Brussels – Comic walls and street art

 

Went to Brussels for 10 days a week ago. Before my trip, I was told that Brussels does not usually have sunny days and it has an average of 200 rainy days yearly, so I was all geared up with umbrella and raincoat. Fortunately, there were only 1½ days of rain during the entire trip and I had 8 days of sunshine in Belgium.

Brussels is a pretty city but unfortunately it is not a clean city. Rubbish and dogs ‘poo’ can be seen everywhere (especially city centre) and there is strong urine smell in the vicinity of all train stations. In the evening around 5 pm, garbage bags lined up pedestrian side walks in almost all areas which is uncommon in other cities.

 

However, I am impressed with Belgium’s “comic culture” and wonderful comic strip murals are all over the city. My Belgium comic culture has been limited to Tintin and Smurfs and it is until I physically visited this country, my knowledge of Belgium comics has broadened significantly. I have specially taken a day to locate all their comic strip walls and it was a good day’s walk. The tourist information center has printed a map of this comic strip walls trail but unfortunately, it was not a clear guide. After more than 5 hours of walking and searching, and with all the tiredness and fatigue, I could not help but said to myself “the hell with your walls” :P, so I gave up trying to locate the last wall (maybe 2 😉 ) which is furthest away from city center. :(

“Boule et Bill”story about a couple and their son Boule and Bill, the cocker spaniel.

 

 “Boule et Bill”

 

“Quick and Flupke” – 2 mischievous young boys in Brussels who unintentionally cause trouble, leading to annoyance with their parents and the police.

 

 “Odilon Verjus” – is a missionary in the 1930s who traveled with the young novice Lawrence and carried out missions for the Vatican.

 

“Blondin and Cirage”  – two young boys, one blond and one black.

 

 “Passe Moi l’ciel” (pass me the sky) – Each species or each object has its own paradise guarded by St Peter who checked on the computer to see if a person could enter heaven or be redirected to hell 

 

 

 “Tintin” – famous Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Milou. Steven Spielberg has recently made a film about the adventures of Tintin and the film will come out in November in Brussels.

 

 

 “XIII” (Thirteen) – story about a man suffering from amnesia with the tattoo ‘XIII’ (thirteen on his collarbone in USA. He tried to search for his past and identity and found himself entangled conspiracies, secrets, and killers who were out to murder him. There was a video game based on this comic.

 

 

 “Isabelle & Calendula” – story about the adventures of the isabella and her encounter with the witch Calendula.

 

” Asterix and Obelix” – story about the adventures of the smart hero Asterix in the village Armorica in Gaul ( France) and his fat, unintelligent friend Obelix in the year 50 BC. 

 

“Le Jeune Albert” (The young Albert) – story of a kid living in post World War II Brussels who loved to play practical jokes on his friends and made life horrible for those around him. 

 

 

” La Patrouille des Castors” (The Beaver Patrol) – adventures of a group of young scouts.

 

 

 “Le petit Jojo” – daily life of the adorable little boy Jojo who lived with his grandmother.

 

“Lucky Luke” – story of the bounty hunter cowboy Luke who had Jolly Jumper , ‘the smartest horse in the world’ and Rantanplan, ‘the stupidest dog in the universe.

 

 

“Le Reves de Nic” – (Nic’s dream) – dreams of the young boy Nic 

 

“Cori Le Mousaillon” – Cori is the main character, he was a secret agent of the Queen Elizabeth of England.

 

“Caroline Baldwin” – an adventurous Indian descendant American girl who works as a private detective.

 

 

 “Blake & Mortimer” – Philip Mortimer, a leading British scientist, and his friend Captain Francis Blake of MI5

 

“Neron/ Nero” – Nero a good hearted, lazy hero who always get himself into trouble.

 

 

“L’Ange de Sambre” 

 

 

“Cubitus” – a large good-natured dog who lived with his owner. I particularly like this mural as I find it funny with Cubitus posing as the manneken pis.

 

“Billy the Cat” – interesting story of Billy, who was originally a mean schoolboy that bullied animals. He was killed by a car while he carelessly ran out in the street. Due to all his misdemeanor, he could be go to heaven but was given a second chance to return to earth in the form of a cat. He had retained all his previous memories as a boy and had to struggle to live the life of a cat.

 

 

 “FC de Kampioenen” – (FC Champion) – adventures of a football team.

 

“Bob et bobette” (Spike and Suzy – british / Willy and Wanda – USA) 2 children with their family and friend.

 

“Ric Hochet” – a reporter for the newspaper ‘La Rafale’ in Paris

 

 

“Olivier Rameau” – young legal clerk and the beautiful Colombe Tiredale

 

 

 “Broussaille” – Broussaille and his girlfriend Catherine.

 

“Victor Sackville” – a spy in the First World War

 

 

“Monsieur Jean” – Monsieur Jean was a single 30 years old unsuccessful writer who lived in Paris and he was always searching for good ideas for his novel.

 

“Gaston Lagaffe” story of the daily life of Gaston , a lazy and accident prone office junior.

 

 

“Gaston Lagaffe and his cat Marsupilami”  – the statue is in the tourist comic walls trail map.

 

“Le Scorpion”the Scorpion, an adventurer and a womanizer, got the name with the mark of scorpion on his shoulder. He was also an art expert who had his way to obtain holy relics of antiquity from roman catacombs and resold to bishops and princes at exorbitant prices.

 

 

“The Passage” – This painting is inspired by the series of the graphic novel “Les Cités obscures” (The Obscure Cities) in which humans live in independent city-states of a fantasy world. Each of these states has developed a distinct civilization and in some ways all focused on architecture and architectural styles. The figure of the man with a hat, at the bottom, is more reminiscent of some of Magritte’s paintings. 

 

 

 “La Vache”  (the cow) – The famous mural displays icons from Brussels (The Atomium, a lion of the Brussels Stock Exchange building, stretches, the Palais de Justice, the Tintin’s rocket, and so on.

 

“Le Chat” (the cat)

 

Aside from all these wonderful murals, you can also see many graffiti art all over the country (also in Ghent and Bruges) by unknown artists (unknown to me :P). Some are really elaborate and finely painted. I saw a huge one while I was in the tram (probably 20 m long) but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time for me to take a picture.

 

 

 

graffiti van ?! 

 

 

 

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