Please click on the album picture to view my personal library collection of : Asterix

 
 

By Uderzo & Goscinny

Asterix


Asterix - Cast.png
Some of the many recurring and regular characters in Asterix. In the centre of the group is Asterix, the eponymous hero of the series.
Created by: René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Genre: Humor and Satire
Publisher: Dargaud (France)
Original publication period: 29 October 1959 – 22 October 2009
Status: Still running
Country of origin: France
Language of origin: French
Number of books published: 34
Website: official website

Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix (French: Astérix or Astérix le Gaulois, IPA: [asteʁiks lə ɡolwa]) is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (Uderzo also took over the job of writing the series after the death of Goscinny in 1977). The series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on October 29, 1959. As of 2009, 34 comic books in the series have been released.

The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character, Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures. The “ix” suffix of both names echoes the name of Vercingetorix, a historical Gaul chieftain. In many cases, the stories have them travel to various countries around the world, though other books are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.

The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries. Asterix is less well known in the United States and Japan.

The success of the series has led to the adaptation of several books into 11 films; eight animated, and three with live actors. There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris, Parc Astérix, is themed around the series. To date, 325 million copies of 34 Asterix books have been sold worldwide, making co-creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo France’s bestselling authors abroad.[1][2]

Contents

History

Prior to creating the Asterix series, Goscinny and Uderzo had previously had success with their series Oumpah-pah, which was published in the Tintin magazine.[3]

Astérix was originally serialised in the magazine Pilote, in the very first issue published on 29 October 1959.[4] In 1961 the first book was put together entitled Asterix the Gaul. From then on, books were released generally on a yearly basis.

Uderzo’s first sketches portrayed Asterix as a huge and strong traditional Gaulish warrior. But Goscinny had a different picture in his mind. He visualized Asterix as a shrewd small sized warrior who would prefer intelligence over strength. However, Uderzo felt that the small sized hero needed a strong but dim companion to which Goscinny agreed. Hence, Obelix was born.[5] Despite the growing popularity of Asterix with the readers, the financial backing for Pilote ceased. Pilote was taken over by Georges Dargaud.[5]

When Goscinny died, Uderzo continued the series alone on the demand of the readers who implored him to continue. He continued the series but on a less frequent basis. Most critics and fans of the series prefer Goscinny’s albums.[6] Uderzo created his own publishing company, Les Editions Albert-René, which published every album drawn and written by Uderzo alone since then.[5] However, Dargaud, the initial publisher of the series, kept the publishing rights on the 24 first albums made by both Uderzo and Goscinny. In 1990, the Uderzo and Goscinny families decided to sue Dargaud to take over the rights. In 1998, after a long trial, Dargaud lost the rights to publish and sell the albums. Uderzo decided to sell these rights to Hachette instead of Albert-René, but the publishing rights on new albums were still owned by Albert Uderzo (40%), Sylvie Uderzo (20%) and Anne Goscinny (40%).

Although Uderzo declared he did not want anyone to continue the series after his death, which is similar to the request Hergé made regarding his The Adventures of Tintin, his attitude changed and in December 2008 he sold his stake to Hachette, which took over the company and now own the rights. This has provoked a family row.[7]

In a letter published in the French newspaper Le Monde, Uderzo’s daughter, Sylvie, has attacked her father’s decision for selling the family publishing firm and the rights to produce new Astérix adventures after his death. She is reported as saying “…the co-creator of Astérix, France’s comic strip hero, has betrayed the Gaulish warrior to the modern-day Romans – the men of industry and finance”.[8][9] Anne Goscinny also gave her agreement to the continuation of the series and sold her rights at the same time.[10] A few months later, Uderzo appointed three illustrators, who had been his assistants for many years, to continue the series.[6]

List of titles

Numbers 1 – 24, 32 and 34 are by both Goscinny and Uderzo. Numbers 25 – 31 and 33 are solely the work of Uderzo. Years stated are for their initial release.

