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Sunday 29 March 2020

The Much Caricatured Creator of Astérix and his Royal Keystone Typewriter

The death in Neuilly-sur-Seine this week of French comic book artist Albert Uderzo, who would have turned 93 next month, recalled Uderzo's long partnership with the writer René Goscinny. The pair created the much-loved and internationally-followed cartoon character Astérix in March 1959. Goscinny is possibly the most caricatured typist in history (usually drawn by his friend Uderzo).
Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926 and spent a happy childhood in Buenos Aires. In 1945 he started his career as an illustrator in an advertising agency. In New York in 1948 he started working in a small studio where he became friends with future MAD Magazine contributors Will Elder, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman. Goscinny then became art director at Kunen Publishers.  Georges Troisfontaines, chief of the World Press agency, convinced Goscinny to return to France and work for his agency as the head of the Paris office in 1951. There he met Uderzo, with whom he started a famous collaboration.
In 1955, Goscinny, together with Uderzo, Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Hébrad, founded the syndicate Edipress/Edifrance. Under the pseudonym Agostini, Goscinny wrote Le Petit Nicolas for Jean-Jacques Sempé in Le Moustique and later Sud-Ouest and Pilote magazines.
The next year Goscinny began a collaboration with Tintin magazine. An early creation with Uderzo, Oumpah-pah, was also adapted for serial publication in Tintin from 1958-62.
In 1959, the Édifrance/Édipresse syndicate started the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote. In the first issue, 
Goscinny launched Astérix with Uderzo. The series was an instant hit and remains popular worldwide. 
The magazine was bought by Georges Dargaud in 1960, and Goscinny became editor-in-chief. Goscinny died in Paris of cardiac arrest on November 5, 1977, aged 51. His much used typewriter, now seen in many exhibitions about his life and work, was this Royal Keystone portable:
But in later life Goscinny also used an Olympia SF and a larger bodied Olympia.


Bill M said...

Wonderful artwork. I really like the second one. Sometimes that is the only place a person can be alone at times.

Johnpyyc said...

Morning Robert:

Thanks for the great post. I am always amazed at your ability to find stories and enjoy reading your blog every day. We all appreciate everything you write.

Be well,