The Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art or Centre belge de la Bande dessinée, is a kind of hall of fame of European comic book arts.
Comic books are a cultural institution in French speaking countries. Unlike North America where they constitute a sub-culture, comic books in the French world are a part of the mainstream, with a variety of genres and styles catering to a diverse audience. Since the mid-20th century – think TinTin – Brussels has been the epicenter of the comic art form, and a great source of talent. The influence of Franco-Belgian comic style, has spilled over to the rest of the continent defining a distinct European comic book tradition.
The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art exhibits the works of some of the greatest European masters of the art, from Herge (the author of TinTin), Peyo (the Smurfs) and Franquin (Spirou, Gaston, Marsoupilami) to Uderzo and Goscinny (Asterix).
The centerpiece of the permanent exhibition is the display of the original drawings of the comic grandmasters. The exhibition contains a section devoted to the origins of the art form, and an extensive gallery of the prints, organized according to historic styles and genres. The center also contains a study library, with the biggest collection of comic book titles in the world.
The center is in the heart of the Brussels, housed in a stylish Art Nouveau building designed by famous Victor Horta.