Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Asterix the Gaul

The Adventures of Asterix is a series of French comic books by original writer René Goscinny and artist Albert Uderzo, however since the death of Goscinny in 1977, Uderzo has continued the series solo. The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They accomplish this by means of a magic elixir, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength; which is then often used for comic effect, as in a recurring sequence where the villagers sally forth from their village to rout the attacking Romans so easily as to consider it great sport. In many cases, their resistance leads the main characters to travel to various European countries (but they've also strayed as far as Egypt, America, India and other non-European locations) in every other book, while the remaining volumes are set in and around their village.
The 33 main books or albums (one of which is a compendium of collected short stories) have been translated into more than 100 languages and dialects beyond the original French.

Being a longtime comics fan, I had heard of the series, but really only discovered its joys in the last couple of years. The artwork and tongue-in-cheek puns filtered throughout the series [predominantly evident in various character names] makes the Asterix books a delight for all ages.

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