1. Asterix the Gaul (1959)
2. Asterix and the Golden Sickle (1960)
3. Asterix and the Goths (1961-62)
4. Asterix the Gladiator (1962)
5. Asterix and the Banquet (1963)
6. Asterix and Cleopatra (1963)
7. Asterix and the Big Fight (1964)
8. Asterix in Britain (1965)
9. Asterix and the Normans (1966)
10. Asterix the Legionary (1966)
11. Asterix and the Chieftain’s Shield (1967)
12. Asterix at the Olympic Games (1968)
13. Asterix and the Cauldron (1968)
14. Asterix in Spain (1969)
15. Asterix and the Roman Agent (1970)
16. Asterix in Switzerland (1970)
17. The Mansions of the Gods (1971)
18. Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (1971)
19. Asterix and the Soothsayer (1972)
20. Asterix in Corsica (1973)
21. Asterix and Caesar’s Gift (1974)
22. Asterix and the Great Crossing (1975)
(non-canonical) Asterix Conquers Rome (1976)
23. Obelix and Co. (1976)
24. Asterix in Belgium (1979)
25. Asterix and the Great Divide (1980)
26. Asterix and the Black Gold (1981)
27. Asterix and Son (1983)
28. Asterix and the Magic Carpet (1987)
(non-canonical) How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion When he was a Little Boy (1989)
29. Asterix and the Secret Weapon (1991)
30. Asterix and Obelix All at Sea (1996)
31. Asterix and the Actress (2001)
32. Asterix and the Class Act (2003)
33. Asterix and the Falling Sky (2005)
34. Asterix and Obelix’s Birthday: The Golden Book (2009)[11]

Asterix Conquers Rome is a comic book adaptation of the animated film The Twelve Tasks of Asterix. It was released in 1976, making it technically the 23rd Asterix volume to be published. But it has been rarely reprinted and is not considered to be canonical to the series. The only English translation ever to be published was in the Asterix Annual 1980 Except when it was published as a stand alone volume in 1984.

In 2007, Les Editions Albert René released a tribute volume titled Astérix et ses Amis, a 60 pages comic book made up of various short stories (from one to four strips). It was a tribute to Albert Uderzo on the occasion of his 80th birthday by 34 renowned European comics artists. The volume was translated into nine languages, but has not yet been translated into English.[12]

Synopsis and characters

The main setting for the series is an unnamed coastal village in Armorica, a province of Gaul (modern France), in the year 50 BC. Julius Caesar has conquered nearly all of Gaul for the Roman Empire. The little Armorican village, however, has held out because the villagers can gain temporary superhuman strength by drinking a magic potion brewed by the local village druid, Getafix.

The main protagonist and hero of the village is Asterix, who, because of his shrewdness, is usually entrusted with the most important affairs of the village. He is aided in his adventures by his rather fat and unintelligent friend, Obelix, who, because he fell into the druid’s cauldron of the potion as a baby, has permanent superhuman strength. Obelix is usually accompanied by Dogmatix, his little dog.

Asterix and Obelix (and sometimes other members of the village) go on various adventures both within the village and in far away lands. Places visited in the series include parts of Gaul (Lutetia, Corsica etc.), neighbouring nations (Belgium, Spain, Britain, Germany etc.), and far away lands (North America, Middle East, India etc.).

The series employs science-fiction and fantasy elements in the more recent books; for instance, the use of extraterrestrials in Asterix and the Falling Sky and the city of Atlantis in Asterix and Obelix All at Sea.

Humour

The humour encountered in the Asterix comics is typically French, often centering on puns, caricatures, and tongue-in-cheek stereotypes of contemporary European nations and French regions. Much of the humour in the initial Asterix books was French-specific, which delayed the translation of the books into other languages for fear of losing the jokes and the spirit of the story. Some translations have actually added local humour: In the Italian translation, the Roman legionnaires are made to speak in 20th century Roman dialect and Obelix’s famous “Ils sont fous ces romains” (“These Romans are crazy”) is translated as “Sono pazzi questi romani”, alluding to the Roman abbreviation SPQR. In another example: Hiccups are written onomatopoeically in French as “hips,” but in English as “hic,” allowing Roman legionnaries in at least one of the English translations to decline their hiccups in Latin (“hic, haec, hoc”). The newer albums share a more universal humour, both written and visual.[13]

In spite of (or perhaps because of) this stereotyping, and notwithstanding some alleged streaks of French chauvinism, the humour has been very well received by European and Francophone cultures around the world.

