Asterix Creator Albert Uderzo Has Died Aged 92
Albert Uderzo, co-creator of the Asterix comics, has died at the age of 92.
Uderzo was responsible for illustrating and later writing the famous stories, which detailed the adventures of Gaulish warriors fighting the Roman Empire.
Uderzo’s son-in-law, Bernard de Choisy, confirmed the sad news of his death, revealing the French comic book artist passed away in his sleep in France on Tuesday, March 24.
His death is not related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as de Choisy told AFP:
[He] died in his sleep at his home in Neuilly from a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus. He had been very tired for several weeks.
Uderzo created the comics in 1959 with writer René Goscinny, and took over the writing following Goscinny’s death in 1977. The series debuted in October 1959 in French magazine Pilote, and quickly developed a cult following.
Fans loved the small-statured Asterix, a warrior from Roman-occupied ancient Gaul, and after the first standalone book, Astérix the Gaul, was released, the comic books went on to sell more than 370 million copies worldwide, in dozens of languages.
Several stories have been turned into cartoons and feature films depicting Asterix’s adventures alongside his best friend Obelix and dog Dogmatix, or Idéfix, as he was known in the French original, and in 1989 a theme park dedicated to the cartoons opened outside Paris.
After more than half a century working on the series, in 2011 Uderzo passed the torch onto a younger artist to continue illustrating the stories of Asterix. The most recent book, Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter, was released last October.
Tributes have been pouring in for the creator, with comedian Chris Addison writing:
Albert Uderzo has died. Oh, man. I think very few people’s work will ever give me the amount of pleasure his has ever since I was very young. One of my greatest culinary regrets is that I’ll never get to eat wild boar the way he drew them for Asterix. Chapeau, monsieur.
Mark Millar, creator of comics including Kingsman and Kick-Ass, wrote:
RIP Albert Uderzo, my gateway drug to beautiful European comics. I just bought this two weeks ago for my office. The Master!
There’s no doubt Uderzo’s creation will continue to bring joy to fans for decades to come; he has left behind an incredible legacy.
Our thoughts are with his friends, family and fans at this sad time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.