To celebrate the year of the comic strip, Brussels is doing more than just host the 2009 comic book celebrations.
Just outside the city is the town of Louvain-la-Neuve, which recently became the home of the Hergé Museum.
Many North American readers probably never had the luck of getting to read much of the comic book work of Hergé, but anyone with European roots probably grew up reading his Tintin stories.
In fact, Tintin is one of the most popular comic strips ever created, and had a 54 year run, selling over 200 million books.
So, if you find yourself in Brussels, and want to learn more about Tintin and his creator, head down to the museum. The museum was opened on May 22nd, but won’t be open to the general public till June 2nd.
Visitor information and address
When it comes to exports, Belgium may be better known for its fantastic beer and chocolates, but one of its most successful export products is actually comic books.
Some of the most popular comic book names in the world are from Belgium, including the Smurfs (by Peyo), Tintin (by Herge) and of course Asterix and Obelix (by Goscinny et Uderzo).
To celebrate their success in the comic book world, Brussels has been chosen to host the 2009 year of the “comic strip”.
With over 36 events and 2 comic book walking tours, it shouldn’t be too hard to find something comic related in the city. A calendar of events can be found here.
All of this is of course in addition to the many other things Brussels has to offer. Visitors to Brussels can find a one-stop source of activities at Brusselsinternational.be.
Our friends at World Hum have just named their 10 greatest fictional travellers ranging from cutesy Dora the Explorer at number 10 up to Jack Kerouac’s uber cool Sal Paradise at number 1.
To my Kiwi eyes, the list is a little United States-centric, and as much as I love On the Road, Sal Paradise didn’t really get far on a global basis did he? But I guess he deserves to be there purely for how much inspiration the book’s given to those of us afflicted with wanderlust.
A few notable exceptions I’d like to add are Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s Around the World In 80 Days, the globe-trotting Carmen San Diego, and Belgium’s biggest export after Trappist beer, Tintin.
If the T-shirts in the markets of Asia are to be believed, that boy’s been everywhere. Even a few places author Herge didn’t even write about.
Thanks to Mullenkedheim on Flickr for the pic “proving” Tintin went to Hanoi.