Classic French Comic 'Asterix' to Get U.S. Rollout in 2020

ASTERIX-Publicity - H 2019
Albert Uderzo/Papercutz
Starting in May, Papercutz will issue new and vintage material featuring the 60-year-old character.

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.

The Papercutz run will feature all-new English language translations, with a publishing schedule that will feature both a series of collected editions of historical material and hardcover editions of contemporary releases moving forward. The first three releases will come in May, with a hardcover release for The Chieftain’s Daughter, the 38th Asterix adventure, alongside two omnibus editions of earlier material, with each omnibus featuring three adventures from the character’s back catalog.

Moving forward, Papercutz intends to release four omnibus editions per year, with each new album released in the U.S. to accompany its European release, on a bi-annual basis.

Asterix debuted in October 1959 in the French magazine PIlote, created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo; two years later, the first stand-alone Asterix effort, Asterix the Gaul, was released. Since then, the series has gone on to sell 380 million copies across the 38 volumes to date, translated into more than 100 languages internationally. Additionally, Parc Astérix, the French theme park based on the property, has brought in 50 million visitors since opening outside Paris in 1989.

The comic book series centers around the titular Asterix, the bravest warrior in a small town in the middle of Roman-occupied Gaul in the year 50 B.C. — and the one burg that has not surrendered to the occupation. Instead, with the help of a magic potion that gives him super-strength (and his best friend Obelix, who fell into a cauldron of the potion as a child, and as such is permanently superhumanly strong), he spends each installment trying — and managing — to defeat the Roman army and keep his village safe from harm.

The property has spawned a number of cinematic adaptations, most notably 1999's Asterix & Obelix Take on Caesar, starring Gerard Depardieu and Roberto Benigni.