By DOM GALEON
The family of Albert Uderzo, co-creator of the iconic bande desinée Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix, confirmed in an announcement that the 92-year-old French illustrator has died from a heart attack in his sleep.
His death, the family confirms, is not related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Albert passed away in his home, after weeks of weakness.
Albert was the illustrator for Asterix, a series of comic books originally in French featuring a group of ancient Gauls as its protagonists and set during the early years of the Roman Republic. Written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert, it first appeared on Oct. 29, 1959 in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote. Upon René’s death in 1977, Albert took over the writing for Asterix until he sold the rights to the title in 2009.
As a testament to the comics’ popularity, it has since been translated to over 100 languages, including Latin, and sold 380 million copies worldwide.
Among the interesting feature of Asterix are the Latin-inspired names of its characters, which range from the serious to the silly—their chieftain’s name is Vitalstatistix, the apothecary’s is Getafix, the village bard is Cacofonix, and the chief’s wife is Impedimenta (which is Latin for “baggage”). Oh and there was the old chap Geriatrix.
When Albert relinquished the rights to Asterix in 2009, its succeeding issues were helmed by writer Jean-Yves Ferri and artist Didier Conrad.
Before his retirement in 2011, Albert also co-created other comic book titles, including The Adventures of Tanguy and Laverdure, a series about French Air Force pilots, written by Belgian writer Jean-Michel Charlier.