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Asterix versus Tintin

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I love a good fandom fight. A good one, mind you, which means one that – in the greater scheme of things – doesn’t matter at all. When it’s not about oppression of some kind, when it’s not about good and evil, just taste… I feel a “boo” “hurrah” rush of joy when one kicks off.

I’m not a violent person, conflict is often something I steer around. But there’s something about “my fandom is better than your fandom” that thrills me.

Today on twitter, it was Asterix versus Tintin, following a New Statesman article about which was better (Asterix).

asterix fight

Now, I didn’t bother reading the article before diving in. Why would I? This isn’t about reason, or argument. It’s about gut loyalty.

You might as well ask someone why they’re Liverpool, not Everton. You picks a side, you sticks to it. At least while the argument is going on.

I’ve always found it interesting how much stories divide us. And how, if you squint and ignore subtleties for a moment, you can start sorting them into two groups. In my story-sorting hat, those sides are…

SUBVERSION         VS            SYSTEM

Asterix, for me, falls on the same side as Buffy – the side of anarchy, comedy, unexpected heroes, subversion, and really good, clever jokes. It’s the same side of the fence as Marvel.  It’s the side of meta, of unravelling.

On the other side lies Tintin, Angel, DC. Highly scientific study this, obviously.

Which is not to say that, out of the context of a scrap, I don’t like things from both camps. And it’s arguable whether the camps exist at all. But there’s something about taking a side that makes me think more carefully about the types of stories I enjoy, and what stories mean.

So, while it might look like a silly fight because people are wrong on the internet… it’s oddly an opportunity for contemplation. Also, getting new people into Asterix. 🙂



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