Comès or the 9th art in black and white
Brussels pays tribute to Didier Comès, one of the major Belgian comic book authors and master of fantasy and of black and white, with two exhibitions: firstly Comès. Of Shadow and Silence at the BELvue museum until 3 January 2021, and secondly Comès behind closed doors at the Maison Autrique until 2 May 2021.
Dieter Herman Comès was born on 11 February 1942 in Sourbrodt, a small Belgian village on the edge of the Hautes Fagnes, at the time annexed by Nazi Germany. He was born to a French-speaking mother and a German-speaking father, forcibly enlisted in the German army, and called himself an "Alsatian bastard". This dual cultural origin, the tragedy of the Second World War and his native region provided the framework for his work: exclusion, the search for identity, war, the witchcraft and folklore of the Ardennes and the Fagnes. Another characteristic of his comics was his systematic use of black and white.
The work that would make him famous, Silence (1979), and that inspired the title of one of the two exhibitions, drew its inspiration from these themes. The story is about the adventures of a kind, naive, deaf and dumb teenager who is taken under the wing of a witch from the Ardennes.