The Comics Festival unveils some great new features for its 2018 edition


To mark its 9th year, from 14–16 September 2018, the Brussels Comics Festival contains its own batch of novelties. This year the brave Alix is celebrating 70 years of existence and will be honoured right through this weekend dedicated to the 9the art.

Since its inauguration in 2010 by, the Comics Festival has come a long way. Launched after a year dedicated to Brussels about the 9th art, each year the Comics Festival welcomes nearly 100,000 visitors and more than 250 comics artists.

This year, the Comics Festival will once again be taking up its place in Brussels park where the traditional tents will be pitched over 14, 15 and 16 September coming. Aside from the regular giant balloon parade or the rally of cars drawn from the huts of the greatest comics, the Comics Festival offers lovers of the genre talks, screenings, signings and other activities suitable for all.

For its 9the year, this unmissable event for comics fans has its own batch of new features:

  • The courageous Alix will be honoured throughout the festival. From the exhibition poster to the Balloon’s Day Parade, the Gallic hero will be present everywhere.
  • Two exclusives exhibitions:

o «Alix – The art of Jacques Martin»: This is the show-piece exhibition of this year’s festival. In collaboration with the publisher Casterman and the Royal Museum of Arts and History (Parc du Cinquantenaire), it will be produced by all parts for the Comics Festival. This will bring together around 150 original drawings arranged by topic (historical references, treatment of women and homosexuality, treatment of the imagination, etc.) situated among the permanent museum collections in the Parc du Cinquantenaire and will be on display for 4 months.

o «Live in FranDisco» – Thierry Van Hasselt/FMK (Wallonia-Brussels Federation):

This exhibition honours the winner of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Prize for Comics (Prix Atomium 2017), Thierry Van Hasselt/Fremok for his work «Live in FranDisco».

  • A Smurf balloon will be appearing in the Balloon’s Day Parade.
  • An exceptional comics improv contest: “Spirou vs Fluide Glacia: the clash!”

In recent months, a curious tension has been noted in the relations between SPIROU and FLUIDE GLACIAL, two monuments of the comics newspaper press. No holds barred, it seems. As a sharp observer of this battle, Thierry Tinlot, former head editor of the two newspapers, has put himself forward as a referee and proposed an improv match during the comics festival! The only weapon of choice: humour! Players and artists will be defending the honour of their respective magazine. We’re talking here about Berco and Munuera siding with Spirou, and Mo/CDM and Ju/CDM with  Fluide… Provided, however, this means the two publications don’t mutually destroy one another.

This super-original face-off is taking place at BOZAR

In collaboration with the Belgian Professional Improvisation League.

  • Lastly, there was one publisher missing from the Comics Festival. A very important publisher from the north of the country: The Comics Festival is proud to welcome Standaard Uitgeverij this year.

Second edition of the Atomium Comic Strip Prizes with two new prizes

Comic strips are an art that has fallen from favour in recent years. It has often proved difficult for professional comic strip artists to make a living from their work., in close collaboration with the Brussels-Capital regional government, highlights the city’s support for creativity and brings together existing initiatives in awarding mainly cash prizes that will help the winners to finance their work.

In 2017, as part of its 8th edition, the Comics Festival presented the Atomium Comic Strip Prize for the first time. Some 7 prizes, worth a total of 100,000 euros, were presented in September 2017 in BOZAR.

Building on this success, the Comics Festival is reliving the experience in 2018, while expanding the concept even further: no less than 9 prizes will be given out for a total amount of 115,000 euros. The sponsor of the second awards ceremony will be French screenwriter Fabien Vehlmann, author of the series «Seuls» and «Spirou and Fantasio».

The prizes:

The Raymond Leblanc Young Creative Prize – Raymond Leblanc Foundation (value: 20,000 euros offered by the COCOF and Editions du Lombard).

