This is a guest post by the talented Kirstie Will Travel, a languages student and fellow travel blogger.
The Brussels Comic Book Route is one of the most exciting things to do when in Brussels. The city is renowned for its comic history and the great artists that have created characters such as Tintin, The Smurfs, and Asterix. This route is a great chance to discover more about this comic history whilst exploring the city, and murals are a lot of fun as well. This Brussels Comic Book Route guide has absolutely everything you need- an interactive map with all the points, a list of every mural in the order of the route, as well as some places to eat along the route and other handy information.
The Brussels Comic Book Route Map
Understanding The Brussels Comic Book Route Map
Don’t be overwhelmed by this map! There is a lot going on but once you understand what everything means it’s really easy to follow. Here’s a few top tips to help.
- Each mural on the map has a coloured marker and a lettered symbol. The lettered symbol is for the directions from each point to the next. Google maps only let you add directions between 10 points which is why A-I repeats several times over. The coloured marker changes for each section to make it easier to separate them.
- The markers in RED are points of interest that you might want to stop and see during the route.
- The markers in LIGHT BLUE are some cafes and restaurants near the route path and the markers in BLACK are metro stops near the route path. It takes a long time to walk this route (it took me around 4 hours split over two days) and so you will need to make sure you stop to recharge, or even split it over two days, so I thought the markers with food outlets and public transport would be handy.
- If you click the star in the left-hand panel you can save the map to your google maps account to make it easier to access
- Each section can be removed from the map if you don’t need to see it. For example, if you aren’t interested in the other points of interest, simply click the box with a tick and it will disappear (you can click it again to bring it back up).
- If you don’t have time to do the whole route I’d recommend Section 3 as the best one. It is in the center of the city, the murals are close together and you’ll get to see the famous Tintin mural.
The Murals of the Brussels Comic Book Route
La Patrouille Des Castors (Section 1-A; Stop 1)
Address: Rue Piermans. Co-ordinates: 50.83528, 4.34554
This comic series translates to ‘The Beaver Patrol’ and was created by MiTacq and Jean-Michel Charlier. Two scouts are painting the wall but in the comics they get up to much more exciting adventures.
Jojo (Section 1-B; Stop 2)
Address: Rue Piermans. Co-ordinates: 50.83584, 4.34454
This mural was created by André Geerts for the Brussels Comic Book Route. It’s located in the Marollen area of Brussels and is pretty easy to spot.
Le Chat (Section 1-C; Stop 3)
Address: Boulevard du Midi. Co-ordinates: 50.83553, 4.34461
Created by Philippe Geluck, Le Chat is a hugely popular comic strip character, who had his own daily strip in Belgian newspaper Le Soir for 30 years. The mural has been there since 1993.
Boule Et Bill (Section 1-D; Stop 4)
Address: Rue du Chevreuil. Co-ordinates: 50.83778, 4.34564
Boule et Bill was created by Belgian artist Jean Roba and the mural depicts Boule having fun with his cocker spaniel Bill, the premise of this well-loved family comic.
Odilon Verjus (Section 1-E; Stop 5)
Address: Rue des Capucins. Co-ordinates: 50.83859, 4.34613
This comic, created by Yann Le Pennetier and Laurent Verron, is an adventure comic set in the 1930s. The mural shows Odilon Verjus, the main character, with his apprentice, and Josephine Baker, who appeared occasionally in the comics along with several other historical figures.
Blondin Et Cirage (Section 1-F; Stop 6)
Address: Rue des Capucins. Co-ordinates: 50.83838, 4.34669
Blondin et Cirage, also known as Blondie and Blinkie, have been around since the 1930s. The comic was created by Jijé, a renowned and pioneering Belgian comic artist.
Leonard (Section 1-G; Stop 7)
Address: Rue des Capucins. Co-ordinates: 50.83813, 4.34736
In this mural, Leonard, an inventor, is painting the Palais de Justice, which this mural overlooks. Leonard was created by Turk & De Groot.
Spirou (Section 1-H; Stop 8)
Adress: Rue Notre Dame de Grace. Co-ordinates: 50.83809, 4.35073
This mural celebrates Spirou, the famous comic strip character and mascot of the comic magazine of the same name. It was originally created by Robert Velter for the launch of Spirou magazine in 1938.
