In October of this year, people around the world celebrated the 50th birthday of Asterix, René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s brave little Gaul, whose tales of resisting Roman occupation are extremely popular in most European countries.  The thirty-three collections of Asterix’s comic book adventures have sold more than 325 million volumes in 107 languages since debuting in Pilote magazine on October 29, 1959.  Goscinny wrote the stories until his sudden death in 1977, when Uderzo took over writing duties as well as illustration.

The celebration also featured the release of the 34th Asterix book, Asterix and Obelix’s Birthday: the Golden Book.  The album of short stories focuses on a birthday theme.  Included in the collection are a variety of extras, including fifty-six pages of previously unpublished drawings and a travel guide based on text by Goscinny.  Published in English by Orion, Asterix and Obelix’s Birthday is being distributed in the United States by Sterling Publishing Company and will be available for the first time in the U.S. in January 2010.