Wallonia-Brussels International, with the help of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, is bringing an exhibition of The Smurfs to the Lake District later this year.
The Smurfs incredible story began in October 1958, in the pages of the Belgian magazine Spirou. "Johan and Pirlouit", a comic strip set in the Middle Ages created by Pierre Culliford (known as Peyo) featured the first, modest appearance by characters that have gone on to become international stars in comics, books, film and other media.
No one could have had the slightest inkling that their initial, fairly low-key appearance would mark the beginning of a veritable legend. As secondary characters in the “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute”, they could have simply disappeared along with the word “end” on the final page. The Smurfs had a very positive public reception and Peyo went on to give the Smurfs their very own adventures, firstly in small short stories, then in a series of comic books, and their success would steadily grow.
Presented in the form of games, photos and informative texts, the exhibition at Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre will tell the story of the Smurfs from their origins to the present day.
Wallonie-Brussels International is the agency in charge of the international relations between the French-speaking community, the Walloon region and the others countries.
In addition to the exhibition, a number of European comic creators will again be guest of the Festival in 2019. Further details will be announced in the coming months.
“The Smurfs are very dear to Belgians' heart and we look forward to sharing their history with everyone interested,” says Josephine Rousseau of Wallonia-Brussels International.
"We're thrilled to be presenting this special exhibition," says Festival Director Julie Tait. "The Smurfs are an incredible success story, characters who appeal to many.
"Staging this exhibition further strengthens the Festival's existing bonds with European comics creators and the European comics community."
• The Smurfs exhibition will take place from 4th October to 3rd November 2019 at the Sugar Store in The Brewery, Kendal, Cumbria. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival runs from in Friday 11th - 13th October 2019 at various venues across the town
• Wallonia-Brussels International is online at www.wbi.be
• The Smurfs are online at www.smurf.com