Monday, January 11, 2010

51 years of Asterix & Obelix

Brussels is not only the capital of the European Union, but also the capital of the European comic strip, as I found out last week when trying to find a book shop that also sells normal books without drawings. So I felt obliged to bring back a copy of the Asterix & Obelix "Livre d'or" (Golden Book) published on the occasion of their 50th anniversary last year (which I missed completely, living on an island that's very well insulated from European culture).

Although I started my writing career with a lengthy piece about Asterix volumes 1-24 in my school magazine 30 years ago, I'm not going to review this one in detail. It's great fun, but it also struck me that dear old Uderzo is about as subtle as Obelix (which, I believe, is not a coincidence). All the graphic jokes which might have served a deeper meaning if Goscinny were alive, are just thrown around for the heck of it. But what can we do. It's the best we can get without René so we might as well enjoy, as my 12-year-old clearly does.

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