Illustrator Alberto Uderzo, co-author of the famous comic book series Asterix, died this Tuesday. He was 92 years old. The information was provided to the France Press Agency by family members. “He died while sleeping at his home in Neuilly, from a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus,” confirmed his son-in-law, Bernard de Choisy, adding that Uderzo had been “tired” for a few weeks.
Uderzo created Asterix with writer René Goscinny in 1959, for the newspaper Pilote. The first album in the famous series, Asterix the Gaul, was published two years later, followed by Asterix and the Normans. Launched in 1966, the latter sold over a million copies. More than 60 years after the creation of the history of the “irreducible Gauls”, comics remains one of the most popular ever.
Le Monde calls Urdezo “a monument, in every sense of the words”, which now disappears. Another French newspaper, Le Figaro, describes him as a “giant of monstrous talent”.
Alberto Uderzo was born on April 25, 1927 in Fismes, a small village in the Marne region. Like Goscinny, who was the son of a Pole and a Ukrainian, Uderzo was also born into an immigrant family. His father, an Italian, was a carpenter by profession.
Uderzo and Goscinny met in 1950. They worked together on the series Asterix for about 20 years, until Goscinny’s death. The writer died unexpectedly in November 1977, aged 51, from a heart attack. The last album he participated in, Asterix among the Belgians, left in 1979. After that date, Uderzo also started to write the plot of the comic books.
In 1981, in The Odyssey of Asterix, drew one of the characters in the likeness of Goscinny as a way of honoring his companion.
Uderzo stopped working on Asterix in 2011, when the series passed into the hands of screenwriter Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrator Didier Conrad.