Reviews

Asterix the Gaul

Sam Macklin

By way of contrast, Asterix the Gaul (Orion), another comic book classic recently reprinted, tramples over all sorts of contemporary niceties. Working in early-196s France, Rene Goscinny (writer) and Albert Uderzo (artist) created a band of ancient Gaulish heroes whose greatest joys were hunting, brawling, quaffing “magic potion” and scoffing at the strange ways of foreign types. Yes, it is a little dated, but one suspects that this kind of stuff has never gone out of fashion with the French. More to the point, the Asterix tales are always charming, frequently hilarious and even educational. Like the Schulz strips, they contain a lot of thematic repetition. A more enlightening comparison is to J. R. R. Tolkien, with whom Goscinny shared the beliefs that (a) hurting trees is worse than hurting people, and (b) all forms of authority are essentially laughable. Mind you, Tolkien hated the French.

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