Belgium is famous for their creation of comic art. As an attempt to bring a more authentic look and feel to our franchise restaurants, Bruges enlisted Belgian comic artist, Adrien Noterdaem, to create a comic mural inside of our newest restaurant location in Draper, Utah. This store will serve as a prototype for future franchise restaurants, and is an exciting milestone for the Bruges franchising brand.
Philippe Wyffels, Co-founder of Bruges Waffles & Frites, and CEO of Bruges Franchising, had the opportunity to sit down with Adrien and talk about his experience as a comic artist.
Philippe: What’s your experience with Belgian illustration?
Adrien: I have always enjoyed comic books, and even studied some in school. Drawing has always been a passion for me, so I am pretty sure that’s what I was meant to do.
Philippe: Being from Belgium, does that make your relationship with comic books different?
Adrien: Comic books are everywhere, so it’s difficult not to enjoy them. They are different in every culture, but there are three main styles of comics: those are US comics, Japanese comics, and European comics with influences specifically from Belgium. The biggest difference though comes in the way the readers consume them.
In the US, they are fun and usually printed on paper and get thrown out after a period of time. In Japan, the comics are geared toward different age groups, which can read them and then toss them when finished. However, in Belgium, comics are seen as works of art which people want to own, show to their friends, or keep in libraries for others to see. The pages of original comics are usually signed by the author, and if you are the owner of a comic book, you can’t sell it, for it is a true masterpiece.
Philippe: What were your thoughts when Bruges approached you about developing a Belgian comic in a mural format for our franchise restaurants? Was this your first time doing a mural of comics?
Adrienne: I thought it was a cool idea and quickly saw what I wanted to do. Every day I am influenced by murals and messages, and I really saw what I wanted to do as a comic mural for the restaurants. I have done a giant comic book page, but this was the first time I had created a mural of this size. It turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected, but I am happy with the end results.
Philippe: Are there specific things painted into the mural that are part of your vision that people may not realize are there?
Adrien: The idea behind the mural was to not only look on the city of Bruges, but also add some stories to catch the eye of those in the restaurant. I mixed the history of the city of Bruges with the history of Bruges Waffles, and each comic depicts a story of one of the items on the menu–like the waffle monster being followed by a policeman– which is quite typical of a Belgian style comic book. The idea was to make the mural as Belgian as possible so that when people see it, they can tell it is a Belgian comic because of the iconic style.
We are excited to showcase Adrien’s work in our new location, and look forward to working with him in the future! Bruges is currently offering restaurant franchises in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. To learn more about our franchise opportunity, visit our online discovery center.