A great many authors, specialists, publishers, and journalists will rotate through the Bozar rooms to offer you conferences, encounters, or round tables on subjects of burning interest in the 9th Art world.

Come down in the centre of the marquees in Brussels Park for the Brussels Comic Strip Festival!

  • Friday 14 September

    4pm – I also want to work for a large publisher

    Thanks to the Raymond Leblanc Prize for Young Artists, young comic book artists now receive substantial financial assistance, allowing them to design their comic strips in relatively comfortable working conditions. A talk with the two publishers who fund the prize and the two most recent winners. A collaboration with the not-for-profit Raymond Leblanc association.

    Speakers: Debuhme (2016 laureate, the author of “De la nécessité d'avoir un ours chez soi" - Le Lombard), Hélène Aldeguer (2017 laureate, the author of "Après le printemps" - Futuropolis), Gauthier Van Meerbeeck (Le Lombard), Sébastien Gnaedig (Futuropolis).

    5pm – Carte blanche for Fabien Vehlmann: Alone in the city

    In the wake of Europe’s political crisis, as it is facing new waves of migrants, let’s try to understand the experiences of the men, women and children who have been forced to flee. Like the heroes of “Alone in the City,” they must often learn to survive in the heart of our cities.

    Speakers: Zeina Abirached (author and illustrator, graphic novel "Mourir partir revenir, le jeu des hirondelles" - official selection Angoulême 2008, "le Piano Oriental" - Casterman, the comic book artist who created "Prendre Refuge" - Casterman), and hopefully also attended by Mehdi Kassou (spokesperson of the citizens' platform for refugee support in Brussels), Fabien Vehlmann (moderator).

    6pm – Master class from 64_page, a comic-strip art magazine

    64_page has two objectives: providing a high-quality publication for young authors and being a space where the greats of the comic-book world can share their expertise. Their Masterclasses also aim to follow these two objectives by giving future authors the opportunity to meet Cécile Bertrand, an established author, and Remedium, a young man who has just published his first album. The meeting touches on the technical aspects of the profession and how to operate on a day-to-day basis.

    Speakers: Cécile Bertrand, illustrator and press cartoonist, editorial writer and member of Cartooning for Peace; and REMEDIUM, author of “Les Contes noirs du chien de la casse ("The Dark Tales of the Hunting Dog"), winner of the 2017 Inrocks readers’ prize.

  • Saturday 15 September

    11am – About Alix and Jacques Martin

    It was while reading the work of Jacques Martin during their childhood that Valérie Mangin (Latinist, historian and writer of Moi, Jeanne d'Arc), Giorgio Albertini (archaeologist and co-author of the series Chronosquad) and David B. (author of L’Ascension du haut-mal) developed their taste for comics and history. Today, the first of these authors is signing the scripts of the series Alix Senator while the two others are publishing the new Alix comic: Veni vidi vici in time for the new school year. The conference will be exploring the famous character whose 70th birthday we are celebrating this year. Together, they'll be discussing their relationship with history and fiction past and present. It will also be an opportunity to highlight the place of women in both series and decode their fantastic and wonderful dimensions.

    Speakers: Valérie Mangin, Latinist, historian and scriptwriter, author of “Alix Senator (Casterman), a sequel to the famous series created by Jacques Martin in the magazine “Tintin”; Giorgio Albertini: illustrator of Alix T37 “Veni Vidi Vici”; and David B.: scriptwriter of Alix T37 “Veni Vidi Vici”, Benoît Mouchart (moderator).

    12.15pm – Who has won the Bronzen Adhemar 2018 ?

    The Bronzen Adhemar, named after the genius son of the legendary newspaper comic protagonist Nero, is a cultural prize awarded to Flemish authors since 1977. The list of winners reads like a ‘who’s who’ of authors who pushed the boundaries with their body of work. Meet the successor of Luc Cromheecke (De Tuin van Daubigny, Plunk, Roboboy, etc.)! In this interview with the latest winner, Stripgids’ editor-in-chief Roel Daenen takes a closer look at their life and work.

    Speakers: the winners of the Bronze Adhemar Prize (whose names will be revealed on 14 September when the Atomium Prizes will be presented), Roel Daenen (editor-in-chief, Stripgids, moderator).

    1.30pm – Carte blanche for Fabien Vehlmann: Revealing the invisible

    In our mixed and multicultural society, the poor representation of entire sections of the population (sexual and religious minorities, people of colour) in books, particularly comic books, can only be lamented. By responding, however, it can be an opportunity to better depict a complex situation.

