In the past year, while writing 35 reviews of Asterix books, I’ve used various sources to double check my facts, and even to learn a few things along the way.
These are the people who came before me — the giants whose shoulders I stand on, and all that.
They deserve a mention as part of The Asterix Agenda, as well.
But, Wait, Am I Redundant?
If all these other sites already wrote up all the books, then am I just adding to the noise of the internet?
Nah. These sites all have very specific voices and formats. Most have very specific formats they’re writing in. They’re mostly informational.
I’ve been writing something closer to my usual review format here, mixing in those data points, but not turning these write-ups into fact sheets. I’m just happy someone else already did that work for me.
Some of these sites have been around since I first started reading Asterix 15 years ago.
Without further ado:
Of course. It’s the official Asterix site, and it’s available in French and English. It’s particularly handy for its character index.
Some parts of it feel a little old, like that ad on the right sidebar for the “NEW” book, “Asterix and the Chariot Race.” That’s a year old now. They might also want to get rid of the ad for the Halloween season at Parc Asterix…
A good index of albums with character names, continuity gaffes, political explanations, and lots of good notes. The writer, Gareth Thomas has a good sense of humor and does take an opinionated stance on these books, which I appreciate. He’s as occasionally contrary as I am.
This one is crucial for the “Latin Jokes Explained” section. Told with good humor and many doses of information, this is what my father’s generation had to go to Catholic school as boys to learn.
Today, we have Google and, for Asterix purposes, this website. I love living in the future!
This is the one I consulted when I first started reading Asterix books in the early 2000s. It explains lots of puns and historical references, and lists character names. It’s a good cultural reference guide to better understand some of the jokes that you might have missed on the first read. It’s also an old school plain HTML website filled with tables.
The contents on the site are released under a Creative Commons license. I’ve more than once pondered using that to create a more modern version of the site, or incorporating more of that data into my reviews. But you know what? They might be spare tables, but the information is there. That’s all that matters.
Also, that boar image on the front page? It makes the site look like an O’Reilly book. I like that.
I didn’t realize until The Asterix Agenda that the TV Tropes page has spread so far and wide. It covers Asterix books, too. This is good for seeing which tropes get re-used multiple times.
Just in general, it’s started me off on a lot of the historical rabbit holes I’ve chased down. I learned more about Julius Caesar from Wikipedia and then clicking through to the sources for more information than anywhere else. Seriously, the history of Julius Caesar is utter madness and wonderfully entertaining.
I’m talking specifically here about his history of the Gallic War, titled “The Celtic Holocaust.” You can download it as one giant podcast that runs nearly 6 hours.
I’ve listened to it twice. It’s so engrossing and so good that I finished it in less than two days both times. (I listen in 1.5x speed mode, which helps….)
This one tells the entire story of Rome from its founding to the fall of the Roman empire. There’s something like 180 episodes, all between 15 and 25 minutes each.
The podcast is so well-regarded that Apple gave it a special podcasting award once, and it owns the keyword on Google for “History of Rome.” I’m impressed.