Peyo’s creation, the Smurfs, will be celebrated throughout the Comics Festival which is taking place in Parc de Bruxelles September 4th-6th, announced Guy Vanhengel, Brussels Foreign Secretary, and Philippe Close, Alderman in charge of Tourism, at a press conference on Thursday. The winner of the Raymond Leblanc Prize was also revealed.
Marquees and exhibitions have already been set up in Parc de Bruxelles one day ahead of the Comics Festival opening. It is expecting some 100,000 fans of the 9th art. Manga and traditional comic strips will also be present with an international exhibition space under a marquee entirely dedicated to them.
Free guided tours and special Cinematek screenings will be on offer too, as well as a parade of giant balloons and the Tintin rally on Sunday.
Smurfs were obviously chosen for “being part of the DNA” of Belgians and “having touched generations,” highlighted Philippe Close. The Lombard exhibition will pay tribute to the famous little blue guys by telling their story over a period of 3 days. Pascal Garray, the cartoonist responsible for many Smurf books, will also be on site on Saturday between 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm for a book signing event, and a giant Smurf will join visitors at the corner of Place Royale and Place des Palais.
Lastly, Fadila Laanan, Minister-President in charge of Culture of the Committee on Coordination of Funds (Cocof), revealed the winner of the Raymond Leblanc Young Creator’s Award on Thursday. Aude Mermilliod was rewarded this year, for her project “Changing Reflections.” The young woman will receive 10,000 euros, and the same amount again as an advance payment, as well as a contract with Lombard Publishers for her next book.