    Speakers: Aïchatou Ouattara (jurist and founder of the blog Afrofeminista), Shennawy (designer, founder of TokTok Mag), Fabien Vehlmann (moderator).

    3pm – Talk by Jade Lagardère: Amber Blake, a modern-day heroine

    While Jade Lagardère, who was born on 26 September 1990 in Belgium, burst on the scene at a young age as a haute couture and ready-to-wear model, she has also always taken a keen interest in writing. She wrote her first script at the age of 18 but never pursued it further. At the age of 26, Jade finally returned to her first love, writing. As a Belgian, she grew up with comic strips, from Hergé to Van Hamme whose work she adores. That is why she chose this medium for her script, collaborating with the American designer Butch Guice. She has developed a female character called Amber Blake, whose force of character, survival instinct and intelligence help her fight injustice and barbarism, like violence against women or paedophilia. Jade, who left on a humanitarian mission to Morocco at the age of 15 for the association "SOS Villages d'Enfants", has always been deeply moved by these topics and uses comic strips as a way of raising the public's awareness through entertainment.

    Speakers: Jade Lagardère (scriptwriter of "Amber Blake" – Glénat - 2 albums published to date), Philippe Hauri (Editor), Thierry Tinlot (moderator).

    4.15pm – Citizen Comic strip prize: comic strips that we can relate to!

    This year, a new prize, the Atomium Citizen Comic strip prize will be presented to a comic strip that tackles the challenges of today's society, in a positive, constructive and generous manner. A comic strip that we can all identify with. The winner's name(s) will be revealed on Friday evening.

    Speakers: the winner(s) of the Atomium public prize (whose name(s) will be revealed on Friday 14 September during the presentation of the Atomium Prizes), Thierry Tinlot (moderator).

    5.30pm – Les Vieux Fourneaux: from bookshops to the silver screen

    The bestselling comic strip album of Lupano and Cauuet (Dargaud) was recently turned into a film by Christophe Duthuron. Wilfrid Lupano discusses this incredible adventure and this flamboyant adaptation.

    Speakers: Wilfrid Lupano (scriptwriter for the “Les Vieux Fourneaux" series - Dargaud and the film of the same name), Morgan Di Salvia (moderator).

    9pm – OFF conference !!!  Carte blanche for Fabien Vehlmann:  Reinventing the erotic comic strip – (Venue of the conference to be disclosed at the festival)

    Long confined to hidden corners of bookshop, erotic comic books are still struggling to earn recognition. In 2018, what can be done to breathe new life into the genre and adapt it to 21st century sexuality?

    Speakers: Aude Mermilliod (writes about feminism, eroticism and sexuality, "Il fallait que je vous dise" - Casterman), Jean-Louis Tripp (author of "Extases" - Casterman), and hopefully to be attended by  the anthropologist Pierre-Yves Wauthier (monograph on monogamy "My partner in a flash. An anthropologist in speed dating" - The Harmattan-Academia and sociology thesis in the making on non-monogamy and the conditions for the emergence of non-monogamous family configurations, including polyamorous ones), Fabien Vehlmann (moderator).

  • Sunday 16 September

    11am – Prix Cognito for historic comic strips

    Spotlight on this prize which rewards the work of an author who combines comic strip design with history. The winner's name(s) will be revealed on Friday evening. A collaboration with the Cognito Foundation. This genre is flourishing and every year, a myriad of new thrilling books is published that give us an opportunity to revisit history.

    Speakers: the winner(s) of the Cognito Prize (whose name(s) will be revealed on Friday 14 September during the Atomium Prize award ceremony).

    12.15pm – Carte blanche for Fabien Vehlmann:  Eco-groove !

    The green movement obviously involves everyone, but is too often seen as whiny, catastrophist or backward-looking (hence people saying that we are heading “back to the stone age”)! So, what is the best way of tackling the topic in comic books and amongst friends in a way that raises awareness without being seen as annoying?

    Speakers: David D’Hondt (shepherd/the man behind the "Les moutons bruxellois" project, a new urban agriculture project), Louise Joor ("Neska du clan du lierre" and "Kanopé", which uses the relations between humans and nature as a context), Fabien Vehlmann (moderator).

    1.30pm – Master class by Enrico Marini on Batman 

    Marini is privileged to have enjoyed an experience that very few European authors get to experience, i.e., designing a Batman for DC Comics. He was the first European designer to be invited to design the famous vigilante. So what does it feel like to work with an American publisher on such a high-level series? Do you feel terror or excitement?

    Speakers: Enrico Marini (“Batman, The Dark Prince Charming" - script, drawings, colours), Stéphanie Coerten (moderator).