Translations

The 34 books or albums (one of which is a compendium of short stories) in the series have been translated into more than 100 languages and dialects. Besides the original French, most albums are available in Estonian, English, Czech, Dutch, German, Galician, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Portuguese (and Brazilian Portuguese), Italian, modern Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Turkish, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Latvian, and Welsh.[14] Beyond modern Europe, some albums have also been translated into languages as diverse as Esperanto, Indonesian, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Bengali, Afrikaans, Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew, Frisian, Latin, Romansch, Vietnamese, Sinhala (Singhalese) and Ancient Greek.[14]

In France, Finland, Poland and especially in Germany, several volumes were translated into a variety of regional languages and dialects, such as Alsatian, Breton, Chtimi (Picard) and Corsican in France, Bavarian, Swabian and Low German in Germany, Kashubian and Silesianin Poland and Savo, Karelia, Rauma and Helsinki slang dialects in Finland. Also, in Portugal, a special edition of the first volume, Asterix the Gaul, was translated into local language Mirandese.[15] In Greece, a number of volumes have appeared in the Cretan Greek, Cypriot Greek and Pontic Greek dialects and in Ancient Greek.[16]

In the Netherlands several volumes were translated into Frisian, a language related to Old English spoken in the province of Friesland. Also in the Netherlands two volumes were translated into Limburgish, a regional language spoken not only in Dutch Limburg but also in Belgian Limburg and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Hungarian-language books have been issued in Yugoslavia for the Hungarian minority living in Serbia. Although not a fully autonomic dialect, it slightly differs from the language of the books issued in Hungary. In Sri Lanka, the cartoon series was adapted into Sinhala (Singhalese) as Sura Pappa, The only Sri Lankan translation of a foreign cartoon that managed to keep the spirit of the original series intact.[15] In the Italian version, while the Gauls speak standard Italian, the legionars speak Romanesque dialect

English translation

The translation of the books into English has been done by Derek Hockridge and Anthea Bell.

Adaptations

The series has been adapted into various media.

Films

Various motion pictures based upon the series have been made.

 

 Principal Cast and Characters

Characters Film Barney Entertainment Ltd.Asterix & Obelix take on CaesarAsterix & Obelix: Mission CleopatraAstérix at the Olympic GamesAsterix

Obelix

Getafix

Troubadix

Majestix

Methusalix

Falbala

Julius Caesar

Brutus

Tullius Destructivus

Edifis

Cleopatra

Pyradonis

Alafolix

Irina

Christian Clavier Clovis Cornillac Craig Charles
Gérard Depardieu Robbie Coltrane
Claude Piéplu Claude Rich Jean-Pierre Cassel
Pierre Palmade   Franck Dubosc Andrew Sachs
Michel Galabru   Éric Thomas
Sim   Sim
Laetitia Casta     Frank Welker
Gottfried John Alain Chabat Alain Delon  
Didier Cauchy Victor Loukianenko Benoît Poelvoorde  
Roberto Benigni     Joe Askeley
  Jamel Debbouze
  Monica Bellucci    
  Gérard Darmon    
    Stéphane Rousseau
    Vanessa Hessler

Games

Many gamebooks, boardgames and video games are based upon the Asterix series.

