New Delhi: Albert Uderzo, French illustrator of the beloved comic series ‘Adventures of Asterix’ died Tuesday at 92 years from a heart attack “unrelated” to the novel coronavirus.
He died in his sleep at his home in Neuilly, a commune west of Paris after being “extremely tired for the past several weeks”, according to his son-in-law Bernard de Choisy
Television personality Piers Morgan was among many who tweeted about Uberzo’s death. “RIP Albert Uderzo, 92 – the comic illustrator genius who co-created & drew the Asterix books (which have now sold 370m copies). Loved them as a kid. Thank you.,” he said.
According to Reuters, the series sold more than 370 million albums worldwide and has been translated into more than 100 languages. Three years ago, an original cover illustration signed by both the creators sold for a record €1.4 million at a Paris auction.
Creation of Asterix
In 1959, writer René Goscinny and Uderzo created the 34-volume comic series that featured in a French-Belgian comics magazine, ‘Pilote’.
Set in 50 BC, the series follows a village of Gaul warriors resisting Roman oppression with mustachioed hero, Asterix and his best friend, Obelix.
Goscinny died in 1977 after which Uberzo carried on the series by himself. The Great Divide (1980) is the first album created by Uderzo alone. He retired in 2009 and sold the rights to the character to Hachette. In 2014, he and his daughter dropped a seven-year legal dispute after the latter had opposed his decision to sell a 60 per cent stake in the Asterix publisher in 2008.
In March 2019, the comic series was made available in Hindi in India. Emmanuel Lenain, French Ambassador to India commemorated the first four albums on Twitter at the time. In October that same year, the series came out with a new album ‘Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter’ which for the first time in 60 years starred a lead female character called Adrenaline.