Asterix in Britain v8 cover detail by Albert Uderzo

Asterix v8: “Asterix in Britain”

Wait, we’re up to the eighth volume already? Eh, what!

Asterix in Britain cover
Writer: Rene Goscinny
Artist: Albert Uderzo
Translator: Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge
Published by: Orion
Number of Pages: 48
Original Publication: 1966
Original Title: “Asterix chez les Bretons”

The English Channel Provides a Mirror Image for Asterix

Asterix, as it turns out, has a cousin in Britain by the wonderful name of Anticlimax.

Unfortunately, Caesar has conquered Britain now — all except for one small village that Anticlimax lives in. A group of neighboring tribe leaders has come together, determined to fend off the Romans in one last stand.  (This takes a page out of Vercingetorix’s play book.)

Anticlimax goes to France to get Asterix’s help with some Magic Potion to continue to defend his homeland.

The parallels and kinship are obvious, and so Asterix and Obelix cross to the island nation to help.  Word gets out quickly that they’re there, though, and so begins a wild chase scene across the land.  There’s spy craft, chases, derring do, and jailbreaks (of course) to fill out this story.

Roman soldiers break open barrels of local wine, looking for magic potion

And wine.  There’s a lot of wine. Barrels and barrels….

While these Romans might be mostly different from the ones in the encampments surrounding Asterix’s village, they act the same.  They know enough to be afraid. Their leaders are gung ho enough to not care. And, occasionally, they follow their directions so close to the letter that they run astray of common sense. This, thankfully, provides some very humorous moments.

British Humo(u)r All Over

Warner Bros' the Goofy Gophers

I’m reminded a bunch of The Goofy Gophers this week, that pair of furry Warner Bros. cartoon creatures who are always unendingly polite to each other. That’s the depiction of the British in this book, though not quite to such an active degree.

The line at the rugby game shows a lot of fine British men in moustaches

They all have stiff upper lips, a break for what would eventually become tea time, and the desire to help one another with a righteous “what” or “wot.”

I think this book benefits by being translated by a couple of Brits, who know the stereotypes they’re making fun of very well, indeed.

Just like in the previous couple of volumes, there are a lot of references.  Some good ones that might have been a half page gag of their own instead get tossed off in a secondary line of dialogue in a single balloon. This book is overloaded with British gags, and it’s wonderful.

There’s also the misunderstandings that happen from the different ways they speak.  When Anticlimax offers Obelix the chance to “shake me by the hand,” well, you can imagine what that kind of handshake will look like:

This is Obelix's idea of a handshake

Warm Beer, Fog, and Tea Time

Several British-isms become running gags in the book.

The British drink warm beer, which is really a weapon against everyone else.

Most notably, the cooking isn’t up to the tradition of French cuisine that our title Gauls prefer.  The local pub does not server boar to Obelix’s liking, and the beer is — warm.  As an American, I can empathize with Obelix here, and I don’t even drink.

Asterix is lost in the British fog

The fog rolls in multiple times, usually when it’s convenient to the plot, but who cares?  It’s funny.  It works.

And, of course, there’s the daily break in the action for a cup of hot water, sometimes with a splash of milk.  We’ll get to that soon…

These gags are all inserted at perfect times. They fit into the scenes they’re a part of.  They don’t feel forced. Their repetition helps emphasize the cultural differences in such little things that the locals don’t pay any attention to it anymore.

And, because this book was created in the middle of the 1960s:

The Beatles appear in Asterix in Britain, of course

The Beatles make a cameo.  I love the two girls pulling at each other’s hair in the bottom left corner.

Rising Action

The thing that grabs me about this book is how Goscinny plots out rising action in some of the biggest set pieces.  There are really three in this book.  I’ll skip over the drunken Roman soldiers to get to the other two.

During the rugby game at the end, what could have been a simple attempt to sneak into the locker room to grab the team’s drinks (which is accidentally Magic Potion) instead turns into mere seats at the game to start.  From there, they can see the effects of the Magic Potion start to creep in, and realize that they can’t afford to waste more time.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it leads to Asterix and Obelix running through the field and joining in the game.

