Q: Some readers were shocked that you brought extra-terrestrials into an Asterix book in Asterix and the Falling Sky . Did that surprise you, and do you regret doing it, or were you just trying to do something a bit different? Perhaps you were disappointed some people took it too seriously?
A: It surprised and hurt me, but I must say that the attacks came more from the critics than the readers.
I was hurt because no one completely understood what I was trying to do - I wasn't just introducing space ships and weird robots gratuitously.
I've never liked Manga, and I've made no secret of it.
I deplore the way this style dominates the comic market to the detriment of our Franco-Belgian, or at least European, style [the book pits a "good" alien, inspired by Walt Disney against a "bad" one inspired by Japanese Manga].
While reading Manga books - because I don't talk about things I know nothing about - I've often noticed the same things often crop up in this kind of comic, and in the way they approach their characters.
I just wanted to poke a bit of fun at this genre as opposed to one that I admire - that's to say Mr Walt Disney's, who I paid tribute to with one of the characters who is a "Tadsilweny" - an anagram of his name.
People accused me of drawing corny-looking space ships when that's what I intended to do, because I can't say I find the style of Mangas to be especially ground-breaking.
So yes, you're right; some people took it too seriously.
That's their problem. The main thing, for me, is that people liked it enough to buy 2,500,000 of the books.