Passe-Moi L’Ciel (Section 1-I; Stop 9)
Address: Rue des Minimes. Co-ordinates: 50.83831, 4.35165
Passe moi l’ciel is a comedic comic about the afterlife, created in the 1980s by Janry and Stuf. It is right next to the Palais de Justice, which you can see to the left of the picture above. There are great panoramic views over Brussels from outside the Palais de Justice so it’s worth paying a visit.
Benoit Brisefer (Section 2-A; Stop 10)
Address: Rue Haute. Co-ordinates: 50.83922, 4.35062
This cute little character was created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo (who also created The Smurfs) in the 1960s. Benoit Brisefer has superhuman abilities that certainly contradict his adorable appearance, and we can see that on the mural as he’s jumping to some height!
Quick And Flupke (Section 2-B; Stop 11)
Address: Rue Notre-Seigneur. Co-ordinates: 50.84048, 4.3502
These two little troublemakers live in the Marolles area of Brussels, both where their creator Hergé grew up and where you’ll find this mural.
Le Jeune Albert (Section 2-C; Stop 12)
Address: Rue des Alexiens. Co-ordinates: 50.8431, 4.35048
Le Jeune Albert was created by French comic artist Yves Chaland, and tells the stories of this young boy growing up in Brussels after the war.
Stam & Pilou (Section 2-D; Stop 13)
Address: Rue des Alexiens. Co-ordinates: 50.84293, 4.35081
Stam and Pilou are neighbours and spend almost all of their time together, be that adventures or getting up to mischief. You’ll have to head inside a bar called ‘La Fleur en Papier Doré’ to see this mural. Simply ask someone where to find the comic book mural and they’ll point you through to the terrace. Don’t worry, they’re happy for you to just pop in and see the mural, but it’s a lovely bar if you wanted to stop for a drink or a bite to eat.
XIII (Section 2-E; Stop 14)
Address: Rue Philippe de Champagne. Co-ordinates: 50.84318, 4.34831
This mural is dedicated to the graphic novel XIII, one of the more realistic and mature comics represented on the streets of Brussels. It’s an action comic, created by William Vance and Jean Van Hamme, and follows the story of a hero with amnesia, who is trying to remember who he is. XIII is so popular across the world that it has been adapted into several languages, and subsequent video games and tv series have been made.
Yoko Tsuno (Section 2-F; Stop 15)
Address: Rue Terre-Neuve. Co-ordinates: 50.8426, 4.34744
Yoko Tsuno was somewhat of a breakthrough comic, as she was one of the first women to get her own comic strip back in the 70s, and she definitely broke stereotypes. The Japanese character, created by Roger Leloup, is an electrical engineer, who is also multilingual, trained in martial arts, has great morals and is generally just pretty bad-ass. What a great character for young people to look up to! It’s one of my favourite murals on the route.
Thorgal (Section 2-G; Stop 16)
Address: Place Anneessens. Co-ordinates: 50.84363, 4.34417
Written by Jean Van Hamme, who also gives his name to XIII, mentioned just a few stops before this, and illustrated by Grzegorz Rosinski is a fantasy comic series and the most recent instalment to the Brussels Comic Book Rute. It is a fantasy lovers dream, combining Norse mythology with science fiction and everything in between.
Froud & Stouf (Section 2-H; Stop 17)
Address: Rue Philippe de Champagne. Co-ordinates: 50.84417, 4.34552
Frédéric Jannin and Stefan Liberski created Froud et Stouf, two little blue dogs (seen in the bottom right of the mural). The comic was created after its television counterpart. The design of this mural is quite unique in the way it incorporates the boarded up windows on the wall into the mural.
Monsieur Jean (Section 2-I; Stop 18)
Address: Rue des Bogards. Co-ordinates: 50.84441, 4.34803
More French comic artists are celebrated here. Award winning comic writers and artists Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian tell the tales of Monsieur Jean, a young writer from Paris.
Kinky And Cosy (Section 3-A; Stop 19)
Address: Rue des Bogards. Co-ordinates: 50.84469, 4.3476
These two blonde troublemakers wreak havoc on the pages of Focus Vif., a Belgian culture magazine. They were created by Belgian comic artist Nix.
