the twentieth century, comics are known to be "an integral part of Belgian culture". [cite web |url= |title=Comic book capers |accessdate=2007-04-24 |author=Susan Wilander |year=2004 |month=02 |quote= [...] key aspect of Belgium's cultural heritage.]


Before 1940

Belgium was relatively late to start producing comics, with the first serious production starting in the second half of the 1920s. Earlier, illustrated youth pages were still very similar to the "Images d'Epinal" and the Flemish equivalent, the "Mannekensbladen". [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 168] The few comics that were known came from France and were mainly available in the French speaking parts of Belgium, Wallonia and Brussels. The most popular were "La Semaine de Suzette", "L'Épatant" and "Le bon point illustré". [cite book |last=De Laet |first=Danny |coauthors=Varende, Yves |title=De Zevende Kunst Voorbij. Geschiedenis van het Beeldverhaal in België |origyear=1979 |publisher=Dienst Voorlichting der Diplomatieke posten van het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken |location=Brussels |language=Dutch |pages=13] French authors like Marijac contributed to Belgian magazines as well.Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 169]

In the 1920s, after World War I, many new youth magazines started, some as independent magazines like the bilingual "Zonneland" / "Petits Belges" made by catholic publishers Altiora Averbode or scout magazines like "Le Boy-Scout Belge", where Hergé (Georges Remi) debuted; others as newspaper supplements. The most famous of these became "Le Petit Vingtième", the weekly youth supplement to the catholic newspaper "Le Vingtième Siècle". Started in 1928, it employed the young artist Georges Remi as editor-in-chief and main contributor. Remi, better known as Hergé, launched in January 1929 a new series for the supplement: "The Adventures of Tintin". Initially heavily influenced by the work of French comics authors Alain Saint-Ogan and Pinchon [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 14] and the American George McManus, Hergé soon developed his own style. "Tintin" soon became very popular, and sales of the newspaper quadrupled on Thursday. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 15] It would become the prototype for many Belgian comics to come, in style (the so-called Ligne claire), appearance rhythm (weekly), use of balloons (where other countries like the Netherlands and Denmark would stick to comics with the text beneath the drawings for decades to come), and the method of using a first appearance in a magazine or newspaper and subsequent albums. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 105]

While Tintin was very popular, it would take almost a decade before the next successful comics magazine would appear. In the meantime, more and more youth magazines would publish some pages with more modern, "Tintin"-like comics.

Georges Van Raemdonck, the first major Flemish comics artist debuted even before Hergé did, but worked almost exclusively in the Netherlands until after World War II. Still, he influenced some of the earliest pre-war Flemish artists like Jan Waterschoot and Buth, and as a newspaper artist with a daily comic strip, he paved the way for the typical publishing method of the Flemish comics when compared to the prevalent Walloon magazine publications. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 105-106]

More situated in the classic arts than in the mainstream comics publishing was Frans Masereel, a Flemish wood engraver whose 1926 "Passionate Journey", a wordless story in 165 woodcuts, is sometimes considered as the first graphic novel. [cite web |url=,9565,390556,00.html |title=Blood Work |accessdate=2007-04-24 |author=Andrew D. Arnold |date=2002-11-15 |publisher=Time |quote=Though the term "graphic novel" originated with Will Eisner's "A Contract with God" in 1978, the first actual novel told in pictures appeared over 50 years earlier. ]

In the second half of the 1930s, most Walloon youth magazines made room for one or more comics by local artists: Jijé in "Le Croisé" in 1936 and in "Petits Belges" in 1939, François Gianolla in "Jeunesse Ouvrière", Sirius in "Le Patriote Illustré", ... a whole new generation, inspired by Hergé, debuts in the years before World War II. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 15-16] Dupuis, a publisher from close to Charleroi, had already success with its two family magazines "Le Moustique" and "Bonnes Soirées". Charles Dupuis, son of the CEO, decides to start a youth magazine, centred around a new hero, "Spirou". [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 16] It debuted on April 21 1938.Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 170] Initially, the experienced French artist Robert Velter, a former assistant of Martin Branner, was asked to create the main series, and the rest of the magazine was filled with popular American comics like "Superman". Unusual was the decision, 8 months later, to publish the same magazine in Dutch as well as "Robbedoes". This would have a profound influence on the development of the Flemish comics and assured that Belgian comics would have a large part of their development in common. In 1939, Jijé joined the magazine. He worked for it until his death in 1980, and was the driving force for its survival during and directly after the war, and its expansion and success in the next decades, as the inspirator for the most popular new artists of the 1940s and 1950s, known as the Marcinelle school. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 17-18] Apart from the early influence by Hergé, his main examples were American artists like Milton Caniff and Noel Sickles.

