Asterix (.EPS) logo
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Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix (French: Astérix or Astérix le Gaulois, IPA: [asteʁiks lə ɡolwa]) is a series of French comics written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (Uderzo took over the writing after the death of Goscinny in 1977). The series first appeared in the French comics magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. As of 2012, 34 volumes have been released.
The series follows the exploits of a village of indomitable Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures. The “ix” suffix of both names echoes the names of real Gaulish chieftains such as Vercingetorix, Orgetorix, and Dumnorix. Many of the stories have them travel to foreign countries, though others are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.
The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries.
The success of the series has led to the adaptation of several books into 12 films: eight animated, and four with live actors. There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris, Parc Astérix, is themed around the series. To date, 325 million copies of 34 Asterix books have been sold worldwide, making co-creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo France’s bestselling authors abroad.