40th volume: New author: The “Asterix” comic “The White Iris”

Exactly 50 years after the magnificent comic book "Dispute over Asterix", collective emotional chaos is once again gripping the Gallic village.

40th volume: New author: The “Asterix” comic “The White Iris”

Exactly 50 years after the magnificent comic book "Dispute over Asterix", collective emotional chaos is once again gripping the Gallic village. But in "The White Iris" - in stores from this Thursday - it is not anger and envy that endanger public order, as was the case back then. No, gentleness, mindfulness and political correctness are spreading like intellectual mildew on the friends of Asterix and Obelix.

As an influencer who makes each person happy individually, the Roman military doctor Visusversus slimes his way through the village. He gains people's trust and brainwashes them. At some point, the once rowdy villagers all become wimps. Of course, this is an attempt by Rome to break the fighting strength of the Gauls.

Visusversus spreads weird fortune cookie wisdom like "Every problem ceases to be a problem as soon as there is no solution to it."

The greasy Roman attests to the brittle Gutemine: “You sparkle and shimmer.” Verleihnix - the "noble trader with the seaweed bouquet" - is converted by him to sell regional fish. The next day the flies on the goods disappeared. Even the wild boars in the forest want to cuddle. Everyone loves each other.

Nobody wants to beat up the bard Troubadix anymore. Asterix and Obelix are not expecting anything good. They don't fall for the movement of the white iris. And it soon becomes clear what Visusversus has planned.

The most important thing about this volume is probably the new author. Fabrice Caro is enormously successful in France under the stage name Fabcaro. His comic "Zaï zaï zaï zaï" sold more than 180,000 copies. For the 50-year-old, the offer to design the scenario for the 40th album came as a complete surprise: "It was surreal."

Fabcaro replaces Jean-Yves Ferri as author, who did not take part this time after five volumes. It was probably just a matter of time. Since 2013, Ferri has been trying hard to breathe new life into Europe's most important comic together with artist Didier Conrad. Conrad perhaps had the easier task: he still draws very accurate copies of the popular heroes in the style they looked in the 1960s and 1970s, often even in the same poses.

Ferri, on the other hand, was planning something new. Many readers wished for scenarios that more closely resembled post-war Asterix. “That bothers me,” Ferri said openly in a dpa interview in 2021. "The basic idea is that you continue this series. You have to break away from it a little bit. You can't deliver an exact copy." The criticism from parts of the fan base never stopped: the adventures had too little humor and the plot was sometimes faltering.

“The White Iris” is again more closely based on the early volumes by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, which should suit many fans. There are several references to old adventures such as "Asterix and the Cauldron" and "The Laurels of Caesar". Fabcaro focuses more on the Gallic village again, instead of sending the heroes with the winged helmets to ever new, distant areas. Contemporary phenomena such as e-scooters are smuggled in very discreetly.

In the exchange between fishmonger Verleihnix and blacksmith Automatix about the goods in the display, the author again finds the language very well: "Fresh? Ha! Ha!" the Gaul jokes with the hammer. "They haven't seen the sea for so long, if they woke up they would need swimming lessons."

The drawings are still by Didier Conrad, who found his routine in his sixth volume and sometimes even ventures into small experiments: Rarely have you seen Obelix so distorted with rage.

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