Located in the heart of Brussels, in a beautiful Art Nouveau building, created by Victor Horta in 1906, is the Belgian Comic Strip Center. It opened its doors to the public on October 6th 1989, 5 years after the non-profit organization “Belgian Comic Strip Center” was created in 1984. The Belgian Comic Strip Center’s presidents have been, in chronological order, Bob De Moor (1984-1992), Jean Van Hamme (1992-2000), Guy Dessicy (2000-2012), and the current president Ferry Van Vosselen.
Legendary is the opening speech Bob De Moor gave when the Belgian Comic Centre was officially opened. Hec Leemans, in an interview with the Bob De Moor website, had this to say: “He had to give a speech, being the chairman. The king and the queen were there and hundreds of invitees. He did his duty with a lot of aplomb in both dutch and french and ended his speech with “Vive le Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinee et viva boma, pattatten met saucissen!” I don’t know how many people heard that, but I did. Typically Bob.”
This year the Belgian Comic Strip Center celebrates its 25th anniversary (and it’s 30th if you count from the creation of the non-profit organization). Over the years many comic authors have paid tribute to this museum, not in the least Bob De Moor who had a part of the Barelli album “Barelli in bubbly Brussels” taking place at the museum.
He also created the drawing on the left which was very much unlike his normal work but which clearly shows the versatile craftsman he was. The scan we offer on the left comes from the documentation of the family De Meulenaere – De Moor and shows a 11.5cm X 17cm postcard of the original drawing which Bob De Moor dedicated to 3 of his grandchildren and signed as ‘(Bompa) Bob De Moor’. For the non-Dutch speaking, ‘bompa’ is the flemish word for the more cosy ‘grandpa’. In the drawing you see Barelli, Balthazar and Monsieur Tric watching the opening party that takes place at the Belgian Comic Strip Center. You will recognize from left to right: Blake & Mortimer, Marsipulami, Lucky Luke, Tintin, Captain Haddock, Snowy, La Castafiore, Thompson and Thompson, Spike and Suzy (plus her doll Muffin), Gaston and his favorite music instrument the Gaffophone.
A bigger format of the drawing was featured in “Le 9ème Art entre dans l’Art Nouveau – T.1” together with work from Andreas, Franck Pé, Vance and Yslaire. The item was published in 1989 by the Belgian Comic Strip Center and held serigraphs by said authors.
Note that the 25th Anniversary Celebrations for the museum will be on 4 and 5 October 2014 for the general public. A special invitation only event is scheduled on 3 October. For those interested to dive some into the less well known publications on the Franco-Belge comic scene, we recommend a visit to the library which harbors some really old and rare books!