Not all things are created equal and the albums in the Asterix series are no different. We’ve added a section in the website dedicated to the antics of our favorite Gaulish warrior and his pals. We’ll review each adventure to give you a synopsis and perhaps some interesting side tidibts, and then we’ll rate them based on our view of what ones are worth cuddling up with for several re-readings and which ones are worth a only a cursory single reading (or none at all).
In our minds, there is no question that the Goscinny written books are all better than the Uderzo written books without exception. Uderzo’s artistic talents are more than amazing. These are not simple cartoons and generic looking characters. Uderzo is a genius in capturing detail backgrounds, character’s expressions, distinct facial attributes, and more. And he isn’t the worst story teller (as we mentioned in another post, Asterix and Son was a decent outing and we would also agree that Asterix and the Secret Weapon was better than no Asterix at all). But he falls so far short of Goscinny’s storytelling that one has to wonder why he (or at those that advise him) didn’t seek assistance in developing plots and dialogue. The other problem we have with the Uderzon-only era, especially the latest ones, is that the art started turning stale. Rather than rich and complex, the art had became two dimensional as Uderzo reduced his attention to background details. One has to wonder if he was getting bored.
So, we will rate them all, but be aware that more attention will go into the books written by Goscinny. Not surprisingly (as with almost all serialized entertainment), the longer the series stretched on the greater the possibility of some stinkers. In general, the earliest books are best but there are later gems as well. In between are some stories that deserved many a look and laugh but were clearly separated from the best.
We will attempt an ambitious project to create a synopsis for each album as well as our overall rating for the book. We’d love to get your own feedback regarding which albums you liked best as well. Participate in the following poll if you will and feel free to leave comments.