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“Asterix 35” Announced!: “Astérix chez les Pictes”

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#31 · Posted: 3 Oct 2013 12:33 · Edited by: mct16
The cover for the new album has been made public. You can see it on this French website (scroll to the bottom to see a bigger size version). It is a joint work of Uderzo and Conrad: Uderzo drew Obelix, Conrad drew Asterix.

This page also has an illustration from the book showing Asterix and a Pict fighting what appears to be our old friends the Pirates.

There is also a recent group interview (in French, I'm afraid) with the ones responsible for this new book, including Ferri and Conrad, Uderzo and Anne Goscinny. According to Uderzo, it was at Anne's insistence that the series was continued even after he had decided to retire. Several writers were considered, interviewed and asked to contribute a script which Uderzo would choose. Ferri's script was still at an early stage, having only written a few pages, but was chosen since Uderzo liked the idea of sending Asterix to Scotland, something which he and Goscinny had never considered themselves.

Conrad tells of how drawing the story was very "complex, there is a huge amount to draw. It takes up a lot of time. You have to maintain the rhythm". His previous work has struck me as rather sketchy compared to Uderzo's more detailed illustrations, especially his backgrounds, so it could be that he had to put in more of an effort. However, he states that Uderzo "guided me and he came up with the words" to keep Conrad going and finish on schedule. Uderzo himself says that he "only corrected some little things which nobody could have noticed" but they do not mention examples.

They do not describe the plot, all that they will say is that "two women" are involved.
#32 · Posted: 7 Oct 2013 02:13 · Edited by: Moderator
Also here's some humour and references about Scotland I think the guys will include

I too agree with Blackadder above and after seeing the cover image am absolutely sure that there is a reference to the Loch Ness monster.
I also think there might be some puns based on Scotland Yard, and that Doubleoosix (tha caricature of Sean Connery/ James Bond in Asterix and the Great Crossing) will be in this new album.
Frankly, I am excited that a new Asterix is being released!
The last time I had this sort of excitement regarding Tintin was when the Spielberg movie hit the theaters in this part of the world.
#33 · Posted: 22 Oct 2013 18:40
Le Figaro has read and reviewed the new Asterix, and the conclusions are positive! (Review is in French).
#34 · Posted: 24 Oct 2013 10:55
BBC report on the new book.
Le Figaro has read and reviewed the new Asterix

The review includes details of the plot. In the middle of winter, a block of ice is washed up on the beach near the Gaulish village. Inside the block is a Pict who has been frozen. The Gauls get the Pict out of the block of ice and revive him. Asterix and Obelix then accompany him back to his homeland where he intends to deal with an enemy who kidnapped the Pict's fiancee.

Apparently the enemy is drawn to look like Vincent Cassel, a French actor who has appeared in the "Ocean" films with George Cloney, "Black Swan" with Natalie Portman, and played the part of the gangster "Mesrine".
#35 · Posted: 28 Oct 2013 20:36 · Edited by: george
Well, they have certainly captured the feel of Asterix if perhaps not quite the spirit.

The artwork is good, the writing is good, the story itself leans toward adventure rather then attempting to be heavy on comedy. It is all played very safe, there is no stretching of boundaries or crossing into new territory. Pirates? Check. Warning about magic potion? Check. National stereotypes teased? Check. It feels very tentative, which is perhaps understandable given the legacy the creators are working with.

I also got the feeling there was a running joke which wasn't translatabled. Sometimes the art and the text seemed to be going in different directions. Perhaps an translatable pun?

Still, a solid 7 (Seven!)

#36 · Posted: 28 Oct 2013 23:56
I'm looking forward to it, I think it's a very brave attempt and I'm sure the new team would certainly feel some trepidation with the new adventure roll out. 'Don't reinvent the wheel' etc..
Perhaps it was a consensus to ease things out slowly and stick with the tried and true formula before any major things are attempted.

I was really surprised at the artwork for the cover, at first glance it looks like the good old Asterix! Was worried the pictures would look way different from what we are used to..
Can't wait for the Australian launch (has it come already?)!!
#37 · Posted: 29 Oct 2013 13:22 · Edited by: Moderator
I got mine this morning.

I felt a mixture of delight and relief after I read it.

It's not the best Asterix story ever but certainly the best one for quite some time (not that the Uderzo ones were terrible, I even quite liked Falling Star).

I agree with the above that it's a bit safe but that's to be expected, they couldn't really go wrong with this one as it might have killed the NuAsterix project.

Hopefully we'll have lots more Asterix to come!
#38 · Posted: 16 Nov 2013 19:20
There is a nice interview/profile of the great Anthea Bell over at the Guardian, ostensibly because of the new Asterix, but it actually covers her whole career.

#39 · Posted: 14 Mar 2014 21:21
OK, I found "Asterix and the Picts" in the library and decided, "Well, it won't cost me anything so let's give it a try."

Conclusion, I'd say 3 out of 5. It's certainly an improvement on the misguided fantasy stories that Uderzo came up with ("Flying Carpet", "All at Sea", "Falling Sky"). Conrad and Ferri have made an auspicious if not particularly resounding debut. The plot was slow-paced and I think that Nessie was overused. A one-off appearance, like she does on page 21, would have sufficed. A promising beginning which bods well for the future, but we will have to see when it comes.

In reference to a previous discussion, I haven't been able to find any "These Picts are crazy!" remarks. Looks like Political Correctnus has had his way.

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