Arts|Asterix and the New Translated Editions
Asterix, the long-running, best selling French comic book series about a village of Gauls resisting Roman occupation, is getting a new publisher in the United States: Papercutz. The publishing house, which specializes in graphic novels for all ages, will republish all of Asterix — which began in October 1959 and whose story is currently at Volume 38 — in a set of collected editions and with Americanized translations.
Terry Nantier, the publisher of Papercutz, said the translations were a chance to revise the text for an American audience. He noted that previous English versions — printed and distributed in Britain by Orion Books, a division of Hachette, and sold in the United States — were “very good translations,” but were more British.
The United States editions will be released in May with Asterix Omnibus 1 and 2 — each reprints of three volumes of the original French comics. The 160-page omnibuses will be available in hardcover ($22.99, list price) and softcover ($14.99, list price). At the same time, Papercutz will also release a 48-page translated edition of Asterix Volume 38: The Chieftain’s Daughter in a hardcover ($9.99) edition.
Asterix, which still manages to comment on modern times, was created by the writer and artist team René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The title character is a short but brave Gaul warrior who has gone onto animated and live action films and inspired a theme park in Plailly, France. Mr. Goscinny died in 1977 and Mr. Uderzo took over until he retired in 2011. The series is currently being written and drawn by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad.
A joint statement from Papercutz and Les Éditions Albert René, the company which holds the rights to the series, noted that Asterix has been translated into over 100 languages and dialects and sold more than 380 million copies since its debut in 1959.
When Volume 39 is set to publish — sometime in 2021 — Papercutz will release its English translation simultaneously.
Part of the appeal of the series is its humor. “We like to call ourselves an all-ages publisher, but the fact is that Asterix probably embodies that the best,” he said. “There is slapstick that kids love and political and pop culture parodies that only adults can catch and appreciate.”