the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “Asterix”

Book Review; Asterix at the Olympic Games


Soon we see the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London, and after what I saw on national news last night, I am not holding out much hope for the opening ceremony.

Anyway, to the book. The 12th volume of the series sees Astrerix, Obelix and Getafix head to Athens to compete in the Olympics which at the time was limited only to Greeks and Romans. The Gauls consider themselves Romans by virtue of being occupied by the invaders which suddenly has some of Rome’s top athletes and administrators worried due to the magic potion.

In what is a funny view into the inner-sanctum of sporting prowess, Greek philosophy and European politics the ROmans become increasingly unconcerned with attempting to take on the Gauls, and there world-famous orgies and feasts soon infiltrate the Greek camp living off olives and vine leaves which in turn concerns the Olympic Committee (which at this point in time does not seem to be susceptible to backhanders and other bribes).

It is worked out that banned substances that increase sporting prowesses are not allowed which then has Obelix banned from competing and Asterix is forced to train So it goes on with some skullduggery (the Greeks seem to be cleaning up everywhere) and the Committee, not wanting to alienate the Romans, creates a new event for non-Greeks only.

This book was printed to coincide with the Mexico Games of 1968 (into English in 1972 to coincide with Munich) and then into a film aligned with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It also has been adapted into a video game which I believe is a first for the franchise.

Also of note, the two authors make a guest appearance as officials in registering athletes, although their nameplates are in Greek. This is the first time they have appeared in one of their stories.

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Book Review; Asterix and the Roman Agent


The fifteenth episode of the Gaulish tales is an interesting tale of what can happen when a bad apple falls into the cart, so to speak.

Julius Caesar still has issues with the indomitable Gauls with the magic potion and is under pressure from the Senate to deal with them. Someone introduces him to a felon, Tortuous Convolvulus who has a knack for stirring up trouble within the ranks which impresses Caesar to get him to infiltrate the village.

Soon there is disharmony amongst the villagers as everyone distrusts everyone else and chaos reigns supreme. Meanwhile the surrounding Roman camps feel the time is ripe to invade when it is assumed that there is no more potion thus denying the Gauls their one defence…however Asterix and Getafix has conspired against everyone to have them believe this which teaches the villagers a lesson while dealing to the Romans quite sufficiently…

This is one of the more enjoyable volumes loaded with more puns than a comic relief, and of course names fire in one after the other.

Book Reviews; Asterix & Cleopatra


When Julius makes a passing comment to Queen Cleopatra that the Egyptians are a spent force in the modern world a wager is made that she can have the most fabulous palace built..and so the tale (the sixth on the series) begins…

Asterix and Obelix escort Getafix to Egypt to assist an old friend (Edifis) who has won the contract to build tha palace, only he is pretty shit at such things and he has his main rival (Artifis) as well as Julius himself trying to sabotage the construction.

Needless to say all things, as they always do, work out but I find this book harder to read than most as I have also seen the movie, and its funny when you grow up with a perception of how someone acts or talks only to be hugely disappointed when faced with the reality.

It is interesting to note that this book is the only time (other than when he fell into the potion as a child etc etc etc) Obelix has sampled the magic potion.

This book became a movie in cartoon form in 1968 (yet the book itself hadn’t been translated into English until 1969) and then a live action movie in 2002. For those movie buffs the cover of the book is a parody of the Elizabeth Taylor movie Cleopatra’s promotional poster.

Asterix & Obelix’s Birthday: The Golden Book


This one is an oddity. Written to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Asterix chronicles it is a succession of ‘short stories’, flashbacks, ‘what-ifs’ and other scenarios even I struggled with. Whether it is lost in translation, localised humour, or just the machinations of a man (Uderzo) still smarting at the critique of his previous book (The Falling Sky) it was lost on me in part, but also some very clever humour in others.

It starts interestingly with the village about 50 years after the time all other books are set, so everyone looks older except for Geriatrix. Then we jump back to the present (of you can call it that) and as Asterix and Obelix head out to hunt boar the village plans something special for their birthdays – both share a birthday, however those who follow the series will note that there was some confusion over this in a previous album.

Characters from previous stories are welcomed in as well and share stories and ideas of old including a play, statues, and of course, the women (including their mothers) marriage.

It all gets confusing somewhat, but as I said, there are some very clever moments with reference to modern-day pop culture mixed with older Asterix stories.

Asterix and the Falling Sky


The thirty-third, and the most disliked of them all to date by followers. To an extent I agree, but I understand what Uderzo was doing with this one.

The story has the village visited by two aliens from warring planets who turn up for the magic potion. In short they battle each other, the Gauls, the Romans before it is figured that the potion has no effect on them other than some comic relief.

The story is very slap-hazard however its the puns and hidden meanings that really get you ticking over throughout the story.

At the start of the book Uderzo makes mention of his older brother who got him into the art field, but the small note at the end in reference to Walt Disney is what gave me the most clues about the storyline. Uderzo dedicates the book in part to Disney who was his inspiration early on and this comic has many references to him and American culture;

 

  1. Tadsilweny (an alien race) is an anagram of ‘Walt Disney’, and their favourite food is Hot Dogs
  2. Toon (the seemingly friendly alien) looks very much like Mickey Mouse (and in fact turns black later on)
  3. Toon names his leader as ‘Hubs’, an anagram of “Bush’, and the storyline around the magic potion as a ‘dangerous weapon’ seems to be a parody of the hunt for “Weapons of Mass Destruction”
  4. the ‘super clones’ resemble Superman, and the face looks a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and are used ‘to keep the peace’ which is from the classic movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.

No real new punny names other than Centurion Polyanthus.

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