Albert Uderzo, one of the two creators of the beloved comic book character Asterix, who captured the spirit of the Gauls of yore and grew a reputation worldwide, died yesterday. He was 92.
Mr Uderzo died of a heart attack in the Paris suburb of Neuilly, his family told reporters.
Asterix, portrayed as a short man with a droopy moustache, always wearing a helmet with wings, was created in the early 1960s by Mr Uderzo and Rene Goscinny. The character lived in a village in Gaul, present-day France, resisting Roman conquerors, along with his inseparable big-bellied friend, Obelix.
"Albert Uderzo died in his sleep at his Neuilly home of a heart attack with no links to the coronavirus," the French press quoted his son-in-law, Bernard de Choisy, as saying. "He had been very tired for several weeks."
Mr Uderzo initially illustrated the characters created along with writer Mr Goscinny. Together, they created 24 comic books.
After Goscinny's death in 1977, Mr Uderzo also took over the comic books' writing duties, deciding to continue without his creative partner.
Mr Goscinny's daughter Anne called the two men "brothers" and praised Mr Uderzo's "courage" for continuing without his collaborator.
"They were as different as fire and water, but they lived something that few among us could live," she told the French daily 'Le Parisien'. "They were the kind of friends you don't often have in life."
Fans offered thanks on social media and recollections of childhood memories reading the Asterix comic books whose fan base includes adults.