"There are certain dates during the course of a person's life which, more than any other, mark the passage between different eras, whether they are full of laughter and happiness or, quite the opposite, bear great sorrow.
Such was the case on 5 November 1977 as we were preparing, like every year, to celebrate the day of Saint Sylvie, since it is our daughter's name.
It was a terrible surprise for her as well as for the rest of us to learn on that Saturday morning that her "Uncle" René had suddenly died."

Albert Uderzo

It's already thirty years since René Goscinny left us. His sudden death provoked tremendous emotion among millions of his readers, who abruptly felt like orphans of a true comedy genius.

Albert Uderzo, his inseparable companion and chief fan, also lost a very dear friend that day: "I spent twenty-six years working extremely closely with him, and we understood each other perfectly, in spite of our great success. Apart from the sort of osmosis which united us throughout an unblemished professional career, the two of us forged an extraordinary, unshakeable friendship which included our wives and two daughters. René treated me as if he were my vigilant and most protective brother despite being only eight months older. I still consider him to be the greatest and most famous writer of his era in the world of comics, the 9th art. It goes without saying that I miss him even today. I am heartened to know that the large number of devotees who read his work throughout the world ensure him a place, both today and in the future, in the collective memories of his fans, and that is the most important thing."

Thirty years on, René Goscinny is today one of the most read French authors in the world, and his work is considered to be a classic in the comic world. As for the nigh-on 2000 characters born of his abundant imagination, they form a hilarious "Human Comedy" which rivals that of the great Balzac!

As a great admirer of his friend's talent for story writing, Albert Uderzo has never broken off the creative dialogue he shared with René, his closest collaborator. At every new joke and every new turn fashioned by his trusty crayons in the daily lives of the heroes that they created together, Albert wonders what René would have thought. The millions of readers of all ages and nationalities, who continue to show their approval of Asterix and Obelix, cannot be wrong. As such, Asterix's two creators have respected their promise to keep Asterix and Obelix together for our unalterated enjoyment. This promise was set out in the passage below, written by René Goscinny and read by Albert Uderzo at the public showing of the animated feature film The Twelve Tasks of Asterix. Its lines still resonate today as a kindly message left by René Goscinny and addressed to his readers:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The question we get asked most often is: "Which one are you then?" And we've become so similar that we've started to reply: "I'm the other one."
If I share this with you today, using the voice of the "other one", it is since we are inseparable in life as in work, we now share the fate of certain lift manufacturers or food producers whose two surnames have become one. And that's why it can appear strange to see us alone, without the "other one".
It would have given me great pleasure to come and see you tonight to present the 12 Tasks of Asterix. Unfortunately, the poor health of someone close to me has prevented me from doing so; please accept my apologies once again and allow the "other one" to greet you on my behalf.
But whichever one of us appears isn't all that important, because, for you, Asterix and Obelix are still together.
It only remains for us to hope, both me and the "other one", that we will continue to entertain you.

René Goscinny

Thirty years later, Albert Uderzo ensures that both surnames continue to appear side by side on all Asterix albums. Why not conduct a little test: ask an Asterix reader today which one is the artist and which one is the storywriter - and often you'll discover… it's the "other one"!

René Goscinny was right: the duo that he formed with Albert will never be split up, and the memory of René Goscinny will forever remain in the hearts of our readers.