Hachette Partworks road tests “Asterix: The Ultimate Collection”

Asterix: The Ultimate Collection - Web Site

Hachette Partworks recently trialled a proposed Asterix: The Ultimate Collection part work, with a test web site and four-issue regional trial – but at present it’s too early to say if the project will go into full production. Here’s hoping!

Running over 37 issues, planned Asterix: The Ultimate Collection would showcase both old and new Asterix adventures, launching with editions featuring stories such as Asterix and the Actress, Asterix in Britain and Asterix and the Missing Scroll.

Each edition also includes plenty of bonus content – original scripts, behind the scenes features, original sketches and more. Premium subscribers to any ongoing series would receive additional items with each issue, such as model figures and more.

Asterix: The Ultimate Collection - Covers

Asterix: The Ultimate Collection - Spine

Asterix: The Ultimate Collection - Spreads


The test for Asterix: The Ultimate Collection ran to four issues and downthetubes understands Hachette Partworks – whose current ongoing titles in the UK include 2000AD: The Ultimate Collection and X-Men: The Essential Collection – are still assessing the trial’s success.

Premium subscribers to the planned Asterix: The Ultimate Collection would also receive additional items such as this Asterix figure

Premium subscribers to the planned Asterix: The Ultimate Collection would also receive additional items such as this Asterix figure

“We research and develop a lot of ideas and through a process of desk research, focus groups and Area Tests,” Helen Nally, Editorial Director at Hachette Partworks told Licensing Source last year, explaining the Partwork development process, “where we test four issues of a collection in a small area so we can extrapolate the sales of issue one, the sales curve and the subscription rate) we eventually launch a product with a large investment in TV advertising.”

The set up costs of Partworks for their publishers is high. If research and test launch promotions don’t hit the mark in terms of sales or subscription pick up – the latter the best measure of a Partworks success – then the plug is firmly pulled, no matter the quality of its source material.

Speaking personally, it would be great to see this project go forward and you may want to check out the test Asterix: The Ultimate Collection web site to see more of what’s planned – each edition would cost just £9.99, or £11.99 if you are a premium subscriber, which is a great price to get all-new editions of the Asterix stories, plus the extras planned.

If you want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new Hachette Partworks titles, then you can subscribe to a “New Launch” newsletter on the Hachette Partworks web site here

With thanks to Richard Sheaf


The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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