'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Review: Asterix and the Griffin

Asterix comics have been around for a long time, originally created by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.

Asterix and the Griffin is the newest in the series (number 39) which is now written by Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrated by Didier Conrad.

In this adventure, Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix have joined Getafix on a trip to visit his friend Fanciakuppov in the land of Barbaricum.

Barbaricum is home to the Samartians, and is exceedingly cold. It's also home the the legendary griffin, which is half-eagle and half-lion.

Unfortunately for the Samartians and their visitors, Caesar has decided he wants the griffin for himself and sends an army of Romans to hunt it down. The Romans have captured one of the Samartian women and try to force her to help find the griffin.

The Gaulish visitors undertake to help the Samartians rescue the prisoner, Kalashnikova, who is Fanciakuppo's niece. They join the Samartian women, who are the nomadic warriors of their tribe, in tracking the Romans.

However, before they get started they lose Dogmatix who appears to have found some canine friends in the form of a wolf pack. And they don't have Getafix's usual potion to help them because it's frozen solid!

In typical Asterix and Obelix fashion, there will be fumbles and surprises aplenty before they help save the day in an unorthodox way, with more than a little involvement from Dogmatix.

It's been quite a while since I read an Asterix book, and I enjoyed going back in time with Asterix and the Griffin. In doing so I was reminded of the layers in the story, which can be read as a simple adventure on one level, and offer something different on another level, with lots of playing on words. Uncovering the names of all the characters, like Cartographus the Roman geographer, is fun.

This is the fifth Asterix story by Ferri and Conrad, and the first to be published since the death of the original illustrator, Albert Uderzo who died last year. While they have provided more modern perspectives, such as creating strong female roles, the stories also remain quite recognisable for readers of the originals.

Asterix fans will be delighted to have a new story to delve into with Asterix and the Griffin, and the opportunity to follow their adventures with the brave Samartian warrior women.

Title:  Asterix and the Griffin
Author: Jean-Yves Ferri
Illustrator: Didier Conrad
Publisher: Sphere, $ 29.99
Publication Date: November 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780751583984
For ages: 7+
Type: Graphic novel