Thursday, December 1, 2011

Asterix in Switzerland

A key part of this comic blog will be reviewing the books of the 2 titans of European comics : Asterix and Tintin. The question that springs to mind is, where to start? I could start with the oldest books and work my way to the end, or conversely start with the latest ones and work backwards. I thought it would be more fun to review these books in a random sequence though so lets begin...

Asterix in Switzerland is one of many of the indomitable Gaul's adventures where he and Obelix frolic around in a foreign country steeped in national stereotypes. Goscinny and Uderzo do the ancient Swiss (or Helvetii) proud here by portraying them as a nation obsessed with cleanliness, time keeping, banking, yodelling and melting cheese. Unfortunately ancient Rome predates the arrival of cocoa beans into Europe so we couldn't have the chocolate stereotype too.

For a change though Asterix and Obelix are doing a good turn for a Roman, a tax inspector who has been poisoned by a corrupt governor, the awesomely evil Flavus. Getafix sends them to Switzerland to find a rare Alpine flower which is vital for the cure but Flavus sends word to his fellow governor to stop them at all costs...

This is a high point in Asterix with an excellent plot and hilarious charactisations especially the main villan Varius Flavus who is a truly odious individual. It is also good to see the usual Asterix universe turned upside down a bit with a Roman as good guy.

The humour in this book is also among the best, including Obelix's complaining about having to eat cheese with holes in it when he is hungry. As he says, holes won't fill a hole!

This review originally appeared on my Take A Clean Sheet Of Paper comic blog.

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