Belgium makes efforts to revive comic industry

Interesting story from the Deutsche Welle about how the Belgium government is working to promote comics. The country was a comic powerhouse decades ago spawning notable cartoons like Tintin, The Smurfs, and Spirou.

Today, most of the big Belgian comic book publishing houses have been bought up by multinational companies. And the country’s comic strip output has been dwarfed by new players like Japan and Argentina as well as old heavy-weights like the US and France. But Belgium has started fighting back, setting up a government-funded Comic Book Commission in 2007. With an annual budget of 130,000 euros ($168,000), it promotes new Belgian comic strip art – and funds 30 to 40 projects with grants ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 euros each year.

4 thoughts on “Belgium makes efforts to revive comic industry

  1. The last few issues of Inkspot, the Magazine of the Australian Cartoonists’ Association have interviews of “Franco/Belge” Bande Dessinee artists, if you are interested:

    Authors interviewed in the various issues are: Colin Wilson, Derib, Sylvain Runberg, Nicolas Vadot, Serge Perrotin, Olivier Cadic, and coming up are Stephane Dauvin (Stedo), Phillipe Aymond and Raoul cauvin.

    Note that a lot of the “Franco/Belge” comics are now available in English through Cinebook:

    I grew up in France and love Bande Dessinee!

  2. First they funded the painters. But I wasn’t a painter, so I called it socialism.
    Then they funded the musicians. But I wasn’t a musician, so I called it communism.
    Then they funded the cartoonists. And I said about friggin’ time.

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