In particular, many video games were released by various computer game publishers:

Atari 2600C64ZX SpectrumAmstrad CPCAtari STAmigaPCMaster SystemArcadeNESSNESGame BoyGame GearMega DriveCD-iPSGBCPS2GCGBANDSPSPWiiX360
Title Year Platform
Asterix 1983 X                                              
Obelix 1983 X                                              
Asterix and the Magic Cauldron 1986   X X X                                        
Asterix and the Magic Carpet 1987   X   X X X X                                  
Asterix: Operation Getafix 1989         X X X                                  
Asterix 1991               X                                
Asterix in Morgenland 1992   X                                            
Asterix 1992                 X                              
Asterix 1993                   X X X                        
Asterix and the Secret Mission 1993               X         X                      
Asterix and the Great Rescue 1993               X         X X                    
Asterix and the Power of the Gods 1995                           X                    
Asterix: Caesar’s Challenge 1995             X               X                  
Asterix & Obelix 1995             X       X X         X              
Asterix 1996                               X                
Asterix: Search For Dogmatix 2000                                 X              
Asterix & Obelix Take on Caesar 2000             X                 X                
Asterix: The Gallic War 2000             X                 X                
Asterix: Mega Madness 2001             X                 X                
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2004             X                     X X X        
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission Las Vegum 2005             X                     X     X X    
Asterix at the Olympic Games 2007/2008             X                     X     X   X X
Asterix Brain Trainer 2008                                         X      
Asterix: They Romans is Crazy 2009                                         X      

Theme park

Parc Asterix, a theme park 22 miles north of Paris, based upon the series, was opened in 1989. It is one of the most visited sites in France, with around 1.6 million visitors per year.

Influence in popular culture

Asterix ham and cheese-flavored potato chips

    • The first French satellite, which was launched in 1965, was named Astérix-1 in honour of Asterix. Asteroid 29401 Asterix was also named in honor of the character. Coincidentally, the word Asterix/Asterisk originates from the Greek for Little Star.
    • During the campaign for Paris to host the 1992 Summer Olympics Asterix appeared in many posters over the Eiffel Tower.
    • The French company Belin introduced a series of “Asterix” potato chips shaped in the forms of Roman shields, gourds, wild boar, and bones.
    • Asterix and Obelix appeared on the cover of Time Magazine for a special edition about France. In a 2009 issue of the same magazine, Asterix is described as being seen by some as a symbol for France’s independence and defiance of globalisation.[19] Despite this, Asterix has made several promotional appearances for fast food chain McDonald’s, including one advertisement which featured members of the village enjoying the traditional story-ending feast at a McDonald’s restaurant.[20]
    • The animated series Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears also concerns an oppressed group in possession of a magic potion capable of conferring superhuman strength and agility.
    • The 2006 FIFA World Cup final between France and Italy was depicted in newspapers as a fight between Roman legions and Gaulish villagers.
    • Version 4.0 of the operating system OpenBSD features a parody of an Asterix story.[21]
    • Action Comics Number 579, published by DC Comics in 1986, written by Lofficier and Illustrated by Keith Giffen, featured an homage to Asterix where Superman and Jimmy Olsen are drawn back in time to a small village of indomitable Gauls.
    • Lisa Simpson is delighted at the sight of a rack with Tintin and Asterix comics in a comic book store, depicted in The Simpsons episode “Husbands and Knives“.
    • Obelix is referenced in The King Blues‘ 2008 single “My Boulder“. The song features the lyrics, “If I’m Obelix, you are my boulder”.
    • On 29 October 2009, the Google homepage of a great number of countries displayed a logo commemorating 50 years of Asterix.[22]

 

See also

 

