Papercutz is proud to take over US publishing of the world’s bestselling comics series Asterix in honor of his 60th anniversary! All graphic novels will be reissued in all-new translations and new formats. To start, Papercutz will be collecting the original stories in 2 omnibuses with three volumes worth of stories in each, as well as presenting the newest, best-selling album, the 38th in the series, “The Chieftain’s Daughter” in a single hardcover volume. All three of these great graphic novels will be releasing in May 2020. Moving forward, Papercutz will be releasing 4 of these omnibus volumes per year for 3+ years, which will eventually collect every single Asterix story to date. This also includes publishing the newest albums every 2 years as they are released. Papercutz is proud to reintroduce such a beloved comic book character to a wider audience.
What is Asterix
He is the main character in a village of holdout Gauls who were never vanquished by the occupying Roman army. One reason they’ve successfully held off the Roman forces: a secret potion the village’s druid Panoramix knows how to concoct that makes all the village’s citizens super-powerful! Well, at least for short period of time.
Beyond this premise, the series has been a vehicle for satire on humanity and politics along with delectable puns for names thrown in. The humor is an amazingly agile mix from slapstick to sophisticated satire. It’s this secret recipe (potion?) that has made Asterix so widely popular, not just with kids but their parents as well. Co-creator and scriptwriter Goscinny, who lived part of his life in New York, was steeped in and greatly inspired by everything from the heyday of Mad magazine to the whimsical humor of Walt Kelly’s Pogo. His co-creator partner, artist Uderzo, brought his sharp unmistakable caricatural style. The collaboration was electric.
The Asterix Phenomenon
Asterix is 60 years old today! Since his first appearance in 1959, the character has brought together readers from all walks of life and all generations. A real wonder that we owe to its creators: the geniuses René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. Whether in battles against their eternal Roman enemies, the magic potions of the Druids, or the famous quarrels between colorful characters, the Gauls have conquered schoolyards, museums and libraries around the world. But who could have imagined, just 60 years ago, that our little Gaul and his faithful friend Obelix, carver of menhirs (Stonehenge-like monuments), carriers of humanist and positive values (fraternity, freedom, irreverence, resistance, friendliness…), would be today, with 380 million albums sold, THE huge international stars appreciated by the uncowed of the whole world!
Asterix by the Numbers:
1959: First appearance, October 29, in the magazine Pilote.
1961: Publication of the first Asterix album, Asterix the Gaul.
6,000: Copies for the initial printing of the first album.
38: Number of albums published through October 24, 2019.
111: Number of languages and dialects translated into (including Latin!).
380 million: Number of albums sold worldwide since 1959.
50 million: Number of visitors at Asterix Parc for 30 years
14: Number of Asterix movies (including 10 animated movies and 4 live action movies)
And finally for its most recent success: 5 million: number of copies distributed to date of the 38th album The Chieftain’s Daughter, published just 7 days ago, October 24. An unparalleled success in the field of global publishing.
A New Partnership
“Papercutz is thrilled for this opportunity to bring the world’s bestselling series to America with a true push here for the first time,” said Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier, ”and the all-new more American translations, as well as our redesign of the books (new covers and new format) will make this series relevant to our American audience. After 60 years, the little Gaul Asterix is an ongoing mighty hit in most countries and languages and thus has proven himself to cross borders very successfully, and we say watch out America, we’re letting loose Asterix and his magic potion of power!”
“I am delighted to collaborate with Papercutz, a fantastic and clever comics publisher, to have for the first time ever the full Asterix collection released on the US market in a specific American edition,” said Céleste Surugue, Managing Director of Les Éditions Albert René, the rights holders: “Having this universe widely available to the US readers is a major event for one of the most famous and fun comic characters.
The 2 creators have been huge fans of American comic artists from Caniff to Kurtzman or Gottfredson who inspired their art very much.
The Asterix albums have been published in 111 languages and dialects until now and have sold in excess of 380 million copies. It was high time to have the American translation Asterix deserves. We are really looking forward to having the full series including the latest volume, The Chieftain’s Daughter, available in a brand-new American edition!”
For The Creators, a Strong Bond with the US
Rene Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926. After growing up in Argentina, he lived in NYC for 7 years where he had the chance to work at the Charles William Harvey Studio with Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Charlie Stern and John Severin who then created the famous Mad Magazine, an association that would mark him for life. René Goscinny had been nourished by this very specific Anglo-Saxon humour in all his future works. In 1959, he co-founded with Albert Uderzo the magazine Pilote which premiered what was to become the most successful comic series anywhere: Asterix. By the late sixties, Pilote turned to an older audience pioneering an absolute revolution in comics styles, narration and sophistication. Goscinny’s genius was not only in writing but also in editing, launching many famous and enormously innovative comics authors within the creative cauldron that Pilote magazine had become under his leadership, helping to raise comic art into a full-fledged art form. He died suddenly and way too early of cardiac arrest in 1977 at the age of 51, but his legacy continues.
Albert Uderzo was born in France in 1927 to Italian Immigrants. After a number of years in children’s illustration and co-launching a comics syndicate and agency (doing up to nine pages a week!) he created with Goscinny in 1959 the soon to be legendary Asterix series. He has been inspired by the works of Walt Disney since his early childhood starting with the 1st Journal de Mickey! Ever since then, Albert has been seeking inspiration from American Comics and the works of Walt Disney. He never missed a chance to pay tribute to American artists, and time would tell that this love would pay off.
In 1959, Goscinny and Uderzo became editor and artistic director (respectively) of Pilote magazine. Their creation, Asterix, became a runaway success. After Goscinny’s death in 1977, when 24 volumes of Asterix were complete, Uderzo continued to write and illustrate the Asterix books on his own, publishing 10 volumes. The cover credits still read “Goscinny and Uderzo.” He retired from writing and drawing in 2011 but still oversees Asterix and the current publications by 2 prominent French comics artists, Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad.
Papercutz will release Asterix Omnibus Volumes 1 and 2 in full color hardcover (7.5” x 9.5”, 160pp., ISBN: 9781545805657 (Volume 1)/ 9781545805671 (Volume 2), $22.99 each) and full color paperback(7.5” x 9.5”, 160pp., ISBN: 9781545805664 (Volume 1)/ 9781545805688 (Volume 2) $14.99 each) on May 19th, 2020. Papercutz will also release Asterix Volume 38: The Chieftain’s Daughter in full color hardcover (7.5” x 9.5”, 48pp. ISBN: 9781545805695, $9.99) on the same day, May 19th 2020.
Asterix Omnibus Volume 1 collects:
“Asterix The Gaul”, Asterix and The Golden Sickle”, and “Asterix and The Goths”.
Available May 19th, 2020!
Asterix Omnibus Volume 2 collects:
“Asterix The Gladiator”, “Asterix and The Banquet”, and “Asterix and Cleopatra”.
Available May 19th, 2020!
Stay tuned for more information!