René Goscinny - Creator of Asterix & Co.
Comic book heroes Asterix and Lucky Luke are known the world over. Their creator French author and illustrator René Goscinny revolutionized European comics. This documentary looks at the life and work of an artist who devoted his life to producing and promoting high-quality popular culture and whose influence is still felt today.
When René Goscinny died on November 5, 1977, he left behind a vast oeuvre including 'The Adventures of Asterix' and 'Lucky Luke', as well as several films, a television series, and many expressions that have made their way into slang. It is not only Goscinny's art that crosses cultures. His entire life was very multicultural. Goscinny grew up in Argentina, where he attended the French school in Buenos Aires. Starting in 1945, he lived on and off in New York. There he met cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman and the team that would later publish 'MAD Magazine', which would revolutionize the world of American comics in 1952. Goscinny traveled to Europe in 1950, where he first worked as an illustrator and later as a cartoonist. In 1959, he, Albert Uderzo and Jean-Michel Charlier founded the weekly magazine 'Pilote', with Asterix appearing in the first issue. The very Anglo-Saxon humor of 'Pilote' reflected the influence of 'MAD Magazine'. Just as Kurtzman did in the US, René Goscinny revolutionized comics in Europe. The first 'Asterix' comic appeared in 1961 and three years later, the triumphant march of the Gauls was well under way. Uderzo created the character of Obelix, while Goscinny was responsible for the anti-hero Asterix. Goscinny was always concerned with promoting popular culture. A host of cartoonists -- Moebius, Mézières, Christin, Fred, Cabu, F'murr, Druillet, Gotlib, Bretécher, Dionnet, Mandryka, Bilal, Alexis, Tardi, Reiser and many others -- studied with and were mentored by Goscinny, who invested his earnings from the 'Asterix' series to promote his protégés. This generation of cartoonists went on to produce a number of comic or satirical magazines themselves, including 'Charlie Hebdo'.