References

    1. ^ volumes-sold. “Asterix the Gaul rises sky high”. Reuters. http://in.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idINIndia-43015020091008. 
    2. ^ Sonal Panse. “Goscinny and Uderzo”. Buzzle.com. http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-3-2004-54995.asp. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
    3. ^ “René Goscinny”. Comic creator. http://lambiek.net/home.htm. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
    4. ^ BDoubliées. “Pilote année 1959” (in French). http://bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/series1/asterix.htm. 
    5. ^ a b c Kessler, Peter (2) Asterix Complete Guide (First ed.) Hodder Children’s Books; ISBN 0340653469 
    6. ^ a b Hugh Schofield (22 October 2009). “Should Asterix hang up his sword ?”. London: BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8319196.stm. 
    7. ^ Matt Selman (21 January 2009). “An Open Letter to Albert Uderzo”. Techland.com. http://techland.com/2009/01/21/an-open-letter-to-albert-uderzo/. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
    8. ^ Shirbon, Estelle (14 January 2009). “Asterix battles new Romans in publishing dispute”. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE50D46K20090114. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
    9. ^ “Divisions emerge in Asterix camp”. BBC News Online (London). 15 January 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7831375.stm. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
    10. ^ “Anne Goscinny: «Astérix a eu déjà eu deux vies, du vivant de mon père et après. Pourquoi pas une troisième?»” (in French). Bodoï. http://www.bodoi.info/magazine/2009-01-20/anne-goscinny-%C2%ABasterix-a-eu-deja-eu-deux-vies-du-vivant-de-mon-pere-et-apres-pourquoi-pas-une-troisieme%C2%BB/10581. 
    11. ^ “October 2009 Is Asterix’S 50th Birthday”. Teenlibrarian.co.uk. 9 October 2009. http://teenlibrarian.co.uk/?p=688. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
    12. ^ “Les albums hors collection – Astérix et ses Amis – Hommage à Albert Uderzo”. Asterix.com. http://www.asterix.com/edition/albums-hors-collection/asterix-et-ses-amis.html. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
    13. ^ “The vital statistics of Asterix”. London: BBC News. 18 October 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7049642.stm. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
    14. ^ a b c “Asterix around the World”. asterix-obelix-nl.com. http://www.asterix-obelix.nl/. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
    15. ^ a b “Translations”. Asterix.com. http://www.asterix.com/encyclopedia/translations/. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
    16. ^ “List of Asterix comics published in Greece by Mamouth Comix” (in Greek). http://www.mamouthcomix.gr/asterix/index.html. 
    17. ^ “Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre”. Soundtrack collectors. http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=61353. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
    18. ^ “Astérix aux jeux olympiques”. IMD. 2008. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0463872/. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
    19. ^ Cendrowicz, Leo (21 October 2009). “Asterix at 50: The Comic Hero Conquers the World”. TIME. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1931169,00.html. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
    20. ^ “Asterix the Gaul seen feasting at McDonald’s restaurant”. http://www.meeja.com.au. 19 August 2010. http://www.meeja.com.au/articles/asterix-the-gaul-seen-feasting-at-mcdonald-s-restaurant. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
    21. ^ “OpenBSD 4.0 homepage”. Openbsd.org. 1 November 2006. http://www.openbsd.org/40.html. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
    22. ^ Google. “Asterix’s anniversary”. http://www.google.com.tw/logos/asterix09.gif. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 

 

Sources

 

External links

 

Albert Uderzo

 Born

Nationality

Area(s)

Notable works

Notable colaberations

Awards


Uderzo at an event in Paris, March 2008
25 April 1927 (1927-04-25) (age 83)
Fismes, France
French
Writer, Artist
Astérix
Tanguy et Laverdure
Oumpah-pah
René Goscinny
full list

Albert Uderzo (born 25 April 1927) is a French comic book artist, and scriptwriter. He is best known for his work on the Astérix series, but also drew other comics such as Oumpah-pah, also in collaboration with René Goscinny.

Contents

Early life

Uderzo was born Alberto Aleandro Uderzo in Fismes (Marne, France), to parents, Silvio and Iria, who had recently immigrated from Italy. His name comes from the Italian village called Oderzo (formerly called Uderzo), where his family tree can be traced. His childhood ambitions were to become an aircraft mechanic, despite his talents in art at an early age.

Uderzo obtained French citizenship in 1934, and during World War II, the teenaged Uderzo left Paris and spent a year in Brittany, where he worked on a farm and helped with his father’s furniture business. He loved Brittany, both for its scenery and its people. Many years later, when the time came to choose a location for Asterix’s village, Goscinny left the decision entirely to Uderzo, only stipulating that it should be near the sea in case the characters needed to travel by boat. Uderzo had no hesitation in choosing Brittany.

Uderzo began a successful career as an artist in Paris after the war in 1945, with creations such as Flamberge and also Clopinard, a small one-legged old man who triumphs against the odds. In 1947-48 he created some other comics, such as Belloy and Arys Buck.