Olivier Rameau (Section 3-B; Stop 20)
Address: Rue des Grands Carmes. Co-ordinates: 50.84459, 4.35037
This is one of the most exciting murals on the Brussels Comic Book Route. Made by Greg and Dany, it follows the adventures of two young notary clerks when they enter a sort of fantasyland. This mural is right next to Manneken Pis, one of Brussels’ most famous landmarks and you’ll pass it on your way to the next mural. I have marked its location on the interactive Brussels Comic Book Route map! Read more about Manneken Pis in the Brussels Ultimate Travel Guide
Tintin (Section 3-C; Stop 21)
Address: Rue de l’Etuve. Co-ordinates: 50.84533, 4.35039
Even if you know nothing about comics, I can all but guarantee you’ve heard of Tintin. Belgium’s most popular and successful comic character, the comics have been translated into 77 different languages and there’s even a Steven Spielberg film adaption. Hergé’s Tintin has been running since 1929, and yet still sells 1 million copies annually. The mural is right in the centre of Brussels, so even if you can’t make it to all 42 murals, you should definitely pay a visit to Tintin and his companions.
Le Passage (Section 3-D; Stop 22)
Address: Rue du Marche au Charbon. Co-ordinates: 50.84644, 4.35043
François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters created Le Passage, centered around the idea of a parallel world that they coined the ‘Obscure Cities’. The authors have hinted towards their belief in the true existence of these parallel cities and allude to this in their mural.
LGBT (Section 3-E; Stop 23)
Address: Rue de la Chaufferette. Co-ordinates: 50.84674, 4.34931
This mural was created by Fotini Tikkou, a greek portrait artist, and Ralf König, a renowned name in the LGBT comic world. It was created in collaboration with Rainbow House, the city of Brussels and Ancienne Belgique to celebrate pride in Brussels, as part of a campaign called “Out in the Street”.
Broussaille (Section 3-F; Stop 24)
Address: Rue du Marche au Charbon. Co-ordinates: 50.84641, 4.34898
In 1991 the Brussels Comic Book Route was born, with the instalment of Broussaille on Rue du Marche au Charbon. Frank Pé created the character of Broussaille, a gentle, nature lovingboy who loves wandering and exploring, as you can see in the mural itself.
Victor Sackville (Section 3-G; Stop 25)
Address: Rue du Marche au Charbon. Co-ordinates: 50.84624, 4.34872
Victor Sackville tells the story of the protagonist of the same name, who travels the world during the First World War, acting as a spy for King George V. Its artist, Francis Carin, is known for his incredible attention to detail which makes this comic strip popular with lovers of architecture.
Ric Hochet (Section 3-H; Stop 26)
Address: Rue de Bon Secours. Co-ordinates: 50.84595, 4.34803
Created by Tibet, Ric Hochet is a journalist who often works with the police to investigate cases, often dabbling in the world of fantasy. In the mural, Ric Hochet can be seen swinging from the gutter to save a woman from a strange monster.
Ducobu (Section 3-I; Stop 27)
Address: Rue des Six Jetons. Co-ordinates: 50.84656, 4.34502
Docubu is the title character of this comic created by Zidrou. You’ll see him again later on the mural dedicated to the works of Zidrou. Most of the comic strips follow this little troublemaker through his life at school, so it makes sense that this mural is painted on the walls of a primary school.
Nero (Section 4-A; Stop 28)
Address: Place Saint-Gery. Co-ordinates: 50.84796, 4.34685
Nero is a hugely popular Belgian comic, known as one of the ‘Big Three’ in Flemish comic culture. Marc Sleen based the comic heavily on current political events, with countless cameos from famous political figures, but still retains a humorous and satirical theme, with many comedic characters that can be seen on the mural.
L’Ange De Sambre (Section 4-B; Stop 29)
Address: Rue des Chartreux. Co-ordinates: 50.84883, 4.34717
Yslaire is known for being innovative in his comic style, represented in his comic Sambre, a story of forbidden love set during the revolution. Just down the road from this mural, you can see Zinneke Pis, the canine homage to the famous Manneken Pis. The location is marked on the interactive map.
