Don't leave our Asterix in a fix, dad

Daughter of artist Uderzo fears for comic hero after he sells stake in publishers

Asterix may still be fighting Roman invaders in comic strip adventures that have sold millions of copies around the world, but the plucky Gaul's author stands accused of surrender – to commercial interests.

And the accuser is none other than Albert Uderzo's daughter, Sylvie. She spoke out after her 81-year-old father sold his stake in Editions Albert René, which publishes Asterix, and the new owners said he had authorised them to continue the series after his death.

Sylvie Uderzo said the decision betrayed the spirit of the diminutive warrior who holds off hordes of hapless Romans from his besieged village with help of Getafix's magic potion. "I am entering resistance against perhaps the worst enemies of Asterix, the men of finance and industry," she wrote in a column published by Le Monde newspaper. "It's as if the gates of the Gaulish village had been thrown open to the Roman Empire," she said.

Albert Uderzo, an illustrator, created Asterix in 1959 with the late writer René Goscinny. The series is one of the biggest success stories in French publishing history, with 33 comic strip albums that have sold 325 million copies around the world in 107 languages and dialects, according to Editions Albert René. There is also a franchise for merchandise, a theme park outside Paris and eight movies.

Millions of French children have grown up with Asterix and his friend Obelix for the past five decades and millions more have continued to enjoy the books well into adulthood. With each new generation introduced to Asterix, the market continues to grow.

Sylvie Uderzo now claims Editions Albert René, of which she owns 40 per cent, is besieged by the publishing empire Hachette Livre, which has bought the other 60 per cent from her father and from Goscinny's daughter.

Albert Uderzo, who rarely speaks in public, could not be reached for comment. Spokeswomen for both Editions Albert René and for Hachette Livre, a unit of publishing-to-aerospace group Lagardere, also made no comment.

Sylvie Uderzo said her concern was that any Asterix stories written without input from her father would be of poor quality. But the stakes for her are also commercial. Editions Albert René was created in 1979, two years after the co-author Goscinny died suddenly. Albert Uderzo has continued the series on his own ever since, selling millions more books. Some Asterix fans refuse to accept the post-Goscinny books, claiming the stories are of inferior quality.

At the time of the sale of his stake to Hachette Livre, Uderzo was quoted as saying that he believed the new owners were "respectful of the moral and patrimonial rights of the authors", according to the literary newsletter La Republique des Lettres.

Suggested Topics
News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits