So Are We All Agreed that Asterix is Better than Tintin?

Ian Samson caused a bitter civil war in Britain this week through his article at the New Statesman titled “A lot of Gaul: why Asterix is better than Tintin”. Within minutes this article had spread to Twitter, where it broke apart the once-thriving comics scene in our nation and set writer against artist, editor against letterer. After only an hour, British comics had changed.

Well not really. BUT it was entertaining to see people have a good old conversation about comics that for once hadn’t resulted from somebody doing something horrific! Hurrah. It was very good fun indeed. Leading the side for Team Asterix seemed to be Kieron Gillen, writer of Young Avengers and Three, who first spotted the article and shared it via his Tumblr, stating

the thing about Tintin which no-one mentions is how boring it is


Which led people to draw battle lines. He was joined by a number of other writers in his pro-Asterix sentiment – including Antony Johnston, Andy Diggle and more. Andrew Wheeler, too. It seemed to be that if your name started with A, you had some kind of solidarity with Asterix.

Soon the hashtags arrived.

Quite a lot of writers-about-comics seemed to fancy Tintin over the Gaul, however – including Zainab Akhtar (hey!), Alex Hern, Mike Molcher and others.


Sally Jane Thompson, Ben Towle and Henry Flint opted for Tintin,  while Adam Cadwell backed Asterix. Kate Brown decided not to pick a side, although did note Tintin’s superior fashion sense:

Personally I haven’t read either of the characters, because my childhood was The Beano – so I elected to support Roger The Dodger above all else. This was… not a very successful campaign, all in all. I’m still right, though – Roger is vastly superior to both those losers.


And he’s currently written and drawn by Jamie Smart — so good luck to anybody siding against me on THAT.

Ultimately, however? It was down to Simon Gurr to provide the voice of reason:

And Mike Molcher summed up events afterwards, as various creators nursed their wounds and limped back to their coffee machines:

But I put it to you now, if this is your first chance to stand up and be counted: Tintin, or Asterix? Or can you even imagine to live in a World where you like both? Yes, this is long after the fact but yes, this is my first chance to get onto The Beat and offer you both (or all three, if you’re on #TeamRoger) sides of the argument.

Also it’s very good fun to debate about comics. Let’s do more of that!

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  1. Asterix can’t better Tintin and Tintin can’t better Asterix. Both have played part in lives of millions, sometimes shaping up goodness in their personalities

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