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Albert Uderzo – RIP

Cartoonist Albert Uderzo has passed away.

Alberto Aleandro (Albert) Uderzo
April 25, 1927 – March 24, 2020

 

From The Guardian obituary:

Asterix illustrator Albert Uderzo has died at the age of 92, his family has announced.

The French comic book artist, who created the beloved Asterix comics in 1959 with the writer René Goscinny, died on Tuesday. 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,” his son-in-law Bernard de Choisy told AFP.

 


above: The first Asterix (via FirstVersions)

“The year is 50 BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely… One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. And life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of Totorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium.”

So opens our introduction to one of the world’s greatest comics.

First published in 1959, Asterix the Gaul was created by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The comic went on to justifiably become a worldwide hit. Rene passed away in 1977, and now co-creator Albert Uderzo has joined him.


Goscinny’s humorous adventure tales combined with Uderzo’s fantastic art resulted in a comic classic.

James Lovegrove provides an appreciation.

In turn, Uderzo brought both a beautiful, broad-brushstroke style and a wealth of research to the artwork. Whenever Asterix’s adventures took him abroad, Uderzo often visited the country concerned and took countless reference photos. This and plenty of historical research resulted in gorgeous, detailed images such as the sweeping splash shot of Rome and the contrasting, equally lively shot of Gaulish capital Lutetia that open Asterix and the Laurel Wreath, and the lush views of the forested valleys of Corsica’s interior in Asterix in Corsica.

There are also clever sight gags, whether it’s the double-decker public transport cart in Asterix in Britain or the parody of Ge?ricault’s famous painting “The Raft of the Medusa” in the panel showing shipwrecked pirates in Asterix the Legionary. Not to mention frequent appearances by chickens.

 

Lambiek’s Comiclopedia has an in-depth look at Albert’s career (far more than just Asterix).

 


In the late 1970s there was an attempt to bring Asterix and Obelix to the daily newspaper pages of America. The result did no favors to the script or the art. Allan Holtz details the misbegotten effort.

But that shouldn’t hinder the brilliance of Goscinny and Uderzo’s Asterix.

Thank you Albert and Rene. Hail and Farewell.

Community Comments

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#1 Mike Peraza
March/24/2020
@ 6:49 pm

Very sad to hear the passing of this great man. When people ask me who my influences are I definitely mention this talented man who was always generous with advice. Rest in piece my friend.

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