Taking regular exercise, eating less wild boar and more berries and vegetables, settling disputes by talking rather than a punch-up… the positive thinking method that Isivertuus has developed is a very far cry from the way of life that means so much to our indomitable Gauls… But it seems to have had an effect on some of the village, particularly Impedimenta!

The series of new strips created by Fabcaro and Didier Conrad and published in the newspaper Ouest-France this summer made this very clear. They show us that Vitalstatistix and his wife Impedimenta are having a relationship crisis. There’s a mix of tenderness and irony: the valiant Battle of Alesia veteran is both keen to please his beloved wife and hopelessly emotionally obtuse.

Fabcaro : I’ve always had a soft spot for Vitalstatistix and Impedimenta. He struggles with modern attitudes, he’s macho and doesn’t think about what he says. But behind the boorish* exterior, he’s emotionally fragile and very dependent on and in love with his wife. And I don’t think relationship problems had been tackled in previous albums like this. It’s a universal subject and a very modern one. I liked the idea of exploring it with Asterix.

Didier Conrad : Of the characters in the village who become Isivertuus’s “victims”, Impedimenta is one of the ones I most enjoyed drawing. Especially when she’s annoyed! I have to say the chief’s wife has quite a temper: she’s quick to use a couple of whacks of a rolling pin to get some respect if need be, but that doesn’t get in the way of her being extremely romantic! Despite her strong character, her frustrations make her particularly vulnerable to the White Iris philosophy.

I really enjoyed depicting Impedimenta’s different moods! I should also add that in tense argument scenes, the characters’ gestures and expressions and how the colour is used are very important in Asterix. Albert was very good at injecting energy and emotion when it was needed – a bit of Commedia del Arte in comic book form.


> The authors of the 4Ost album