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Hilarious Adventures of Asterix and Obelix

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.


These Romans are Crazy!

The year is 50 BC and the Roman Empire is at its strongest. Gaius Julius Caesar has conquered most of Europe. All of Gaul (Modern France) is under the Roman rule. All except a tiny village in the Armorica province, populated by some irksome, indefatigable and irreverent Gauls. Roman Garrisons surround the village, in the hope they may weaken. This village is a blot in Caesar’s glorious landscape. It is an embarrassment that sends him into furious apoplexy. But the Gauls prevail; armed with a magic potion brewed by their Druid Getafix they give those Roman legionnaires hell.

But it isn’t just the magic potion that makes them so powerful, it is those two mighty heroes – one brave, wise and small – the other large, dumb but with a heart of Gold and natural strength ( he fell into the magic potion as a child) who are the stars of the show.

Intrigued that this is some kind of alternate history lesson? Fear not, as these are the hilarious adventures of those French heroes, Asterix and Obelix.

Gaul, 50 BC

Gaul, 50 BC

For it is not just the anarchic history lessons that delighted me as a child (and still does in my adulthood), It is all the delightful drawings, the crazy plots, the visual gags, slapstick, the word play and all those fantastic puns.

For just like how I learnt my geography lessons and a sense of adventure from Tintin, I learnt the European history from 50 BC and humorous possibilities of the language from the Asterix Comics. The crafty puns in the names, the literary allusions, hilarious alternate explanations for historical incidents, Cameos and caricatures from famous figures and celebrities all were the cherries on an already sumptuous cake of fantastic art and exquisite writing.


Worldwide Bestsellers

The Adventures of Asterix are the best selling Franco- Belgian comic series created by two Frenchmen René Goscinny and Alberto Uderzo. The comic book series have been translated in over hundred languages and have sold over 330 million copies all over the world. Goscinny & Uderzo are France’s bestselling authors of all time worldwide, just from these humble comic ‘albums’ that transcend culture and language. They have been made into eight animated films and also three live action films in French. There is also an Asterix theme park in France.

The stories alternate between adventures within the village and those where the heroes visit another European nation leading to much hilarity, stereotyping and puns galore. I haven’t read the French originals much but the English translations work very well . Translators of the English editions , Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge do a fantastic job without losing the original scripting but also adding nice touches of their own.