Tintin : Book 15

Land of Black Gold is the fifteenth book in  The Adventures of Tintin series, comprisingof 24 comics created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tintin is the titular protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy. By 2007, a century after Hergé’s birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and had been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.

On 9 May 1940, the invasion of Belgium during World War II brutally interrupted the publication of Land of Black Gold. Tintin’s universe was still young: Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and Marlinspike Hall did not yet exist. Eight years later the adventure was re-started in Tintin magazine; with a couple of nifty tweaks, Hergé integrated into the story the new characters who had come along in the meantime. In 1950 the adventure was published as a book, and as the years went by and the world changed, a slightly updated version was released in 1971.

Next book in series: Destination Moon

Asterix and the Roman Agent – Book 15

Asterix and the Roman Agent – Book 15

Asterix and the Roman Agent (French: La Zizanie, “Strife”) is the fifteenth volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It first appeared as a serial in Pilote magazine issues 531–552 in 1970 and was translated into English in 1972.

The resistance of the Gaulish village against the Romans causes friction between dictator Julius Caesar and the Roman Senate, whose power had been reduced by Julius Caesar. With their Magic Potion which gives them superhuman strength and is known only to their druid Getafix, they easily stand up against Rome and her laws.

At a meeting with his associates, it is suggested to Caesar that causing internal conflict between the Gauls will lead to their breakdown. He is then told by another Official about Tortuous Convolvulus, a natural troublemaker whose mere presence causes arguments, quarrels and fights. This had him sentenced to the lions in the circus, but his ability had the lions eat each other and he is still in prison. Impressed by his abilities, Caesar sends him to the Gauls. On the way, Convolvulus has the whole ship arguing, from the captain to the galley slaves; and when the pirates attack the ship, Convolvulus represents one of them as having been bribed earlier by himself, and thus provokes them to sink their own ship. The pirate chief realises their mistake, and comments that they don’t even need the Gauls to make fools of themselves.

In the Gaulish village, things are being organised for Chief Vitalstatistix’s birthday, whom all enjoy except Impedimenta, who complains against the acquisition of useless presents including a mounting collection of swords, shields, stuffed fish, and menhirs. Arriving in Gaul, Convolvulus moves into the nearby Roman camp of Aquarium and gets a description of the village inhabitants. He then gives a valuable vase to Asterix whom he describes as the “most important man in the village”, to the annoyance of Chief Vitalstatistix. The other villagers take this announcement seriously, until Impedimenta fights with the village’s other women over their husbands’ relative importances, and then privately dismisses her husband as a failure. Further rumours lead to the belief by many in the village that Asterix, who is close to Getafix the druid, has revealed the secret of the druid’s Magic Potion to the Romans. Suspicion and paranoia increase, until the banquet to celebrate the Chief’s birthday is held in sullen silence.

Next book in the Series : Asterix in Switzerland