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Belgium makes efforts to revive comic industry
Interesting story from the Deutsche Welle about how the Belgium government is working to promote comics. The country was a comic powerhouse decades ago spawning notable cartoons like Tintin, The Smurfs, and Spirou.
Today, most of the big Belgian comic book publishing houses have been bought up by multinational companies. And the country’s comic strip output has been dwarfed by new players like Japan and Argentina as well as old heavy-weights like the US and France. But Belgium has started fighting back, setting up a government-funded Comic Book Commission in 2007. With an annual budget of 130,000 euros ($168,000), it promotes new Belgian comic strip art – and funds 30 to 40 projects with grants ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 euros each year.