Some Flemish magazines started producing more modern local comics as well, with works by established artists like Frans Van Immerseel in "Zonneland" and the expressionist painter Frits Van den Berghe in "Bravo", or new names like Jan Waterschoot in "Zonneland" or Eugeen Hermans (aka Pink) in "Ons Volkske", a weekly newspaper supplement clearly inspired by "Le Petit Vingtième". The most important comics writer for "Bravo" and "Zonneland" was the prolific John Flanders, who would continue to provide stories for the Flemish magazines until the 1960s. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 107-110]

World War II

During the war, many magazines had to stop publication or scale back their activities, due to a paper shortage and the limitations imposed by the German occupiers. "Le Petit Vingtième" disappeared with the invasion of the Germans, and Hergé started working for the collaborating newspaper "Le Soir", where he had to change from a weekly double page of "Tintin" to a daily strip. Paper shortage also forced him to reduce the number of pages per album from the previous 120 to 62. To compensate for this, the editor Casterman decided to start publishing the albums in colour instead of black and white. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 21] This became the post-war standard for all albums by the Walloon and Brussels' publishers: Flemish comics were only produced in colours from the 1960s on.

Other magazines tried to continue publication, but had to replace the forbidden American comics with local material. This was an opportunity for new talent to emerge. In "Spirou", Jijé was joined by Sirius and the young illustrator Maurice Tillieux. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 18]

The Flemish magazine "Bravo", started in 1936 with almost exclusively American comics, had to change course in 1940, and created a French language version as well, attracting a number of young Belgian artists like Edgar P. Jacobs, Jacques Laudy, Raymond Reding and the Flemish Willy Vandersteen, together with the already well-known illustrator Jean Dratz. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 19]

Another way out for young artists were a number of small animation studios, created when the popular American animated movies of the 1930s might no longer be shown. In Antwerp, Ray Goossens and Bob de Moor started with AFIM, and in Brussels, André Franquin, Eddy Paape, Peyo and Morris worked for CBA. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 20]


The end of World War II was a second caesure, with again many magazines disappearing or changing hands, while a huge amount of new magazines appeared now that censure and paper shortage were coming to an end. "Spirou", which had disappeared at the end of 1943, reappeared in 1944 with the same authors. "Bravo" on the other hand got new owners, and the main contributors searched new publishers. "Le Soir" as well got new owners, and there was no more room for Hergé.

In 1946, Raymond Leblanc wanted to start a youth magazine to expand his small publishing house Lombard, and decided to use the already very popular "Tintin" as the main hero for "Tintin magazine". It started in 1946 with a French and Dutch language version (the latter called "Kuifje"), as had become the custom for Belgian comics magazines. A version for France follows in 1948. The magazine immediately employed mainly Belgian artists, most coming from "Bravo": Jacobs (who already had collaborated with Hergé), Laudy, and the young debutant Paul Cuvelier. It was an instant success, and soon other names joined, including Jacques Martin. To get the same success with the Flemish version (where "Tintin" was not so well known yet), two of the best new Flemish artists were contacted: Bob de Moor and Willy Vandersteen. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 33] De Moor stayed with Hergé and "Tintin" until the end of his life, but Vandersteen left the magazine again after 11 years.Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 69]

Many other magazines only survived for a few years, and their best artists then joined either "Spirou" or "Tintin". Magazines like "Bimbo", "Story" or "Wrill" mainly had regional success and lacked a truly popular main series. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 22-29] Tillieux worked for "Bimbo", Martin for "Wrill", André-Paul Duchâteau started his writing career in the new version of "Bravo". "Petits Belges" / "Zonneland" continued to be published, but only devoted a few pages to comics. The main artist in these days is Renaat Demoen, later joined by François Craenhals.

