Asterix gets an update with teenage rebel character | Books | DW | 24.10.2019
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Books

Asterix gets an update with teenage rebel character

Asterix the Gaul returns in his 38th comic book, "Asterix and the Chieftain's Daughter." In a move to update the books, it centers on a young female heroine. But how did the series portray women in its 60-year history?

Long red braided hair, black trousers, gold headphones and grumpy teenage disposition: Adrenaline, the teenage daughter of famous Gaul chief Vercingetorix, is the central character of the 38th book in the French series celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. 

The clever Gaul Asterix and his oversized sidekick Obelix are tasked with ensuring Adrenaline's safety as she explores adolescent rebellion and is hunted down by the Romans.

Read more: New 'Asterix' comic features Julian Assange lookalike

Author Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrator Didier Conrad stayed true to the original format developed by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. "We didn't want to develop a character who would be based on her seductive side as we usually do with female characters in Asterix. Most of the time they are young attractive women who seduce Obelix and their role stops there," Conrad said.

Neues Asterix-Heft «Die Tochter des Vercingetorix» vorgestellt (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Glaubitz)

Illustrator Didier Conrad (l) and author Jean-Yves Ferri

The story also deals with the inter-generational gap between Asterix, Obelix and the young chieftain's daughter.

"In terms of the vocabulary it was quite amusing because I had to create a sort of teenage language for the time. We don't have a lot of documentation about that. So the idea was to use certain expressions like teenagers do," said Ferri, the scriptwriter.

Asterix and the Chieftain's Daughter, with a print-run of five million copies, is released on October 24. A global phenomenon, the Asterix books have been translated into more than 100 languages and more than 370 million copies of the books have been sold worldwide. The Gauls' adventures have also been adapted into various movies and cartoons series.

eg/sb (Reuters, dpa)

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