The illustrator Albert Uderzo (front) and the writer René Goscinny (back)

The first Asterix album Asterix le Gaulois, was published in 1961, and only 6000 editions where printed. The story now published, was earlier running in the magazine Pilote (started october 29th 1959). The big breakthrough came in 1965 with the album "Asterix et Cléopatre". As early as in 1967 they passed the 1.000.000 line. When Goscinny died in 1977, Uderzo took over both the drawing and the writing.

The writer: René Goscinny (1926-1977)
René Goscinny was born in Paris and moved after 2 years to Argentina. He spent his school time in the French school in Buenos Aires. When he was 17 his father died and he had to find a job. He became an assistant bookkeeper definitely not what he dreamed of. In 1945 he moved to New York - USA where he worked for 3 years for an import and export firm. After that he finally found a job in an art studio. Here he met artists like Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder and John Severin who later founded the satirical magazine ‘MAD’. Here he also met two Belgian artists: JiJé and Morris (Morris was the one who made the Lucky Luke comics). Morris asked Goscinny to be his scenario writer for Lucky Luke. Goscinny accepted this job but was also interested in drawing. He draw his own hero called Dick Dicks but had to admit he was better in writing, especially writing with humor.

The illustrator: Albert Uderzo (1927)
Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in Fismes, France. His parents emigrated from Italy to France in 1923. When Uderzo was born he had 6 fingers on each hand. 14 year later with 2 fingers less his first work was published. The famous illustrator Edmond Calvo encouraged him to continue his work, but in 1945 Uderzo was not an illustrator but an assistent-engineer instead. He found a job as an illustrator for an animated cartoon. He didn’t like the job too much and soon he resigned. At 19 years old he started to work for magazines. For O.K. he made Arys Buck (also an invincible Gaul!), Prince Rollin and Belloy. After his military service he worked for France-Dimance and France-Soir (1950). One year later he started working for International Press. In this year he met Jean-Michel Charlier and René Goscinny. In most cases Uderzo draws in a (half-) caricature style.

René Goscinny meets Albert Uderzo
When René Goscinny went back to Europe in 1951, and at the news agency ‘World Press’ he met Albert Uderzo for the first time. Their cooperation resulted in several series like: Pistolet, Luc Junior, Benjamin and Benjamine, Bill Blanchart and Ompa-Pa. Ompa-Pa was published in the magazine ‘Kuifje’ and again Goscinny met other famous artists like Franquin, Berck, Tibet, De Moor, Attanasio, Mancherot and many more. For many of them he was their scenario writer.

In 1959 Goscinny, Uderzo and Jean-Michel Charlier founded a new comic magazine: Pilote. From the beginning Pilote was a big success. After troubles with finances, finding good employees and with the distribution of the magazine Georges Dargaud the representative in France of the magazine Kuifje, took over the magazine Pilote. Until his death Goscinny was editor-in-chief of Pilote and wrote many humorous scenarios. Together with Goscinny, Uderzo also made another comic for Pilote. This comic was called Asterix.