Working with Goscinny

Throughout some more creations and travelling for the next few years, he eventually met René Goscinny in 1951. The pair became good friends very soon, and decided to work together in 1952 at the newly opened Paris office of the Belgian company, World Press. Their first creations were the characters Oumpah-pah, Jehan Pistolet and Luc Junior.[1][2] In 1958 they adapted Oumpah-pah for serial publication in the comics magazine Tintin, though it ran only until 1962.[3] In 1959 Goscinny and Uderzo became editor and artistic director (respectively) of Pilote, a new venture aimed at older children. The magazine’s first issue introduced Astérix to the French world, and it was an instant hit.[1][4] During this period Uderzo also collaborated with Jean-Michel Charlier on the realistic series Michel Tanguy, later named Les Aventures de Tanguy et Laverdure.[1]

Astérix was serialised in Pilote, but in 1961 the first album Astérix le gaulois (Asterix the Gaul) was published as an individual album. By 1967, the comic had become so popular that both decided to wholly dedicate their time to the series. After Goscinny’s premature death in 1977, Uderzo continued to write and illustrate the books on his own, though at a significantly slower pace (averaging one album every 3 to 5 years compared to 2 albums a year when working with Goscinny). The cover credits still read “Goscinny and Uderzo”.

Family

Uderzo is married to Ada and has one daughter, Sylvie Uderzo. According to The Book of Asterix the Gaul, it was speculated that Uderzo had based the characters Panacea and Zaza on Ada and Sylvie respectively, though this has been denied by Uderzo. When Uderzo sold his share of Editions Albert René to Hachette Livre, Sylvie accused him in a column in Le Monde, that with this action it was “as if the gates of the Gaulish village had been thrown open to the Roman Empire”. Sylvie owns 40% of Editions Albert René, while the remaining 60%, previously owned by Uderzo and Goscinny’s daughter, is currently owned by Hachette Livre.[5]

Uderzo has a brother, Marcel, himself a cartoonist.[6]

Asterix and the Falling Sky was dedicated to his late brother Bruno (1920–2004).

Lawsuits in Germany

Some controversy has risen in Germany, where Albert Uderzo’s own publishing company, Les Éditions Albert René, is claiming in court that certain IT companies whose name end in “ix” (not unnatural in companies who work with Unix) are damaging his brands “Asterix” and “Obelix”. (One side of the story.) In a different controversy, Albert Uderzo sued a publisher of a parody based into bankruptcy. (Remarks on the legal proceedings).

Awards

According to the UNESCO‘s Index Translationum, Uderzo is the 10th most often translated French language author and the third most often translated French language comics author behind René Goscinny and Hergé.[7]

References

    1. ^ a b c Lambiek Comiclopedia. “Albert Uderzo”. http://lambiek.net/artists/u/uderzo.htm
    2. ^ Lagardère. “Release of the 33rd Asterix volume”. http://www.lagardere.com/us/actualites/detail_actu.cfm?idt=9&idn=5994&nav=0
    3. ^ Asterix International!. “Albert Uderzo”. http://www.asterix-international.de/asterix/uderzo.shtml
    4. ^ BDoubliées. “Pilote année 1959” (in French). http://bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/series1/asterix.htm
    5. ^ Estelle Shirbon (2009-01-15). “Don’t leave our Asterix in a fix, dad”. The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dont-leave-our-asterix-in-a-fix-dad-1366733.html. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
    6. ^ “Comic creator: Marcel Uderzo”. Lambiek.net. 2006-12-18. http://lambiek.net/artists/u/uderzo_marcel.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
    7. ^ Index Translationum French top 10

 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Albert Uderzo
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René Goscinny

 

 Born

Died

Nationality

Area(s)

Pseudonym(s)

Notable works

Notable colaberations

Awards

14 August 1926(1926-08-14)
Paris, France
5 November 1977(1977-11-05) (aged 51)
Paris, France
Dual: French and Polish
Cartoonist, Writer, Editor
d’Agostini, Stanislas
Astérix
Iznogoud
Le Petit Nicolas
Lucky Luke
Oumpah-pah
Albert Uderzo
full list

René Goscinny (14 August 1926 – 5 November 1977) was a French-Polish author, editor and humorist, who is best known for the comic book Astérix, which he created with illustrator Albert Uderzo, and for his work on the comic series Lucky Luke with Morris (considered the series’ golden age) and Iznogoud with Jean Tabary.

