This is a great first: all the original sketches from an Asterix album presented in their original format. Ideal for appreciating in large format the drawing talents of Albert Uderzo, the great master of comics.
As a bonus, as we say among the Romans, the description of the different stages of the realization of a comic strip, and the unpublished blooper of the album Asterix and Latraviata. An innovative work for the development of a work already listed in the international heritage of comics.
- Les Éditions Albert René, 2001
- ISBN 978-2-86497-145-0
- 42cm x 28cm (16.5″ x 11″), 104 pages, hardcover with dust jacket
- 49,65 €
- Order online: Amazon.ca, Amazon.fr, BDFugue
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
The complete pencils for Asterix et Latriaviata with text added, plus sample inked pages and a colour overlay. Plus an introduction by the artist, a table of contents, and several extras. And yes, that cover image is a bit confusing, with the original book on a wooden surface with the original art.
This volume is exciting for two reasons. First, the pages are presented in their half-page format, so this is the largest presentation of bande dessinée original art I’ve come across, at 42cm x 28cm (16.5″ x 11″). Second, there is a four-page walkthrough of how an Asterix album is produced, giving an excellent overview with images of the entire process.
Scan quality is excellent: all images show to their fullest. Because it’s all pencils we don’t get any inks or correction fluid. No margin or art notes, but these scans look cropped to just art panels.
Because of its multilingual publishing, I’m guessing Uderzo leaves space for word balloons. The addition of the digital lettering allows for the book to be read in its pencil format, much like DC’s Unwrapped series. But this volume goes much further than just the main story.
The design is elegant in its two-fold approach to the main content and the extras. The story has some notes along the bottom and a centred page number, but otherwise full page original art. The extras work images and text together beautifully, presenting the material in its best light.
Production is excellent: a sewn binding of thick matte paper stock. The paper is white but I had some photo issues and whitening the images gave them a blue tint so I left them a little dark. The book lays flat after smoothing the center, except where the signatures meet and are glued. The overlay is quite thick and is loose in the book, probably to cut down on the cost of binding it in. I really don’t see the need for a dust jacket on this book, considering its landscape format and ample opportunities to tear. Mine is in a Brodart cover, which I removed for the photos, and the image on the hardcover is better than the dust jacket.
I was pleasantly surprised to get this from Amazon Canada, at a reasonable conversion rate. I try to order most bande dessinée via Amazon Canada but most sit as unfulfilled orders, so this is a win for North American readers.