Friday, 17 August 2012

Asterix - 9 Quick Facts

1. Asterix the Gaul was called Asterix by his creator Albert Uderzo so he would appear at the start of an encyclopaedia of comics. Some 325 million copies of the 33 Asterix comic albums have been sold worldwide, with translations into languages as diverse as Urdu, Arabic and even Latin.

2. The first Asterix adventure, Asterix the Gaul, appeared in a magazine called Pilote and from then on, 32 other official Asterix comics have been published. Rene Goscinny wrote the books while Albert Uderzo illustrated them until the death of Goscinny aged 51. Uderzo then carried on the series. As well as the comic books, there have been many spin-offs including movie books, game books, Dogmatix books etc. Asterix is so popular, he even has his own theme park and movies.

3. Albert Uderzo is colour blind. He gets professionals to colour his drawings which is why some character's hair keeps changing etc. His eye has since improved and he has coloured some of the later books covers. He was born with two extra fingers which were surgically removed when he was still very young.

4. The first French satellite which was launched in 1965 was named Asterix-1 in honour of Asterix.

5. During the campaign for Paris to host the 1992 Summer Olympics Asterix appeared in many posters over the Eiffel Tower.

6. Asterix and Obelix appeared on the cover of Time Magazine for a special edition on France.

7. The animated series Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears also concerns an oppressed group in possession of a magic potion capable of conferring superhuman strength and agility.

8. The 2006 FIFA World Cup final between France and Italy was depicted as a fight between Roman legions and Gaul villagers in newspapers.

9. Humour in Asterix is typically French, often centering on puns, caricatures, and tongue-in-cheek stereotypes of contemporary European nations and French regions. Much of the humour in the initial Asterix books was French-specific, which delayed the translation of the book into other languages due to the risk of losing the native essence of the story.


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