Best 1969 YA & YYA Lit (5)
January 22, 2019
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1969 YA & YYA adventure novels. Happy 50th anniversary!
René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s Asterix comic Astérix en Hispanie (Asterix in Spain; in English, 1971).
In an effort to coerce Chief Huevos Y Bacon, heroic leader of a village of Iberian resistance fighters, Julius Caesar’s men kidnap the chief’s son Pepe and send him to Gaul as a hostage. There, however, Pepe — a disobedient and mischievous character in the tradition of O. Henry’s “Red Chief,” not to mention Herge’s Abdullah — is rescued by Asterix and Obelix, who are then assigned to return the boy to Spain. They are trailed by Spurius Brontosaurus, leader of Pepe’s Roman escort, who at first plots to recapture Pepe… but later, after he and Asterix accidentally invent the sport of bullfighting in Hispalis (Seville), decides to make his living as a toreador instead. As with Asterix and the Goths (1963), Asterix in Britain (1966), and Asterix in Switzerland (1970), among other Asterix travelogues, there are many jokes made at the expense of the national culture in question… in this case, Spanish pride, Spanish hot tempers, and the terrible condition of Spanish roads. The sub-plot in which the otherwise exasperating Pepe bonds with Obelix’ dog Dogmatix, to Obelix’s increasing dismay, is also a memorable one, to this fan.
Fun facts: Serialized in Pilote magazine, in 1969. This is the fourteenth volume of the Asterix comic book series, and the first to feature Unhygienix the fishmonger; it’s also the first of many to feature a brawl between the Gaulish villagers.
BEST SIXTIES YA & YYA: [Best YA & YYA Lit 1963] | Best YA & YYA Lit 1964 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1965 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1966 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1967 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1968 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1969 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1970 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1971 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1972 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1973. ALSO: Best YA Sci-Fi.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.