I'd first heard of the Asterix comics back when I was taking high school Latin; I think maybe somebody had a version that was entirely in Latin. But I found that even in the English translations, there are jokes here and there in Latin simply because it's about a small village of Gauls in the Roman Empire. Basically, Asterix and his big (and not-so-bright) pal Obelix have adventures in which the two of them overpower everyone else because of a special magic potion that their local druid brews for them. They're never really in any danger and it makes for pretty lighthearted cartoon violence.
The humor is a mix of puns, anachronisms, slapstick, and the fact that everyone seems to be out to get the "indomitable Gauls," who are all invincible. These two particular volumes (3 and 4 in the series) are about the kidnapping of the druid by the Goths (and subsequent misunderstandings by the Romans); and the kidnapping of their bard (as a gift to Caesar), which leads them to Rome and the arena.
It's translated from French, which makes it pretty amazing that some of the puns still work. The jokes and references are probably about junior high or high school level, so they might be a fun way for students to get some laughs while learning (a tiny bit) about the Roman Empire, particularly with some supplementary reading. The drawings are lively; the feathers on Asterix's helmet express his emotions. Good for some laughs, and I'll probably check out some more.
Fed to jonathan's brain | June 06, 2006 | Comments (0)