The main competitor for "Tintin" and " Spirou" in this period was "Heroic-Albums", which had a different publishing method: instead of a number of continuing stories which often appeared continuously with a rhythm of one page a week, "Heroic" published one complete long story every week. The main artists were Tillieux, Fred Funcken, Tibet, François Craenhals, Greg, ... [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 29] Due to being censored in France, the magazine finally disappeared in 1956.

In Flanders, there was a similar boom of new magazines, but the most important artists and comics in the long run worked mainly for the newspapers: Marc Sleen filled many pages in the magazine " 't Kapoentje", but his main series "Nero" appeared in the newspaper "Het Volk" from 1947 on. Willy Vandersteen worked for a whole series of magazines, both in Dutch and French, but his main series "Spike and Suzy" appeared in "De Standaard" from 1945 on.

These two artists dominated the Flemish comics scene until 1980, [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 72] but even though "Nero" gets translated in French and German, the only success outside Flanders was "Spike and Suzy", which became the most popular comic of the Netherlands and got a sizable audience in Wallonia as well, mainly because of the appearance of seven specially created stories in "Tintin", which are commonly considered to be the best of the series. Due to this success, Vandersteen opened a Studio which produced hundreds of comics and gave many young local artists a steady job. However, contrary to the School of Marcinelle and to a lesser degree the Studio Hergé, very few artists had a successful independent career after leaving the studio. One of the major series of the Studio was "Bessy", originally made for the Walloon newspaper "La Libre Belgique" in 1952, and which would only later find its way to Flanders and finally to a series of more than 1000 comic books in Germany. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 113-120]

Meanwhile, many artists who would later become famous debuted on a small scale in the Walloon newspapers: Peyo, Greg, Albert Uderzo, René Goscinny, ... [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 70]

In the 1950s, the comics scene in Belgium is dominated by three main publishing methods: the main magazines "Tintin" and "Spirou", coupled with the albums published afterwards by the editors "Lombard" and "Dupuis"; the daily newspaper comics in Flanders, with the cheaper black and white albums afterwards by "De Standaard" and "Het Volk": and the weekly newspaper supplements of the French language newspapers, which mainly lacked subsequent albums. The number of other magazines slowly decreased, and the independent comic albums publishers without a magazine disappeared with the exception of Casterman, publisher of the comics by Hergé and a limited number of other comics.

In this period, the Belgian comics had their "Golden Age", a period of constant growth and expansion, with the start and continuation of many of the most popular Belgian series.

"Spirou" expanded from 12 pages of newspaper quality to 52 full colour pages, and the number of American comics, reintroduced after the end of the war, dwindled to near nil in 1950. Their place was taken by Victor Hubinon and Jean-Michel Charlier ("Buck Danny"), Maurice Tillieux ("Gil Jourdan"), Eddy Paape, Will, and most importantly André Franquin, Morris, and Peyo. Their series "Lucky Luke", "The Smurfs" and "Gaston Lagaffe" became international bestsellers. While the first generation learned much of the art while working with Jijé, many younger artists started their professional career in the Studio Peyo before creating their own series, assuring the continuation of the School of Marcinelle. The humour aspect of the magazine was assured by the editor-in-chief Yvan Delporte, writer for Franquin, Will and Peyo. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 39-42] Together with the main artists of "Tintin", they defined the Franco-Belgian comics for decades to come.

"Tintin" had a similar story, with rapid success and expansion. New artists like Jean Graton ("Michel Vaillant") and Raymond Macherot reached new audiences. Hergé started his Studio to help him with the work on the "Tintin" comics, and it defined the style of many artists like Bob de Moor and Roger Leloup.

The styles of the two magazines were distinctly different, with the Ligne claire and the more serious, didactic tone of "Tintin" contrasting with the humorous, more caricatural Marcinelle school of "Spirou".

