Asterix in “Le Monde”, a “children’s book” elevated to the rank of myth

Un very discreet hero. Asterix enters The world by the very small door on November 23, 1961, on the occasion of the prizes of the French Record Academy. The narrated version ofAsterix Gallic, the first volume of the comic book by screenwriter René Goscinny and designer Albert Uderzo, is rewarded there and only the name of the album is mentioned. It was not until December 10, 1963 that the evening newspaper did not speak of the famous character again. A page is devoted to “children’s books” where Bécassine, Babar, Petit Nicolas, “Lucky Luck” (which refers to the famous cowboy Lucky Luke, also a creation of René Goscinny) and Asterix: “Asterix the Gaul, born recently from the newspaper “Pilote” and the collaboration of Goscinny and Carzo? There is humor and invention in his forces, which are set in the Gallic Wars,” then concludes The world.

We are still far from the drum rolls accompanying each new album or film featuring the irreducible Gauls, as today with Asterix and Obelix. The middle Empire, by Guillaume Canet, on screens since 1er february. Above all, the presentation seems to say the least incomplete. Asterix was born four years earlier already in the magazine Pilot. After Asterix the gallic (1961) and The golden billhook (1962), the Goscinny-Uderzo duo has even just published the third part, Asterix and the Goths, where the background of the Gallic war appears more than distant. The reader can also correct that the designer’s name is Uderzo and not “Carzo”. Beyond the surprising shell, a time is emerging when comics were not yet, for The worldthe ninth art, but a derivative of the illustrated book, intended for the children of readers of the evening daily.

A legitimized social phenomenon

Three years later, in its edition of October 8, 1966, The world The question of the legitimacy of the genre arises precisely from the pen of literary critic Nicole Zand, through an investigation whose title sums it all up: “When comics want to enter university…” “It’s probably because they no longer wanted to smile when they devoted themselves to their favorite reading that some amateurs have been committed, for several years, to providing access to ‘comics’, ‘fumetti’ and other tapes drawn to respectability,” writes the journalist of the “World of books”. And the latter to quote Asterix, which got several magazine covers.

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