In My Area (For Kato) (Section 4-C; Stop 30)
Address: Rue des Chartreux. Co-ordinates: 50.84865, 4.34519
This mural was created by Scottish comic artist Lucy McKenzie who now lives in Brussels and has a great appreciation for the murals. The mural itself features an array of small homages to the Brussels comic art scene, making for a very unique piece of art.
Lucky Luke (Section 4-D; Stop 31)
Address: Rue de la Buanderie. Co-ordinates: 50.84756, 4.34143
This western themed comic strip created by Morris is one of the best selling in Europe, with several spin off products such as board games and live-action films being made. The comics follow Lucky Luke, the cowboy protagonist and his horse and the villains he meets, some of which are popular American folklore characters!
Asterix And Obelix (Section 4-E; Stop 32)
Address: Rue de la Buanderie. Co-ordinates: 50.84676, 4.34177
These guys are comic royalty. Uderzo writes about a group of Gauls who are able to resist roman occupation back in 50BCE by using magic potions. There are 37 volumes of Asterix, set between Gaul and abroad, all containing hilarious adventures for the characters. Asterix even has its own theme park in France. This mural is hard to see properly because it is inside a playpark that isn’t always open, but you can see it better in person than in this picture.
Tour A Plomb (Section 4-F; Stop 33)
Address: Rue de l’Abattoir. Co-ordinates: 50.84773, 4.33955
This mural represents the most famous characters of artist Zidrou: Ducobu and Léonie, Tamara, Léonard, le Boss, Sac à Puces among others. This is one of the most modern murals, installed back in 2018, and is the first to celebrate a comic artist and his work rather than one specific comic.
Caroline Baldwin (Section 4-G; Stop 34)
Address: Rue de la Poudriere. Co-ordinates: 50.84892, 4.33882
Caroline Baldwin is a much more modern and adult comic strip. The illustration is realistic, and the storyline follows Caroline, a private detective, who navigates her way through a gritty and dangerous America. This is famed as André Taymans’ greatest success.
Les Reves De Nic (Section 4-H; Stop 35)
Address: Rue de la Senne. Co-ordinates: 50.84882, 4.34101
Translated into English this comic means ‘Nic’s dreams’ and there isn’t much more to explain than that! In the mural, Hermann has depicted one of those dreams, in which Nic is floating in the sky surrounded by animals.
Cori The Ship’s Boy (Section 4-I; Stop 36)
Address: Rue des Fabriques. Co-ordinates: 50.84845, 4.3422
Turn around from Nic’s dreams and you’ll find yourself staring at Cori the Ship’s boy. Bob De Moor created this adventure comic following the adventures of Cori, an orphan who is rescued by the Dutch East India Company and subsequently explores South-East Asia, Africa, America and the Arctic with them.
Jardin Aux Fleurs (Section 5-A; Stop 37)
Address: Rue du Grand-Serment. Co-ordinates: 50.85036, 4.34197
Brecht Evans, Belgian born cartoonist, has created one of the largest murals on the trail. It seems that a lot of the most recent mural installations are moving to celebrate artists more than comic characters, and this mural is a beautiful display of Evans’ unique style. It is painted on the walls surrounding a little garden and really brightens up the area.
Blake And Mortimer (Section 5-B; Stop 38)
Address: Rue du Houblon. Co-ordinates: 50.85106, 4.34183
Time for some bad news – at the time of writing (October 2019), the Blake and Mortimer mural is no more. This placard is all that remains of the iconic red mural showcasing Edgar P. Jacobs’ masterpiece about Mortimer, a scientist, and Blake, a member of MI5. I can’t find any information as to why the mural has been removed or if it will return, but when I visited (September 2019) the building was covered in scaffolding and the mural nowhere to be seen. It’s up to you whether you choose to skip this stop on the route, but I’ve chosen to include it here since it is still listed as one of the official murals.
