Monday, March 30, 2020

Consumer Critique: Asterix

Since Asterix first appeared as a French comic in 1959, the ancient Gaul warrior has been featured in 38 books which have sold close to 380 million copies worldwide. It’s the best-selling comic of all time. The series, written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo, has been translated into 111 languages and dialects, adapted into ten animated and four (soon-to-be five) live-action films, and even inspired a full theme park outside of Paris. But the international phenomenon has yet to take hold on this side of the Atlantic.

Papercutz Publishing is making a big bet this Spring that Asterix can conquer America, too. As the series turns 60, the company is re-translating and publishing every volume of Asterix ever written—for the first time with a US audience in mind. On May 19, 2020, they’ll launch the new editions with two omnibus volumes of three stories each, starting at the beginning of the series, plus a stand-alone edition of the newest book, #38: THE CHIEFTAIN’S DAUGHTER, which was released internationally in October 2019 and promptly sold 5 million copies worldwide.
I had a chance to see copies of Asterix - I had seen him before a little bit, when I've lived in Germany, and it's a great graphic novel for kids!

1959: First appearance, October 29, in the magazine Pilote
1961: Publication of the first Asterix album, Asterix the Gaul
6,000: Copies for the initial printing of the first album
38: Number of albums published through October 24, 2019
111: Number of languages/dialects translated into (including Latin!)
380 million: Number of albums sold worldwide since 1959
50 million: Number of visitors at Astérix Parc for 30 years
⭐5 million: the record-breaking number of copies sold to date of the
most recent album, THE CHIEFTAIN’S DAUGHTER⭐

“It’s the year 50 BC. All of Gaul is occupied by the Romans…Well, not all of it. A village inhabited by resolute Gauls resists the invaders again and again, and that doesn’t make life easy for the garrisons of Roman soldiers in the fortified camps of Babaorum, Aquarium, Laudanum, and Lilchum…”
The village's hero: Asterix, a warrior as ingenious as he is small. With the help of his super-strong friend Obelix, the druid Panoramix, and a magic potion which provides superhuman strength, Asterix constantly thwarts the schemes of Julius Caesar and resists Roman invaders, coming to the aid of those victimized by history's most famous Roman. Set in ancient France, it's a classic David and Goliath story, the underdog triumphing over the behemoth. Asterix offers a humorous and subversive look at social customs and stereotypes, dismantling cliches and highlighting the heroism and absurdity in us all.

Papercutz is dedicated to publishing great graphic novels for all ages. Popular with reluctant readers and gifted readers alike, Papercutz graphic novels for kids, tweens, and teens include a wide range of genres, including humor, action-adventure, mystery, horror, and favorite characters. We work every day to introduce young readers to the imaginative wonders waiting to be discovered in comics. 

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