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Asterix Reading Order, by Toutatis!

The most famous French comic book series in the world, Asterix is still going strong more than 60 years after his debut with a new album released recently. Each new album is selling like hotcakes in France, assuring the Romans will never succeed in conquering this one small village of Gauls!

The adventures of Asterix and Obelix started as a comic strip in the comics anthology Pilote in 1959. Written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo, it tells the story of a village of Gauls as they resist Roman Occupation with the aid of a magic potion during the era of Julius Caesar. Each volume starts with a now quite famous introduction (at least in France):

The year is 50 BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely… One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. And life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of Totorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium…

Asterix is an intelligent Gaul and the best warrior in his small village, making him one of the most valuable advisers of chief Vitalstatistix (aka Abraracourcix in France!), and a good confidant of Getafix (aka Panoramix), the village druid. He is a close friend of Obélix, a menhir sculptor and delivery man who fell into Getafix’s magic potion cauldron as a baby. Together, with Obelix’s tiny dog Dogmatix (aka Idéfix, introduced in the 6th volume), they go into many adventures foiling the schemes of the Romans, in Gaul and beyond!

Full of adventures and humor, Asterix offers satiristic takes on various cultures and nationalities, France included. From wordplay to classic slapstick humor and social commentary, Asterix is a French cartoon icon, a classic that every French kid has read at some point or another. Asterix has also conquered the World, translated into over 100 languages, and has been adapted into animated and live-action films, video games, theme parks, tabletop games, and other media.

A little bit of warning though, as I saw on more than one list the title listed for French Beginners, it is a comic book series full of punning, requiring some level of language to understand them if you read them in French. It will not spoil the pleasure of reading (I’m pretty sure as a kid, we don’t understand most of them!), but I don’t think it is the most accessible read for those starting to learn French.

Asterix and Cleopatra, one of the most celebrated volumes of Asterix

Top 10 Best Asterix Books

As there are now 40 volumes of Asterix out there, let’s first start with the list of some of the best Asterix volumes if you want to discover the famous Gaul without having to commit for too long.

  1. Asterix and Cleopatra (1963)
  2. Asterix and the Banquet (1963)
  3. Asterix the Legionary (1966)
  4. Asterix in Britain (1965)
  5. Asterix in Switzerland (1970)
  6. Asterix in Corsica (1973)
  7. The Mansions of the Gods (1971)
  8. Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (1972)
  9. Asterix and the Big Fight (1964)
  10. Asterix and the Roman Agent (1970)

Asterix Books in Order

Each Adventure of Asterix and Obelix can be read independently from one another. What follows breaks down the series by era of writer/artist. The listing will lead you to English edition, so for those who want to read them in French, click here!

I. The Adventures of Asterix and Obelix by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

This is the Golden Age of Asterix. You don’t really have to read beyond this period if you don’t want to. This is what Asterix is famous for.

In 1989 was also released How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion, not part of the official listing, but a special volume in which Asterix tells us how Obelix fell into the cauldron.

Asterix The Gaul, the first volume of Asterix

Also collected in Omnibus Format (by Orion):

II. Asterix by Uderzo Alone

In 1977, René Goscinny died at age 51 of a heart attack, during the production of Asterix in Belgium — released two years after his death. Uderzo then took over writing duties until 2009 when he sold the rights to Hachette.

He, unfortunately, produced the infamous volume with the aliens, Asterix and the Falling Sky (or Le ciel lui tombe sur la tête in French), often considered the worst of Asterix!

Also Collected in Omnibus:

III. Asterix by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad

In 2013, a new duo of creatives is at the helm of Asterix. Jen-Yves Ferri has been chosen to be the new writer of Asterix, with Didier Conrad as the official illustrator. Together, they produced the following volumes:

Also Collected in Omnibus:


The latest adventure from our indomitable hero and his friends!

IV. Asterix by Fabcaro and Didier Conrad

In 2023, Fabcaro took over writing duties from Ferri on Asterix, with Conrad still being the illustrator.

V. Film adaptations

More French Comic Book Series to Read

Asterix is not the first Franco-Belgian comic appearing in the pages of Comic Book Treasury. We already wrote about a few other classics:

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