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10 October 2016

Alix - the black claw

Published in 1971 this is the very rare first volume of Alix stories translated into English. It's an adaptation of the 5th book published - La griffe noire

As we saw from yesterday Alix stories revolve around a young Gallo-Roman man named Alix in the late Roman Republic. Although the series is renowned for its historical accuracy and stunning set detail, the hero has been known to wander into anachronistic situations up to two centuries out of his era. The stories unfold throughout the reaches of the Roman world, including the city of Rome, Gaul, the German frontier, Mesopotamia, Africa and Asia Minor. One voyage goes as far as China

Wikipedia also suggests that the reason for the failure of the series was "...A reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement [2 July 1971, p.774] found Alix singularly lacking in humour compared to Asterix, effectively killing prospects for continued publication in a market not yet accustomed to the wider Franco-Belgian tradition".

As Alix is really very different from Asterix this seems like the laziest sort of comparison you can make. Tintin is a better comparison but the story still pales in comparison, at times the story can move along at pace but too often it is slowed down by great blocks of exposition - see the page below for instance - this is not the clear and concise storytelling of a Hergé book. The font is also smaller than in a Tintin book, so the amount of  text to read takes longer, thus slowing down the story even further.

Only one copy is currently available on and is priced at $220

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