As you might imagine, Obelix is a natural for the game.

Earlier in the book, Obelix is sent up to the London Tower to be jailed.   You can guess how well that effort stuck.

Obelix escapes from jail by walking away from his chains

But the action grows as the scene develops.  Asterix comes to save Obelix after Obelix has already saved himself.  They just miss each other going up and down the tower, causing them to reverse course to find each other, only to have to fight through some Romans.

Uderzo doesn’t show most of the action.  It’s a progression of word balloons emanating from the Tower. Those short snippets of dialogue sell the scene.

It’s great comic timing and storytelling, like something you might have expected in an earlier Hollywood comedy.  Picture Marx Brothers or Abbott and Costello here.  It works really well.  It was the hardest laugh of the book for me.

The Tea Thing

It’s so painfully obvious and then so completely overwritten in the end that I don’t mind spoiling it.

Asterix, going off to England, for some random reason grabs a random bunch of leaves off Getafix’s work table to bring with him.  This is two pages after we see the British taking a break from their warring with the Romans in the middle of the afternoon to have drinks of hot water with optional splashes of milk.

All the pieces are there, and the end results are obvious.

So much happens in the book that there’s a chance you might have forgotten about the tea leaves by the time Asterix pulls it out to use as a plot device.  Ok, that’s clever and I’ll give Goscinny points for using the leaves well.

But, then, on the last page in the last two panels, Getafix smugly tells us these leaves are tea leaves and — we’re supposed to be surprised?  Goscinny already spelled it out pretty clearly in the previous pages.  It was obviously going to be a thing from page four.  Why are we ending the book with two panels to clearly explain an obvious gag?

Maybe this worked better in the original serialization.  Maybe.  I just think it landed with a total thud in this album, though.

Squeeze In the Lettering

An example of squeezed lettering in "Asterix and the Britains"

There’s something else in this book I noticed for the first time in the series. The letterers fought to fit all the words into certain word balloons.

Obviously, there’s always a difficulty in translating comic works in that you need to fit your translation inside the same size balloons.  Yes, you could make balloons larger, but then you’re changing the art and production gets more complicated.  Todd Klein did it with Don Rosa’s “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck,” but he’s Todd Klein. Don’t try that at home.

There will be times when saying the same thing in English will be much longer than in the original French.  Letterers will need to work whatever magic they have to get things to fit on the page.

The British in this book, in particular, are a very loquacious lot.

There are just a LOT of balloons in this book that look too small.  The font size on the lettering takes a hit to make sure everything can fit inside the borders.

The Romans get smaller lettering from time to time, too.

It’s not just the British, though. The Romans do it, too.  Am I just noticing this more for the first time with this book than in the past?  Or did something change with the word balloons or lettering in this book?  Is it Goscinny’s scripts and how much stuff he’s packing into each book now that’s causing this?

Best Name of the Book

Mykingdomforanos wins the funny name of Asterix in Britain award

It’s a tie. Anticlimax’s village has a chief named Mykingdomforanos and a Caledonian chief by the possibly even better name of O’Veroptimistix. They appear on page 3 of the book. The fight was over that quickly this week.


The Asterix Agenda Week 8: Asterix in Britain

But of course.  This one, like the two before it, is a laugh a minute.  It mixes in the history of the Roman conquest of Europe well with Asterix’s continuity, gives us a funny representation of the British, and has a strong story behind it.

I have one or two qualms with the book, but they’re minor: a gag falls flat, some lettering looks squished. That doesn’t ruin the overall effect of a very funny book at all.

— 2018.025 —

Buy It Now

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Next Book!

Asterix and the Normans Chief Timandahaf

Asterix and the Normans” brings a particularly obnoxious visitor to the Village, who turns out to be a handful to babysit. Cacofonix gets a bigger role, and the Normans are Vikings who just want to learn fear. What can go wrong there?

What do YOU think? (First time commenters' posts may be held for moderation.)


  1. This is an easy 5/5 for me. The edition I have proudly proclaims “The Greatest Asterix Adventure” on the cover – and at the time this book came out, they would have been right. Even now, there aren’t many I prefer.

