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Happy 50th birthday Asterix!

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Harrock n roll
#1 · Posted: 23 Oct 2009 09:46
The Asterix series celebrates its 50th anniversary next week with several exhibitions and special events and a new book. "Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book" was released yesterday in honour of the anniversary. Asterix first appeared in the French magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959.

Asterix will be getting his own postal stamp and the French air force is producing a video in which airplanes will draw an Asterix head in the sky. Paris will also organize a parade themed "The Gauls invade Lutetia" and a series of events which will take place in Brittany.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/asterix -and-the-half-century-1804371.html
#2 · Posted: 23 Oct 2009 16:47
Congratulations Asterix in Briton is the best comic ever made.Great Humour and characters in these books.
#3 · Posted: 25 Oct 2009 01:09
Yessss my local seller took about 10 albums, she sold them all within today...

Indeed Asterix is a french comics NOT Belgian ;-)

Back then, in 1968, Pilot was too much politically involved, and my father forbid me to buy it!!! Asterix was a terrorist!;-)

Combined three consecutive posts

Moderator Note: Hi Biglu! Thanks for taking part, but could we ask you - if you want to add something more to what you have said, and no one else has posted - to just edit your first post, and add to that, rather than posting three times in a row? It keeps everything neat and tidy! Many thanks!

The Happy Tintinologist Team
#4 · Posted: 25 Oct 2009 05:30

The reviews have started trickling in from France and Germany...The book has been universally panned by all critics and users alike. After 20 reviews 1.5 stars in Amazon.de. Even worse in the French editorials. As I cannot read French can some of our members who have read the book comment on it.

Is is barely acceptable or only for people looking to complete their collection...:-)

Any reviews would be great for unilingual folks like me...
UK Correspondent
#5 · Posted: 25 Oct 2009 12:11
One of the comments on Amazon.de roughly translates as "This is less a birthday book and more a funeral" which doesn't exactly bode well. Don't know if it's out in the UK yet, but it can't be worse than Asterix and the Falling Sky.

It could well be the case that Uderzo has completely run out of ideas, looking at some of the feedback on the new book. His earlier solo books were quite good - Asterix and the Black Gold springs to mind - but that may be because it used ideas discussed with Goscinny. The Class Act compilation book wasn't bad, but again that used old material.

I can't help wondering if there's more to it than that, though. If we compare Asterix and Tintin, both are products of their times. Tintin inhabits a universe set in the period 1929-1976 (there's not much in Alph-Art to date it) with each volume reflecting the era it was written in, now all period pieces frozen in time. But Asterix, although set in 50BC, is still trying to adapt and find a place in an entertainment market that has radically transformed over the past twenty years or so. Or maybe there's only so much you can do with the formula, especially with the guiding narrative hand sadly absent for so many years.
Just a few thoughts...
#6 · Posted: 30 Oct 2009 10:03 · Edited by: george
Don't know if it's out in the UK yet, but it can't be worse than Asterix and the Falling Sky.


Having read it last night I'm not sure what to think. It reads like something that was produced to a deadline rather than a story that needed to be told. Actually, there is no real story as such, just a theme (a birthday celebration) and a bunch of pages that then pay no notice of said theme. There's a "What if our stars aged 50 years" section, including a cameo from Uderzo; there's a new translation of a Goscinny text piece from Pilote, illustrated with reprinted panels from earlier volumes; there are some panels reproduced from pencils; and there are a number of copies of famous paintings, a la the Bruegel piece in '...Belgian' - but nowhere near as good nor fitting.

I did quite like the visual joke in the '50 years on' segment where all the villagers have aged except for Geriatrix...

All in all... well, I need to take a second look as I'm somewhat stunned at the moment, though not necessarily in a good way...

#7 · Posted: 30 Oct 2009 19:54
I’ve only seen it in a shop, rather than actually buying it, but I quite enjoyed it. I think the problem may be that there isn’t a story to it, as George says, so if that’s what you want, you’ll be (greatly) disappointed. My take on it would be that if it had been an issue of Pilote, it wouldn’t have mattered so much: people would just have thought of it as a throw away bit of nonsense. However because it has come out as an album, and still ostensibly part of the series, it seems to be getting more scrutiny than perhaps it should.

I actually liked the whole scrap-book type aspect of it, and thought the reworked paintings were nice. Re-doing Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa in the style of the original, after it already pastiched as a frame in Asterix the Legionary was a nice touch, and I love Obelix as daVinci’s Vitruvian Man! I also thought the versions of Obelix through the ages were nice.

So not the best book, but not a bad book, really… Just different!
#8 · Posted: 2 Nov 2009 14:54
I got it at the weekend, i thought it was very good. Its not a story but rather a full length "fan service" full of in-jokes fans will love. Well i did anyway.
John Sewell
#9 · Posted: 3 Nov 2009 09:29 · Edited by: John Sewell
I got hold of a copy yesterday, and I'd agree that maybe it should be seen as a bit of anniversary fluff - a bit like Doctor Who's get-togethers every ten years or so (but is this The Five Doctors or Dimensions In Time?)

I can imagine a casual reader expecting a traditional adventure getting confused with all the post-modern weirdness. Hergé's drawing of himself being menaced by a whip-wielding Tintin was kept private, but here everyone can see Uderzo getting all his teeth knocked out by Obelix! Actually, I found the "what if they really were 50 years older" section faintly depressing with its decrepit versions of all the characters, but that's probably because I've entered my 40s relatively recently, and like Obelix, sometimes have problems with the passing of time!

Anyhow, at the very least it's nowhere near as toe-curlingly bad as The Falling Sky, and it could be said that Asterix and the venerable Albert have earned the right to be a bit self-indulgent. I've linked to a BBC article below, which, apart from slating the post-Goscinny books, suggests that Uderzo's got some new talent in place to take over the series:

#10 · Posted: 12 Nov 2009 14:08 · Edited by: george
John Sewell:
but that's probably because I've entered my 40s relatively recently, and like Obelix, sometimes have problems with the passing of time!

I'm nearly a year in to my 40s, so that might be why that scene has a resonance for me! I checked Obilix's hair-line almost as closely as I check my own...

I can't find the link anywhere at the moment but there's a note out there somewhere that says Uderzo plans to draw one more book before handing over the reins.


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