René Goscinny, the ingenious story writer and one of the fathers of Asterix, was born on August 14th, 1926 in Paris. During his childhood and youth he lived in Argentina, where his family emmigrated in 1928. Soon after he finished school in 1943, his father died and he had to give up his plans to study.
GoscinnyAfter a short intermezzo as bookkeeper in a rubber factory and as illustrator of advertisments he went to New York in 1945, invited by his uncle. Just having arrived there he was sent to war to Europe, but before he finally came there the war was already over. After he had finished his service in the army he flew from the misery in post-war Europe back to New York. Due to his bad English he had to survive with occasional jobs during the next two years. But in 1949 the situation turned to good account. Goscinny got to know Maurice de Bévère (Morris) and Harvey Kurtzman. The latter arranged for Goscinny various jobs as illustrator and presented him to Davis, Elder and Wood, who should later found the well-known MAD-magazine.
This run of good luck continued not even one year, so Goscinny decided to respond to an invitation by George Troisfontaines, director of the press agency World Press based in Brussels, and to introduce himself to Dupuis in Belgium. Supported by Jean-Michel Charlier, artistic director at Dupuis, Goscinny was given a chance and it was tried to find a producer for his series Dick Dicks. Satisfied he settled down in Paris.
Lucky LukeA year passed by with few jobs for Goscinny and first doubts came up. Only when Troisfontaines offered him a position as artistic director in an agency to be founded in Paris in 1951, he gathered fresh hope. At about that time it also happened that he met a young drawer from the Normandy: Albert Uderzo!
Oumpah-PahIn 1952 World Press eventually opened an agency at Champs Elysées and Goscinny and Uderzo started with their first common productions. The first few years they were depending on orders from Belgium, whereas own projects (e.g. Oumpah-Pah) didn't raise interest at Dupuis. Some years later, in 1955, Morris offered Goscinny to join him for the production of Lucky Luke. Goscinny contributed to this extremly successfull series with scenarios and texts until 1977. In the same year comic artists working for the Belgian publishers Dupuis, Casterman and Lombard passed a charta which formulated their claims concerning artistic freedom. Wrongly Goscinny was taken for being the initiator and was fired in consequence. Only Uderzo und Charlier declared their solidarity and gave notice.
Driven by the need for money the three joined with Jean Hébrard to found their own advertising and press agency: Edifrance and Edipress.
PiloteTogether with Jean-Jaques Sempé Goscinny created the illustrated story of Le Petit Nicolas in 1956, which was published for the first time in Le Mystique und from 1958 in Sud Ouest Dimanche. Finally in 1959 the first edition of the comic magazine Pilote was published - but again not without problems: Goscinny, Uderzo and Charlier were boycotted by the big publishers and so well-established authors didn't dare to work for Pilote being afraid of loosing their contracts. Thus they had to engage so far unknown junior drawers and scenarists to fill the pages. Soon it showed that this was a lucky move and Pilote gained ground on Tintin and Spirou more and more.
Now Goscinny hardly could save himself from work. He had not only to care for the Asterix series - newly created for the start of Pilote together with Uderzo - but also for Lucky Luke and Le Petit Nicolas. Besides that he wrote glosses, editorials and small stories for Pilote.
And from 1962 another story came along: Le Grand Vizir Iznogoud, a parady of the Arabian Nights, which he created in cooperation with the young Jean Tabary for the Record magazine (published as albums by Dargaud from 1966).
The great success of Asterix made Goscinny as well as Uderzo almost over night national heroes. The publication of the new adventure "Le combat des chefs" (engl.: Asterix and the Big Fight) became a social event. The creators of the little gallic warrior helped comics to public recognition as art, especially in France.
In 1968 disagreements came up concerning the way of leadership as practised by Goscinny, Uderzo and Charlier. Even though the three bosses and their employees managed to set up a mutual agreement the gap became to big, and Goscinny and his friends withdrew more and more from the business. Charlier even quit completely in 1974.
Goscinny and Uderzo - caricatureFrom now Goscinny concentrated on his major three works as well as on animated cartoon films based on his classics. But neither he nor Uderzo were satisfied with the realization of their ideas. Because of that they founded their own Studio Idefix, which produced "Les douze travaux d'Astérix" (engl: The Twelve Tasks of Asterix) in 1974. Lead by Goscinnys another production was the Lucky Luke film "La Ballade des Daltons" which had its start in the cinemas in 1978.
Too late for René Goscinny who died of a cardiac infarctian on November 5th, 1977 at the age of 51.
During his lifetime he was decorated many times for his works (among others "Prix Gaulois", "Prix Alphonse Allais" and "Prix Loisirs-Jeunes") and became a member of the Academy of Humour.
