The Adventures of Asterix
Surrendering To Julius Caesar
"Ouch!" yells Julius Caesar in sheer pain as the rebel Chief Vercingetroix throws down his arms at Caesar's feet, confirming his surrender.
JC yells in pain, not being able to bear the impact of Vercingetroix's personal collection of designer bows and arrows, swords, spears, and even a shield.
This is another triumph in Caesar's many campaigns. But, a very painful one indeed. Had only Vercingetroix chosen to simply lay down his arms like those before and after him, who had surrendered to the enemy, then Caesar would have been spared the inconvenience of having to hop back to his tent grimacing in pain.
No! This not a history flash back, but, as you would have rightly guessed, we are in the wonderful world of cartoons! History, is conveniently "re-sized" to accommodate humor, describing both major and insignificant events of a bygone era.
You are transported to ancient Rome and treated to a high dose of humor which will unwind as the stories of these warriors unfold. No, you cannot escape from the erudite wit of Uderzo and Goscinny!
Asterix The Gaul
"Asterix the Gaul" is the result of the sheer brilliance of two Frenchmen, Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny.
A group of cartoon characters born out of the imagination of Uderzo and Goscinny with Europe as the location.
The year is 50 BC, and the name of the location is Gaul. How come? Well all Europe came under the all-conquering Julius Caesar.
Vercingetroix was the last of the rebels who held out against the might of Julius Caesar.
His surrender meant that all Gaul was now under Roman Rule.
The Village Of Lunatics
All? ... Well not quite! There is a relatively small group of madmen occupying a village, a small village, and they hold out against the might of the Roman army.
They do it all by themselves. Their secret lies in a magic portion which gives them superhuman strength.
The secret formula, handed over by word of mouth over the centuries now transits in the mind of an old druid, the most important man in this village.
Asterix And Friends
Apart from knowledge of this secret formula, Getafix, the old druid of this the village is shrewd, has a merciless sense of humor, is fair dealing, and brave.
These very traits are also found in the hero of this story, Asterix the Gaul.
Asterix has a friend called Obelix. These two have been friends since childhood and they never part. Obelix, the overgrown warrior has a voracious appetite.
This requires frequent hunting. The two hunt for wild boars which are available in abundance in the surrounding forests.
These boars do not belong to anybody, and are public property. Even if they belonged to the Roman State, who cares?
Hunters will continue to hunt! The hungry shall continue to be fed.
Obelix does not need any magic potion to gain super human strength. He is said to have fallen into a cauldron containing the potion when he was a baby.
This results in Obelix having permanent super human strength.
However, on certain occasions, the Druid sees it fit to give him a few drops when the situation demands that his existing strength be enhanced.
One such instance is, when they are trapped inside a pyramid in Egypt, and have no choice but to smash their way out.
The village has no official name. The Romans refer to it as "that village full of mad men." They are independent and do not come under Roman rule.
Julius Caesar has just one more conquest to make, that of this village full of crazy dudes.
This is the only victory that has been evading Julius Caesar.
Many volumes in the series have been written by Uderzo and Goscinny devoted to attempts made by JC to capture this village.
All of them ending in disaster for the mighty Roman army and total humiliation for the Roman soldiers!
This village has a chief, an old warrior, respected by all, and known to all, all over Gaul by the name of Vitalstatistix.
Foresight being a required quality in all leaders, chief Vitalstatistix's demonstration of his foresight to his fellow citizens need not be stressed.
He travels about standing on his shield which is carried by two of his most trustworthy men. This raises him to a higher level and gives him greater coverage where vision is concerned!
Fulliautomatix, the blacksmith of the village always carries his hammer around. That's his favorite weapon too. The hammer does more than straighten up a warped sword. He quarrels mostly with Unhygienix the village fishmonger.
Asterix The Gaul
The hammer always comes in handy. It truly supports him in every argument he enters.
One of the many uses of his hammer is to still the voice of the fabulous bard of the village.
A gentle knock on the head pushes the bard into the ground deep enough to reach his mouth and cover it fully, lest any sound escapes from it.
The fishmonger of this village is always calling out to the villagers, drawing their attention to his "fresh fish."
When a crowd gathers, he often gets into a discussion group that talks about the period of time that has elapsed from the time his fish were swimming in the sea and the present moment.
Opinions are never the same. To equalize, each member of the discussion group grabs a fish to bash one another. The bashing goes on and on until their weapons are exhausted.
When "fresh" stocks arrive from Lutetia, a new discussion commences.
A very prominent denizen of this village is Cacofonix the Bard. He is the musical genius of the village. He plays the harp, and composes music.
He also sings. Many say he doesn't!
The ladies of the village also need a very special mention! For ... without them it would be a boring village indeed.
Here are two of the most prominent ladies ... the first of them is the first lady of the village, Impedimenta. She is the wife of the village chief.
Next comes Bacteria the wife of the village fishmonger. These two alone pack a pretty good punch!
The adventures of Asterix and Obelix take them to all parts of the world, exposing them to all the cultures, habits, wisdom, and stupidity of the natives.
Asterix the Gaul
Assuming You Are Already Familiar With Asterix And Friends, Would You Let Us Know Your Thoughts?
The Brilliance Of The Authors
These Asterix and Obelix comics are targeted at a wide range of readers and in many instances deciphering the humor requires some extra knowledge and intelligence on the part of the reader.
In the dozens of books which make up the adventure series, surely you will come across many a character very much similar to someone you actually know in real life.
You will find the complete traits of someone who is well acquainted with you. At first the character will seem totally familiar. So familiar that you will tend not to pay any special attention.
Then you begin to realize that you are introduced to him for the very first time. Then you match the traits with a real time acquaintance. You then go on to exclaim "hey this one is very much like so-and-so!" ... You see, It's real fun!
The authors Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, with matchless skills, have successfully portrayed the different types of humans on this planet.
This clearly shows their sharp and superior power of observation. The manner in which they have done so is so subtle, elegant and sometimes really straightforward, but always truly loud!
Uderzo And Goscinny
© 2008 quicksand