Press review

Wednesday, October 26 2011

Thank you Asterix!

Press review

350 million copies! This is the record number of Asterix albums sold throughout the world since the publication in 1961 of the first edition of Asterix the Gaul, which boasted a print run of just a few thousand copies!

350 million copies, each 7mm thick, is equivalent to 766 times the height of the Eiffel Tower, when stacked one on top of another, or nearly twice the circumference of the planet when laid end-to-end! Surpassing the 350 million album mark this year however represents, above all, an amazing artistic adventure born of the lifelong friendship of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.

This achievement was duly celebrated on Monday, 26 September 2011 in the offices of the global publishing group Hachette Livre, located in the 15th district of Lutetia. The celebration hosted by Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre, and Isabelle Magnac, Director of the publishing house Les Editions Albert René, was the opportunity for Albert Uderzo and Anne Goscinny, daughter of the great René, to recall, with a lot of emotion, memories of a rare and extraordinary human adventure.

With tears in their eyes, they evoked the most difficult periods, in particular the sudden death of René Goscinny on 5 November 1977, as well as moments of intense happiness, such as when Anne witnessed the laughter of her young son engrossed in an Asterix album.
There can be no doubt that the 350 million albums sold are as much a milestone of a rich past as the promise of a long and happy future for France's favourite hero.

Amongst those surrounding Albert Uderzo and Anne Goscinny on that Monday in September were four fervent, wide-eyed Asterix fans. Winners of a competition, they didn't waste a second of this very special day during which they got to meet those that they admire so much. The day had just begun for this lucky foursome. In the afternoon, at the offices of Les Editions Albert René, they met with Albert Uderzo in a meeting room lifted directly from an Asterix-inspired dream. Watching them, clearly moved and overcome with admiration for the illustrator signing their albums, the truth finally dawned: for readers, Asterix is more than records and sales figures, it represents an escape to a world that never ceases to make us dream!

Photos : Philippe Cauvin

Friday, December 17 2010

Veni, vidi… Vinci !

Press review

The Indomitable Gauls never cease to rewrite the Art History! In 2009, the album Asterix and Obelix's Birthday- The Golden Book, revealed an incredible and until then unseen masterpiece: a portrait of Obelix in red chalk having directly inspired Leonardo de Vinci for his Vitruvian Man. No word of a lie!
Today, a new discovery leaves us stunned: a sketch by the Maestro presenting a landscape that, as pointed out to Albert Uderzo by an avid reader, is reminiscent of Obelix's menhir quarry. To think that the great Leonardo sought the magic potion of artistic talent from our ancestors, the most hilarious of all the Gauls!
Click images to enlarge

Thursday, November 11 2010

Obelix takes to the skies

Press review

An actual hot air Obelix balloon, even Caesar never imagined this in his worst nightmares! And yet, this is what Alexandre Felk, the inventor of this rather plump balloon, has designed and created… And it does not stop it from flying, zigackly!

Yes, although more accustomed to sending menhirs flying, Obelix has himself taken to the skies, travelling at 8km per hour for 45 minutes. Dogmatix, whom we have seen playing with Roman legionaries swollen up like balloons in Asterix and the Great Divide, doesn't know what to think anymore…

Friday, November 5 2010

Award-winning Asterix in Germany!

Press review

Clearly our Goth neighbours don't hold a grudge.

Despite the chaos of the "Asterixian wars" initiated by Asterix and Getafix in Asterix and the Goths, our German cousins have just awarded the Sondermann prize for best album of the year to Asterix and Obelix's Birthday - The Golden Book, 34th opus of the series.

This prize, awarded by German-speaking readers, has particularly delighted Albert Uderzo, who, over the past forty years, has never ceased to be amazed by the German public's loyalty. Vielen Dank!

Friday, May 16 2008

Obelix loses his voice

Press review

Asterix the Gaul, Asterix and Cleopatra, The 12 Tasks of Asterix: three exceptional animated features we all grew up with and which continue to unite Asterix lovers in front of the television each year for endless fun and laughter.

These three animated features were the fruit of a fortuitous association of talents: the visual world and stories created by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, the unforgettable songs composed by Gérard Calvi and, last but not least, the voices of Asterix and Obelix, just as one imagines them when reading the albums, marvellously interpreted by Roger Carel (Asterix) and Jacques Morel (Obelix).

Yet unfortunately only one of these two voices remains after the death of Jacques Morel, on 9 April 2008, much to Obelix's great sorrow. In the Asterix Village, a minute's silence was naturally held to honour the man who prepared the ground for Pierre Tornade and Jacques Frantz with an unforgettable interpretation of Obelix's voice - a voice which we will continue to enjoy every time we watch this animated trilogy, unique in its genre.

Friday, May 2 2008

Albert Uderzo's studious studio

Press review

At a time when the disco years are making a comeback, the names of famous places often ring in our ears, like Studio 54 for example, the famous New York discotheque. Far from the sequined trousers and glitterballs from the 1970s, the legend that is Asterix is nurtured in "Studio 56", where a team of jolly characters bring Albert Uderzo's latest creations to life.
Located in Bénifontaine in the Pas-de-Calais department, in the heart of Ch'ti territory (in fact, the water of Bénifontaine is used in the production of the famous Ch'ti beer!), Studio 56 appears above all like a sanctuary for Asterix fans. Inside, Albert Uderzo's drawings take pride of place: the walls are lined with the most exquisite Asterix prints, forming an art gallery documenting nearly 50 years of creativity. You couldn't wish for a more beautiful place to work…
Asterix is first and foremost a living legend, and the team at Studio 56 is bustling about breathing life into Albert Uderzo's projects. On this day alone in March 2008, their work includes elements in an Asterix video game and new graphic creations for the Parc Asterix theme park… At each step of the way, Albert Uderzo passes judgement, moving the creative process forward, correcting the final product if need be and giving his approval to all adaptations of his work.
What's more, Albert, we could really use a helping hand! Everyone in Studio 56 is scratching their heads: a slogan is urgently needed for a forthcoming top-secret Asterix operation! Asterix's co-creator retires to his drawing board to seek inspiration… which isn't long in coming! Albert Uderzo returns, all smiles, with a slogan that meets with everyone's approval; advertising executives take note!
Daily life in Studio 56 also involves creating the albums in the Asterix Grand Collection: restoring the inking and lettering, applying new colours - it's a huge project that will keep our studio teams occupied for several years to come! On a more general level, under Albert Uderzo's watchful eye, we carefully supervise the graphic quality of all artwork reproduced from Asterix albums. For the uninitiated, this can often result in some strange conversations: "You see, here, we start off with a small bromide proof, that takes us back a bit… to enlarge this we're going to have to clean up the brush stroke and correct the reproduction defects…". And, in fact, you see what they mean! And you realise to your astonishment just how much work is necessary to ensure that each depiction of Asterix conforms to the quality of the drawings created by Albert Uderzo for his albums.
But now there's new mail in the letterbox. It's Albert Uderzo with a new idea, and of course it's urgent! The studio becomes a real hive of activity once again, full of impatience to bring the great leader's new inspiration to life. "Join up", they said? Zigackly! And every day the teams from Studio 56 join forces once again for the cause of Albert Uderzo and Asterix!

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