Asterix and the Chariot Race (Astérix et la Transitalique), the 37th album of Asterix the Gaul adventures by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, was released this Thursday, October 19, 2017. Discover images and information on this new album written by Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrated by Didier Conrad.
The year is 50 BC. Italy is entirely under Rome’s control, well, not entirely… Though Caesar dreams of a united Italy, the peninsula is made up of various ercely independent regions. And life isn’t easy for the garrisons of Roman legionaries charged with keeping an eye on them all…
Asterix and the Chariot Race: The 37th album is out
The title of the 37th album of Asterix has been revealed on Wednesday, April 5 at the 2017 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. So Asterix and the Chariot Race has been released this Thursday, October 19, 2017. This is the third album by Jean-Yves Ferri (script) and Didier Conrad (illustration) after Asterix and the Picts (2013) and Asterix and the Missing Scroll (2015). In this new album, our two Gauls heroes will for the first time meet Ancient Italy and its inhabitants, the Italics, who are not all Romans. Note that if Rome has already been featured in the albums Asterix the Gaul (1964) and Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (1972), Italy itself has never been shown in the series. The excuse for going across Italy will be an international chariot race, organized with the agreement of Caesar, and which our two friends will obviously participate.
Obelix in charge and a masked Auriga as an enemy
This story of Asterix and the Chariot Race has a particularity because for the first time, it is Obélix who directs and holds the reins of the chariot for the race but “contrary to what one could believe, Asterix doesn’t stay in the background, explained the screenwriter Jean-Yves Ferri, because a co-pilot is very important, he is the one who will take the reins in a certain way but with leaving his friend a little more space. Obelix continues on its natural inclination which is to express himself a little more each time“.
And as always, a villain makes his appearance in an album. In the French comics Asterix and the Chariot Race, it will a Auriga (driver of chariot) named Coronavirus, a Roman champion with 1462 victories. And like the comics and ancient theatre, he has a mask. According to Jean-Yves Ferri, “there was at the time of Asterix a whole series of masks designs and that one, it is funny because it displays an irony, a superiority over the other candidates. But we are not so far from the historical reality”. We will have to read the 48 pages of this new album to discover who is behind this masked Auriga who fits in “the tradition of the masked villain throughout the comics, including in the racing cars comics of the 60’s like Michel Vaillant“, says Jean-Yves Ferri.
Asterix et Obelix in 2017 and 2018
The comics Asterix and the Chariot Race will be published in five million copies in twenty-five countries including two million copies in France. Moreover, in France, it will be offered in four formats: a 48-page conventional format, a 128-page luxury format, a 112-page Art Book format and a 48-page digital format. And as a reminder, the adventures of Asterix, it is more than 370 million albums sold worldwide and translated into 111 languages and dialects.
Finally, Asterix and the Chariot Race will mark the 90th anniversary of Albert Uderzo (April 25, 2017) and the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of René Goscinny (November 5, 2017). Provided that the sky does not fall on the heads of our two Gauls heroes, Asterix and Obelix, because 2017 and 2018 have seen or will see also:
– the Asterix in Belgium exhibition at The Belgian Comic Strip Center – Museum Brussels (Belgium), which took place from May 31st to 1st Ocotber 2017,
– the opening to the public since 1st April 2017 of the high speed train Pégase Express, a new attraction of Parc Astérix,
– the presence of our two Gauls Asterix and Obelix as mascots at the Ice Hockey World Championships in France and Germany from 5th to 21th May 2017,
– René Goscinny. Beyond laughter exhibition about the life and work of René Goscinny at Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (Paris, France) from September 27, 2017 to March 4, 2018,
– Goscinny and cinema exhibition at La Cinémathèque française (Paris, France) from October 4, 2017 to March 4, 2018,
– The reissue of the album Asterix in Belgium (1979), the latest one created by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, which will be accompanied by a 16-page notebook according to French newspaper Le Parisien du 20 janvier 2017,
– release in France of a 3D animated film Asterix – The Secret of the Magic Potion by Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy on December 5, 2018.
Interviewed at Asterix and the Chariot Race press conference at the Automobile Club de France in Paris on October 9, 2017.
— Bulles de Culture (@bullesdeculture) January 20, 2017
— Bulles de Culture (@bullesdeculture) April 5, 2017
To learn more:
- Asterix and the Transitalique has been published on October 19, 2017 by Éditions Albert-René
- Ages 6 and up