Why aren’t the Asterix comics popular in the US?

Can Asterix Finally Conquer the US? (Peter Hoskin, The Daily Beast):

So why has the USA remained unmoved? My best guess is Asterix’s historical setting. At its largest, the Roman Empire stretched from modern-day Portugal in the west to Iran in the east, from the lower reaches of Egypt in the south to the base of Scotland in the north. Yet never once did it cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Whatever-It-Was on the other side. Asterix and Obelix made this journey, of course, in Asterix and the Great Crossing—but not those imperialist Romans.

Where they did roam, the Caesars imprinted themselves on the land and on its inhabitants’ collective psyche. Look around you in Britain, and there’s probably one of their ruins somewhere. Their conquests are part of our island story. We are still taught their language in some of our schools. Which means that, when it comes to Asterix comics, we’re in on the joke in a way that Americans aren’t.


The establishment of the Comics Code was the establishment of an American comics scene dominated by one thing above all others: superheroes. There might have been variety once, what with all the romance, horror, and crime comics on the stands back then. But these suffered disproportionately under the new regime. Only the superheroes were really able to stretch their muscles, and they left little room for anything else—particularly not some Eurohistory import from France.

What is your favorite composition by John Adams?

It’s still Nixon in China for me. I have a soft spot for Short Ride In A Fast Machine, even if it is all flash. Harmonilehre, as a third pressing of Mahler. Grand Pianola Music, for the sheer impudence of it. (Lolapalooza does that too.)

Is the opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” anti-Semitic or biased against Israel and the Jewish people?

The following article has excellent background on the cultural anxieties that The Death of Klinghoffer tripped off—and a fascinating comparisons with the ambivalence around Jews in Seinfeld.

<em>Klinghoffer</em> in Brooklyn Heights

Oh, and my answer is also no.

How come no one performs Klingon Opera?

But they do:

’u’  :

The opera had its official debut at the Zeebelt Theater in The Hague, Netherlands, on 10 September 2010 […] Performances of ’u’ were held in the Zeebelt Theatre in The Hague on 17 February 2012 and in Rijeka, Croatia, on 25 February 2012.[24] The opera was performed in Berlin on February 22, 2013.