René Goscinny was born in Paris on August 14, 1926. He is famous as the writer or illustrator of some of the world’s most popular comic book series, including Astérix and Obélix, Lucky Luke, and Le Petit Nicolas. The son of Polish Jews, René led a peripatetic existence that took his family to Buenos Aires, New York, and then back to Paris. He was desperately poor at times and never would have envisaged sales of over 325 million for the Astérix series alone, as well as a theme park, movies, and innumerable spin-off products. Goscinny died in 1977 at the age of only 51 during a stress-test in his doctor’s office, if you can believe it. His collaborators continued the various series he was involved in after his death, but often with less critical success.
Astérix was a tiny little Gaul who courageously opposed the Roman invaders. He depended upon his smarts rather than great strength, unlike his side-kick Obélix. Today’s expression, avoir quelque chose dans le buffet (avwahr kelkuh shows dah luh boofay) literally means “to have something in the sideboard” but figuratively means “to be courageous.” Both Astérix and a poor, young illustrator who persisted with a dream shared that characteristic in abundance.
- French cartoon Asterix the Gaul is to travel to the Highlands in his next comic adventure (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Asterix the Gaul in the Highlands of Scotland (adrianmurdoch.typepad.com)
- patate (french-word-a-day.typepad.com)