In Flanders, no local magazine could equal the success of the two translated Walloon magazines, and to survive this period, they disappeared as independent magazines and became weekly newspaper supplements. The most important was " 't Kapoentje", which published the work of Buth and Rik Clément, but which had no influence outside Flanders. The only new artist to become truly successful in this period was Jef Nys with "Jommeke", which debuted in 1955 and became the third major daily newspaper comic in Flanders. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 121-123]

Artists like Pom, Bob Mau or Renaat Demoen were less successful and had only a limited audience, while other Flemish artists started working for the French language magazines, following in the footsteps of Morris in "Spirou" and Bob de Moor in "Tintin". The most successful of those in this period was Berck, who first appeared in this period in "Tintin".


From 1959 on, the dominance of "Spirou" and "Tintin" slowly disappeared. The first generation of artists could not continue the publication rhythm of the previous decades, and French magazines reached new audiences, helped by the protectionistic censoring by the French authorities. French artists like René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, who previously worked for Belgian magazines and newspapers, started their own magazine Pilote, and the less restrictive atmosphere there attracted some of their main colleagues from "Spirou" like Morris, Jijé, Charlier and Hubinon. Apart from Morris, they all continued working for "Spirou" as well, but the decline had started.

"Tintin" suffered from the lack of new stories by Hergé. Greg became the new editor-in-chief in 1962 and stayed on until 1975, introducing a new, more adult style and content to the magazine, and introducing some major new artists like Hermann Huppen, William Vance, Jean Van Hamme and Dany. But despite the critical acclaim of these authors, the circulation slowly declined from the record high of 270,000 copies a week in France alone, and the different international editions of "Tintin" disappeared over the next decade, but not before launching a last major series with "Thorgal" by Rosinski. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 36-37]

"Spirou" as well had to introduce new artists and series to fill the pages and keep their readers. It took many of them until around 1970 to become real stars, with the rise of Raoul Cauvin as the new main writer of the magazine. The biggest new series of the 1960s was "Boule et Bill" by Franquin-collaborator Jean Roba. It became the most popular series of the magazine together with "Gaston Lagaffe" after the disappearance of "Lucky Luke" in 1967. Around 1970, Berck ("Sammy"), Lambil ("Les Tuniques Bleues"), François Walthéry ("Natacha"), and Leloup ("Yoko Tsuno") were the main new artists and series, [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 42-47] with Raoul Cauvin as the most important writer.Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 65] However, the top circulation of about 280,000 copies a week (France and Belgium combined), was no longer reached after 1966.

In Flanders, the situation was very stable, with the limited local publication possibilities all taken by the established authors of the 1940s and 1950s, leaving no room for new talents after the disappearance of most magazines. New artists either started working in the large Studio Vandersteen or tried to get into "Spirou" and "Tintin", thereby strengthening the bond between the comics scenes of both language groups.

Comics fandom, started in the Netherlands and France in the 1960s, emerged in Flanders in 1966 with the different publications by Jan Smet, who also created the first Flemish comics award in 1972. This developed into the Bronzen Adhemar, the most important comics award of Flanders. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 152] In Wallonia, it only seriously commenced in 1971, with the first awards (the Prix Saint-Michel in Brussels) and fanzine (Rantanplan), both by André Leborgne, and the first specialized shop and republisher of old material, Michel Deligne. The Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels created a comics department with teachers like Eddy Paape, and was largely responsible for the new, more adult-oriented authors who came to the fore in the 1980s and 1990s. Expositions with the major artists were organized throughout the country, some by amateur enthusiasts, some endorsed by the government. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 48-49]


The last decades have shown the further decline of the traditional publication systems of the Belgian comics, and the end of the dominance of the Belgian authors in European comics.

