The falling sky of racism

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Algernon

The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag Algernon »

Hello Asterix Fans,

Besides the fact that the newest installment in the Asterix series is a general disappointment (as obviously nearly everyone on this site seems to agree), but in my opinion one of the worst aspects is the instance of possible racism in the new book.

In former Asterix-adventures the reader was treated with loving parodies of different country's inhabitants, e.g. by exemplifying every single cliche about the British in a humurous way. Before the newest book was published some had actually hoped that Asterix and Obelix would experience Asian culture.

But what we get here is an ALIEN obviously designed to represent Asian features and going along with a complete deconstruction of the Japanese comic scene. By showing the readers that for him people from Japan are not even worth to be represented as human beings Uderzo shows that he nowadays follows a path Goscinny probably would not have approved of.

This is neither parody, nor satire, nor homage. This is not necessarily racist but inappropriate and unbelievably stupid nonsense and is just another aspect that makes you wish that Uderzo would just stop endangering the elements millions of fans around the world loved about Asterix. >:(

Yours sincerely,

Algernon

Phoenix

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag Phoenix »

Algernon hat geschrieben:Hello Asterix Fans,

Besides the fact that the newest installment in the Asterix series is a general disappointment (as obviously nearly everyone on this site seems to agree), but in my opinion one of the worst aspects is the instance of possible racism in the new book.

In former Asterix-adventures the reader was treated with loving parodies of different country's inhabitants, e.g. by exemplifying every single cliche about the British in a humurous way. Before the newest book was published some had actually hoped that Asterix and Obelix would experience Asian culture.

But what we get here is an ALIEN obviously designed to represent Asian features and going along with a complete deconstruction of the Japanese comic scene. By showing the readers that for him people from Japan are not even worth to be represented as human beings Uderzo shows that he nowadays follows a path Goscinny probably would not have approved of.

This is neither parody, nor satire, nor homage. This is not necessarily racist but inappropriate and unbelievably stupid nonsense and is just another aspect that makes you wish that Uderzo would just stop endangering the elements millions of fans around the world loved about Asterix. >:(

Yours sincerely,

Algernon
Listen nothing happens in a vacuum. I for one have never seen a hint of racism in either Goscinny's or Uderzo's work and I find it highly dubious that all of a sudden Uderzo would become bigot in his old age, that doesn't make sense. What I think tho is that probably Uderzo disapproves of the japanese type of comics as opposed to the American's. hence the name walt Disney and Manga transformed for the aliens. Honestly I don't care much for Disney's cartoons as much as I would for Tex avery's for instance. Disney when you try to see it as anything else than superficial entertainment for small kids depict some kind of ideal world for puritan capitalists with a distorted notion of what a kid should know about the society of adults. I mean they talk about money, that uncle watchmacallum exploit everybody to increase his fortune and cheats and lies but when it comes to sexuality it's a complete denial to a point that they even deny any kind of direct parenthood. Everybody is nephew, uncle, great uncle and they go even as far as saying that someone has a fiancee but no male ever lives in the same house as a female, nobody is married. That means that for these people even a hint a sexuality as far fetched as saying that two people are married is too "indecent" to their kids but when it comes to exploit somebody and for one person amass tons of money there is nothing indecent about it.
Sorry but I don't see why Asterix should pay any tribute to Walt Disney.

Maik

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag Maik »

First off all I don't see this story racis. Alians represent's only American and Japanes "comics", it wasn't supposed to make fun of pepole from U.S.A. and Japan, but comics they do.

As a Disney comic fan I don't agre with Phoenix.
If you evere have a chance read "Life and Times of Scrooge Mcduck" or "Letter from Home" comic book by Don Rosa [one of my favorit artis ever]. Is nerly as funny  as Asterix and you shud find "sexuality"  of varius characters in it as well the world isn't "ideal" in this storys. Some character die in it [one story even shown Scrooges father death in bed], as well Donald and Scrooge were shown diling with some serius and sed matter's...  And there are married characters in Disney storys!

In my opinon it's cool thet Uderzo finly made a Disney tribiute, but he relly shut find a better way to show it [rather then whole alien plot]
Any way, it's Uderzo choise, if he like Disney sow much, I think he did the rith fing.

geopolitix

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag geopolitix »

Algernon hat geschrieben:Hello Asterix Fans,

Besides the fact that the newest installment in the Asterix series is a general disappointment (as obviously nearly everyone on this site seems to agree), but in my opinion one of the worst aspects is the instance of possible racism in the new book.

In former Asterix-adventures the reader was treated with loving parodies of different country's inhabitants, e.g. by exemplifying every single cliche about the British in a humurous way. Before the newest book was published some had actually hoped that Asterix and Obelix would experience Asian culture.

But what we get here is an ALIEN obviously designed to represent Asian features and going along with a complete deconstruction of the Japanese comic scene. By showing the readers that for him people from Japan are not even worth to be represented as human beings Uderzo shows that he nowadays follows a path Goscinny probably would not have approved of.

