Stay Gold, Gaully Boy, Stay Gold: Asterix Turns 50 On Thursday
Even though casual comic readers likely limited their "Asterix" intake to middle school German classes or an approximation thereof, the ancient cartoon warrior created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo in 1959 is a big deal worldwide (especially in his native France) and thus fans around the globe will be pleased to know the magic potion-guzzling Gaui officially turns 50 tomorrow.
Time has a lengthy feature detailing the character's cultural and creative significance. Goscinny and Uderzo's 50-year comic strip collaboration is impressive in and of itself, but the most interesting part of the article has to do with the character of Asterix embodying an ongoing anti-globalization effort on the part of various governments.For the uninitiated, "Asterix" is more or less the tale of the Brittany Coast, the only place in Europe left unconquered by Julius Caesar's occupation back in his empire hey day. It's sort of based on a true story, only totally not since Asterix drinks magical potions and makes like Mr. Peabody and Sherman, shaping history in wildly inaccurate ways that are fun to read.
I'll let the eggheads duke out the pros and cons of globalization, but it's kind of neat to see that those who feel imposed upon by foreign (i.e. American) cultures can identify with Asterix's battle to retain his way of life, and have for nearly half a century.
If you're an Asterix buff, feel free to expand the discussion in the comments.