The Historical Inaccuracy of Asterix
Pilote Magazine, Hachette, 1959-2010
Writers: Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Review by DG Stewart, 18 March 2016
“Asterix” is a comic book series comprising 36 volumes published over almost 60 years. The title character’s adventures have sold more than 300 million comic books and been translated into many languages (including, amusingly given the title character is often depicted fighting Romans, Latin). A national survey in France in 1969 indicated that two-thirds of the population of that country had read at least one of the Asterix comic books. As at the time of writer Rene Goscinny’s death in 1977, total sales in France of the comic book are said to have amounted to more than 55 million copies. “Parc Asterix” is a theme park in Paris based on the character’s adventures, and France has produced postage stamps featuring Asterix and his friends. Such is the title character revered in France that the first French space satellite, launched in 1965, was named “Asterix” in his honour. It is hard to think of any equivalent comic book character, measured by national recognition and success, in any Anglophone country.