This is neither parody, nor satire, nor homage. This is not necessarily racist but inappropriate and unbelievably stupid nonsense and is just another aspect that makes you wish that Uderzo would just stop endangering the elements millions of fans around the world loved about Asterix. >:(

Yours sincerely,

Algernon
Hi.
Personally, I don't see it as racist either, I think he should have stopped Asterix a long time ago though. This last opus was simply awful and apalling .... a disaster (well, IMHO that's not really a surprise)

Funny tip : the Disney name comes from D'Isigny a French village of Normandy ... Walt Disney has some French (gallic) roots too  :-)

Phoenix

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag Phoenix »

geopolitix hat geschrieben:
Hi.
Personally, I don't see it as racist either, I think he should have stopped Asterix a long time ago though. This last opus was simply awful and apalling .... a disaster (well, IMHO that's not really a surprise)

Funny tip : the Disney name comes from D'Isigny a French village of Normandy ... Walt Disney has some French (gallic) roots too  :-)
Everybody in America with the exception perhaps of those who have 100% native origin (I wonder if there is any) has roots in Europe or Africa so I don't find that too surprising. I believe D'Isigny is renowned for its candies tho which would be one more link of Walt Disney with the kids.

The Algernon

MRe: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag The Algernon »

I fully agree with Maik, indeed Don Rosa comics and the old ones by Carl Barks are at the forefront of a type of Disney comics that supplies the reader with far more than the elements that phoenix criticised. Take Scrooge McDuck himself: An extremely egocentrical character on the outside he is often depicted as secretly caring, protective of his family and loyal to his friends. Of course the quality of the comics differ but the same applies to Uderzo as the newest installment shows.
By the way, Nowadays Disney comics can not really be seen as something typically American anymore. Disney comics are NOT published in the US at all. All current adventures of Donald, Mickey and co are produced in Europe (mainly in Scandinavia or Italy). Thus nowdays Disney comics are more European than many real European properties trying to imitate American comics.

Phoenix

Re: MRe: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag Phoenix »

[quote author=The Algernon link=board=general;num=1129634272;start=0#5 date=10/19/05 at 08:59:55]...All current adventures of Donald, Mickey and co are produced in Europe (mainly in Scandinavia or Italy). Thus nowdays Disney comics are more European than many real European properties trying to imitate American comics.[/quote]
I can't say I agree with this last argument, one could say the same thing about MacDonald's and Coca cola but these remain essentially American products. The reason why Disney's cartoon's are produced in Europe is that it is cheaper that way and that's all. But the spirit the censoreship, the overall mentality in them is essentially Amerian and puritan American at that.
If you're not convinced of that just compare any European cartoon and these and you'll see what I am talking about. The main problems of the society as some of us perceive them are completely obfuscated by the petty rivalries between contradictory egoisms. With the American version of Tintin, that is Mickey who on the other hand has none of the human weaknessess that would make him a real character instead of a vapid parodie of  a hero. Remember Tintin talking wisdom to poor misguided black savages and tell me it’s the values you’d like to transmit to your kids

Magnet

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag Magnet »

I didn't like Asterix and the Falling Sky either, it was too super natural for me, it was funny but a bit poo.

geopolitix

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag geopolitix »

Phoenix hat geschrieben: Everybody in America with the exception perhaps of those who have 100% native origin (I wonder if there is any) has roots in Europe or Africa so I don't find that too surprising. I believe D'Isigny is renowned for its candies tho which would be one more link of Walt Disney with the kids.
THe French hadn't immigrated "en masse" in North America, that's why it "deserved" to be noticed IMO.

The Algernon

Re: The falling sky of racism

Beitrag: #Beitrag The Algernon »

Hey Phoenix,

you somehow got me wrong, Disney comics are not only produced in Europe, they are also only sold in Europe. There are NO Disney comics whatsoever inthe USA. And the European influence shows a lot - just look at the way Scrooge's greed has beencut down over the times.  By the way, I do not at all agree with the fact that the Disney characters are without flaws. Donald is such a popular character because he is a complete loser, very lazy, extremely emotional and sometimes aggressive. Still he has positive sides as well. Your argument might apply to SOME depictions of Micky but it always depends on how he is written by the individual author. Every single one of the thousands of people involved in these comics creates the characters anew and gives them new features so that general criticism does not apply. Considering the puritan element that you see in Disney comics you are only partly right. E.G. in the Scrooge McDuch series there is a very believable romance involved. Besides in European comics such as Tintin (who has no sexuality at all), Asterix (who behaves rather like a child concerning women) or Lucky Luke you have no implication of romance or sex as well.

SingingGandalf

Beitrag: #Beitrag SingingGandalf »

I do not necessarily see the aliens as racist, but the depiction of the African pirate I thought was not racist, but inappropriate. It was so stereotyped, I mean big fat red lips...

invisifan

Beitrag: #Beitrag invisifan »

SingingGandalf hat geschrieben:the depiction of the African pirate I thought was not racist, but inappropriate. It was so stereotyped, I mean big fat red lips...
Well, it was meant to be an extreme stereotype - and he's a legacy of the early 60's when inappropriateness wasn't really an issue ;)

Maik

Beitrag: #Beitrag Maik »

In my opion this book isn't Racist...