Reflecting the shift from the dominance of weekly youth comics to longer adult comics was the demise of "Tintin" and the start of "A Suivre" in 1978, the more adult oriented monthly magazine of publisher Casterman. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 85] It published longer "chapters" of the main European authors of graphic novels, with artists like Hugo Pratt and Jacques Tardi. Among them, room was still reserved for the best Walloon and Brussels' talents, including Didier Comès, Benoît Sokal, and François Schuiten. The magazine, seen as the more intellectual reply to French magazines like "Métal Hurlant" who were more oriented towards graphical innovation, was a big success and had a lot of influence, but turned out to be relatively shortlived. The Dutch language edition, started in 1980, folded in 1989 (the same year "Poilote" ceased publication), and in 1997 the French language edition disappeared as well, further demonstrating the demise of the magazine format in a market where most people prefer to immediately buy the albums. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 102]

In Flanders, a final experiment with a youth comics magazine was started in 1993 with "Suske en Wiske Weekblad" by Standaard Uitgeverij: with a mix of classic comics and new series and carried by the most popular Dutch language series and a sizable promotional campaign, it got a sizable audience at first, but slowly lost momentum and disappeared in 2003.

The only comics magazine to survive is "Spirou", but with the end of the Dutch version "Robbedoes" in 2005, when the circulation had dropped to only about 3,000 copies, no mass-market comics magazines for the Flemish audience remained, making it harder for young Flemish artists to gain a larger audience.

"Spirou", meanwhile, after a decline during the 1970s and 1980s from 280,000 to 160,000 copies, holds on to a quite steady circulation, and is a mix of a showcase for Dupuis and a method to test new artists and series before doing the sizable investment of an album series. After experiments to target a more mature audience in the late 1970s and in the 1980s with the supplement "Le Trombone Illustré" and the publication of comics like "XIII" and "Jeremiah", the focus is again fixed on humour series and an audience of young teenagers. Now famous artists like Bernard Hislaire, Zep, Tome, Janry or Midam debut or still publish in the magazine.

But next to the magazine, Dupuis, like all the other editors, targets the older audience as well with a collection of graphic novels.

Both Lombard and Dupuis have since been bought by the French media concern Média Participations, but retain a large degree of independence.

In Flanders, this period started with the appearance of two new successful newspaper comics, "Bakelandt" by Hec Leemans and the extremely successful "Kiekeboe" by Merho. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 131-132] But they seemed to be at the same time the final successes of a slowly dying system, and comics in Flanders are more and more centered around albums as well. Successful series and authors are few and far between, and most, like "Urbanus" or "F. C. De Kampioenen", are only a local success. A few peripheral figures like Ever Meulen, who is mainly an illustrator, or Kamagurka, who is more of a cartoonist, do become successful in Wallonia, France and the Netherlands, [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 140-142] but apart from those exceptions, the main method for Flemish comics artists to become successful is still being published by the three French language publishers.

Some of the most successful of these since the 1960s are William Vance, Jo-El Azara, Griffo, Marvano, Jean-Pol, Jan Bosschaert and Luc Cromheecke. [De Laet, "Zevende Kunst Voorbij", p. 147-150]



While until 1930 almost all comics published in Belgium were either French or American, due to the success of "Tintin" in 1950 almost no foreign comics are published in Belgium anymore, and by 1960 many or even most comics read in other Western European countries (excluding the United Kingdom) are made by Belgians or for Belgian magazines. By 1944, 275,000 albums of "Tintin" had been sold: [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 171] by 2000, the worldwide sales had multiplied to nearly 200 million.Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 50]

In 2000, almost 40 million albums were printed in Belgium each year: 75% of those were exported. An estimated 75% of the comics sold in France were made by the three large Belgian comics publishers, Dupuis, Le Lombard and Casterman. Dupuis alone, with a production of 9 to 10 million albums a year and a back catalogue of 1,000 titles, is responsible for one third of the French comics market. The Flemish market is largely monopolized by the giant Standaard Uitgeverij, whose "Spike and Suzy" are produced with 300,000 to 400,000 copies for each new title, half of which are exported to the Netherlands, and who also publishes "Nero", "Kiekeboe" and "Urbanus". Het Volk, who largely existed due to one title, "Jommeke", with a total sales of 50 million copies in 50 years,Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 51] , has sold its comics to Dupuis. Even though most of these editors are now in foreign (mainly French) hands, they still operate from Belgium and are led by Belgian people. Belgium has more than 700 professional comics creators, making it the country with the most comics artists per km². [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 52]