Contents

Early life

Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926, to a family of Polish and Jewish descent;[1] his parents were Stanisław “Simkha” Gościnny (the surname means hospitable in Polish), a chemical engineer from Warsaw, Poland, and Anna Bereśniak-Gościnna from Chodorków, a small village in the Second Polish Republic, now Ukraine. Claude, René’s older brother was born 6 years earlier; on 10 December 1920. Stanisław and Anna had met in Paris and married in 1919. The Gościnnys moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, two years after René’s birth, because of a chemical engineer post Stanisław had obtained there. He spent a happy childhood in Buenos Aires, and studied in the French schools there. He had a habit of making everyone laugh in class, probably to compensate for a natural shyness. He started drawing very early on, inspired by the illustrated stories which he enjoyed reading.

In December 1943 the year after he graduated from school, 17 year old Goscinny lost his father to a cerebral hemorrhage, forcing him to find a job. The next year, he got his first job, as an assistant accountant in a tire recovery factory, and when he was laid off the following year, he became a junior illustrator in an advertising agency.[2]

Goscinny, along with his mother, left Argentina and went to New York in 1945, to join their uncle, Boris, there. To avoid service in the US military, he travelled to France to join the French Army in 1946. He served at Aubagne, in the 141st Alpine Infantry Battalion. Promoted to senior corporal, he became the appointed illustrator of the regiment and drew illustrations and posters for the army.

First works

 The following year, he illustrated the book The Girl with The Eyes of Gold and returned to New York. On his arrival Goscinny went through the most difficult period of his life. For a while, he was jobless, alone and totally broke. By 1948, though, he recovered and started working in a small studio where he met and became friends with future Mad alumni Will Elder, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman.[2] Goscinny then became art director at Kunen Publishers where he wrote four books for children. Around this time he met Joseph Gillain, better known as Jijé, and Maurice de Bevere aka Morris, the cartoonist and author of the series Lucky Luke (which Goscinny would write from 1955 to his death in 1977).[2]

Also, he met Georges Troisfontaines, chief of the World Press agency, who convinced Goscinny to return to Paris and work for his agency as the head of Paris office in 1951. Here, he met Albert Uderzo, with whom he started a longtime cooperation.[2][3] They started out with some work for Bonnes Soirées, a female magazine for which Goscinny wrote Sylvie. Goscinny and Uderzo also launched the series Jehan Pistolet and Luc Junior in La Libre Junior.

In 1955, Goscinny, accompanied by Jean-Michel Charlier, Albert Uderzo and Jean Hébrad, founded the syndicate Edipress/Edifrance. The syndicate launched publications like Clairon for the factory union and Pistolin for a chocolate company. Goscinny and Uderzo cooperated on the series Bill Blanchart in Jeannot, Pistolet in Pistolin and Benjamin et Benjamine in the magazine of the same name. Under the pseudonym Agostini, Goscinny wrote Le Petit Nicolas for Jean-Jacques Sempé in Le Moustique and later Sud-Ouest and Pilote.

In 1956, Goscinny began a collaboration with the magazine Tintin. He wrote some short stories for Jo Angenot and Albert Weinberg, and worked on Signor Spaghetti with Dino Attanasio, Monsieur Tric with Bob de Moor, Prudence Petitpas with Maurice Maréchal, Globul le Martien and Alphonse with Tibet, Strapontin with Berck and Modeste et Pompon with André Franquin. An early creation with Uderzo, Oumpah-pah, was also adapted for serial publication in Tintin from 1958-1962.[4] In addition, Goscinny appeared in the magazines Paris-Flirt (Lili Manequin with Will) and Vaillant (Boniface et Anatole with Jordom, Pipsi with Godard).

