Brussels & the ninth art

Lonely Planet Magazine India|April 2020

Brussels & the ninth art
BRUSSELS is the European capital of the comic strip, known here as ‘La Bande Dessinée’ – shortened to BD and pronounced ‘bay day’. Here, the medium is surreal, absurd and often political, frequently lampooning politicians and addressing issues like global warming, racism and terrorism. The city that gave the world René Magritte calls the comic strip ‘The Ninth Art’, and has a museum dedicated to it. Brussels is one of Europe’s best short-break destinations, with great restaurants and bars, wild nightlife and brilliant shopping. A comic-strip heritage adds another dimension to this surprising city.
JOHN BRUNTON

1 COMIC STRIP TRAIL

Launched in 1991, the Brussels Comic Strip Trail has grown into more than 50 eye-catching cartoon murals across the city centre. Tracking them down is an ideal way to explore the backstreets of Brussels, armed with the trail map that explains who each character is. Most are within walking distance of each other in the city centre. Kick off at Rue de la Buanderie, five minutes from the Grand Place, with an action scene of a bank hold-up by cowboy Lucky Luke, and don’t miss the murals close to the Jeu de Balle flea market. Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock decorate a wall just by the famous Manneken Pis statue. www.brussels.be/artdet. cfm/5316

2 BELGIAN COMIC STRIP CENTER

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April 2020