Cubitus (Section 5-C; Stop 39)
Address: Rue de Flandre. Co-ordinates: 50.85286, 4.34536
Comic artist Dupa created Cubitus, a dog, who like the famous Le Chat seen earlier in the route, has anthropomorphic powers. The comics follow his simple life at home with his owner. In the mural, we see Cubitus stealing Manneken Pis’ thunder by taking his place atop the fountain, perhaps an indication of the mischief he gets up to in the comics.
Billy The Cat (Section 5-D; Stop 40)
Address: Rue d’Ophem. Co-ordinates: 50.85366, 4.34504
Colman and Desberg created Billy the Cat, a reincarnation of a young boy who now lives on the streets with his friends. Billy is in the forefront of the mural and the white cat in the background is Mr Hubert, who takes Billy under his wing. Although seemingly light-hearted, Billy the Cat has dark origins, as young Billy begins a new life as a cat after he is hit by a car and killed.
FC De Kampioenen (Section 5-E; Stop 41)
Address: Rue du Canal. Co-ordinates: 50.85473, 4.35103
This comic strip and TV series follows FC de Kampioenen, a Belgian amateur football team. Hec Leemans created this humorous and hugely successful strip and you can see all the best known characters on the mural.
Bob & Bobette (Section 5-F; Stop 42)
Address: Rue de Laeken. Co-ordinates: 50.8547, 4.35216
Comedy, fantasy and science fiction come together in Willy Vandersteen’s Bob and Bobbette (known as Spike and Suzy in English). This is a great family comic that follows their adventures, and it stills runs daily in Belgian newspaper De Standaard. The mural incorporates Belgian culture with Manneken Pis making another appearance. Here he holds up 5 of the main characters in Bob and Bobbette with just one hand.
Le Grand Loup Qui Porte Le Mouton (Section 5-G; Stop 43)
Address: Rue Saint-Jean Nepomucene. Co-ordinates: 50.85569, 4.3546
Dominique Goblet designed this slightly avant-garde mural that definitely stands out among the rest! The mural is one of the most recent installations and comes from her album Les Hommes Loupes.
La Vache (Section 5-H; Stop 44)
Address: Sleep Well Youth Hostel, Rue du Damier. Co-ordinates: 50.8529, 4.35787
This mural is a little tricky to get to because it’s not actually on the street. Instead, you’ll have to pay a visit to the Sleep Well Youth Hostel, but don’t worry, they’re perfectly happy for you to just pop in and see the mural. I think their reception desk is manned 24/7 but if no-one is there, the mural is just to the left of the reception area, you’ll spot it really easily. As for the comic itself, this design was created by Johan De Moor, and shows Kobi, a cow doubling as a secret agent.
Gaston Lagaffe (Section 5-I; Stop 45)
Address: Rue de l’Ecuyer. Co-ordinates: 50.84929, 4.35351
This is probably the smallest mural on the route, and is based on the comic Gaston, which follows the life of Gaston Lagaffe, a lazy and humorous character who lands himself a job at the offices of the Journal de Spirou (which is somewhat comical in itself as the comic was published in Spirou). He was created by André Franquin.
Le Scorpion (Section 5(Cont)-A; Stop 46)
Address: Treurenberg. Co-ordinates: 50.84767, 4.36194
Created by Stephen Desberg and Enrico Marini, the Scorpion is set in 1800s Rome. This mural is right next to St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral which you should definitely pay a visit to on your way. As with other famous landmarks in Brussels, it’s marked in red on the interactive map.
Smurfs (Section 5(Cont)-B; Stop 47)
Address: Rue Infante Isabelle. Co-ordinates: 50.84563, 4.35586
The last stop on this route is definitely one of the best. The Smurfs are another incredibly famous set of characters that have expanded well beyond the comic book world. Peyo first introduced The Smurfs back in the 1950s and since then they have been featured in movies, ice dancing shows, theme parks, video games, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Make sure you look up to see this mural as it is on the ceiling of a passageway just outside Central Station.
Thank you for Reading!
Meet the Author, Kirstie Will Travel
Hello, I’m Kirstie! I’m a 22-year-old student in my final year of a languages degree in Scotland. I started Etravelling during my studies, as I lived abroad twice. Now, I jump about Europe as much as I can, and whenever I can. I’m a big lover of undiscovered gems, fairytale towns, street art and cheap eats. Visit Kirstie’s blog here.