Sat. Apr 4th, 2020

Albert Uderzo, the creator of “Asterix”, dies

Albert Uderzo, creator of “Asterix” has died at the age of 92, as reported by the family. Udeerzo was born in Fismes (France) in 1927. From kindergarten he shows a true aptitude for drawing. Completely self-taught, he goes from an early vocation as a clown to an irresistible attraction to drawing, fascinated from an early age by the heroes of Walt Disney. From the age of ten, Albert Uderzo begins to sketch characters with a chubby nose.

In 1938 the second move of the Uderzo family took place, from Clichy-sous-Bois, a municipality on the outskirts of Paris, to the “rue de Montreuil”, Paris within the walls. For a time, Albert wants to become an aviation mechanic and successfully passes the entrance examination at the School of Mechanics, just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

In 1942, his brother Bruno then moved to the province of Brittany and asked Albert to meet him in Les Villages, a town near the town of Saint-Brieuc (department of Côtes-d’Armor). He likes the region, but the war forces him to return to Paris, where he works in the carpentry workshop with his father. After the French Liberation, Uderzo begins to enter the world of animation, works for various magazines, creates and draws New heroes like Flamberge, Clopinard, Zartan, Zidore, Arys Buck, Prince Rollin and Belloy the Invulnerable. The latter inaugurate a long series of “super hunk” heroes, strong as bulls, to whom Albert is particularly fond.

In 1947 it was his turn to serve in the military, which he would perform in Tyrol. On his return, he works as a reporter-draftsman for the France Dimanche newspaper, as well as for two press agencies, small firms with the modest names of World Press and International Press. It is here where, among other big names in cartoons, he will meet Jean-Michel Charlier and Victor Hubinon.

Very soon, another person is going to cross his path … And it is on a beautiful morning in 1951, when they announce to Albert Uderzo, who is already working for the World Press / International Press tandem, the arrival of a new colleague, a certain « Gossini ». The Italian sound of the surname makes Albert (son of Italian immigrants) believe that he is a “countryman”. But no, his name is spelled g.o.s.c.i.n.n.y. He is French and comes from the United States ». Between them a total complicity is immediately created, which leads them to multiply common projects. Many heroes will be born from this association, like Umpah-Pah, in whom many see a precursor to Asterix.

Later, in 1956, Uderzo and Goscinny actively participate with Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Hébrard in the creation of the agencies Edipresse (press) and Edifrance (advertising), who will finally give them the opportunity to express themselves independently. Difficult years follow, where our two friends work in various trades, but always full of ideas and formidably inspired projects.At this time, to earn a living, Albert Uderzo will make nine plates in a single week, representing a colossal work. Sometimes the drawings are made directly in ink, without a sketch, due to lack of time.

In 1959 a great project monopolized his attention: for the creation of the magazine “Pilote”, founded in collaboration with François Clauteaux, editor-in-chief, Albert and René were looking for a French hero. And for its setting, the decision falls on “Le Roman de Renart”, a classic of medieval satirical literature. They soon learn, however, that the project already exists under the direction of Jean Trubert. Without being intimidated, our inseparable comrades quickly go looking for another idea. And after exploring different periods of History, they coincide in Gaul and Gauls. This is how, on October 29, 1959, the UNO number of Pilote presents on page 20 the first plate of the adventures of “Asterix the Gaul”. Readers are captivated and the magazine knows immediate success: The 300,000 printed copies were sold the first day! Pilote will live moments of glory and illuminate the youth of many readers, leaving his famous slogan in memory of his stalwarts: “mtin, quel journal!” Difficult days are ahead and our friends leave the magazine in 1960 – although they will return in 1963 René Goscinny collaborates then in numerous comics: Asterix, of course, but also Iznogud (Tabary), The Little Nicholas (Sempé), Lucky Luke (Morris), Valentine (Tabary), the Dingodossiers (Gotlib), etc.

The two authors continue to work for a time on different series, together or separately. But from the album The Arverno ShieldAlbert Uderzo decides to devote himself exclusively to the little Gallic hero and abandons his other characters.

In 1977, Asterix became the great hero of the French comic and his success grew from album to album. This triumph filled his authors with happiness, who decided to create animation studios, the famous Studios Idéfix. Unfortunately, misfortune awaits them around the corner. On November 5, 1977, the sinister news breaks: René Goscinny has died during a stress test for a medical check-up. He was 51 years old. The commotion is terrible. The album Asterix in Belgium is still on plate 37.

His immense talent has allowed his heroes to survive him, which is why René Goscinny continues, today, making millions of readers, young and old, from all over the world laugh.

Since 1979, Albert Uderzo continues only the adventures of the Gallic hero. Create Editions Albert René to publish new Astérix albums.

In 1980, with the publication of “the Great Ditch”, Astérix’s 25th album, the first album written and drawn entirely by Albert Uderzo.

In the period 1981-2005 he published 8 new Asterix albums. Thanks to the 26 years he shared with René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo writes and draws new albums preferred by a growing number of Astérix readers. In November 2002, a special album, a deluxe edition of “Asterix in Belgium”, in tribute to René Goscinny.

In 2009, Asterix turns 50 and has become a phenomenon in the publishing world. The figures speak for themselves: 34 albums translated into 107 languages ​​or dialects, 11 films, an amusement park named after him, hundreds of derived products, and many other projects …


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