Influence and recognition

Belgium has played a major role in the development of the 9th art. In fact, even the designation of comics as the 9th Art is due to a Belgian. Morris introduced the term in 1964 when he started a series about the history of comics in "Spirou" [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 11] Belgium's comic-strip culture has been called by "Time" magazine "Europe's richest". [cite web |url=,9171,230522,00.html |title=The Heart Nouveau |accessdate=2007-04-24 |author=Leo Cendrowicz |date=2002-04-15 |publisher=Time] , while the "Calgary Sun" calls Belgium "the home of the comic strip". [cite news |first=Cathy |last=Stapells |title=Smurfs turn 50 |url= |work=Calgary Sun |location=Calgary |date=2008-09-18 |accessdate=2008-09-25 |quote=Belgium is considered the home of the comic strip.]

Recognition for the Belgian comics outside the fandom was slow to come, but in the 1970s more and more comics and authors got reviews and articles in newspapers and magazines. The first official stamp picturing a comics hero was made in 1979, showing "Tintin", and most famous Belgian comics followed in the next decades. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 130] Major expositions were organized from 1969 on, and finally the "Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée" / "Belgisch Centrum van het Beeldverhaal" (Belgian Centre of Comics), commonly called the Comics Museum, was opened in Brussels in 1989 in an old warehouse designed by Victor Horta. It grew rapidly, with 160,000 visitors in 1994 and 240,000 by 2000. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 114] Different Belgian towns have mural paintings and statues of the major comics, [cite web |url= |title=Take comical walk down Brussels Strip |accessdate=2007-04-24 |author=Peter Neville-Hadley |date=2007-03-02 |publisher=Vancouver Courier] and some of the most famous artists have been knighted.

Belgian comics, the authors and the magazines are generally regarded as being central in the development of the European comic. Hergé, with "Tintin", and Jijé, as a comics teacher, are considered as the most influential of the early Belgian authors. French author Tibet said that the comics artists consider Hergé as God the Father and Jijé as the Godfather.Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 64] Jijé was not only the teacher of important Belgian authors like André Franquin, but also of major French authors like Jean Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières. In the Hergé Studio worked French authors like Jacques Martin, and Swiss author Derib worked for years in the Studio Peyo. The comic magazines "Tintin" and "Spirou" were translated in different languages,Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 154] and the major comics from the magazines were reprinted in the main comics magazines in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, or The Netherlands. Albums of the main series and authors have been translated in dozens of languages, [cite web |url= |title=Lucky Luke Creator Dies |accessdate=2007-04-24 |author=BBC |date=2001-07-20 |publisher=BBC] [cite web |url= |title=Boy Reporter Still a Global Success |accessdate=2007-04-24 |author=BBC |date=2004-01-09 |publisher=BBC] and even many minor series have been translated in different languages in Western Europe. Artists like the Dutch Joost Swarte, American Chris Ware,cite web |url= |title=On Cartooning |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Rebecca Bengal |date=2006-06-29 |publisher=PBS] Australian Bill Leak [cite web |url=,20867,21444265-7583,00.html |title=Bill Leak: The truth about Tintin's mysterious journey to Canberra |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Bill Leak |authorlink=Bill Leak |date=2007-03-26 |publisher=The Australian] or Norwegian Jason [cite web |url= |title="You can't get there from here" by Jason |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Christian Hill |publisher=National Association of Comic Art Educators] are heavily influenced by the ligne claire of Hergé, while others like the Spanish Daniel Torres, Finnish Pora [cite web |url= |title=Pora |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Vincent Lefrançois |year=2002 |] and French Yves Chaland more closely followed the "Atom Style" of Jijé and Franquin. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 95] More recent artists like Kamagurka and Philippe Geluck are especially popular in France. [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 99] More recently, Belgian graphic novels have been translated in English as well, like Jean-Philippe Stassens "Deogratias", [cite web |url=,9565,1189873,00.html |title=On Your Mark! |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Andrew D. Arnold |date=2006-05-02 |publisher=Time magazine] while many older series are reprinted as well, though often with limited success.