    I think you’re harsh about the tea reveal. These are kids books, and I’m pretty sure at 7-8 when I first read it, that was a complete surprise to me. Of course Asterix putting the herbs in his pocket for no apparent reason in the first place is a bit weak, but I’ll let that slide.

    I’m English myself and the thought of warm beer repulses me too – but then my tipples of choice are cider and red wine not beer.

    Also amusing the copy I had as a kid (not the one I have now) is a very apologetic disclaimer at the beginning asking us not to be offended by the jokes at our expense. Completely unnecessary of course. We brits love a bit of self-effacing humour.

    Mykingdomforanos is the easy winner of best name, but it was a strong couple of panels side by side which introduced him and then O’Veroptimistix and McAnix. All great names.

    One small oddity here is that they left Dogmatix at home. I’m sure there can’t be many later books where they do that.

    1. I’m picturing Uderzo looking at the script and thinking, “The dog’s cute, but I can’t draw HIM in every panel, too. I have to draw 100 Roman soldiers lining up to open wine barrels already, as it is.” At least they took a panel to have Obelix say goodbye to Dogmatix before they left. But, yeah, I bet you’re right. Leaving the dog behind seems weird and they shouldn’t’ do that every again. He’s too cute!

      You may be right on the tea reveal. It just clunked so hard for me, I couldn’t ignore it. But, this is a book also published by Orion’s Children’s line, so maybe I should take that hint. Some things need to be spelled out.

      Come to think of it, Goscinny does less explaining of his plot through dialogue than a lot of the superhero writers of the 1960s did. I need to pay attention to that with the next book… I wonder how it sizes up to the work Carl Barks was doing in the 1950s, too. I might need to research some things here. It’s a tough job, but I like to do it. 😉

      1. It started with two pages per week in the early issues of Pilote, then quicky scaled down to one page per week as the popularity of the series exploded and the production load of both Goscinny (he was doing the Dingodossiers with Gotlib, Iznogoud with Tabary, Lucky Luke with Morris, and a few others) and Uderzo (Tanguy et Laverdure with Charlier, which is also a great series) got heavier. That is probably the reason why they cram so much gold into each page with the overall ‘quest’ framework plot is fairly slim, as not to confuse readers who might have trouble following a story that would take about a year to unfold.

  2. It’s funny that the idea that the country is swathed in fog was still common in Germany and Switzerland when I was teaching English there in the 1990s. It must be a hangover from the 1950s and the pea soupers of yore.
    On my blog I also featured that great picture of the legionaries opening the barrels, but look at the different colours from my French version of the book (1999 printing, I think):

    1. That’s the same coloring as in the 2004 books I have, too. I’ve moved to grabbing panels from the digital remastering (2010, I think) for speed of production’s sake, but I’m still reading the print editions from 2004 first. The cover images were all shot before this project began, so those pictures at the bottom of the reviews will all be the 2004 print editions, too.

      Has the fog gotten better in London in recent years? I’ve always grown up with those stories, too.

      1. I wonder if they have also coloured the books differently to appeal to modern kids. Even the metal around the barrels is a different colour in the two pictures (one’s blue and one’s brown) which isn’t a change that you would need to make in porting the art from paper to electronic format.
        The fog, alas, is not what it used to be. I don’t know if you have Netflix but if so, watch the first series of The Crown which has a whole episode on a dreadful fog back in the 1950s, before the government brought in the Clean Air Act of 1956.

        1. Every generation gets its own style of coloring. And every generation of colorist thinks they know best. But, yeah, the new version looks like it was designed to take advantage of modern coloring methods. They didn’t go completely overboard, but they definitely went brighter and bolder. I don’t hate it, though there are moments where they add stuff that seems unnecessary, like shafts of light. I’ve “grown up” with the 2004 coloring job, which definitely has its drawbacks too. There’s a lot to grouse about there, too.

          And I think every time a recoloring job is done and there’s money behind it, the colorist will want to do more than just “port” the colors.

          In the end, nobody will ever be completely happy, but hopefully the material will still look “modern” enough to keep new audiences interested.

