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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

New Asterix Tales on the Way

One of the longest-running gags in the Asterix books, created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, has been given a revamped 'origin story' treatment in a new Asterix book, already on sale in France and due for release by Hodder in the UK in June.

New Asterix stories are also in the works for release later this year after the character's co-creator Albert Uderzo signed a deal with French publisher Hachette-Livre.

First released in English back in 1989, How Obelix Fell Into the Magic Potion When He Was A Little Boy reveals how Asterix' clumsy friend and menhir delivery man Obelix ended up in a cauldron of magic potion and was permanently imbued with super strength.

Ever since he fell into the magic potion, there has been something mysterious about Obelix… What was it that happened exactly? How did Obelix manage to escape druid Getafix's eagle eye and taste that magic beverage?

René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo first explained the mystery in 1965, in Issue 291 of the French comic magazine Pilote, in a text story illustrated by Albert Uderzo, which lifted the veil on the childhood of our Asterix and Obelix and, for the very first time, introduced the pair's mamy fans fans to their parents.

How Obelix Fell Into The Magic Potion When He Was A Little Boy reappeared in album form in 1989 after Albert Uderzo, having reread the text with nostalgia, decided the text deserved a richer set of illustrations. That album, re-published in French this month to mark the 20th anniversary of the story's first album publication, is the latest release in an extensive program of "re-mastering" of the Asterix albums and features a new cover immortalizing the moment before the fall,

Narrated by Asterix in person, the story offers up legions of scoops and unforgettable images. We learn, for example, that Obelix was a frail, timid and bullied child, who was constantly taken to task by his classmates.

• In December 2008, Albert Uderzo finally decided to entrust Asterix's future to publisher Hachette Livre, paving the way for new Asterix stories. Describing Hchetter as "a great publisher, financially stable, and capable of guaranteeing Asterix international renown and continuity, the move was also approved by Anne Goscinny, René Goscinny's daughter, who considers that this was "the best way to guarantee the work's continuity".

Uderzo is now working on an album of new Asterix stories, to be published on 22 October as part of the celebrations commemorating the 50 years since Asterix was first created in the pages of the Pilote magazine on 29 October 1959. Uderzo has also revealed he has an idea for a new 44 page new Asterix story.

How Obelix Fell Into The Magic Potion When He Was A Little Boy is released in June in the UK. Available via amazon.co.uk

Take a look at the original pencil drawing by Albert Uderzo for the new cover of "How Obelix Fell Into The Magic Potion When He Was A Little Boy" on the official web site

Try your luck in an Asterix Quiz on the official Asterix web site and win a copy of the "How Obelix Fell Into The Magic Potion When He Was A Little Boy" album

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