Asterix is one of the most loved comic book characters in the popular culture of France. The comic book series show him as a small-statured and cunning Gallic warrior. With the help of a magic potion that provides great strength, he defends his village against its enemies.
This remote Gaulish village is located in the middle of the Roman Empire. Along with his best friend, Obelix, Asterix also embarks on adventures to different parts of the world. Obelix had fallen into a vat of the magic potion when he was an infant. This gave him extraordinary strength.
However, he is clumsy and often the reason behind frequent accidents and injuries in the village. He doesn’t have the permission to drink the potion of strength as this might make him even more destructive. The source of many comic mishaps are his attempts to grab some of the potion.
Asterix was the creation of illustrator Albert Uderzo and writer Rene Goscinny. The duo started working together in the year 1951. While working together, they created several comic book heroes and had varying degrees of success. Asterix first appeared in a French comic magazine called Pilote in 1959. This character was an instant success.
Following its immense success, the characters became a central focus Uderzo’s and Goscinny’s careers. After Goscinny died in the middle of the production of Asterix’s 24th volume, Uderzo continued creating Asterix’s new stories. He was both the writer and illustrator of the new Asterix stories. Despite this, he kept Goscinny’s name on the cover of all the volumes.
More about Rene Goscinny
Born on the 4th of August 1926, Rene Goscinny was a French writer. He was raised and educated in the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires. After working in New York City on children’s books, he returned to Paris in 1954. While in the French capital, he was the director of a press agency.
Later, he became the writer for a comic strip called ‘Lucky Luke’. He met Uderzo in 1957 and collaborated with him on ‘Benjamin et Benjamine’, which was a short-lived project. They again worked together on ‘Oumpah-Pah le Peau-Rouge’ a year later. They had some degree of success with this comic series.
Goscinny founded Pilote, a French humor magazine in the year 1959. At the same time he also began publishing Asterix le Gaulois in collaboration with Uderzo. It was about the adventures of a small Gallic tribesman during Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. Asterix and his friend Obelix belonged to the Gauls, the only unconquered tribe. The Romans that they opposed are generally shown as stupid and clumsy in the comics.
This comic strip coincided with the rise of Charles de Gaulle’s to power in France. Apparently, it reflected certain widespread political sentiments of the time. Both Goscinny and Uderzo enjoyed considerable success with the popularity of Asterix le Gaulois.
Goscinny also wrote scripts for many other French comic strips. Among them was Les Dingodossiers, on which, he worked with Marcel Gotlib. He was also a principal in a French publishing firm. In 1967, Goscinny had the honor of being made a Chevalier of Arts and Letters.
The Asterix comic strip was translated into several different languages. It sold over 18 million copies worldwide after appearing in the form of a book in 1959.