Top 10 Comics

The ancient world has been a popular topic for several comic books. Writers and artists have been drawn to the themes, subjects and visual motifs of the classical world.

10. Classics Illustrated

Not really ancient texts, Classics Illustrated retold classical tales in graphic format. They opened literature up to many young people. A great way to read the Great Books.

9. Last Battle

A gritty tale of the battle of Alesia and the showdown between Caesar and Vercingetorix.

8. Pax Romana by Jonathan Hickman

A Vatican backed time travel mission is sent to Rome in 312 CE with modern weaponry. A comic that uncomfortably mixes modern political concerns with ancient history, by the author of Nightly News.

7. Slaine – 2000 AD

An elusive and violent combination of celtic myth and early medieval history, the Celtic warrior Slaine has witnessed both the end days of Roman Britain (and King Arthur) and the first days (and the Bouddican revolt).

6. Tin Tin and the Cigars of  Pharaoh

On his way to Hong Kong, the intrepid boy journalist meets an Egyptologist searching for a lost pharaoh’s tomb. Worth reading for the dream sequence alone, where Anubis takes the head of Snowy, Tintin’s pet terrier (known as Milou in French).

5. Murena

A hyper real and relatively accurate retelling of the reign of Nero in a series of comics that rivals Games of Thrones for intrigue, violence and imaginative richness.

4. Les voyages d’Alix

The adventures of Alix, a young Gallo-Roman man and his travels around the Roman EMpire. Although he is not a time traveller, he has been known to leave his own period by two centuries.

3. Blake et Mortimer Le Dernier Pharaon

A continuation of the comic, whose heroes are two British gentlemen adventurers – an officer and a scientist-cum-archaeologist. In this recent adventure they stumble on an ancient Egyptian mystery.

2. Apostat by Ken Broeders

A graphic retelling of the short but noteworthy reign of Julian the Apostate, the last pagan emperor of Rome. This is the French translation of a Belguim Flemish seven book series. It has not been translated into English yet.

1. Asterix and Cleopatra

The ancient comic book par excellence. Asterix and Obelix are Gallic warriors from the one village in Gaul that has held out against the Roman invasion. They have several adventures around the Roman world, including this trip to Egypt where they meet Cleopatra at the height of her power and allure. This book is a high point in a funny series. Perhaps a little of its time at points, it is still fresh.

 

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Paris in the time of Asterix.