          (And just be grateful that they didn’t decide to try to “sculpt” the art with the colors. whew

          1. I have also noticed that in reprints of Marvel comics, they often now remove the colorist from the credits box, because those comics too have been recoloured. I guess it’s the way of the world. It must be frustrating for the original colorists though (I wonder if Goscinny coloured his own art? I always assumed he did.)

      2. I grew up in London from 6-18 (1978-1990), and proper fog probably happened once a year if that. Even then it was never a pea-souper. It was weather, not pollution.

        When my mum was young she had the pea soupers though.

    2. I seem to remember the fog thing originating from the Hound of the Baskerville movie (the one with Peter Cushing) as well as a few Jack the Ripper and various Hammer Horror outings of that era. Those made quite an impression on us. That played well with french audiences at the time, given our immemorial feud since Admiral Nelson swathed Napoleon at Trafalgar, even in the early days of the EU it went on. We also enjoyed making fun of Brits with other clichés like meat-boiling, putting mint in everything and a general inadequacy for normal human interactions. Good times 😉

        1. I’ve often seen Asterinx the Legionary held up as one of the best ones. I haven’t read it since I was a kid, it was always my least favourite of the Goscinny ones. I’m curious to see if my opinion as changed now about 35 years later.

          1. Yep for me its Legionary that defines the start of the ‘golden age’ of Asterix, be interesting to see if that holds but its a watershed volume, if not actually my favourite.

          2. Oh, LEGIONARY is one of the absolute best, I love it! This whole part of the series right now is top notch. LEGIONARY, SPAIN, CORSICA AND SWITZERLAND for the traveling ones + a few really good ones set in the village, before it all went downhill when Gosciny passed away. And characters are drawn differently in some of the books (e.g. Obelix is big and huge and sort of ugly, as opposed to smaller and stouter and cute, like the way he is on the back cover) so I’ll look forward to Augie’s comments on that.

  3. Well for me this is solid. Its good, its great in fact, its is Asterix after all, its packed with sharp humour, good characters and a great story. The national observations I can enjoy all the more as they are closer to home. I still reel at the thought of boiled ham as drawn here (I actually like boiled ham I just think I still associate it with this book and the green stuff it sits in!). There’s some absolutely wonderful moments, the Romans testing the wine, the prison break is gold, the poor old pirates. Obelix drunk is an absolute fav of mine. Its just so solid for an Asterix book and in my mind in many ways the quintessential Asterix book of this period.

    Why on earth then do I give it only (well I say only!) an…

    8 out of 10

    I think for me these early volumes are all about the develop, watching the series grow and get better and better and better and that’s the one thing this comic lacks, it feels like Asterix (of this period) by the numbers, we’re seen it before. It doesn’t really offer anything new. Now all of this has to be taken in the context that Asterix by the number is bloody brilliant and better than 96% of the comics you can read.

    The fact that it feels so solid and dependible for me highlights the small, and they are small, nay tiny, problems it has and amplifies them. Unlike Dan I can’t quite get over the randomness of Asterix picking up the tea leaves and like Augie says the slightly hamfisted (no pun intended) underlining of the gag at the end. For me the plot is closer to Banquet, than Cleopatra, the story serving to pull together a series of vignettes rather than to serve it own purposes. Oh its much better than Banquet, but I see the echos. I also think it lacks a delicious sinister villain that will serve so many of the later books so well and we saw start to develop with Felonius Caucus last time in Big Fight.

    There is absolutely nothing (well very very little) wrong with this comic, its really, really good and I laughed out loud any number of times, there’s just nothing to make it stand out for me in the Asterix canon.

    Augie gets the best name right, but Dan gets it righter as its Mykingdomforanos by a mile, solid gold that one.

  4. I’m afraid to admit that Asterix is the main reason why I’m so critical about most comics today. I read this as a kid, thinking that such brilliant writing and art mastery was the norm that it totally spoiled me. I just realize that in that way, Asterix ruined my life and made me totally impervious to mediocrity. Poor me.

    1. I can understand that. While I agree that 98% of comics aren’t as good as Asterix I went the other way. It made me realise the truly glorious potential of the art form and started my life long love affair with it (well aside from a gap about 1993 – 2001 when other priorities turned my head). Mind in part this is due to having Asterix and 2000ad at the same time in my life. Asterix was one thing but it didn’t have cowsboys fighting dinosuars in it and you need that kind of balance in your life… no really you do.

