As I said in my previous post, at the Belgian Pavillion at the World Expo in Shanghai, comics are presented as one of the key parts of Belgian culture and Belgium’s contribution to the world.Â HergÃ© is listed among the “great Belgians”, and Belgian comics are used to illustrate the different points the Pavillion’s exhibition is trying to make : for economic aspects of Belgium vis-Ã -vis the rest of the world, to culture to history.Â Â As an example, an old navigational element is presented alongside two pages from Bob De Moor’s Cori Le Moussaillon. A further selection, after the click (with thanks to my dearest for the photographs).
Belgium’s art heritage and tradition is illustrated with the Suske En Wiske book, The Art Thief.
Tintin’s L’Etoile Mysterieuse is the lead-in to a presentation of Belgian nautical exploration and research.
The Nero album, Zwoele Charlotte, which is set in the Congo, introduces Belgian’s colonial past in Central Africa, which is preserved (in all its glory and sordidness, in the Africa Museum in Tervuren (see an earlier post).
Finally, the work of the Royal Belgian Meteoroligical Institute is illustrated with the cover page from a Michel Vaillant album, which is rather odd.Â The adventures of Jean Graton’s car racing hero were published by Belgian trailblazing comics house Le Lombard, but Graton is still a French author, and the Michel Vaillant books are quintessentially French in setting, atmosphere and frame of reference.