Angouleme’s Les Murs Peints is the only comic book with literal gutters and panels four stories high. My guidebook adds “Circuit des” and translates it “Graffiti Walk,” but “Murs Peints” means “Painted Walls.” CitéCréation commissioned some of France’s most popular bande dessinee (comic book) artists to design them. It’s a fitting choice for the city that’s home to the Cite Internationale de la Bande Dessinee et de l’Image. The web address abbreviates that to citebd, or, literally, Comic Book City. I spent a couple of days at their research library and museum, so the murs were mostly an afterhours perk. My guidebook thinks there are twenty, but then I saw another dozen online and so kept looking. The tourist bureau has a map, but the city is a medieval maze. Unofficial strolls also produce a range of unofficial additions.

Some of the murals are so large they are hard to miss:

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Some you can walk past without noticing:

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Some images are literally hidden:

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Often you just need to look up:

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They started painting them in 1998, the most recent in 2006:


One of my favorites includes its own shadow on the opposite building:

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And the rest of the wall is even better:

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If you like sequence in your sequential art, this is for you:

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While most are cartoons, a few play photorealistic tricks on the eye:

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Many are within the ramparts bordering the old city, but some (unofficial ones) are on the outer walls themselves:

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One is in the center square of the old city:

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More are down narrow side streets:

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My walks included actual graffiti:

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And sometimes just graffiti tags:

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And even the utility and mail boxes joined in:

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I didn’t spot this one and the utility box facing it until driving out of the city:

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I searched for but somehow did not find the tallest mural:

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For others I didn’t photograph myself, visit Angouleme’s site.

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