Asterix Weighs in on Independence Debate

Scotland-independeceInspired by the Scottish independence debate, the latest Asterix adventure sees the comic book hero travel to Iron Age Scotland where he meets the Picts. Author Jean Yves-Ferri explained that the story called Asterix and the Pechts includes a political slant, alluding to the looming 2014 referendum.

Yves-Ferri is the first person other than the original Asterix creators to script an episode which shows the Pictish clans united and divided. The story follows Asterix and his erstwhile sidekick Obelix as they travel from Ancient Gaul to Scotland. Yves-Ferri added the landscapes of the Highlands also inspired the story, which includes quintessential Scottish stereotypes including whisky, bagpipes and the Loch Ness Monster.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland he said: “Politics are the background. But the story – the principle story – is a kind of love story between a Pict character and a girl. And Asterix and Obelix went to Scotland to help him. And it’s a symbol, for Scotland united and free… I love the landscapes of Scotland, especially at the north, up in the highlands. And it’s the landscape for a story of Asterix – an ideal landscape.”

The pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign welcomed the allusion. They said: “We are animated by an endorsement from such a prestigious character, but, as ever, we would have to check that he is registered to vote.”

The comic book, published in October, will be available in Scots and Scottish Gaelic for the first time. It is the first Asterix story written and illustrated by anyone other than the original creators, Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny. Goscinny died in 1977 but illustrator Uderzo took on the writing duties and produced a further 11 comic books.


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