Magritte: Een Surrealistische Kroniek – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Biography
Written by: Vincent Zabus
Illustrations: Thomas Campi
Coloring: Thomas Campi
Publisher: Le Lombard

Magritte: Een Surrealistische Kroniek – Comic Book Review

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Rating: 8.2/10 (5 votes cast)

René Magritte might be one of Belgium’s most famous painters. With his typical surrealistic style, his work is very recognizable and interesting to look at. But how does a man imagine these things, let alone paint them down? Magritte: Een Surrealistische Kroniek tries to give an explanation in quite a surrealistic way. Be it real or not, this story is definitely one that draws attention.

Magritte 1

When Charles bought a bowler hat to celebrate his promotion, little did he know it would change his life completely. Immediately after he comes home, wearing the hat, he notices some strange things going on. His reflection in the mirror shows him its back, when he shatters his window glass, the shards seem to piece together his photo, rather than be see-through, and there is suddenly a man on his TV, talking to him. Charles is quite stunned by what is happening, and gets even more amazed when the man tells him that he has been chosen to fathom the secret of René Magritte, seeing it’s his bowler hat he just bought. By wearing it, he has entered Magritte’s world, and the only way to get it off his head is by fulfilling the task he’s just  been given. Thus there is nothing left to do for Charles but to do as he is told.

His journey starts at the Cinéma Bleu, where he meets a charming young lady who happens to know quite a lot about Magritte. They get talking, but while they are walking down the street, characters of Magritte’s paintings come to life, and they even see history being repeated before their very eyes, when they see René as a little boy, playing with his friend. Things only get more strange from that point on, all while Charles is trying to figure out how to fulfill his task.

Vincent Zabus tells Magritte’s life in this comic book, albeit from a very fun angle. Instead of putting Magritte in the lead, he picked a random character, making Magritte’s paintings the most important thing, rather than the painter himself. The story of how Charles came to be involved with Magritte is a bit flimsy, yet once he is on his quest, the story becomes quite fascinating. You get to know things about the painter’s life, be it in no chronological order, all while you’re constantly trapped in his surrealistic world. Often people or things that he portrayed in his paintings will pass the revue, and thus you get an insight into his life as well as his art, without it ever feeling like a dull biography.

The illustrations by Thomas Campi look like little paintings themselves, be them quite simple looking. There are lots of references to Magritte’s work, some obvious, some very subtle. He uses bright colors, yet softened by the watercolor look the illustrations have. Overall a perfect match for the story.


Magritte: Een Surrealistische Kroniek tells the life of Magritte, yet from a completely different point of view than you’d expect. A surrealistic take on his life is maybe the best way to describe it, with a very important role for his paintings, up to the point where they even come to life. If you want to know a bit more about this painter, without having to read through a mountain of text, than this comic book is a good option. The hardcover and beautiful illustrations will only make it more worth your while.

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Rating: 8.2/10 (5 votes cast)
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Magritte: Een Surrealistische Kroniek - Comic Book Review, 8.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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