February 6, 2023

Juan Kabayan

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‘Asterix’ takes on new writer for 2023 installment

PARIS: Popular French comic book series “Asterix” will turn a new page for its forthcoming 40th volume, with a new writer chosen to pen next year’s instalment, the publisher said Tuesday.

French novelist and comic book author Fabcaro, who is known for his absurdist humor, will be the fourth scriptwriter to carry on the adventure of the indomitable Gaul who stood against the Romans.

As is tradition, the next volume will come out in an odd-numbered year, with the latest release planned for October 26, 2023, publisher Albert Rene said.

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The title of the forthcoming book remains a secret.

Asterix — defender of the last Gaulish village holding out against the Roman empire — was dreamed up in 1959 by Rene Goscinny, who died in 1977, and Albert Uderzo, who died in 2020.

The comic books have sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide.

Before the Asterix series, there was no history of comics having a scriptwriter.

Fabcaro, 49, said he was excited to be taking on the task.

“I was a huge fan of Asterix. This is a great gift to the child that I once was,” he said.

“I want to stay faithful to… what makes Asterix so appealing. With classic ingredients such as the anachronisms, the puns… And especially remain faithful to the characters.”

As the new writer Fabcaro follows in the footsteps of previous authors Goscinny, Uderzo and Jean-Yves Ferri.

He is well-known for his 2015 comic “Zai Zai Zai Zai,” in which a man goes on the run after forgetting a shop loyalty card.

The upcoming “Asterix” book is to be illustrated by Didier Conrad, who has been in the job since Uderzo named him as his successor for the 35th volume in 2013.