Kaisa and Christoffer Leka at the Brussels Comic Strip Festival

Two people dressed as sailors are hosting up a flag on a rocky background.
Image: Kaisa and Christoffer Leka.
Comics Festival, Brussels, Free entry.

As a central country within the comics field, Belgium can offer a wide variety of events and content for those interested in comics and the comics industry. Every year the EUNIC network in Brussels partakes in the comics festival Fête de la Bande Dessinée in Brussels, as a large collaboration between the different international institutes and embassies in Brussels and the city of Brussels. The EUNIC network has their own designated area at the festival to present their artists and comics professionals.

The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux will participate in this year’s Fête de la BD by bringing two comics creators, the couple Kaisa and Christoffer Leka from Finland to the festival. On the programme is an artist talk about the journey behind their latest book Russian Diaries (2020), book-signings, and a panel discussion!

Kaisa Leka the artistic one of the two, is what can only be described as a workhorse. She sits down and begins to draw. What flows out of her pen is both personal and wonderful. Her main characters, the duck and the mouse, have since the beginning told the tale of two persons united by an excitement and awe for all that this world has to offer.

Christoffer Leka on the other hand, can, if we are being less than generous, only be called lazy. But behind his apparently docile exterior lies a curious mind, ever at work making novel connections and bringing, at times to Kaisa’s great annoyance, new thoughts to the table. As a graphic designer Christoffer’s inspiration lies in the imperfect and the absurd. His deep love for printed matter in all forms can be witnessed at the couples’ studio, with its floorboards creaking under the weight of his collection.

The weekend will include workshops, talks, and presentations by the different artists. 

See our artists at the following events:

11.09.2021, 16:00-17:00 – Artist talk by Kaisa and Christoffer Leka, The Belgian Comic Strip Center, Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Bruxelles. See and register for the event on the event Facebook page.

Russian Diaries

Would you like to go on a self-supported seven-week paddling trip in Russia? Wild camping in the wilderness, drinking water from the lakes and rivers, cooking all your meals with Russian gasoline on a portable stove, battling cold and heat and hordes of mosquitoes? And if that doesn’t sound challenging enough, how about simultaneously creating a graphic novel about the experience?

In June and July 2018 Kaisa and Christoffer Leka paddled from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea. During the trip they kept an illustrated diary which was published in April 2020, aptly named Russian Diaries. The book is a delightfully detailed visual narrative, with lush illustrations and insightful reflections on the inner life of an explorer.

During their talk the Lekas will describe their trip and work process, sharing plenty of behind the scenes photos and stories about the book. How can a couple stay together for 22 years (and counting) despite traveling and working together on a regular basis?

See the presentation and find out!

Language: English.


Panel discussion 11.9. 13:00, At No 7 Galerie Bortier, Rue de la Madeleine 55, 1000 Brussels

Views from the North: Nordic Comics and Comics Culture


Anneli Furmark (Sweden)

Mari Laaniste (Estonia)

Kaisa Leka (Finland)

Moderator: TBC

This year EUNIC presents perspectives from the North, a panel discussion on Nordic comics and comics culture. What does the comics scene look like in the Nordic countries today, what are the trends and artistic directions, and how do we nurture Nordic comics collaborations now - and in the future? What does the Nordics look like to the rest of the European comic book scene?

Join us for a discussion on Nordic comics, with prominent voices and the Nordic/Baltic comics scene!

Language: English.

Read more about the panel on our Facebook event.

Saturday 11.9. 10:00-12:00, and Sunday 12.9. 14:00-16:00 - Book-signings, No 12, Galerie Bortier, Rue de la Madeleine 55, 1000 Bruxelles



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