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    The spotlight is on cartoons this weekend in Brussels

    © Belga

    Brussels’ Parc Royal will host the annual cartoon festival, Fête de la BD, from Friday to Sunday.

    The organisers have invited 250 authors, whom the public will be able to meet. Other major attractions will be a parade of balloons bearing the effigies of the main heroes of the Ninth Art (cartoons) to be held around the park on Sunday.

    On Friday, the organisers will roll out an entirely free programme for schools, including workshops, guided tours, games, paper chases, and meetings with authors.

    Exhibitions will be held throughout the weekend, focusing mainly on “The Children of the Resistance” and “Spirou and Brussels under Occupation”. The former, adapted for a young public aged 8 to 12 years, is drawn from the hit series by Benoît Ers and Vincent Dugomier. It explains the main themes linked to World War II and the resistance in France and Belgium. A paper chase will enable children to act as resistance members.

    “Spirou and Brussels under the Occupation” exhibits historical documents showing the acts of resistance by the Spirou newspaper and its then editor-in-chief, Jean Doisy. The best of Emile Bravo’s pages taken from the albums of the “Espoir malgré tout” series will also be featured. The second volume of the series will be published on the occasion of the Cartoon Festival.

    Various other expos and activities are planned for the Centre Belge de la Bande dessinée (CBBD Belgian Cartoon Centre) at Rue des Sables.

    The Palais des Beaux-Arts (Palace of the Fine Arts or Bozar) will host a “Blake & Mortimer” conference linked to the publication earlier this year of the cartoon event “The Last Pharaoh”. A dedication session with the album’s authors, Jaco Van Dormael, François Schuiten, Thomas Gunzig, and Laurent Durieux, has been announced.

    At the Bozar, the Atomium awards for cartoons will be given out on Friday. A new award, the Vandersteen Prize, which will go to a work published in Dutch, has also been created. There are eight categories in total and prize winners will share a €100,000.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times