In evry book we see stereotypes of varius culturs/contrys.
Sow, all people from Britan, drink hot wother/tea at Five O'clock, people from Switzerland have Obsessed with cleanliness ect. End to be 100% ok, Goscinny even make some fun of the French stereotypes (see "Asterix and the Banquet")

Personly, I been around the world and lern theat stereotypes are often not true... [Ba! I have a family in England and I never seen them stoping in the meddle of the battle with a Roman army to drink some hot wother.... with a drop of milk :lol: ]

Anny way, in the "Falling Sky" Uderzo try to make a stereotype jokes obaut U.S.A. and Japan... But [as we all now] in 50 B.C. this contrys didn't exist,
[Goscinny once try to take-on America in "Asterix and the Great Crossing", but it dind't work to well. Just some reference to national symbols plus a hot-dog joke... To bad]

Insted making a terible historical error of "Asterix in U.S.A." or "Asterix in Japan" he simply make them meet the Aliens thet represent the cutlurs of this contrys.
And sow, the Tasilwenyans, look like Mickey Mouse/Teletubies cross over, they have Superclones who look like Superman/Arnold Schwarzenegger crossover, they lider name is Hubs (a referance to the president G. Bush), come from galaxy of 50 stars, eat Hod-Dogs and there is loot more refences (honestly, I think Uderzo, did a better satyr then Goscinny did)
And Nagmas represent Japan they are based on Mangas Characters and... Well, I didn't get anny more references to the Japenes cultur... Wich is a shame...

Anny way, I dont see nothing racist obaut the way Nagmas look like since they are not actual people from Japan but aliens wich look is based on character's from Mangas [it would be like sombody from U.S.A. complein thet Uderzo sugest all people from U.S.A. look like Tasilweyans]. And I don't see resone to complain thet Uderzo make Nagmas villants [Romans, Normans and Goth's were villant's and nobody ever complain...]

To bed theat the "Falling Sky" was such a poor story. Uderzo could do more references to Japenes cultur and some other American comics [Garfield, Snoopy, Popeye] but let's hope aliens won't come back to the village.... ["Look's like Nagma Blasted out agian..." - No, thank you]

SingingGandalf

Beitrag: #Beitrag SingingGandalf »

Maik hat geschrieben:Anny way, in the "Falling Sky" Uderzo try to make a stereotype jokes obaut U.S.A. and Japan... But [as we all now] in 50 B.C. this contrys didn't exist,
Japan did exist at this time, even if it wasn't exactly what we'd call it today. Of course, white people hadn't even reached North America so the USA wasn't even dreamed of.

Delstar

Racism? Perhaps. Are times changing? Certainly

Beitrag: #Beitrag Delstar »

I'm with the masses obviously when I say that the last album was the worst ever. It reminded me of Michael Jordan coming back to basketball or Guy Lafleur coming back to hockey after years of retirement only to tarnish a glorious previous exit from the sport The guy should have quit while he was ahead. The funny part is at the end of the book when the alien flies to his ship saying "I can erase this silly story from the villagers' mind" or something like that (translating from french). My first thought at the time was "I WISH THAT WOULD FOR THE READER AS WELL!!!". I say take your tribute albums, put 'em where the sun don't shine and give us some good adventures. I would venture that the only good album that Uderzo wrote by himself was Rahazad which, surprise surprise, was about a new country, its curture (and stereotypes) with no tribute to Ghandi or any other.

Anyway, about the racism, I personally liked that Gossiny chose to play on stereotypes for albums where A&O travelled to other countries. As a young boy, it made me learn about cheese, banks, rugby, tea, you name it. Granted stereotypes are not desirable in our society when labelling someone, but playing on a society's culture and roots is not a bad idea. I wasn't exposed to any anti-semitic things like "jews are good with money" or bigotted thoughts like "blacks are lazy" as you would have in "Tintin in Congo". However, I must admit that some characters were drawn in poor taste. The chinese fella that is part of the pirates' crew in some albums is very derrogatory, so are most blacks, best evidence of it is in "The Mansion of the Gods" where Duplicata is depicted with lips the size of Montana, a ring through his nose and an afro that rivals the movie "Car Wash".

Was it racism or a lack of judgement in trying to depict different cultures with different characteristics? I don't know, I can't pretend being in Uderzo's mind. I know that we are alot more politically correct (read "anal") than in the 50s, so to read albums today that were written back then is not really fair to the authors. I guess, thanks to this board, I do see the resemblance between the Naga and japan: The color, the martial arts against Obelix, the ship shaped like the old "Grandizer" (Goldorak) cartoons, but I would venture that this was done to mirror the competition between Japanimation and North American cartoon productions, of which Disney would certainly be a good figurehead. Is it Uderzo's place to make political statements? He can if he wants, but as a reader and fan of the old stuff, I can personally say that it doesn't bring anything to the albums, neither do the tributes. He could have made the Naga the good guy and the Tadswilvyien (whatever!) the bad guy, then we'd have this issue about anti-americanism. He should have stuck with what worked.

My $0.02. You're welcome to flame me at ccie5754@hotmail.com

- Ben