Asterix and Obelix's Birthday
|Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book
(L'Anniversaire d'Astérix et Obélix - Le Livre d'or)
|Date of publication||October 2009|
|Preceded by||Asterix and the Falling Sky|
|Followed by||Asterix and the Picts|
Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book is the thirty-fourth episode of the Asterix comic book series, designed and written by Albert Uderzo. The book also includes Asterix stories which were created jointly with René Goscinny. The album, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the creation of the series, was released on 22 October 2009.
The album begins with a preface where Uderzo replies to the critics of his solo work, especially for the previous album, Asterix and the Falling Sky. He also says The Golden Book is not a whole story, but a succession of short stories celebrating the 50th anniversary of the hero.
The story begins in the year 1 AD, fifty years after 50 BC, when all the other books are set. The characters are introduced, but aged fifty years. We then find some craftsmen, tradesmen or Gallic warriors surrounded by their children or grandchildren. Uderzo appears in the strip and has a joke at the Gauls' expense, leading Obelix to hit him. Uderzo then decides that ageing the Gauls 50 years was not such a good idea.
Then we come back this time in 50 BC, in the same village in which the birthdays of Asterix and Obelix, which happen to be the same day, are celebrated. We learn that they have received letters from their friends (Panacea, the pirates, and Edifis among others). Obelix can't read Panacea's letter, so he gets an old alphabet book from Getafix. However, he is still unable to understand what the letter says. Then Geriatrix, jealous of the two Gauls, criticises them and makes a rather negative description using a Magnetic resonance imaging picture.
Moreover, at a great feast, many recurring or important characters of the adventures of Asterix, from all nationalities, appear. Each one of them offers his gift to the hero (Ekonomikrisis offers a guide Coquelus, Cacofonix his sheet music, Valueaddedtax new magic potions ...) They also made some proposals for the future (clothes changing, marriage, amusement park, theater, art visual, etc., which are shown to the Gauls).
And finally, Cleopatra and Julius Caesar arrive. Caesar was reluctant to come to the birthday party when they were both invited. However, he yielded to the wishes of his lady, who reminded him of the protection Asterix and Obelix gave to Caesarion (Asterix and Son). But Caesar, the bad loser, decides to offer the Gauls a jar of wine laced with Ricin. But the centurions, to whom he had entrusted the mission, drank the wine as a toast to Caesar's health, and then won a nice trip to the latrine.