Asterix and the Missing Scroll (2015)

Le Papyrus de César

Presenting a pretentious thematic undercurrent…

Explores the themes of censorship, the validity of historical records and the relative worth of the written and oral literary traditions.

Notable Nomenclature

  • Libellus Blockbustus: Caesar’s publisher.
  • Pridanprejudis: Libellus Blockbustus’s scribe.
  • Confoundtheirpolitix: investigative journalist.
  • Wifix: hitherto unknown villager.
  • Apollosix: druid writer of horoscopes.
  • Verigregarius: Roman centurian.
  • Archaeoptrix: Gaulish druid scribe cum database.
  • Anachronistix: druidical old schoolmate of Getafix.
  • Pyrotechnix: absent druid bard.
  • Antivirus: legionary.

Continuity; lack-thereof and other gaffes…

  • The villagers are just as gullible regarding fortune tellers as they were in Asterix and the Soothsayer (p3 on).
  • The excised part of Caesar’s Commentari de Bello Gallico is basically the Asterix books to date (p9).
  • A&O share a bedroom and also keep a spare bed for guests (p13).
  • A, O and Getafix return to The Forest of the Carnutes following Asterix and the Goths (p21 on).
  • Getafix was a practical joker in his youth (p28).
  • Cacofonix’s purpose, and the only reason the other villagers put up with him, is to initiate a distress signal using his “moomoophone” (p36).
  • Getafix gets ultraviolent with his own magic potion (pp40-41).
  • Rome wasn’t an empire in 50BC (see road sign on p20).
  • Cocofonix is at the banquet, moomoophone at the ready, but hushed by Fulliautomatix out of respect for a sleeping druid.

Cleverness and contemporaneity…

  • Confoundtheirpolitix is basically Julian Assange.
  • Obelix’s horoscope prediction couldn’t be worse (p3).
  • The publication orgy is almost up to Asterix in Switzerland depravity(p5)
  • The carrier-pigeon addendum is sent by using a heavier pigeon – so it doesn’t overtake the first (p11).
  • The Gauls hold a pyjama briefing (p14).
  • A legionary pretends to be a pigeon to escape the Gauls (p17), continues the pretence once he has been bashed (p17) and tries the same unsuccessful ruse to escape from a bear (p22), a unicorn (p23) and Obelix (p32).
  • Libellus Blockbustus’s “discreet” business trip is more like a state visit (p20).
  • Training druids do placements with the Delphic Oracle (p21) .
  • To use the vernacular: “Lol” at Obelix’s attempt to reconfigure a dolmen (p24).
  • Libellus Blockbustus has countryside phobia (p25 on).
  • Getafix’s youthful pranks foreshadowed a Gilbert and Sullivan song with”Flowers that bloom in his breeches” (p28).
  • Asterix uses paradox to reverse Obelix’s horoscope prediction regarding not eating boars. Obelix works out for himself that the same logic applies to not bashing Romans (p32).
  • Libellus Blockbustus has a sun-dial watch (p35).
  • Cacofonix moomoophone basically instigates the Twilight Bark from 101 Dalmatians (p36).
  • The pirates reference the sirens of Greek mythology (p36).
  • “Ostrogoth saliva.” (p37.)
  • The “French Oral Tradition” is in fact Chinese Whispers.
  • Caesar quotes Jesus (p41).
  • It appears that Caesar did not add the history of Vitalstatistix to his memoirs as an erratum (p43).
  • The missing scrolls become the basis of the entire Asterix range via a rather charming nod to Goscinny and Uderzo (p44).

Classic Pegleg

Dat veniam corvis vexat censura culumbas =The censor forgives the crows and harasses the doves. (Juvenal.) (p12.)

Non-PC World

The Nubian scribes on p6.

Good or what?

Good and an improvement on the already-good Asterix and the Picts. Cleverer, funnier, more mature and, most of all, more original. It is neither “Asterix in…” or “Village under threat”. There’s nothing else quite like it in the range.