Friday, October 30, 2009

Asterix just turned 50...

Most of you probably don't know who Asterix is... and though he's probably the most famous Frenchman of the 20th century! He - and his Pal Obelix - are actually two characters from a serie of comic books by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinni that French people love precisely because they are typically "French": they fight, they complain a lot, they are proud and arrogant, they think that they know better and... they love eating (read the full story here). Asterix just turned 50 and it is such an event for us that you can find evidences of this anniversary in many areas in Paris: L'abbaye de Cluny, La Bourse and even La place de la Concorde, where I took this photo (see a wider angle here).


  1. How fun! I wonder if someone is keeping track of all of them.

    Apart from that, I didn't know that the French word for "stolen" "robbed" and "pilfered" was "souvenir."

  2. lol I do indeed know who he is and excitedly took my young sons once to the Asterix park. Much telling them about him on the way; all excited, with a huge build-up on my part and....when we finally got there.... FERME ! What a disappointment... that's my memory of Asterix. :(

  3. Are you kidding? Not know who Asterix is? Ils sont fous ces Gaulois (including you, Eric)! J'adore Asterix and although I don't have every book, I do have 28 of them! Can hardly believe our hero is 50.

  4. I know who Asterix is, but I wish I understood more so I could get what seem like obvious jokes at the Place de la Concorde and the Bourse. I love that the French can celebrate themselves while poking fun at themselves in the same breath. A thoroughly healthy frame of mind!

  5. "Asterix legionnaire" is one of my favorite. I was lucky once to meet both Rene Gosciny and Uderzo when I was a kid, at Europe numero 1.

  6. I love the books and some of the movies, joyeaux anniversaire!

  7. I grew up reading Asterix et Obelix in school and I saw today when I went to 'Google' something at work, that they have honoured the 50th anniversaire with a google doodle of Asterix et Obelix!

  8. What I love about Asterix: It may be written for kids, but there are so many "in" jokes for adults (a bit like Sesame Street). If I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be "Asterix Chez les Bretons." How about you, Eric? Do you have a favorite?

  9. I also know of Asterix and Obelix, but only because my Dutch friend is a big fan and told me about the books a year or two ago. She's encouraged me to read some but I haven't yet. But, I'll join in with a hearty 'Happy Birthday Asterix'.

  10. What a fun idea! It's amusing to see how creative you guys can be, taking such traditional monuments and coming up with some fun, fresh idea.

    Not know who Asterix is??? Eric did you forget who you're talking too?!


  11. Eric, of course we know who Asterix, Obelix et Dogmatix are. Honestly, my back aches whenever I see a menhir on Obelix's back. And no, he's not fat! ...erh...though for being 50 years, he is definitely PHAT! May there be 50 more years of these jovial rascals!

  12. I will gladly pay you Mardi for a baguette aujourd'hui...

  13. 'Don't know who Asterix is?? Mais oui! Even in high school French we heard about him. I love it that the country is celebrating his birthday. Thanks for sharing the party with us!

  14. P.S. Eric, for the calendar, I will note that the photo I most remember from this past year is the one with the rainbow over the Seine -- sigh ...

  15. A great idea! I saw this in the news program on Lithuanian TV this morning and at first I thought that something had happened to the obelisk :)

  16. "Most of you probably don't know who Asterix is..."

    you gotta be kiddin

  17. Even did celebrate it

  18. I saw a report on these "monuments" in Paris on the TV news yesterday, and I bet Eric would post something about this event...
    ... And here are the photos ;-)

    As a big fan, I bought the "Asterix 50th birthday" book the day it was released, last week. But I must admit I was quite disapointed: I find it much too "commercial", and I didn't find the pleasure I have to read and read again all the others...

  19. Of course I knew about them but never understood their appeal. Now- thanks to you and the comments - I do! Thank you, Eric. Your webpage is wonderful.

  20. We actually read Nicolas by Rene Goscinni in one of my Children's Lit classes in college, and our professor introduced us to Asterix as well. I had no idea that started 50 years ago!

  21. One of my sons loved Asterix (still does).

    Missed yesterday's post (shame on me)
    Re pics for calendar. The question is - do I pick those most suitable for a calendar or be very selfish and pick my personal favourites?

    So here are my personal favourites, announced in reverse order of course...

