The English reprints of the original 6 Asterix books came out in April 2004, with the rest slowly following. They are such are a big departure from the original books with new covers, colouring, inking, and lettering that they are called the "Asterix Re-editions"… but are they all they are made out
Luckily, the books were still available from libraries, but the condition of some of the books left much to be desired. In 2001, it was not Hodder Children's books that released book #31 "Asterix and the Actress", as the company had been doing under various guises with all the other English Asterix books, but the publishing company Orion. It then followed up later in the year with reprints of the last 6 Asterix books (#25-30) that had been both written and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. And then…. nothing. The rest of the Asterix Series continued to be out of print. The publishing company egmont (based in Germany) held the rights to the books #1 - 24. A messy legal battle followed about who should be able to print the Asterix series. Orion won of course and finally we are able to see the Asterix Series back on the shelves. The pages are glossy, so what exactly has changed? And is it a change for the better? The original Asterix books were published in the French Magazain "Pilote". Because of tight deadlines, the colouring of the stories would have to be rushed. Corners were cut - large areas were painted one colour. This is now changed, and the colouring in these books are as good as the last 7 Asterix books written and illustrated by Goscinny and Uderzo (if not better). The new colours have fixed a few continuity problems too. The Legionaries in the earlier Asterix adventures wore different colour clothes like yellow, red and green. Now they are all wearing to fit with the Roman uniform seen later. Crismus Bonus, from Asterix the Gaul, always stood out as a Roman Centurion because he did not wear a golden chestplate but a white tunic. This mistake has been fixed too. These new colours look good of course, and really complement Uderzo's drawings. But.... I really did like the way the original books were coloured, there was a certain charm to them that really made them special. The lettering (or if you want to be fancy, typograhpy) has been redone by one Byrony Newhouse. This is basically the font that the words appear in in the speech bubble. Bryony has also been doing the lettering for the more recent Asterix books. Sometimes the more original elements of the lettering have been lost. In Asterix and the Goths, as the translator was carried along the ground by Obelix, as well as his whole body moving, so did the text in his speech bubble. This was a clever joke that should have been kept. However, in Asterix in Britain, the Beatles' hair colour has been changed, making them harder to recognise, and the Latin phrase at the end of the book contains a spelling error. There are some good and some bad changes to reprinting the books, and everyone shall have to see where this ends the Asterix series up.