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The Adventures of Alix: English translations

number1fan
Member
#1 · Posted: 26 Jan 2018 09:38
A few times I have came across The Adventures of Alix that featured in Tintin magazine.

It seems that as a series, The Adventures of Alix didn't really take off in the UK.

Certain critics deemed it "singularly lacking in humour compared to Asterix".

Has anyone here read The Adventures of Alix and enjoy it?

Has anyone here had a chance at reading the only two English translations , The Sacred Helmet (La tiare d'Oribal), and The Black Claw (La griffe noire)?
snowybella
Member
#2 · Posted: 27 Jan 2018 01:32
number1fan:
Has anyone here had a chance at reading the only two english translations ... and The Black Claw (La griffe noire)?.

Our family has been lucky enough to own The Black Claw (don't know about now), and I've been able to read some of the first pages. It's a shame that they didn't get popular, because the story is pretty good, and I enjoyed the bits I read. As far as I remember, the "black claw" is a claw that a person in a leopard-skin costume holds (remind you of somebody from a Tintin book?), and there is hypnotism (remind you of something from an unpopular Tintin book?).

Curious about the story, and I'll try my best to tell you more...
george
Member
#3 · Posted: 27 Jan 2018 17:53 · Edited by: george
I've had both English-language volumes for 15 or so years and I've struggled to finish either. They're dense in the way Blake & Mortimer can be dense but without the compensation of engaging lead characters.

It may be that the albums picked to translate just weren't very good, or that the publisher misunderstood the UK market at that time. There are plenty of European comics, both then and now, that rule the Francophone market but never do it overseas. The Johnny Hallyday effect.

I see that there's a sequel series of some kind in France (Alix senator) that looks to be more 'mature' and might sit well with IDW/Eurocomics. Perhaps the originals would work at Cinebook?

Apropos sequels, I see Blueberry is getting new stories 'de Christophe Blain et Joann Sfar'. Other than Tintin it feels like all the classics are being continued/exploited (delete as applicable) by their owners.

George
number1fan
Member
#4 · Posted: 27 Jan 2018 18:09 · Edited by: Moderator
george:
Apropos sequels, I see Blueberry is getting new stories 'de Christophe Blain et Joann Sfar'. Other than Tintin it feels like all the classics are being continued/exploited (delete as applicable) by their owners.

Hergé's wishes I'm afraid. However I would be very happy if the stories did continue - we still have the originals.

george:
They're dense in the way Blake & Mortimer can be dense but without the compensation of engaging lead characters.

I also feel the same way about Blake & Mortimer sometimes.
jock123
Moderator
#5 · Posted: 28 Jan 2018 13:56
I agree with george: they don't exactly draw me in when I try them (I've got both the available titles, although there were meant to be at least four brought out), although the art is undoubtedly beautiful.

george:
It may be that the albums picked to translate just weren't very good,

It's a tricky one, isn't it? La Griffe Noire is apparently seen by many enthusiasts as one of the best of the series, and an absolute classics of the BD arts. Its run in the Tintin magazine began just over 60 years ago, an event marked by much dewy-eyed admiration from Alix fans on social media, so it still remains popular amongst connoisseurs, apparently.

I think it was picked for the best of intentions, but possibly with the same result that launching Tintin with The Blue Lotus might have done: it's an important book, but doesn't really have the dynamic appeal of other books in the series, and telling people, "Yes, but the art is great", isn't really enough.
number1fan
Member
#6 · Posted: 28 Jan 2018 20:54
I have also seen online Rastapopoulos appear in a frame of Alix .Is this genuine or fan art?.
mct16
Member
#7 · Posted: 29 Jan 2018 01:08 · Edited by: mct16
I have found "Alix" a reasonably OK series but not the sort that I would put on the same level as "Tintin" or "Asterix". They can be slow-paced and there can be holes in the plot at times. I have always found artist Jacques Martin's characters very stiff and lacking development. Humour is also noticeably absent.

One plus is the artwork. Martin is very detailed and his landscapes and buildings can be wonderful.

While "Alix" is set mainly at the time of Julius Caesar, "Alix Senator" is set in the time of Augustus. Alix is now middle-aged but still travels, this time accompanied by his sons - one his own, the other adopted. It is much better paced, with shorter dialogue and may appeal to modern readers, especially those who enjoy plot and intrigue in Ancient Rome. However, some knowledge of the previous series may be needed to understand some of the characters and events.

The page in which Alix meets Rastapopoulos appears to have been drawn by Martin as an homage to Herge shortly after his death and was published in the French magazine "À Suivre".
george
Member
#8 · Posted: 1 Jun 2018 15:41
george:
I've had both English-language volumes for 15 or so years and I've struggled to finish either.

I've now read these ("©So you don't have to") and although my initial opinion hasn't changed hugely, the devil is in the detail so once I put the effort in I found the books more rewarding than I expected. Only just though.

The approach I took was to just plough through in a few days so the plot details were fresh in my mind and I kept hold of the narrative. And, boy, is there a lot of plot in these books.

jock123:
La Griffe Noire is apparently seen by many enthusiasts as one of the best of the series, and an absolute classics of the BD arts.

Over the 120 or so pages of these volumes you can certainly see a growth in confidence and La Griffe Noire is easily the better of the two. Perhaps because I got used to the rhythm of the storytelling, but this album felt more organic and had fewer non sequiturs, where a cliffhanger is introduced purely because the week's episode had drawn to an end ("Suddenly - Snakes!!").

I think I'd still like to see more brought in to English, if only to help sate my OCDness about classic BD, but I can understand why no-one is knocking down Casterman's doors to get the licence.

George
Mikelangelo
Member
#9 · Posted: 20 Jul 2018 21:33
I used to like Alix a lot and it actually kind of reminded me of Tintin, in details, action etc. On the long run Alix is maybe bit slow-paced in plots... Very well done comic anyway!!!

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