      1. I certainly agree with you Colin. A few years after Asterix, some french publishers treated me to the wonders of Lee & Kirby, Ditko, Colan, Wood, Broome & Infantino, Eisner, Gardner Fox & Gil Kane and so many others; that opened up a whole new world for me. Sadly I wasn’t exposed to the golden years of 2000AD heroes until much much later because they wouldn’t have passed the barrier of french censors at the time of their original appearance. Early Dredd was very subversive and only a couple of Bolland tales made it to french bookstores in the late 80’s.

        1. Yeah the sad thing is, and this seems pertainent when discussing Asterix in Britain, in the UK we only have 2000ad and the new (relatively) wonderful Phoenix and a couple of other bits and bobs outside a rich small press industry. When I see even the limited amount of stuff from France and the rest of the continent that makes it over here from great publishers like Cinebook (mind where’s my Blueberry?!?) and others Augie discusses on Pipeline it boggles me that the UK comics industry has suffered so and comic shops are dominated by US material, great though some of it is, not our own and things from our nearest neighbours.

          I’d take a medium awash with mediocrity – allowing talent to flush and rise to the top – over a generation who think comics are puzzle books designed to hold the plastic tat stuck to its cover – any day.

  5. Speaking of tight lettering, I wish more comics authors would think “internationally” and thus be more generous with the size of their speech bubbles. Even with nice-sized, traditional ones like the ones in ASTERIX, lettering still has to be tight at times to fit all the words in (which I think should always trump the aesthetic effect), but there are tons of books with very snug bubbles that hug the words and leave no wiggle room whatsoever, which makes it difficult for translators and letterers. I can only imagine how much harder it would be when translating into a language known for very long words, like German for instance.

    1. It works both ways. English is usually more elliptic than French so I can remember when french publishers presented us Marvel and DC comics in the 60s and 70s they had to massively slash though Stan Lee’s and Gardner Fox’s verbosity to have a french adaptation fit into existing balloons and captions. I can only shiver at the thought of the wonderful Asterix adapters for the UK if they had to tackle other beloved series like Blake & Mortimer or Achille Talon into Shakespeare’s idiom and make it fit the page. That would certainly be a daunting task.

      1. We get Blake and Mortimer over here from Cinebook and I have to be honest I struggled with it as the dialogue was so dense and heavy. It seemed in such sharp contrast to the nature of art and story. To be honest the Cinebook translations aren’t as sharp and flexible as Bell and Hockridge’s on Asterix but they do the job.

        1. I’ve only read one Cinebook translation (Leo Aldebaran: The Catastrophe) and I found the dialogue incredibly stiff. I guessed the translation was probably to blame.

          1. Unlike JC I love the Leo Aidebaran and associated stuff. At times the art does look at little stuff and as you say the dialogue suffers from what I assume is a literal translation (I’m not one to comment since my French is horrible!) but I love these books, such a satisfying odyssesy. Oribital is another favourite of mine from Cinebooks and well worth checking out.

            None of the Cinebooks have fine dialogue and I do put that down to the translation.

          2. Ha. I just realised, you were correcting yourself, not me. My first attempt was Eldebran – before I looked it up.

          3. Okay so I say I love the series and its going to take me three goes to get the title right. Its not Aidebaran, nor Alderbaran but of course ALDEBARAN.

            I’ll do better next time!

  6. A few quick thoughts on all the great discussion above. (And keep it up, gang. I’m loving reading what everyone things…)

    @Montana — Yes, the differences in appearances over the volumes of the characters is something I promised I’d do very early on, and haven’t gotten to it yet. It might be about time, because there’s already a major difference between v1 and v8. I actually opened up a later volume at random the other day and, uhm, wasn’t too happy with what they had evolved into later in life. sigh. We’ll get to that eventually, too…

    @Colin – I’ve never read Blake and Mortimer. I know I should, but every time I see a page from it, I figure it’d be quicker to just read and review a novel. There’s a horrible imbalance in that series between the words and pictures that just turns me off instantly. I’ve never mustered the patience necessary to try to plow through a volume. I might have to, though, because I want to do a story on the original art situation there one of these days…

    I can understand your rating there. It also gets to a point I half made not that long ago about the worries I have that the series becomes a template with all the same jokes and just new funny names slotted in. Where does the line of running gag end, and repetition begin? I can think of one or two books I remember fondly that I can’t wait to get to, mostly because it does completely different and interesting things.

