Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Kate has discovered Asterix, and it's wonderful to see members of the next generation enjoying these stories as much as I did. I used to call these "comic books" but now they're "graphic novels". I did a major double-take the first time I saw the sign, "Graphic Novels for Children," over a stack of books at Chapters, before I learned the meaning of the term.

I have to confess that most of what I know about Gaul and the Roman Empire I'd learned from the Asterix books. Recently, Todd and I had a discussion about the geographic region that Gaul encompassed during the Roman Empire, but he looked rather dubious when I cited Asterix as a reference. Needless to say, these books were not a part of his childhood.

I loved all the books in the series, but I think my favourite is Asterix and Cleopatra, mainly because it provided such a plausible explanation of how the Sphinx lost its nose. Speaking of Cleopatra, I started reading Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra a few days ago, so now I'll get to contrast the Bard's view of this fascinating woman with Goscinny's and Uderzo's.

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