Asterix and Obelix, two of the best known European comic characters, are joined by a new partner in their latest instalment, Asterix and the Missing Scroll, the 36th of the saga: Confoundtheirpolitix, a character inspired in Julian Assange.
Confoundtheirpolitix is an intrepid reporter of a Gallic newspaper who is trying to uncover how Caesar deliberately exaggerated the tales of his deeds during the Gallic Wars, time in which the comics are (not very seriously) inspired. The similarities between Doblepolemix and the Wikileaks founder has been something explicitly said by the creative team itself. The writer Jean-Yves Ferri and the artist Didier Conrad have admitted “Julian Assange was our model for this character,” as El País reports. Confoundtheirpolitix was almost called ‘Wikiliks,’ they have added.
It isn’t the first caricature of a public figure that has appeared in an Asterix and Obelix adventure. Others that have made a cameo are Jaques Chirac, ex-president of France, who appeared in Obelix and Co., Sean Connery (or, well, James Bond), was the inspiration of Dubbelosix in Asterix and the Black Gold, Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill, even the Beatles.
An Assange caricature doesn’t seem like a likely way to increase the popularity of Asterix and Obelix in the US, a market that hasn’t typically paid a lot of attention to the Gallic’s adventures. In an interview with the Die Welt, Conrad explained that he thought that the reason behind this was the fact that you need to root for the underdogs to take a liking to the comics, not quite the typical American attitude.
Ferri and Conrad are in charge of the iconic duet since 2011 and Asterix and the Missing Scroll will be their second conjoint work of the saga after Asterix and the Pics. It has been on sale since October 22.