The artist who created Guust (Gaston)

This exhibition reflects a desire to portray a creative spirit made up of influences, dialogues and humour, that spirit which transformed a peaceful family home in Waterloo into a studio bubbling over with ideas, the very melting pot of modern comic strip art. Belgium is especially renowned as the birthplace of the legendary Franco-Belgian comic strip. Georges Remi, alias Hergé, was a powerful artistic director who compelled all the artists on his Brussels-based magazine to create comic strips in his particular drawing style: clear, strong lines, serious, informative and well-documented. At the beginning of 1947, an apprentice comic strip artist, Willy Maltaite, invited André Franquin and Morris (Maurice De Bevere) as well. This association lasted for several months and was extended further by a trip to America. Comic strip historians named Jijé, Franquin, Morris and Will La Bande des Quatre (the Gang of Four), a nickname worthy of a group of gangsters! But in fact, this foursome, far from committing any crime, quietly revolutionised the way of creating comic strips in Europe. Who will ever forget the hero of the Seventies, called Guust Flater or Gaston ? The unforgettable exhibition “De Wereld van Franquin” (The World of Franquin), held in 2007, put the art of the comic strip into Belgium perspective, as comic strip capital of the world.