Albert Uderzo, who illustrated the cartoon character Asterix the Gaul, has died at the age of 92, his family have announced.
The cartoonist died in his sleep on Tuesday of a heart attack. There was no link to the new coronavirus his son-in-law Bernard de Choisy said.
De Choisy told the agency his father-in-law had been “very tired for several weeks”.
Uderzo and Rene Goscinny came up with the idea of Asterix over a glass of pastis on Uderzo’s balcony in a public housing block in the Paris suburb of
Bobigny in 1959, as the suburb’s archivist told France Bleu radio last year.
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. pic.twitter.com/VlAOfxRwj5
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 24, 2020
The tiny but cunning Gaulish warrior and his beefy and bumbling sidekick Obelix became an international success and one of the best-loved characters in French popular culture
For eighteen years, Uderzo’s drawings complemented Goscinny’s pun-filled text.
Uderzo carried on with the series as both writer and illustrator after Goscinny’s sudden death in 1977, although the names of both men continued to appear on the covers of the books.
His last edition, Asterix and Obelix’s Birthday – The Golden Book, came out in 2009 to mark the character’s 50th anniversary.
Since then, four albums have been published by a new team of writer Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrator Didier Conrad.