Newest Asterix issue features character inspired by Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. © John Stillwell
When the Asterix comic book releases its newest edition, it will feature a character based on WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange. A journalist trying to uncover political truths, “Confoundtheirpolitix” will go up against propaganda written by Julius Ceasar.

"Julian Assange was a model for this character," said writer Jean-Yves Ferri, as quoted by AFP. The journalist works for the paper “Condatum Echo.”

The story centers around Julius Caesar's use of propaganda to finally conquer the small village. The emperor is aided by a scheming adviser called Libellus Blockbustus, who seems to resemble French advertising magnate Jacques Seguela.

However, the man was in fact inspired more by real-life presidential advisers such as Henri Guaino or Patrick Buisson, both of whom worked for former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said Ferri.

As Hitchcock used to say, the more successful the villain, the more successful the story. So we took good care of our villain,” he said.

French cartoonist and author Albert Uderzo poses beside a cardboard cut-out of Asterix and Obelix characters © Bertrand Guay

The writer added that Confoundtheirpolitix was almost called “Wikilix,” in reference to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, which Assange founded.

The Asterix series is a bestseller in the comic book world, with some 365 million copies having been sold worldwide. The French comic book has been adapted into live-action films and is the inspiration for the theme park Parc Asterix, located outside Paris.

Four million copies of the Assange issue will be printed, half in French and the other half in foreign languages. The issue will go on sale October 22.