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Asterix and the Class Act

Asterix and the Class Act (Astérix et la rentrée gauloise) is officially the thirty-second album of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations and some stories), published in 2003. Unlike the other Asterix books it is a compilation of short stories, rather than one long story. Each story has an introductory page giving some of its original history.

History

Only one of these stories (Chanticleerix) is completely original in this album, the remainder are reprinted from earlier sources, most notably the French comicPilote”.

The majority of these stories were written by Goscinny. Chanticleerix, The Lutetia Olympics and The Birth of Asterix were written by Uderzo after Goscinny's death. Springtime In Gaul and Asterix as you've never seen him were also written by Uderzo alone.

Most of these stories have had only very limited distribution prior to this publication. In 1993 there was an earlier, smaller collection also called La Rentree Gauloise which was only available in French. It also contained a story called ‘L'Antiquaire’(The Antique Dealer) as filler which was not by Goscinny nor Uderzo, does not fit with the other stories and contains two recycled and out-of-character villains. That story has not been reprinted, but otherwise Class Act is an expanded, updated version of this.

Even earlier, in the mid-1980s, a promotional collection of some of these stories appeared in a number of translations (but not English) as Astérix mini-histoires (Asterix Mini-Stories).

The stories

Introduction

Originally an announcement page for Asterix and the Big Fight — the village chief holds a modern press conference for the up-coming stories (parodying the contemporary press conferences of then-president Charles de Gaulle).
(1964 - Conférence de presse ) - 1 page. First published in Pilote #260; Appeared in “Astérix mini-histoires”

Asterix and the Class Act

Asterix and Obelix catch the village children for the start of the school year, but Obelix is put back in class too when he shows ignorance of current affairs.
(1966 - Rentrée gauloise ) - 2 pages. First published in Pilote #363; Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

Birth of Asterix

Story of the village on the day of Asterix's and Obelix's birth.
(1994 - En 35 avant J.C. (Julius Caesar) ) - 4 pages. Published in the 35th anniversary special of Pilote (the first Asterix story began in the first issue).

In 50 BC

Introduction to the stories (done for the American market).
(1977 - En 50 avant J.C. ) - 3 pages. First published in the May 1977 issue of National Geographic Magazine for an article on the history of Celtic people. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

Chanticleerix

Dogmatix helps the village rooster (national bird of France) defeat an eagle (symbol of Rome) that is terrorizing the local animals.
(2003 - Chanteclairix - Le Coq Gaulois ) - 5 pages. New with this album.

For Gaul Lang Syne

Obelix tries to use Gaulish customs to get a kiss from Panacea, but things don't work out for him.
(1967 - Au gui l’an IX ) - 2 pages. First published in Pilote #424. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

Mini Midi Maxi

A fashion show quickly turns into an all-out brawl.
(1971 - Mini, Midi, Maxi ) - 2 pages. Done for French women's magazine “Elle” #1337. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

Asterix as you've never seen him

Send up of the more outrageous reader "suggestions", allowing Uderzo to show his facility with different styles.
(1969 - Amicales coopérations ) - 3 pages. First published in Pilote #527.

The Lutetia Olympics

For the honour of Gaul Asterix and Obelix help Lutetia (ancient Paris) win the chance to host the ancient Olympic Games.
(1986 - Lutèce olympique ) - 4 pages. Done to aid the 1992 Paris Olympic bid and originally published in the bid's promotional materials.

Springtime In Gaul

Asterix helps a tiny anthropomorphic personification of Spring overcome Winter.
(1966 - Le printemps gaulois ) - 2 pages. First published in Pilote #334. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

The Mascot

Some unlucky Romans try to take Dogmatix as their "lucky" mascot.
(1968 - La mascotte ) - 4 pages. First Published in Pilote “Super Pocket 1”. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

Latinamania

A dig at modern French anxiety over the bastardization of the French language, cf Franglais.
(1973 - Etc, etc ... ) - 1 page. Where it was actually first published is not certain. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise” and “Astérix mini-histoires”

Obelix's Family Tree

The authors find a modern descendant of Obelix.
(1963 - Obelisc'h ) - 5 pages. First serialized as strips in Pilote #172-186. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise”

Birth of an Idea

A brainstorming session with the authors.
(1962 - Naissance d'une idée ) - 1 page. First published in Pilote #157. Appeared in the original “La Rentree Gauloise”

Notes

In recent editions of some translations (notably German) a new short story is included:

Obelix: As Simple as ABC

Obelix tries to learn to read after he receives a letter from Panacea for his birthday which he does not want to share with anyone else.
(2004 - Lire avec Obelix ) - 3 pages. First published in French literary magazine “LiRE”'' for the 45th anniversary of the Asterix comics.

In other languages

  • Dutch: Het pretpakket
  • Finnish: Gallialainen kertomataulu (The Gaulish Multiplication Table)
  • German: Asterix plaudert aus der Schule
  • Greek: Ο Αστερίξ και η επιστροφή των Γαλατών
  • Italian: Asterix tra banchi e... banchetti
  • Portuguese: Astérix e o regresso dos Gauleses
  • Polish: Galijskie początki

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