August 11, 2020

#BookReview: Asterix Omnibus #1: Collects Asterix the Gaul, Asterix and the Golden Sickle, and Asterix and the Goths by René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo (Illustrations)

Synopsis: Asterix is celebrating 60 sensational years as an international comics superstar, and in the first collected edition from Papercutz, the stories are newly translated into American English for a new generation of fans! The story of Asterix starts here. These are the first three adventures of Asterix as he defends his tiny village from the overwhelming forces of the Roman Empire. Join the short, spunky, and super-powerful warrior from Gaul and his faithful friends--including the boar-eating delivery man Obelix and the ecologically-minded canine, Dogmatix--as they battle to protect their village against impossible odds. Asterix Omnibus volume one collects “Asterix the Gaul,” “Asterix and the Golden Sickle,” and “Asterix and the Goths.” Three classic adventures in one great volume.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Review: I really loved this collection of comics. I loved all the artwork in these and the stories.  I remember reading these with my mom growing up and I could not put this one down.  It will live in my collection forever! 

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—In the year 50 AD, the territory of Gaul is under occupation by Romans. Asterix and Obelix, a pair of Gauls empowered by a magic potion, defend their peaceful lives from Roman centurions with relative ease. Trouble arrives in the form of spies, intimidation, and the need to venture to other towns and countries for specialty goods. Asterix's cleverness keeps him one step ahead of his enemies, often leading them through one gag after another. No matter how loony the plot becomes, from searching for a golden sickle to concocting a hair-growth formula, the dust always settles with Asterix and his friends on top. The plot of any given arc in these new omnibus editions is merely a setup for oodles of slapstick anarchy and lighthearted reversals of fortune. Humor is sewn into every aspect of the cartooning, including name gags, puns, linguistic footnotes, historical references, and the sort of childish violence that results in stars spinning over people's heads. Despite an updated translation and some changes to the original artwork, the depiction of characters is rooted in the biases and stereotypes prevalent during their creation in the 1960s. Female characters are few and far between. Various nations and their peoples are caricatured, with the most racist stereotypes evident in the representation of Africans. Appearances of beer and wine, including a dopey drunk character, are the most mature scenarios. VERDICT While clever wordplay and wit are abundant in this historical romp, like many cartoons produced in the last century, it is also ripe with racist stereotypes and offensive visuals. For adult collectors and collections; not appropriate for school or public library collections serving young readers.—Thomas Maluck, Richland Lib., SC

About the Author

Rene Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926. After growing up in Argentina, he came to America where he shared a studio with future Mad magazine co-founder Harvey Kurtzman and collaborators Will Elder and Jack Davis, an association that would mark him for life. In 1959, he founded the magazine Pilote which premiered what was to become the most successful comic series anywhere: Asterix. He died suddenly and way too early of cardiac arrest in 1977 at the age of 51.

Albert Uderzo was born in France 1927 to Italian Immigrants. In 1959 Goscinny and Uderzo became editor and artistic director (respectively) of Pilote magazine. Their creation, Asterix became a runaway success. After Goscinny's death in 1977, 26 volumes of Asterix were complete, Uderzo continued to write and illustrate the Asterix books on his own, publishing 8 volumes. The cover credits still read "Goscinny and Uderzo.” He retired from drawing in 2011 but still oversees Asterix and the current publications by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad.

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