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Albert Uderzo, long time illustrator of Asterix et Obelix

Albert Uderzo, long time illustrator of Asterix et Obelix

This July 14 in France, 656 people were awarded the prestigious Legion of Honor, Albert Uderzo, long time illustrator of Asterix et Obelix being one of them.

Asterix as a character is a misanthropic Gaul, sort of a cross between Thor and Popeye, and possessed of enormous strength.  The first book, titled Asterix the Gaul (in French, Astérix le Gaulois) was published in 1961.  Uderzo has been writing the books ever since the death of his original partner in the strip, René Goscinny, in 1977.

The series first appeared in the French comics magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. As of 2012, 34 volumes have been released.

The series follows the exploits of a village of indomitable Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures. The “ix” suffix of both names echoes the names of real Gaulish chieftains such as Vercingetorix, Orgetorix, and Dumnorix. Many of the stories have them travel to foreign countries, though others are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.

The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries.

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Links

  • Asterix the Gaul, Wikipedia entry
  • Asterix on Facebook
  • The official Asterix web site

 

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