The Final Cover To Asterix And The White Iris, Revealed
The new Asterix graphic novel The White Iris by Fabcaro and Didier Conrad out next month, expected to be the best-selliing comic of the year.
"A strange new philosophy is gaining popularity amongst the Romans. When its enchanting influence reaches the Guals, everything they once held dear is turned upside down." So leads the new Asterix graphic novel, The White Iris, by Fabcaro and Didier Conrad, out next month, and expected to be the best-selliing comic book of the year. And the best-selling French book in total. The final cover has now been revealed, which seems to define the division in the village.
Asterix And The White Iris is published on the 26th of October in both a British English edition from Sphere translated by Adriana Hunter and an American English edition from Mad Cave/Papercutz, translated by Joe Johnson, two separate English translations made from the French original. . Here's a great article by Hunter about her first translation of Asterix, The Chariot Race, while Jo Johnson talks about retranslating the entirety of Asterix for a modern American audience. over here.
Asterix was created in the late fifties by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny. Asterix And The White Iris sees Fabcaro, a new writer to the franchise to accompany modern day regular series artist Didier Conrad. In the first century BC, the White Iris is the name of a new school of thought, coming from Rome, which advocates benevolence, healthy living, and individual development and tell us "To light up the forest, the flowering of a single iris is enough."
The Roman emperor Julius Caesar has the idea of instilling this state of mind in his demoralized troops, but what no one has foreseen is that this philosophy, which recommends eating less wild boar, will enter the Gauls' village. Dividing Asterix's village into pro and anti-White Iris factions, reflecting current trends regarding modern culture wars and populist politics, but also the cultural battles of the sixties and seventies, from New Age thinking to veganism. There should be no doubt as to which side Obelix will be on when it comes to wild boar eating, of course, but what about Asterix? Could the firm friends be divided again? And naturally, the wife of village chief Vitalstatistix, Impedimenta is very much open to the new movement. Here's the one page of the book that has been released so far.
Fabcaro is quoted as saying, "I am not too New Age, but the album does not want to be critical of all such movements. As long as personal development has positive effects, why not? Me, I don't use it too much, but if it works on some people, I don't draw generalities. I want to treat this contemporary phenomenon as Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny did at the time. For example, in Obélix & Company, an album that I really like, they talked about capitalism and the concentration of companies, with humour," he adds.
Former Asterix writer Jean-Yves Ferri had already struggled, saying, "In the 1960s, Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny could laugh at foreigners, caricature the English with their big teeth, the Greeks with their profile. The atmosphere was good-natured. Today, you almost need a dictionary on your desk to know what you have the right to joke about or not."
Either way, Asterix remains far too much of a juggernaut to ever be cancelled. The White Iris will have a first print run of five million copies, and each volume usually reaches around nine or ten million copies sold after further print runs.