Asterix or Tintin: Who is the greatest?

Picture: Lancaster University/PA WirePicture: Lancaster University/PA Wire
Picture: Lancaster University/PA Wire
An academic debate to rule on who is the greatest comic character between Asterix and Tintin will take place next month.

The event in Kendal, Cumbria, will launch the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and mark the appointment at Lancaster University of Benoit Peeters as its first professor of comic art.

Two top teams will battle it out on stage in the Clash Of The Toon Titans, with Mr Peeters - the author of two books on Tintin’s creator, Herge, - and Peter Kessler, author of The Complete Guide To Asterix, putting the case for each side.

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Mr Kessler said: “On one level this is all for fun and it doesn’t really matter who is the ‘greatest’ -whatever that means.

“But on a personal level I do feel that over the years there has been a kind of assumption amongst the cognoscenti that Tintin is ‘great art’, while Asterix is ‘just for kids’.

“Certainly there have been more ‘grown-up’ books on Tintin than Asterix.

“I really don’t think that is a justifiable state of affairs and in the interest of rebalancing public opinion, I’m sure each side will really go out there and try to win the debate.”

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Professor Simon Guy, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Lancaster University, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Lakes international Comic Art Festival and look forward to formally announcing and celebrating the appointment of Benoit Peeters to a professorship in graphic fiction and comic art.

“His appointment is bringing new ideas and insights to our English and creative writing courses and more widely across the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.”

The event takes place at The Brewery on October 14.