Move over boring government documents, Belgium is changing the game. The small western European nation is making a big splash with their newly designed passport — an artistic showcase of their beloved, homegrown comic strip characters. The Smurfs, Blake and Mortimer, Tintin, Lucky Luke and many more iconic characters make appearances throughout the new passports. And the famous Belgian comic strip stars have now been given a role that goes beyond entertainment and cultural representation — their special design helps protect against counterfeiters.
In a press release, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said, "The Belgian passport is one of the best in the world, it is a source of pride for us, but also an object of desire for counterfeiters. This is why we are constantly working to improve its security. The introduction of this new passport is also an opportunity for us to highlight the 9th art, the comic strip, which is a central element of our culture and our influence abroad."