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Asterix Gets U.S. Publisher (muted applause)

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

Asterix, the Franco-Belgian comic book character celebrating his 60th anniversary this year, is finally going to be getting the attention he deserves in the U.S. Independent publisher Papercutz will take over the American license for the property next year, with an ambitious publishing plan underway to bring the scrappy Gaul to American shores in a big way.

ICv2 continues with more details:

Papercutz will publish the new translations of the entire series in omnibus editions over the next few years; new material will be published in hardcover volumes every two years.

On May 19, 2020, Papercutz will release the first two omnibus editions, each with three volumes worth of stories … Volume 1 will collect Asterix The Gaul, Asterix and The Golden Sickle, and Asterix and The Goths. Volume 2 will collect Asterix The Gladiator, Asterix and The Banquet, and Asterix and Cleopatra.

Four omnibus volumes will be released each year for the next 3+ years.

Also in May 2020, Papercutz will release the latest volume, Asterix Volume 38: The Chieftain’s Daughter.

But not all fans of the series are happy.

First is the size of these editions:

Asterix Omnibus Volumes 1 and 2 will be in 7.5” x 9.5” hardcover format, each with 160 pages at $22.99.

That puts these graphic novels at about the size of a comic book instead of the magazine-sized albums we are used to, shrinking the pages to unheard of proportions.

But more important:

Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier emphasized the American-ization of the new editions. “Papercutz is thrilled for this opportunity to bring the world’s bestselling series to America with a true push here for the first time,” he said, ”and the all-new more American translations [emphasis added], as well as our redesign of the books (new covers and new format) will make this series relevant to our American audience.”

That’s right, they are tossing the genius English translations of Anthea Bell for new “American English” translations. I pity the people who have to live up to Anthea’s standard.

And then, to pour salt into the wound, publisher Papercutz is listing the volumes for children/juveniles – recommended for ages 7 – 12. As is Amazon. The Rene Goscinny/Alberto Uderzo comics, as translated by Anthea Bell, are wonderful adult comics.

 

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