Pilote and Astérix

In 1959, the Édifrance/Édipresse syndicate started the comics magazine Pilote.[5] Goscinny became one of the most productive writers for the magazine. In the magazine’s first issue, he launched his most famous creation, Astérix, with Uderzo. This series was an instant hit and is now known worldwide. Goscinny also restarted the series Le Petit Nicolas and Jehan Pistolet, now called Jehan Soupolet. Goscinny also began Jacquot le Mousse and Tromblon et Bottaclou with Godard.

The magazine was bought by Georges Dargaud in 1960, and Goscinny became editor-in-chief. He also began new series like Les Divagations de Monsieur Sait-Tout (with Martial), La Potachologie Illustrée (with Cabu), Les Dingodossiers (with Gotlib) and La Forêt de Chênebeau (with Mic Delinx). With Tabary, he launched Calife Haroun El Poussah in Record, a series that was later continued in Pilote as Iznogoud. With Raymond Macherot he created Pantoufle for Spirou.

Death

Goscinny died at age 51, in Paris of cardiac arrest on 5 November 1977, during a stress test at his doctor’s office. He was buried in the Jewish Cemetery of Nice. Since Goscinny’s untimely death, Uderzo has continued to produce the Asterix series, although at the much slower pace of one book every three to five years.

Family

Goscinny married Gilberte Pollaro-Millo in 1967. In 1968 their daughter Anne Goscinny was born, who also became an author.

Bibliography

Series Years Magazine Albums Editor Artist
Lucky Luke 1955 – 19770 Spirou and Pilote 38 Dupuis and Dargaud0 Morris
Modeste et Pompon0[a] 1955–1958 Tintin 02 Lombard André Franquin
Prudence Petitpas 1957–1959 Tintin   Lombard Maurice Maréchal0
Signor Spaghetti 1957–1965 Tintin 15 Lombard Dino Attanasio
Oumpah-pah 1958–1962 Tintin 03 Lombard Albert Uderzo
Strapontin 1958–1964 Tintin 04 Lombard Berck
Astérix 1959–1977 Pilote 24 Dargaud Albert Uderzo
Le Petit Nicolas 1959–1965 Pilote 05 Denoël Sempé
Iznogoud 1962–1977 Record and Pilote0 14 Dargaud Jean Tabary
Les Dingodossiers 1965–1967 Pilote 03 Dargaud Gotlib
  • a.   ^ As part of a writers’ team coming up with gags.
    • The series Lucky Luke, Modeste et Pompon, Asterix and Iznogoud were continued by other writers after Goscinny’s death.

 

Awards

Since 1996, the René Goscinny Award is presented at the yearly Angoulême International Comics Festival in France as an encouragement for young comic writers.

According to the information which is available in UNESCO‘s Index Translationum, Goscinny, as of April 2008, is the 22nd most translated author, with 1,800 translations of his work.[6] (However this figure does not take in account his additional work under pseudonyms.)

References

 

Footnotes

    1. ^ Garcia, Laure. “Uderzo, le dernier Gaulois” (in French). Le Nouvel Observateur. http://hebdo.nouvelobs.com/hebdo/parution/p2136/articles/a280131-uderzo__le_dernier_gaulois.html
    2. ^ a b c d Lambiek Comiclopedia. “René Goscinny”. http://lambiek.net/artists/g/goscinny.htm
    3. ^ Lagardère. “Release of the 33rd Asterix volume”. http://www.lagardere.com/us/actualites/detail_actu.cfm?idt=9&idn=5994&nav=0
    4. ^ Asterix International!. “Albert Uderzo”. http://www.asterix-international.de/asterix/uderzo.shtml
    5. ^ BDoubliées. “Pilote année 1959” (in French). http://bdoubliees.com/journalpilote/annees/1959.htm
    6. ^ “Index Translationum top 50”. Databases.unesco.org. http://databases.unesco.org/xtrans/stat/xTransStat.a?VL1=A&top=50&lg=0. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 

 

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