11 October 2021 Update:
The Asterix folks released a big batch of news this morning. You can start here to learn more.
Turns out, my prediction was wrong. They’re not heading to China. They’re heading out to an area roughly around where the Ukraine is today.
29 March 2021 Update:
This morning, the Asterix folks announced the title of the forthcoming 39th album of the Asterix series:
“Asterix and the Griffin”
Ferri and Didier already covered the Loch Ness monster, so it’s time for a new creature!
A griffin is a mythical creature that’s half lion and half eagle.
Its name might have come from the Greeks, hundreds of years before Asterix’s time.
This might lead you to think the next adventure would be in Greece, but remember that Ferri has said that it’s a new place that they’re going. Greece was already the host for “Asterix at the Olympic Games.”
There is a story from a writer in Ancient Greece which claimed the griffin was a real animal in China. I only point that out because my initial guess as to where Asterix and Obelix would be heading in their next adventure was China. That’s where the next live action movie is set, as well. Synergy!
The official website for this book is available at Asterix39.com. (And, no, there’s nothing at Asterix40.com, but I’d bet they own that domain name already.)
05 January 2021: Original Announcement:
Let’s face it: 2020 was an awful year. We did not get a new Asterix book. That just sucked the life out of comics for everyone for the entire year.
(Yes, I know, they did a reprint of an old book everyone forgot, but it never made it to English.)
This weekend, though, the word officially came out that there is a new Asterix book on the schedule for 2021. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The Ferri/Conrad books have maintained an every other year schedule since they started.
Even better, we have the actual release date: October 21, 2021. I’m tempted to put a countdown on the front page of this site for the rest of the year now…
We know a few details: Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix are heading to a new country (for the series), and it’s one that doesn’t exist as such anymore. The preview page has a “Tintin in Tibet” reference in it, so is Tibet the country?
Also: The book will not touch on the pandemic. They already played their Coronavirus card, after all.
That’s really about it.
There’s a page from the book up at Asterix.com. Here’s the top half:
Details will surely leak out for the next 10 months. Can they keep the cover a secret until September again this time? Yeah, probably.
Rich Johnston brought back his bi-annual headline for these Asterix book announcements: “The New Asterix, in October, Will Be The Best Selling Comic of 2021.”
He’s right again, and nobody in North America will notice. Philistines!
He also has interesting quotes from Ferri:
Ferri states “In the 1960s, Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny could laugh at foreigners, caricature the English with their big teeth, the Greeks with their Greek profile. The atmosphere was good-natured. Today, you almost need a dictionary on your desk to know what you are allowed to joke about or not, ” he said.
“Playing with clichés is one of Asterix’s codes. But I don’t mind moving away from it a bit. I am lucky that my personal humour does not lead me to too frontal caricatures. In The Chieftain’s Daughter, I made up the way teenagers speak, for example.”
I’m having a very strong reaction to this which I’m keeping to myself for now. I try to stay out of politics. I try very hard, but I’m also hitting a breaking point about some attitudes…
For now, I’m accepting the fact that the first 25 Asterix volumes will be the funniest, and serve as time capsules at the same time. We’ll never see their likes again because the world has gone mad and lost its sense of humor entirely.
And I’ll leave it at that for now…
Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for the best in October! (Or, more likely, in December here in North America.)