Albert Uderzo

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Albert Uderzo (born 25 April 1927) is a French comic book artist, and scriptwriter. He is best known for his work on the Astérix series, but also drew other comics such as Oumpah-pah, also in collaboration with René Goscinny.


Early life

Uderzo was born Alberto Aleandro Uderzo in Fismes (Marne, France), to parents, Silvio and Iria, who had recently immigrated from Italy. His name comes from the Italian village called Oderzo (formerly called Uderzo), where his family tree can be traced. His childhood ambitions were to become an aircraft mechanic, despite his talents in art at an early age.

Uderzo obtained French citizenship in 1934, and during World War II, the teenaged Uderzo left Paris and spent a year in Brittany, where he worked on a farm and helped with his father's furniture business. He loved Brittany, both for its scenery and its people. Many years later, when the time came to choose a location for Asterix's village, Goscinny left the decision entirely to Uderzo, only stipulating that it should be near the sea in case the characters needed to travel by boat. Uderzo had no hesitation in choosing Brittany.

Uderzo began a successful career as an artist in Paris after the war in 1945, with creations such as Flamberge and also Clopinard, a small one-legged old man who triumphs against the odds. In 1947-48 he created some other comics, such as Belloy and Arys Buck.

Working with Goscinny

Throughout some more creations and travelling for the next few years, he eventually met René Goscinny in 1951. The pair became good friends very soon, and decided to work together in 1952 at the newly opened Paris office of the Belgian company, World Press. Their first creations were the characters Oumpah-pah, Jehan Pistolet and Luc Junior.[1][2] In 1958 they adapted Oumpah-pah for serial publication in the comics magazine Tintin, though it ran only until 1962.[3] In 1959 Goscinny and Uderzo became editor and artistic director (respectively) of Pilote, a new venture aimed at older children. The magazine's first issue introduced Astérix to the French world, and it was an instant hit.[1][4] During this period Uderzo also collaborated with Jean-Michel Charlier on the realistic series Michel Tanguy, later named Les Aventures de Tanguy et Laverdure.[1]

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