Date of Birth: 1926 Birthplace: Paris-France Date of death: 11-5-1977
HC - 'Asterix the Brave.' Omnibus vol. 01 - 'Asterix Omnibus Vol. 1' Omnibus vol. 02 - 'Asterix Omnibus Vol. 2' Omnibus vol. 03 - 'Asterix Omnibus Vol. 3' Omnibus vol. 04 - 'Asterix Omnibus vol. 4' Omnibus vol. 05 - 'Asterix Omnibus vol. 5' Omnibus vol. 06 - 'Asterix Omnibus vol. 6' #1 - 'Asterix the Gaul' #2 - 'Asterix and the Golden Sickle' #3 - 'Asterix and the Goths' #3 (Knight Books Edition - Reprint 1978) - 'Asterix and the Goths' #4 - 'Asterix the Gladiator' #5 - 'Asterix and the Banquet' #6 - 'Asterix and Cleopatra' #7 - 'Asterix and the Big Fight' #8 - 'Asterix in Britain' #9 - 'Asterix and the Normans' #10 - 'Asterix the Legionary' #11 - 'Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield' #12 - 'Asterix at the Olympic Games.' #13 - 'Asterix and the Cauldron.' #14 - 'Asterix in Spain.' #15 - 'Asterix and the Roman agent.' #16 - 'Asterix in Switzerland.' #17 - 'The Mansions of the Gods.' #18 - 'Asterix and the laurel wreath.' #19 - 'Asterix and the Soothsayer' #20 - 'Asterix in Corsica.' #21 - 'Asterix and Caeser's Gift.' #22 - 'Asterix and the Great Crossing.' #23 - 'Obelix and Co.' #24 - 'Asterix in Belgium.'
#1 - 'Asterix der Gallier / Die goldene Sichel' #2 - 'Asterix und die Goten / Asterix als Gladiator' #3 - 'Tour de France / Asterix und Kleopatra' #4 - 'Asterix und die Normannen / Asterix als Legionär' #5 - 'Der Kampf der Häuptlinge / Asterix bei den Briten' #6 - 'Asterix und der Arvernerschild / Asterix bei den Olympischen Spielen' #7 - 'Asterix und der Kupferkessel / Asterix in Spanien' #8 - 'Streit um Asterix / Asterix bei den Schweizern' #9 - 'Die Trabantenstadt / Die Lorbeeren des Cäsar' #10 - 'Der Seher / Asterix auf Korsika' #11 - 'Das Geschenk Cäsars / Die grosse Überfahrt' #12 - 'Obelix GmbH & Co. KG / Asterix bei den Belgiern' #16 - 'Asterix und Latraviata / Asterix plaudert aus der Schule'
#1 - 'The Wicked Wiles of Iznogoud' #2 - 'The Caliph's Vacation' #3 - 'Iznogoud and the Day of Misrule' #4 - 'Iznogoud and the Magic Computer' #5 - 'A Carrot for Iznogoud' #6 - 'Iznogoud and the Magic Carpet' #7 - 'Iznogoud the Infamous' #8 - 'Rockets to Stardom' #9 - 'The Grand Vizier Iznogoud' #10 - 'The Relentless'
#1 - 'Una Zanahoria para Iznogud' #2 - 'El Dia de los Locos' #3 - 'La Alfombra Magica' #4 - 'El Cuento de Hadas de Iznogud' #5 - 'Iznogud el Malvado' #6 - 'La cabeza de Turco de Iznogud' #7 - 'Iznogud el Infame' #8 - 'El gran Visir Iznogud' #10 - 'Los Complots del Gran Visir Iznogud' #11 - '¡Quiero ser Califa en Lugar del Califa!' #12 - 'Las Vacaciones del Califa' #15 - 'Iznogud ve las Estrellas' #19 - 'Las Idas e Venidas de Iznogud'
#230 - 'Der Wunder-Staub aus dem Kristalle wachsen' #767 - 'Der Super-Schlauch für Wasserschlachten' #826 - 'Der Wunder-Baum mit den wachsenden Kristallen' #877 - 'Das Grusel-Netz mit der Horror-Spinne' #1174 - 'Six in One' #1254 - 'Die Geldmaschine'
#4 - 'Lucky Luke ... und der Rächer der Enterbten' #5 - 'Lucky Luke... und die verrückte Erbschaft' #6 - 'Lucky Luke... und heiße Hits aus Mexiko' #7 - 'Lucky Luke... und Ma Daltons saubere Früchtchen' #8 - 'Lucky Luke... und der weiße Reiter' #9 - 'Lucky Luke... und die Geisterstadt' #10 - 'Lucky Luke: Die Daltons werden kuriert' #11 - 'Lucky Luke: Eine Woche Wilder Westen' #12 - 'Lucky Luke: Western Zirkus' #13 - 'Lucky Luke: Der Apachen-Canyon' #14 - 'Lucky Luke: Der Kaiser von Amerika' #18 - 'Umpah-Pah: Die tapfere Rothaut'