If there is one constant about the comic strip Asterix, it is in the interest that it awakens in us. As demonstrated by the author Tristan Demers in the book Asterix in Quebec, a Gaul in America, it was enough to embed her characters in a parade, a play, a radio series, a circus show, to experience a popular success. And this is still true today, since the book released on November 7 is already the subject of a reprint.
The initial print run, which amounted to 17 000 copies, has been distributed in its entirety, which explains the decision of the house Hurtubise for the printing of 7000 pounds. Tristan Demers was anticipating a strong reaction, but recognizes that she has been more vigorous than he had anticipated. It bears witness to the timeless charm of the series created by René Gosciny and Albert Uderzo in 1959.
“While Tintin is presented as a european intellectual, a boy who seeks to correct minor injustices by using his head rather than his muscles, Asterix is in the self-deprecating, which is in tune with the times. This comic is making fun of the French, of their through, and the text has two levels of language. This is what makes it great, since it is aimed at children, whilst throwing winks to the adults, ” stated the author during a telephone interview granted to the Daily.
Behind the success of the comic book Asterix in Quebec, there are sociological considerations, which have varied over time, indicates the author Tristan Demers. The hero symbolizes the fight of David against Goliath, while until the 1990s, it has been associated with the cause of independence.
It believes that its approach to the phenomenon has also played in favor of the book. This one covers the last 60 years by focusing on the comic itself, and the peripheral activities that have resulted. “There is a fine balance during a journey in time “, writes Tristan Demers, who has worked on this project for over two years.
“In a certain way, Asterix is a vehicle to speak to us through our faults, our specificity, observed by the author. As I’m a fan of popular culture, the history of Quebec, one of my goals was to maintain the interest of readers who are not fans of BD. “So, he integrated political cartoons, analysis developed by academic, advertising, as well as a list of the stores who, legally or not, became associated with the warrior gauls.
“I have conducted research in the national Archives at Radio-Canada, in a number of municipalities, newspapers and many other organizations. I have also obtained the collaboration of editions Hachette, owners of Asterix since 2008. They have given me access to their bank documents and myself, I have enriched through the information collected in Quebec “, describes Tristan Demers.
There is even a chapter devoted to the exhibition Asterix and the Romans submitted to The Pulperie de Chicoutimi in 2005, after a stay fruitful for the Museum of civilization of Québec. There we learn that in spite of the boycott of extracurricular activities by teachers, the regional museum had compiled 45 000 entries in the space of nine months, such as what the population of the Kingdom was also recognized in the gaulish village created by Gosciny and Uderzo.
A SYMBOL THAT TRANSCENDS TIME AND GENERATIONS
How many times did we traced a link between the project independence and the gallic village of Asterix ? For a long time, commentators, cartoonists and the politicians themselves have felt the need to subscribe to this idea, a reality that reflects with eloquence, the book of Tristan Demers, Asterix in Quebec, a Gaul in America.
The classic case is that of Jacques Parizeau, represented under the features of Obelix. This association has inspired the cartoonist Serge Chapleau, La Presse, the same as its predecessor Girerd, as we can see by examining pages 146 and 147 of the book published in Legacy. Girerd died in the fall, he has not had the time to see the finished work. However, the author will cherish for a long time the word that he addressed to him.
He said, ” I was kindly allowed to publish one of his drawings, while the daughter of Raoul Hunter, who was a cartoonist at the Sun, met me at the Salon du livre de Montréal. She was agitated to find that I had built a drawing made by his father in 1969, showing Asterix with the general de Gaulle on a shield. I signed his book and I’ve come to learn, that mr. Hunter died in the last days. I’m even more happy for him to have addressed this blink of an eye, ” says Tristan Demers.
To return to the association between the Gauls and the independence movement, it finds that it is becoming less popular, reflecting the political climate of the time. However, Asterix and his friends still present in the collective imagination of Quebecers, stresses the author. It’s just that its symbolic dimension, has made a step aside, while remaining relevant.
“Today, we use this cartoon to express the things that go in the sense of opposition to a type of David against Goliath, as we have seen in the folder Netflix. This is the proof that Asterix remains a powerful symbol, even if it is associated less frequently with the project of independence “, ahead of Tristan Demers, it should be recalled, is himself a cartoonist.