Iznogoud 1; The Wicked Wiles Of Iznogoud

by nickupton

Iznogoud is the miserable Grand Vizier of Baghdad who's ridiculous schemes, whilst attempting to become Caliph, always end up in catastrophe.

The Iznogoud books are set in ancient Baghdad, where the main character, Iznogoud, is the Grand Vizier of the much-loved, gentle Caliph, Haroun al Plassid and conjours up silly plan after silly plan in order to "become Caliph instead of the Caliph".

The Iznogoud books are full of fun, puns, utterly ridiculous events, parodies and farcical situations. I first had some of these books when I was a child and they stuck in my memory for years; I was very happy to find them being published again, so much so that I went out and bought all those available and find that they still make me laugh.

Each story is based around some magical or preposterous idea to dispense with the Caliph and each plan turns out to have flaws which are frustrating to Iznogoud and usually snowball until they ultimately backfire.

The Wicked Wiles Of Iznogoud

The Wicked Wiles Of Iznogoud is the first in the series of English translations of the twenty seven Iznogoud books, written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Jean Tabary. The Iznogoud series was originally published in French but the publisher Cinebooks is releasing the English language versions at a current rate of two per year.

The Wicked Wiles Of Iznogoud is a collection of six short cartoon stories featuring Iznogoud, the evil Grand Vizier of Baghdad, his faithful sidekick Wa’at Alahf and the popular Caliph Haroun al Plassid.

The six stories featured in this book are titled;

  1. Kissmet
  2. Mesmer-Eyezed
  3. The Occidental Philtre
  4. The Time Machine
  5. The Picnic
  6. Chop And Change

The illustrations in this book, by Jean Tabary, are wonderful, particularly how funny expressions are captured on the faces of the characters. The stories are fun too with some really eleborate schemes to get rid of the Caliph, all of which are spectacular failures.

1. Kissmet

In this story kissing a frog results in the appearance of a less than handsome prince, whilst the kisser changes into a frog. Iznogoud attempts to get the Caliph to kiss the frog and succeeds! However, the new Caliph is not what Iznogoud expects and a series of confusing kisses results in virtually everyone doing some time as a frog.

2. Mesmer-Eyezed

A stage hypnotist is hired to make the Caliph think he is a donkey; a spell which can only be undone by clapping. Much to Iznogouds disgust it turns out that washerwomen, mosquito-killers, children's games and a host of other activities produce clapping sounds. Iznogoud's building frustration makes me laugh in this tale.

3. The Occidental Philtre

A famous foreigner sells Iznogoud a magical Philtre which renders the drinker weightless and prone to floating away - but only if the brew is taken when piping hot. Getting the Caliph to drink it at the correct temperature proves tricky until exactly the wrong moment.

4. The Time Machine

An artist from future times mysteriously arrives in Baghdad thanks to a wooden time machine. Iznogoud commissions his own time machine which results in a series of comic interludes resulting in, of course, catastrophe for the Grand Vizier. I think this is one of the most amusing stories in this volume.

5. The Picnic

Iznogoud plans to take the Caliph on a picnic in the desert and then leave him to die of thirst. Unfortunately, a series of unlikely events means water is everywhere - swimming pools, water vendors, wine that has turned to water and the first rain in ten years. Funny!

6. Chop & Change

A magical cup allows drinkers to exchange bodies. This fact makes for a cartoon story of pure farce where virtually everybody ends up in a different body and as sure as sure can be, Iznogoud ends up suffering.

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More Iznogoud Books

Iznogoud and the Day of Misrule: Iznogoud Vol. 3

In Baghdad, the Caliph's Grand Vizier Iznogoud has one aim in life: to become Caliph instead of the Caliph. The benign ruler, Haroun al Plassid, is blind to his vizier's ...

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A Carrot for Iznogoud: Iznogoud Vol. 5

Iznogoud is Grand Vizier in Baghdad. He has only one dream: to become Caliph instead of the Caliph. He tries his hardest to no avail. But the usually oblivious Caliph has ...

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Iznogoud and the Magic Carpet: Iznougoud Vol. 6 (Adventures of the Grand Vizier Iznogoud)

Haroun al Plassid is ruler of Baghdad, but his Grand Vizier Iznogoud isn't happy with this state of affairs. Always on the lookout for ways to become Caliph instead of the ...

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Iznogoud The Infamous: Iznogoud Vol. 7 (The Adventures of the Grand Vizier Iznogoud)

In Baghdad the Magnificent reigns Haroun al Plassid, who is the Caliph. There also dwells Iznogoud, who wants to be the Caliph. The irascible Grand Vizier hatches plot after ...

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Rockets to Stardom: Iznogoud Vol. 8 (Iznogoud 8)

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Goscinny & Tabary

The men behind Iznogoud

Rene Goscinny was the prolific French writer of the Iznogoud books who gained the most fame for his collaboration with Albert Uderzo on the Asterix Books. In 1977 Goscinny suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving Jean Tabary to continue the Iznogoud series alone. Goscinny also wrote the popular Lucky Luke series of cartoon books and was editor of Pilote magazine.

Jean Tabary is the French cartoonist who illustrates Iznogoud and, since 1977, has also authored the series, producing the most recent, La faute de l'ancêtre, in 2004. Jean Tabary is over eighy years old and it is doubtful if there will be any firther additions to the Iznogoud series after this last, twenty seventh, volume.

Have You Read The Wicked Wiles Of Iznogoud"?

Iznogoud is the wicked Grand Vizier of Baghdad who's silly schemes, in an attempt to become Caliph, always result in catastrophe.

Iznogoud 3; The Day Of Misrule
Iznogoud tries to use the annual day of "misrule" to forward his plans of becoming the Caliph. Of course, there is only one person that suffers..... Iznogoud himself!

Read About All The Iznogoud Books

Iznogoud Book Collection
The Iznogoud series of books are a set of cartoon stories which take place in ancient Baghdad, revolving around the absurd plans of the evil Grand Vizier, Iznogoud, to do away with the reigning Caliph, Haroun Al Plassid, and become Caliph himself; these plans include trying to set up a skiing accident in the desert, rigging an election by using magic to influence voters, trying to get the Caliph lost on the road to nowhere and attempting to remove the Caliph using a time machine.

Updated: 04/28/2013, nickupton
 
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wordsareharmless on 05/01/2012

Great article. Although Iznogoud is one of the less famous Goscinny's characters, it's still super funny. Nice to see somebody promoting comics than are not about superheroes!

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