The Adventures of Asterix. A comic books series about a village of warriors adventuring around the world during the Julius Caesar era, written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. Funny, beautifully drawn and full of colourul characters; beyond the books (published since 1959) there are movies, video games, a theme park just outside of Paris and Google even dedicated an animation to celebrate the 50th anniversary. But considering this juggernaut of success, which has pushed the name across waters, reaching a worldwide audience, we still felt a little bit out of the loop. And so this led to a conversation with friend of the website and certified Frenchman: Enzo Raagyx! Enzo grew up in Marseille and after studying digital marketing integrated PixelHeart at the beginning of their project:
I worked on the communication of the brand from scratch. I’m so happy with what is going on now, but it’s not over yet! We would like to become the best in our market, so we have to continue our job!
THE JOURNALIX: How long have you been reading this bandes dessinées?
ENZO RAAGYX: I started reading Asterix when I was 8 years old. It was my father who introduced me to this masterpiece. He has been collecting comics since he was a child and he passed on this passion to me!
THE J: What are your earliest memories of them?
ENZO RAAGYX: The oldest memory I have of these comics is the first time my father showed me his collection. It was at my grandmother’s house, he opened the door of a big piece of furniture in the living room, and there it was as if a safe with lots of gold coins was revealed to me. I keep this image engraved in my memory.
THE J: I always think of it as just “Asterix” but Obelix is just as important, right?
ENZO RAAGYX: Yes, he is! Obelix is just as important as Asterix because the authors have created a real duo. Not to mention Idefix who brings a reassuring and even more endearing side to their stories.
THE J: How has the series evolved over time whilst continuing the traditions of René Goscinny?
ENZO RAAGYX: Concerning the evolution of the series after the loss of one of its creators, I find that over the years, the series evolves with its time without denigrating its origin. I think they have somehow found the balance between tradition and modernity!
BEYOND THE COMIC BOOKS
THE J: You are now professionally involved in video games but which are the best Asterix video games from over the years? I have noticed they have become more collectible and French company Microids have been remaking them for new consoles!
ENZO RAAGYX: I can’t speak objectively about it because I played very few games of the license and there is one that deeply marked me: Asterix Maxi Delirium on PS1. I have fantastic memories about this game haha! It’s true that there are really a lot of games concerning this license, I just looked on Wikipedia, it’s insane!!
THE J: Talking of other media, are the films any good? Which would you recommend for a newcomer?
ENZO RAAGYX: The first 2 movies are just amazing with Asterix and Caesar and Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. This last one remains one of my favorite comedy movies through the years. A real powerhouse as much for the actors as for the jokes! There are also the two cartoons directed by Alexandre Astier which are not to be neglected.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
THE J: What do you think are the difficulties in losing humour in the translation from French to English? I saw that recently there was a proposal to change some of the jokes for US audiences?!
ENZO RAAGYX: I sincerely think that the difference of culture and mentality plays a crucial role in the understanding of humor in cinema. And to be honest, I think that either way, changing the jokes to try to adapt them is not a good idea because it diminishes the authenticity of the work.
THE J: There has also been a spotlight on the series for its use of stereotypes over the years – how do you feel about this as a fan? Should it be changed or updated if reissued today?
ENZO RAAGYX: Sincerely being French, I don’t find it negative at all! They have always been quite subtle about these stereotypes… So it does not shock me and it does not bother me either!
THE J: As a collector is there a particular edition of the books you wish to own one day?
ENZO RAAGYX: If there is one edition I would like to have it is the Rombaldi edition…
THE J: If you were in control of the legacy today, what would you do to ensure the comics have a future?
ENZO RAAGYX: I don’t know if my strategy would be right but I would try to push the IP towards an aggressive digital strategy in addition to the comics in order to keep this magnificent work alive!
Thank you very much for this opportunity, to talk about me and my childhood passion, it’s very cool!