    @JC – You were spoiled early and never recovered. It’s OK. Heck, there are books people swear are awesome today that I thought were done better twenty years ago, too. It’s somewhat all relative, I think. =)

    @Alastair – I think I read somewhere that Albert Uderzo is color-blind. His brother, Marcel, did coloring on some of the volumes, but I’m not sure which ones. From the translations of various articles I’ve read this year, I can’t tell if Marcel colored the early books, all the books, or the books after Albert brought him on full time to help with inks and colors in 1967.

    1. Just to correct myself: Marcel Uderzo worked on Asterix from the “Cleopatra” volume through “The Laurels of Caesar”, and then “The Great Crossing” through “Belgium.” Then Marcel went solo and they had their falling out.

      Lambiek spells it out well:

      This might make for the beginnings of another good tie-in article to The Asterix Agenda….

  7. Wow, I just hit the jackpot. A few years ago, Marcel Uderzo posted on a message board, answering some questions as to what he worked on with Asterix:

    Lots of interesting bits and pieces in that thread, if you wanted to read through it all, that I might include in later reviews. (Marcel, for instances, did the painting at the end of “Asterix in Belgium.”)

    It ends, of course, when people start with political discussions and accuse Marcel of being a fascist. sigh

    This comment is sad: “Then, after having supported many “miseries” of my elder, I wanted to go it alone. It is this sudden independence that my brother did not endure and never forgave me. Since then, we no longer see each other, but we greet each other at family funerals. ” (Translation via the Chrome browser…)

    He also says — and I believe it — that the lawyers don’t want to give Marcel any credit for anything for fear of him claiming ownership. Marcel just wants the credit for doing some of the work.

  8. Wow. I had no idea there were two Uderzos! That explains a lot. That’s a terrible story, though: work not acknowledged and brothers torn apart! Still, outside of just the initial growing pains of a series trying to find its look, there are then differences within a single brother’s style. We’ll have to get some sort of chart going to keep track of it all, LOL.

    1. Famously, Marcel is best known for having to re-draw one of the pages of an early album after that page was mysteriously stolen. For a very long time, that was the only Asterix page available for sale on the auction market. There is so much money involved that there is also a feud between Uderzo and Anne Goscinny, René’s daughter that has been going on for ages. Mixing dough and family is a recipe for disaster.

        1. I have no idea why WordPress suddenly put all your comments in the moderation panel for approval. UGH.

          Yes! Glad to see you’re showing up now. I just also realized that I only show up half the times, and that’s because I’m commenting in different browsers, and it seems I’m logged on differently on each. Some of my posts are from “Augie” and others from “AugieDB.” I need to work that out and be a single person. There’s always SOMETHING to do!

  9. The thing about the tea leaves that bothers me is that Asterix just takes from Panoramix (is that something Asterix does regularly, randomly take weird crap from Panoramix’s shelves just because?) because Goscinny possibly couldn’t think of another way for him to acquire them… also he just stuffs them in his pocket, meaning they should have been ruined when Asterix and his pals take a forced river bath after a roman attack, a detail that could have been fixed if he had carried them in a pouch or something. I mean, unless he wears waterproof pants I guess.

    Randomly nitpicking here, otherwise it’s a great book, made slightly less so by the animated movie adaptation that somehow annoys me to no end despite being very faithful to the original (mostly because of the terrible voice casting of Obelix who, from now on, sounds like a complete moron).

  10. I always felt the film adaption handled the tea aspect better. In that one, Asterix is given it as a reward from an Indian merchant who he saved from the pirates, who remarks after the Gauls depart that they were “saved for the price of some useless herbs”. It makes more sense than Getafix just happening to have some lying around and telling Asterix he could take it.

