I’ve been a massive fan of Asterix since I discovered the books at my local library, aged around 8. I worked my way through the books, one by one, and even now, more than three decades on, I still love the stories. Here are 9 reasons why I think Asterix rocks!
1 The Characters
As well as the plucky little Gaul himself, the books are full of amusing characters. From Asterix’s loyal friend Obelix, whom Gerard Depardieu was surely born to play, to the appalling bard Cacophonix, every one earns their place.
Because Asterix has been translated into so many languages, it’s a great excuse to read comic books, whatever your age. You can get away with it by claiming it’s educational. I have some in Spanish for this very reason.
Starting with Asterix himself, the names are witty and silly at the same time. I am particularly tickled by Cacophonix and Chief Vitalstatistix. It must have been great fun thinking them up.
4 The Romans
The scenes with the hapless Roman soldiers flying through the air was always one of the highlights of each book for me. So much for the might of the Roman army! All their training and discipline was no use against the magic potion …
5 The Premise
The idea that one little village can resist the Empire that conquered most of the known world is irresistible. Plus it never runs out of steam – there are always new places to go, new adventures, new Romans to beat up …
Isn’t Dogmatix just adorable? I loved how he was considerably brighter than his master. Plus the dog in the live action films was even more perfectly cast than Gerard Depardieu.
It’s maybe not sophisticated humour, but the wordplay and situations in Asterix always make me laugh. What’s more, I never tired of the familiar situations such as the unfortunate Roman soldiers realising that they were in trouble, and Cacophonix the bard being tied to a tree to stop him from singing.
Even though the first stories are half a century old, Asterix is still appealing to old and new fans. The historical setting means that the stories just don’t date, and they’re fun no matter how old you are.
Don’t you just love the way the books portrayed the famous Queen of Eygpt? With her vase-throwing habit, her threats to throw people who displeased her to the crocodiles, and her famous nose, this was one of the most memorable versions of Cleopatra.
Are you also an Asterix fan, or do you enjoy another comic book series? What about the recent films? Or have you seen the films, but not read the books?