Why did we choose the medium of comics, for our Animate Europe competition (currently running in its third round)? Why not movies or caricatures or something else entirely? It might have to do with the fact that we’re right in the heart of comic country Belgium. Willem de Graeve, Director of the Belgian Comic Strip Center and jury member in our first two Animate Europe competition rounds, gives us some insights into why the “ninth art” is so popular in Belgium.
With more than 700 professional comic strip authors, Belgium has more comic strip artists per square kilometer than any other country in the world. It is in this country where comic strips have grown from a popular medium into an art in its own right. Nowhere else are comics so deeply rooted in everyday life and in peoples’ imagination.