    1. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but what you describe does sound a lot better. It’s a good gag that should be more important, somehow, and just isn’t in the book. It’s weird. Thanks for detailing it for me. Someday, I’ll get that movie and review it here.

    2. The Animated Film adaptation of Asterix in Britain came out in 1986, 20 years after the original book did. However, The Live Action adaptation which was based on both Asterix in Britain and the next book after this book, Asterix and the Normans titled Asterix and Obelix: God save Britannia came out in 2012. Which was 46 years after the book came out, and 26 years after the animated film came out.

      1. In France, the 2012 live action movie was known as Asterix and Obelix: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the opening of the film parodied the opening of a James Bond film, which James Bond is also British too.

  11. Did you know that Achille Talon by Michel Greg makes a cameo appearance as a beaten up Roman Soldier on 1 of the boats.

  12. Achille Talon makes a cameo appearance on the boat that Asterix, Obelix, and, Anticlimax raid before getting to Great Britain.

    1. Heh, and that’s something I never would have noticed a couple years ago that I probably would today, now that I’ve read some Pilot Journal issues. (“read” might be too strong a word. I’ve flipped through them and been introduced to a lot of new stuff.)

        1. I just looked that up and came across the animated series from 1999 or so that I have extremely vague memories of. It only ran on the Fox Family channel in the States. Looks like they used him to make pop culture parodies. Ugh.

          1. Yes they did including James Bond, Mission Impossible, Star Wars, Star Trek, Tarzan, Indiana Jones, Superman, Batman, The Terminator, The Alien series, Zorro, The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, The Blob, Robo Cop, Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, The Power Rangers, The X Men, The Man with no name series, And in the show’s 2nd season Walter Melon parodied historical figures to make the series more educational.

            1. That was a terrible show, so far removed from the BD. The books, especially the first dozen or so are masterpieces. Greg was a genial storyteller and it’s overwhelming to consider his body of work as a writer on so many different series on top of this one.

                  1. I seriously doubt it. This my favourite BD of all time, and I can see a handful of the most visual gags might be palatable to a non-francophone audience, but the core of this series (and the characters) are so rooted in french culture, the dialogue so heavy in french erudite language that even someone of the caliber of Bell & Hockridge could not possibly render the spirit of it without either doing something completely different (like the brits did with the Magic Roundabout, they took the visuals of the French series and turned it into a totally different show) or have it presented as a Master edition with a truckload of footnotes like it was Watchmen or LOEG. Even I, a philosophy and literature major, recognizes that most french millenials today would not recognise half the words on the page. It is a masterwork of its time, so rooted in the 1960s, even moreso than Asterix, that I wish it was not continued after Michel Grec died. They tried but it was a massive flop.

                  2. I think you should do the top 10 series you think Cinebook should translate into English someday.

              1. From the description of that animated series, it sounded like they knew what kind of show they wanted to do, and then they found a pre-existing property to shoe-horn into it. It doesn’t sound like Achille Talon to me at all, even given what very little I’ve seen of it.

                1. The 1977 Walter Melon book Magnesia’s Treasure was translated into English by Dargaud Canada in 1981, and it’s the only time Walter Melon has been translated into English ever in the series’ history.

            2. And they also parodied Rocky and Rambo on Walter Melon is what I forgot on your 1st Walter Melon comment there.

  13. You didn’t mention one of my favourite scenes, which I can still see in my mind some 45 years after first reading it. Our heroes have commandeered a chariot and are fleeing across the English countryside, with the Romans in hot pursuit. Their escape takes them across a lawn being carefully tended by its owner, who’s just opined that “Another 2,000 years of loving care and I think it’ll make quite a decent bit of turf”, leaving behind a set of hoofprints and wheelmarks and a mildly discomfited Briton drawn to remark “Oh I say, that’s a bit off!”, who then stops the pursuing Romans in their tracks with a spear and the observation “My garden is smaller than your Rome, but my pilum is harder than your sternum.”
    As a native English speaker I found the translation was a work of real genius, fitting in so much delightful wordplay – enough to make me wish my French was good enough to read the original for comparison!