My kids love reading comic books. Their favourites are Calvin and Hobbes, Tintin and Asterix and Obelix. I grew up reading the last two of these but was only introduced to Calvin and Hobbes when I started hanging around with Simon's family more.
In the last few weeks there has been a steady stream of Asterix books coming home from both the school library and the public library. I picked one up the other day and began to browse through it. As a child I recognized the humour of some of the character names used, but I think I understand so many more as an adult. I'm even more impressed with these names when I remember that I am not reading the book in it's original language, but these names have survived a translation process and still come out well.
Here's some examples of the names. Sometimes they need to be said aloud to really 'get' them.
Getafix - the druid
Unhygienix - the fishmonger
Bacteria - the fishmongers wife
Fulliautomatix - the blacksmith
Justforkix - an annoying, immature teenage Gaul
Villainous Brutus - a nasty Roman
Veriambitius - a Roman centurion
Eggnlettus - a Roman soldier
Gluteus Maximus - a Roman entrant in the Olympic Games
Phallintodiseus - an owner of a Greek Hotel
Whatziznehm - an Indian fakir
Orinjade - an Indian princess
Onthepremises - a Greek merchant
The list could go on for a long time. This is just from the three books closest to me. I have enjoyed watching as Abby slowly discovers the secondary meaning behind some names. A few days ago she came and excitedly told me, "We talked about Asterix and Obelix in maths today. We learnt about Vitalstatistix." (That's the Gaulish Chieftain.)
I look forwards to many more years of pleasure as the boys follow in her footsteps. Even Ezra likes to look through the books although he can't read them yet.