    In joint fourth place: Nuit Blanche by Canal St. Martin 4th Oct. and Stolen Photo 23rd Oct.

    In third place: Champs de Mars in the snow 8th Jan.
    (applause, applause)

    Runner-up,Les Parisiennes (part II) 5th Oct.
    (applause and wolf-whistles)

    And the winner is....Fanfare, Drumroll.......

    Champ de Mars 23rd June.
    (Silence- am I the only one who voted for this one?)

    - But wait a moment! I'm just getting a message coming through on my headphone.

    - Sensation - there has been an objection from Les Parisiennes that Champs de Mars has been entered twice.....The adjudicator has made his judgement.....he says that, despite last night ladies, the decision stands.

  22. How can I forget Asterix and Obelix? All the way in Peru, as a little girl, I used to read their comics all the time... My friends started to call me 'Asterix' instead of my name: Astrid. Wow, 50 years... happy b-day Asterix!

  23. LOL Drummond...
    My opinion is that 'The adjudicator' is a bit unfair for these young ladies - whose picture is on May 11th BTW ;)

    But still, June 23rd is an interesting picture, I must say.
    'Patiner' on Champs de mars..., in a clear blue sky day, there's worse than that, isn't it?

    Yes, even girls enjoy reading Asterix and Obélix adventures. I do for instance! I always enjoy cunning characters :)

  24. Everyone loves Asterix!!!!

    I was watching the Scream Awards 2009 (from LA California) a few nights ago
    I was pleasantly surprised to see that they give an award for Best Comic Book Artist. Steve McNiven won for Best Comic Book Artist.

  25. Flore, of course, you are absolutely correct, Les Parisiennes (part II) was on 11th May.

    I have sacked my researcher.
    The fact she has 12 children who will now go hungry is not something I want you to lose sleep over!

  26. Eric, today I took time to go back and note a few more of my favorite PDP photos from this year:

    29 Oct. I Saw the Light
    1 Sept. La BIG Conciergerie
    23 Aug. Live, from a Paris Apartment
    27 May Casual Paris Scene
    14 May PDP Picnic Souvenir
    27 March Back to Paris (the double rainbow one I mentioned before -- It has stuck with me.)
    20 March Bateau Mouche
    11 March Four-Year Anniversary
    14 Jan. Place de la Concorde
    1 Jan. Best Photo of the Year (Would this still count as a 2009 photo??)

    Of course, I could choose many more ... I probably should add the "Dancing on the Seine" one, too ... I love your photos for various reasons. I appreciate each and every one of them, and I especially appreciate YOU and the beautiful world you offer us here at PDP.

    Happy Calendar-Making!

  27. Eric, did you ever see the movie Sophie's Choice? Choosing a favorite PDP photo is just like that.

  28. Suzy you couldn't have expressed it better. It's nearly impossible to choose just 12 of Eric's photos!

  29. Thanks for you new picks for the calendar - I will compile all this this WE.

    Drummond you crack me up!

  30. Drummond : "I have sacked my researcher.The fact she has 12 children who will now go hungry is not something I want you to lose sleep over!"
    You made me laugh out loud once again but thinking of it twice, I feel very bad now... Ouch. I'll go for a Nuit Blanche by Canal st Martin in this case, I'm afraid ;)

    Beautiful message Parisian heart.
    I'm with you...

  31. This crowd knows Asterix, but the vast majority of people (in this country, at least ) wouldn't know who or what it is.

  32. Now I think it's funny that people mention reading Asterix in school. Reading Asterix in school would have bought me some detention ;)

  33. @ Eiffel Tower Suzy, I am afraid you are mistaken.
    We did not steal the Concorde obelisque in Louqsor: it was a present to France. Sovereign of Egypt Muhammad Ali offerred this souvenir in 1830.

  34. Happy Birthday, Astrix!
    I grew up with you...but translated into German.
    Cleopatra was always my favorite one and I loved the lute playing character the best.

  35. Are you sure the Abbaye de Cluny is in Paris? I thought it was located in.. Cluny :p

  36. I have never read any of the books...but I do have three little plastic figurines of them in my daughters room, though she has no idea of their significance! My mother-in-law was a French teacher here in the states for over 30 years, and gave me all of her little collectables (including Asterix & his friends!) from her many visits to France over the years!