Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

March Books 16) Bruss. Brussels in Shorts, ed. Ilke Froyen and Piet Joostens

These are the ten winning entries of an international competition for graphic short stories set in Brussels, and specifically using the setting of the Oude Graanmarkt (aka the Vieux Marché aux Grains), a city centre square which I occasionally wander through on the rare occasions I am in that side of town.

Inevitably, the mandate was interpreted in various ways, and in fact two of my favourite pieces (Tomáš Kučerovský's "Stereotypen" and William Goldsmith's "De Moderne Rondeau") both contrast the fading gentility of the central square with the European Parliament's modernist architecture, which of course I know much better. Kučerovský (whose complaint that "I don't really get Magritte, Brussels isn't surreal at all", illustrates this entry) has quite a witty deconstruction of what people think they see in Brussels. Goldsmith's protagonist gets sucked into a historical mystery linking Brussels and Canada, a hundred years apart.

I bought the book mainly to try and improve my vestigial knowledge of comics in Flanders, but only three of the ten pieces are actually by Flemish writers; of these, the one I liked best was "De Wandeling" by Conz (Constantijn Van Cauwenberghe), in which the protagonist takes a ghostly dinosaur on the walk from the Oude Graanmarkt to the Natural History Museum. (The other two locals are Frederik Van den Stock and Steven "Stedho" Dhondt.) All good stuff though.
Tags: bookblog 2013, comics, dutch, world: belgium
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