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Astérix artist calls it a day

Albert Uderzo to retire after 52 years with Astérix and Obélix, selling 350 million books worldwide

ASTERIX artist Albert Uderzo has decided to give up drawing the heroic Gaul and the next cartoon album will be drawn by other collaborators.

Uderzo, who is now 84, told broadcaster RTL that he had considered letting the series die with him but thought that “would be egotistical”.

He has been drawing rebel Astérix and big pal Obélix since 1959 when he and René Goscinny first appeared in the pages of weekly magazine Pilote.

Since then they have sold 350 million books worldwide, been translated into 107 languages and appeared in 11 films – plus starred in their own leisure park outside Paris.

A new film Astérix et Obélix : au Service de sa Majesté is now being filmed and a new album is scheduled to appear next year. Uderzo has been working with artist Frédéric Mébarki for some time and has now brought in writer Jean Yves Ferri to help continue the series.

Anthea Bell, who translates the Astérix books into English for Orion Books, told The Connexion in March 2010 that when Goscinny died in 1977 Uderzo had thought of bringing in another writer, but had decided to carry on himself.

“Uderzo wondered about whether or not to import a writer and decided against it. Before they got together both he and Goscinny had both written and drawn their own bandes-dessinées [cartoons]. Uderzo is a brilliant draftsman and he decided he would go on.”

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