WVU in Europe…Belgian Comic Strip Center.

In March, I spent ten days in Europe with students and colleagues from West Virginia University. Officially, two WVU Art History Professors (Janet Snyder and Rhonda Reymond) were conducting GPS: France courses and WVU Photography Professor Michael Sherwin and I were along to help and do some research into our own potential study abroad courses.

On Tuesday, March 7th we were in Brussels to go to the Belgian Comic Strip Center Comic Museum. This stop was another main reason for traveling to Europe. Much of my research into the history of comics has focused in America. This trip gives me the opportunity to do some research into European comics.


On the outside, the museum building is pretty unassuming, but the inside is pretty vast and visually striking.

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Front desk welcome signage…


Multiple floors of exhibitions, a library, and book store…


The museum at another angle…



Again, Tintin references everywhere…


Right at the main desk there is a history of comic language. This is so great to see. When looking back, we can see that sequential visual language has always engaged us, which is possibly why it is such an effective form of communication…


The exhibitions were amazing! There is a permanent exhibition about my new favorite artist, Pieter De Poortere and his strip titled “Dickie”. These wordless comics are hilarious and incredibly insightful about humanity’s ability to be simple and selfish.


One of my favorite comic strips. There are also permanent exhibitions about the creations of comics, Herge and Tintin, and Peyo and the smurfs.


Some of the drawings shown from the permanent exhibition about the creation of comics. There is something so special about seeing the original drawings from comics. As the drawings change, or when you can see the corrections and edits on a page, its almost like seeing the history of the creative process in motion.



There was a special exhibition about an Italian artist named Gipi. This was the first I had ever seen of his work, and it was remarkable!



No two books looked the same, which I think is incredible.



A dangerous part of the museum is the bookstore. I could have easily spent ALL my money here. So many French versions of some of my favorite comics, and so many European comics I had never seen before.


The museum also has a library and reading room! Which is amazing! So many Moebius comics!!!!


The reading room is organized by country, and they had comics from all over the world! What a great resource!


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