The Wallonia-Brussels Federation Comics Strip Prize – Alda Gréoli, Culture Minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (value: 10,000 euros)

The Spirou Comics Adventure Prize – Spirou magazine (15,000 euros in advertising space + publication in SPIROU magazine)

The Brussels Atomium Prize – Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels Region (7500 euros) as well as subsidy from BX1

The PREM1ÈRE Graphic Novel Prize – RTBF (20,000 euros in advertising space)

The Cognito Historical Comics Prize – Fondation Cognito (3000 euros)

The Le Soir comics reportage prize – Le Soir newspaper (20,000 euros in advertising space)

New arrivals 2018:

The Atomium Citizen Comics Prize – Le Cœur à lire (5000 euros)

The Bronzen Adhemar Dutch-language Comics Prize – Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister for

Culture, Media, Young People and Brussels (5000 euros); asbl Stripgids; Fondation Marc Sleen and Bruzz.

The publishers: events, exhibitions and signings


Aside from the numerous authors present and the many signing sessions and events planned, the publisher Casterman is celebrating the 70th birthday of Alix.

On the programme:

Exhibition «ALIX – The Art of Jacques Martin» at the Royal Museum in the Parc du Cinquantenaire Joint production: 9th Art+, FIBD, the International City for the comic strip and Casterman publishing

Exhibition of original artwork for the forthcoming Alix by David B and Giorgio Albertini in the CBBD gallery

School activities involving Alix in partnership with the Book Fair.


With twenty or so authors already confirmed, the publisher Dargaud has many surprises in store for visitors. Apart from the signing sessions, a life-size mural of the hero Batman and his rival the Joker will be drawn live during the festival by the artist Enrico Marini, author of the breathless diptych: «Batman, The Dark Prince charming». But that’s certainly not all!

Exhibitions, a children’s space for the little ones based on their favourite heroes (Emma et Capucine, The Blaireau Renard family, Le Loup en Slip, Boule et Bill, etc.) and events for schools will bring the festival to life each day.


The whole SPIROU magazine team will be present for the SPIROU festival. Surprises, games, quizzes, illustration battles – there’s no way you’ll get bored. Around fifty authors will be on hand for visitors for signing sessions, events, etc. A few names: Batem, Bercovici, Emile Bravo, Gijé & Carbone, Darasse & Lou, Cossu, Jean-Luc Deglin, etc. This year, Editions Dupuis are placing the focus on Aire Libre, undoubtedly the most prestigious collection from a catalogue now in its 30th year!

Finally, a programme dedicated to the SCHOOLS awaits young people from Friday morning: they may discover colouring on computer, rediscover in illustration characters from films like Tamara, Seuls or Le petit Spirou. And since its the start of the year, any classes who wish can GET THEIR CLASS PHOTO taken at the Spirou stand with a little surprise…


Aside from the authors present, the publisher Glénat will be focusing on three major topics: The Conan collection: The new collection, Conan the Cimmerian restores the nobility of the Conan character by breathing new life, even more epic, into the texts of Robert E. Howard. In the programme, conference and encounter with the three illustrators of the collection.

Amber Blake written by Jade Lagardère: Jade Lagardère recounts the adventures of a new powerful heroine with a dark past, somewhere between Alias and Largo Winch in female form. A vibrant, modern, pitiless action series with drawings by the great Butch Guice!

Works for the young: Young authors will be offering original events and some live drawing. Some of the authors present: Paola Antista (Sorceline), Bertolucci Federico (Brindille), Jonathan Garnier & Amelie Flechais (Bergères Guerrières), etc.

Le Lombard: Twenty or so authors will be present including Dugomier, Gody, Jurion, Debhume, and Warnauts & Raives. From a fancy-fair organised by the famous dunce «Ducobu» to a paper chase in the company of the little hero «Timo the Adventurer», as well as exhibitions, the whole family will be literally immersed in the universe of their favourite heroes.

Standaard Uitgeverij: This year, for the first time, Standaard Uitgeverij is taking part in the Brussels Comic Strip Festival. It’s the perfect opportunity for this major Flemish publishing house to celebrate the 100th album of their FC De Kampioenen series. Visitors get to plunge themselves into the world of this popular comics trip. Other activities and original installations are also scheduled, such as signings, a selfie wall, a reading room, etc.

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