Albert Uderzo, one of the cartoonists behind the legendary Asterix comic strip, has died. He was 92.
Uderzo co-created the Gaul vs. Romans series with writer René Goscinny, as one of their many collaborations in the medium (including Native American comic Oumpah-pah), in the first issue of Pilote magazine in 1959. The pair continued to work together until Goscinny's death in 1977, after which Uderzo continued telling the tale of the mustached, super-strong underdogs Asterix and Obelix as they defended their people from legionaries.
The quintessentially French comic became so popular that it, like its peers Tintin and The Smurfs, it became a multimedia hit as it told different silly stories influenced by a fantastical take on history. Fourteen films, the latest of which was 2018's CG-animated Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion, multiple board and video games, and an entire theme park outside of Paris solidify the characters' intense impact on pop culture.
Uderzo retired before his death, though the books didn't stop — a current estimate places the total at around 370M Asterix books sold. The report of his death comes from Uderzo's family, who informed the French newswire AFP:
"Albert Uderzo died in his sleep at his home in Neuilly, after a heart attack that was not linked to the coronavirus. He had been extremely tired for the past several weeks," said Bernard de Choisy, Uderzo's son-in-law.
The official Asterix Twitter also paid its respects:
The latest Asterix book, Asterix and the Chieftain's Daughter, came out in October.