Especially Hergé and "Tintin" have also had a lot of influence on other artists outside the circle of comics authors, like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Hergé has also been recognised by a street and a statue in Angoulême, France, [cite web |url= |title=Comic lovers flock to French festival |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Stephen Betts |date=2003-01-31 |publisher=BBC] and both the French and the Dutch postal offices have issued stamps remembering "Tintin".

Video games and animated and live action movies have been made for popular series like "XIII", [cite web |url= |title=Polished comic book look saves XIII |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Alfred Hermida |date=2004-01-02 |publisher=BBC] "Tintin", [cite web |url= |title=After 25 yrs Tintin gets film break |accessdate=2007-05-25 |date=2007-03-27 |] "Spirou et Fantasio", "Spike and Suzy" and "Lucky Luke", [cite web |url= |title=Rintindumb Chews on New Deal |accessdate=2007-04-25 |author=Chris Grove |date=2007-04-19 |publisher=Animation Magazine] and the long-running Hanna-Barbera series of "The Smurfs" became a worldwide success with massive merchandising, [Dierick, "Beeldverhaal", p. 81] and the success continues as evidenced by the ratings animated cartoons based on the adventures of "Tintin" and "Lucky Luke" had in Germany and Canada in 2005 and 2006. [cite web |url= |title=TVFI, CNC Release Report on French Television |accessdate=2007-04-25 |date=2007-04-16 |] But also more mature graphic novels like "The Wedding Party" by Hermann Huppen and Jean Van Hamme have been turned into movies.

Most major European artists worked for a while, often early in their career, in Belgium: French authors like Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, Jacques Tardi, Jean Graton and Claire Bretécher, a German like Andreas, the Polish author Grzegorz Rosiński, the Portuguese Carlos Roque, Swiss authors Zep and Cosey... Even the major Italian author Hugo Pratt created many of his best known later works for Casterman.


ee also

* Franco-Belgian comics

External links

* [ The Belgian Comics Center]
* [ Belgium portal page on comic strips]

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  • Franco-Belgian comics — Bande dessinée redirects here. For Bande dessinée québécoise, see Quebec comics. Franco Belgian comics Earliest publications 1800s 1920s Languages French Dutch Related articles …   Wikipedia

  • Franco-Belgian comics magazines — Belgium and France have a long tradition in comics. They have a common history for comics (see Franco Belgian comics) and magazines.In the early years of its history, magazines had a large place on the comics market and were often the only place… …   Wikipedia

  • Franco-Belgian comics publishing houses — Belgium and France have a long tradition in comics. They have a common history for comics (see Franco Belgian comics) and publishing houses.The first publishing houses established in the 1930s and 1940s, especially in Belgium, with Casterman,… …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Comic Strip Center — Centre belge de la Bande dessinée (French) Belgisch Centrum voor het Beeldverhaal (Dutch) Established October 6, 1989[1] Location …   Wikipedia

  • Comics anthology — Comics anthologies collect works in the medium of comics that are too short for standalone publication. Contents 1 U.S. 2 UK 3 Belgium and France 4 See also …   Wikipedia

  • Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art — The Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art (Dutch: Belgisch Centrum voor het Beeldverhaal , french Centre belge de la Bande dessinée ) chronicles the history of Belgian comics. Housed in a former department store in Brussels business district, it… …   Wikipedia

  • Greg (comics) — Greg Born Michel Regnier 5 May 1931(1931 05 05) Ixelles, Belgium Died 29 October 1999(1999 10 29) (aged 68) Neuilly sur Seine, France …   Wikipedia

  • List of Franco-Belgian comic series — Franco Belgian comics are one of the main groups of comics, together with the American and British comic books and the Japanese manga. The term is broad, and can be applied to all comics made by French and Belgian comics authors, all comics… …   Wikipedia

  • Morris (comics) — Morris Born Maurice De Bevere 1 December 1923(1923 12 01) Kortrijk, Belgium Died 16 July 2001(2001 07 16) (aged 77) Brussels, Belgium N …   Wikipedia

  • Portal:Comics — Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences People Philosophy Religion Society Technology …   Wikipedia