"We are in the year 50 BC. All of Gaul is occupied by the Romans" - this is probably how the 40th volume of Asterix will begin according to old tradition. And yet the anniversary edition is a new beginning. Now the cover and the title have been revealed for the first time: The next volume will be called "The White Iris".
You won't find out exactly what it's about until it's released on October 26th, but there was a small sneak preview at the end of last year. In a page published exclusively by Stern in advance, Asterix and his best friend Obelix actually only want to feast on their roasted wild boar as usual. But something seems to have happened with the other villagers: everyone passing by tries to persuade them with advice on a healthier and more conscious life - until the two friends finally give up. The preliminary cover doesn't reveal much more. While Obelix seems to be playing hide-and-seek, Asterix seems to be wondering about the bad-tempered chief Majestix.
The story was thought up by a new member of the team: Fabcaro took over the texts of the cult series for the first time with volume 40. According to his own statements, the 49-year-old Frenchman "grew up with Asterix", as an introduction he read the volume "Der Große Graben", published in 1980, which his mother bought for him on the day of publication. "I was totally flashed," he says enthusiastically. "I learned to read with René Goscinny and to draw with Albert Uderzo," the publisher cites his connection to the legendary Asterix inventors.
Fabcaro takes over the post as writer from Jean-Yves Ferri, who has been in charge of the series together with artist Didier Conrad since 2013. Conrad stays on board as draftsman.
Asterix has been an integral part of the comic scene for over 60 years. The first story appeared in 1959, at that time still as part of the magazine "Pilote", which Goscinny was in charge of as editor-in-chief and Uderzo as art director. The stories that first appeared as serial comics in the magazine were only published as a separate series from 1974 onwards. After Goscinny's death in 1977, Uderzo also took over the texts of the series.
While the first volume "Asterix the Gaul" was published in an edition of 6000, the series has long since developed into one of the most successful comics. More than 400 million volumes in 117 languages have been sold to date.