Asterix & Obelix

Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix is a French bande dessinée series about Gaulish warriors, who have adventures and fight the Roman Empire during the era of Julius Caesar. The series first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. It was written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo until the death of Goscinny in 1977. Uderzo then took over the writing until 2009, when he sold the rights to publishing company Hachette. In 2013, a new team consisting of Jean-Yves Ferri (script) and Didier Conrad (artwork) took over. As of 2019, 38 volumes have been released, with the most recent released in October 2019.

René Goscinny, was a French comic editor and writer, who created the Astérix comic book series with illustrator Albert Uderzo. Raised largely in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he attended French schools, he lived for a time in the United States. There he met Belgian cartoonist Morris. After his return to France, they collaborated for more than 20 years on the comic series Lucky Luke, in what was considered the series’ golden age.

He wrote Iznogoud with Jean Tabary. Goscinny also wrote a series of children’s books known as Le Petit Nicolas (Little Nicolas).

In 1959, the Édifrance/Édipresse syndicate started the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote. Goscinny became one of the most productive writers for the magazine. In the magazine’s first issue, he launched Astérix, with Uderzo. The series was an instant hit and remains popular worldwide. Goscinny also restarted the series Le Petit Nicolas and Jehan Pistolet, now called Jehan Soupolet. Goscinny also began Jacquot le Mousse and Tromblon et Bottaclou with Godard.

Prior to creating the Asterix series, Goscinny and Uderzo had previously had success with their series Oumpah-pah, which was published in Tintin magazine. Astérix was originally serialised in Pilote magazine, debuting in the first issue on 29 October 1959. In 1961 the first book was put together, titled Asterix the Gaul. From then on, books were released generally on a yearly basis. Their success was exponential; the first book sold 6,000 copies in its year of publication; a year later, the second sold 20,000. In 1963, the third sold 40,000; the fourth, released in 1964, sold 150,000. A year later, the fifth sold 300,000; 1966’s Asterix and the Big Fight sold 400,000 upon initial publication. The ninth Asterix volume, when first released in 1967, sold 1.2 million copies in two days.

The magazine was bought by Georges Dargaud in 1960, and Goscinny became editor-in-chief. He also began new series like Les Divagations de Monsieur Sait-Tout (with Martial), La Potachologie Illustrée (with Cabu), Les Dingodossiers (with Gotlib) and La Forêt de Chênebeau (with Mic Delinx). With Tabary, he launched Calife Haroun El Poussah in Record, a series that was later continued in Pilote as Iznogoud. With Raymond Macherot he created Pantoufle for Spirou.

Alberto Aleandro Uderzo was a French comic book artist and scriptwriter. He is best known as the co-creator and illustrator of the Astérix series in collaboration with René Goscinny. He also drew other comics such as Oumpah-pah, again with Goscinny. Uderzo retired in September 2011.

Astérix was serialised in Pilote, and in 1961 the first story Astérix le gaulois (Asterix the Gaul) was published as an individual album. After Goscinny’s death in 1977, Uderzo continued to write and illustrate the books on his own, published by his own publishing house “Albert René”, though at a significantly slower pace, averaging one edition every three to five years compared to two editions a year when working with Goscinny.

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