The great temporary exhibitions

18.11.08 > 08.03.09

The New Children's Comic Strips

Their names are Sfar, Trondheim, Robin, de Bonneval or Guibert. With the creation of new graphic forms, in the '90s these storytellers assumed a role of ever-increasing importance.

But they were not content to write comics just for adults. With Toto l'Ornithorynque, Ludo, Le Petit Vampire or Le Petit Père Noël, they also created new graphic worlds for a younger audience.

This exhibition is part of the Belgian Comic Strip Centre’s 2009 program with which, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, it would like to bring a year-long salute to everything which has changed in comics since the Centre's opening on 6 October 1989.

(introduction of the exhibition)

They had almost disappeared, forgotten in the editorial multitude of a media type that had aged with its readership. Drifting away from children, comic strips had inexorably become a pastime for adults, even when they were designated “for all members of the public”. In fact, it was actually the parents who were suggesting them to their children.

But could the customer base be renewed other than directly addressing the new generations? The publishers had the same concerns as the young authors who, having become parents themselves, imagined telling new stories for children.

With the new graphic codes and reinvented narratives coming from France, the new wave of French-Belgian comic strips carefully avoids the 7 to 77 year old age bracket, according to the slogan dear to Le Journal de Tintin. From now on, the 7/12 years old are a group in itself, worthy of the albums published especially for them.

Without losing sight of the editorial approach where the traditional publishers intersect with the independents, this exhibition essentially comes from the heart. It focuses with delight on twenty-two original artists, representative of the new wave in comic strips for children. Surprising and funny, they will please young and old alike. Because, guess what, we like reading our children’s comic strips too… From beginning to end and back again!

JC De la Royère

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