Blake & Mortimer, 75 years of adventures!

Blake & Mortimer, 75 years of adventures!

As connoisseurs know, Brussels and its heritage greatly inspired Edgar P. Jacobs - and those who took over the series from him - to create the adventures of Blake & Mortimer. Why not take advantage of a visit of the streets of the Belgian capital to follow in the footsteps of Blake & Mortimer?

To mark the 75th anniversary of the two heroes, a new mural has been inaugurated in the Marolles - on rue du Temple - the district where Edgar P. Jacobs lived. This work refers to The Yellow "M", one of the albums in the series.

Do you know the Brussels locations that have found their way into the pages of this iconic series? Join us as we discover them!


    The symbol of Brussels: the Atomium

    In the album The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, captain Blake and Professor Mortimer’s adventure leads them to Brussels as they attempt to stop Emperor Acoka sabotaging the Universal Expo of 1958 in the Belgian capital. The Atomium, a true Brussels icon and national symbol, was erected for this major exhibition. Representing an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times, it celebrates technological and scientific progress, particularly in the nuclear field. Today, the Atomium still welcomes thousands of visitors who come to admire the panoramic view from its summit or visit one of the many exhibitions organised within it each year.

    © 2021 Editions BLAKE & MORTIMER / Studio Jacobs (Dargaud Lombard s.a.)

    The Palace of Justice, the Sablon and the Marolles

    The colossal Palace of Justice in Brussels was also immortalised by illustrator François Schuiten. In The Last Pharaoh, a strange magnetic field emanates from the gigantic building, designed by architect Joseph Poelaert, whose majesty shines through in the drawings of the album. It took seventeen years, from 1866 to 1883, to build this temple of law and justice. It stands on Mont des Potences (Gallows Hill), where convicts were executed in the Middle Ages. Its history and heritage importance make it one of the most iconic buildings in Brussels, so don't hesitate to visit it!

    The courthouse towers over the Marolles district, THE district to visit if you want to get a better feel for the real soul of Brussels. A district renowned for its rebellious inhabitants and its flea market. The Marolles also lies just a stone's throw from the Sablon district, where Edgar P. Jacobs spent the early years of his life.

    © 2021 Editions BLAKE & MORTIMER / Studio Jacobs (Dargaud Lombard s.a.)

    The Art & History Museum

    In the heart of the European Quarter, you can enjoy one of the richest and most renowned museums in the capital: the Art & History Museum. A place that invites you to travel through continents and eras. It’s incredible and mysterious collection has inspired many comic book authors, including Hergé and Edgar P. Jacobs, with the latter greatly inspired by one of the museum's most important collaborators when he wrote The Mystery of the Great Pyramid. In fact, Jean Capart (1877-1947), curator of the museum and father of Egyptology in Belgium, left his mark on generations through his personality and judicious purchases of antique pieces. These still contribute to the international reputation of the museum today. The famous Egyptologist appears in the work in question as Dr Grossgrabenstein. The same album contains many references to the museum's collection of Egyptian antiquities, such as the fragment of the Queen Tiyi relief and the "Lady of Brussels" sculpture.

    © The Art and History Museum – Library  & © 2021 Editions BLAKE & MORTIMER / Studio Jacobs (Dargaud Lombard s.a.)

    What is there to see in Brussels, the comic book capital?

    Brussels has always stayed true to its reputation as the capital of comics. In addition to its permanent collections, the famous Comics Art Museum hosts unique exhibitions every year that attract countless international visitors. From September 2021 to April 2022, the institution will present The Secret of the Swordfish, an exhibition that shines a light on the first album of the series Ruthless Pursuit and the last, The Last Swordfish by Jean Van Hamme, Teun Berserik and Peter van Dongen, which is due to be published in November. More generally, the exhibition aims to provide the public with the keys to understanding this seminal work in its time, while highlighting its astonishing topicality.
    Another unmissable sight in the capital is its comic strip trail, which takes in more than 70 monumental murals dedicated to the ninth art. Tintin, Thorgal, Marsupilami, Spirou, the Smurfs and many others have occupied Brussels’ facades since 1991. As mentioned above, this trail - which sees new murals added every year -has a new addition, a mural dedicated to The Yellow “M”.

    Last but not least, if you want to experience the atmosphere of Edgar P. Jacobs' era in the middle of the 20th century, we recommend the following spots that have preserved their old character: Taverne Greenwich, a magnificent tavern where Magritte regularly played chess; the Cirio, an ideal place to drink a typical half-en-half (a mix of white wine and champagne), which was created in this establishment between the two world wars; and Café Métropole, which lies next to the hotel of the same name and has a prestigious past...