Famous Belgian Comics: Masters of Storytelling & Illustration

Belgian comics have enjoyed worldwide recognition and success for decades. In fact, I would be surprised if you don’t know at least a few of the comics on this list.

With their unique blend of art, storytelling, and humor, these Belgian comics have attracted people all around the world and inspired countless artists too. Many of these artists paved the way for the wider European comic book industry at t time when the art was blossoming.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and influential Belgian comics of all time.

Tintin (The Adventures of Tintin)

Tintin from Hergé
Tintin from Hergé
  • Creator: Hergé (Georges Remi)
  • First appearance: 1929

Tintin is a young Belgian reporter who, along with his dog Snowy, travels the world and solves countless mysteries. The series is known for its well-researched plots, detailed illustrations, and engaging adventures. This is perhaps one of the most famous Franco-Belgian comic series of all time and one I certainly read as a child. And the creator himself, Hergé is also one of the most famous Belgians as a result!

The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs)

Smurfs mural
Smurfs mural
  • Creator: Peyo (Pierre Culliford)
  • First appearance: 1958

The Smurfs are small blue creatures living in a hidden village in the forest. The series is famous for its humorous, fantastical stories and well-defined characters, including Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and the evil wizard Gargamel. The Belgian comic series has also been turned into a TV series, as well as having its own toy figures, soft toys and numerous other things.

Lucky Luke

Luky Luke Mural on a house
Luky Luke Mural on a house
  • Creator: Morris (Maurice De Bevere)
  • First appearance: 1946

Lucky Luke is a cowboy known as “the man who shoots faster than his shadow.” The series takes place in the American Old West and features humorous adventures, historical characters, and satirical commentary on American society. This comic series is also extremely popular at times and has also been turned into a TV series.

Spirou and Fantasio (Spirou et Fantasio)

  • Creators: Rob-Vel (Robert Velter), Jijé (Joseph Gillain), André Franquin, and others
  • First appearance: 1938

Spirou is a hotel bellboy turned adventurer, and Fantasio is his journalist friend. The series features a mix of humor, adventure, and science fiction. Some of the main characters include the squirrel Spip and the fantastical Marsupilami, who was later spun-off into a series of its own.

Gaston Lagaffe

  • Creator: André Franquin
  • First appearance: 1957

Gaston Lagaffe, also known as Gomer Goof in English, is a lazy, office worker who often has accidents. He causes a lot of problems for his co-workers in the fictional offices of “Spirou magazine”. The Franco-Belgian comic series is known for its slapstick humor, wordplay and quite inventive gags. Gaston himself is a bit of an anti-hero, who constantly ignores work deadlines, defies authority, and goes against traditional values.

Although André Franquin passed away in 1997, the series has continued to gain popularity with a more recent film adaptation in 2018.


  • Creator: André Franquin
  • First appearance: 1952 (in Spirou and Fantasio)

Marsupilami was first featured in Spirou and Fantastico, also by Franquin, but later became its own comic series. It features a mythical, yellow-spotted creature with a long, flexible tail. The stories follow the adventures of the Marsupilami family in the jungle as they encounter humans and other characters. It takes place in a fictional South American country called Palombia and highlights topics like preserving the environment. It has also become a TV series which has greatly increased its popularity.

Suske en Wiske

Suske en Wiske
Suske en Wiske
  • Creator: Willy Vandersteen
  • First appearance: 1945

Suske en Wiske is a classic Belgian comic strip series featuring two children, Suske and Wiske. Throughout the series, they embark on a range of adventures with their friends Lambik, Jerom, and Tante Sidonia. This comic is well-known for blending fantasy with humor and a little action, while mixing in a little history, mythology and literature. It was published in many English-speaking countries and is also known as “Spike and Suzy” or “Willy and Wanda”.


Nero mural in Brussels
Nero mural in Brussels
  • Creator: Marc Sleen (born Marcel Honoree Nestor Neels)
  • First appearance: 1947

Previously titled “De avonturen van Nero & Co.”, Nero is another popular Belgian comic strip series. The main character is a middle-aged, somewhat naïve, and lazy man called – Nero. This comic series was in Flemish newspapers for more than half a century. It also featured a range of other characters such as Detective Van Zwam, Madam Pheip, and Petoetje and Petatje, who often join Nero on his adventures. The stories are full of humor, satire, and surrealism, and often make references to Belgian and world politics.

Inspector Canardo

Inspector Canardo comics – image courtesy of ActuaLitté
  • Creator: Benoît Sokal
  • First appearance: 1978

The protagonist of this comic series, Carnado (playing on the French word for Duck) is a humanlike duck who works as a private investigator. The crime-based series is very noir-inspired and features a lot of dark humor. It was originally intended as a parody of popular crime fiction, it evolved as it went along. It won many awards over the years and ran until 2021 when Sokal died.


  • Creator: Hermann Huppen (aka Hermann)
  • First appearance: 1979

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Jeremiah focuses on the adventures of both Jeremiah and Kurdy Malloy in dystopian America. They encounter various crazy factions and communities in this harsh world, and the series explores a range of themes including racism, violence and politics. The comic series has been praised by many for its storytelling, character development, and world-building, making it one of the most renowned Belgian and European comics to this day.

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