René Goscinny

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René Goscinny (1971)

René Goscinny [ ʀəˈne gosiˈni ] (born August 14, 1926 in Paris ; † November 5, 1977 there ) was a French comic book writer , publicist and director . He is considered one of the most famous comic book authors of the 20th century.

With the illustrator Albert Uderzo , he created the comics about the Indian Umpah-Pah (from 1951) and the indomitable Gaul Asterix (from 1959). From 1955 he also wrote the comics about the cowboy Lucky Luke drawn by Morris and the grand vizier Isnogud drawn by Jean Tabary . He became famous as a children's book author through his stories about little Nick ( Le Petit Nicolas ), illustrated by Sempé .

life and work

Goscinny's parents, Hanna Bereśniak-Gościnna and Stanisław Gościnny, were Polish immigrants of the Jewish faith. His father, called "Simkha", was a chemical engineer and employed by the JCA , for which he ran a farm in Argentina . In 1927 he brought his family to Buenos Aires , where René and his older brother Claude grew up and attended a French-language school.

After graduating from high school, Goscinny worked initially as an assistant accountant and later as a draftsman in a local advertising agency. The father died in 1943, two years later Goscinny emigrated to New York with his mother, whom he was very attached to throughout his life and who died in Paris in 1974 . Here he planned to work as a draftsman for Walt Disney , but did not get a job after several attempts and initially earned his living doing odd jobs. The later founder of the satirical magazine Mad , Harvey Kurtzman , whom he had met in New York, gave him the opportunity to color children's books. In 1949 he met Morris (Maurice de Bévère) in this way , who encouraged him to continue working on comics. From 1955 Goscinny finally wrote the lyrics for the comic series Lucky Luke for Morris .

In 1950 Goscinny moved back to Europe and settled in Brussels , where he was able to publish comics for the first time. Goscinny's series Dick Dicks , the parody of a detective story, which was created in the same year , was published in several daily newspapers, including in 1955/56 in La Libre Junior , the children's supplement to La Libre Belgique . The only other series drawn by him was Le capitaine Bibobu , which appeared in Risque-Tout in 1955/56 . Then he stopped his drawing activities and devoted himself exclusively to writing scenarios for other artists.

In 1951 Goscinny met the draftsman Albert Uderzo , with whom he began a long and fruitful collaboration as a scenarioist. Together they created the following series:

  • the privateer captain Pitt Pistol (1952-1956 in La Libre Junior )
  • the young reporter Luc Junior (1954–1957 in La Libre Junior ) (with certain similarities to Tim and Struppi )
  • the siblings Benjamin & Benjamine (1956–1959 in the magazine of the same name and in Top )
  • the Indian Umpah-Pah (1958–1962 in Tintin )
  • the Gaul Asterix , by far their greatest success, which was pre-published in Pilote from 1959 to 1974 and is now only available in album form.

From 1952 Goscinny was active as an author for the magazine Spirou . Here he first wrote three Uncle Paul episodes as well as a Jerry Spring adventure for Jijé , but from 1955 concentrated almost exclusively on Lucky Luke , the lonely cowboy from Morris . From 1956 he also wrote scenarios and gags for the magazine Tintin , where he worked with a number of subscribers, including with Franquin on Mausi and Paul , with Maréchal to Prudence Petitpas (dt .: "Grandma Pfiffig" in Fix and Foxi ) with Berck on Strapontin (German: "Kasimir" in ZACK ), with Attanasio on spaghetti and last but not least with Uderzo on Umpah-Pah .

In addition to the comics, he wrote a weekly episode of Little Nick (Le Petit Nicolas) for the magazine Sud-Ouest-Dimanche between 1959 and 1965 , which appeared shortly afterwards in Pilote (see below). The short stories were illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé , who had already created the title character for Le Moustique in 1954, where it was even briefly published as a comic in 1955/56 under Goscinny's influence. The classic children's book has been published in German in seven edited volumes, translated by Hans-Georg Lenzen .

In 1959, Goscinny launched the new Pilote magazine together with Uderzo, Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Hébrard , where he was editor-in-chief from 1963 to 1974. Asterix made his debut in the first number, and Little Nick was there from the start. In 1965 Goscinny and Gotlib created the Dingodossiers for the magazine , a MAD- influenced series of mostly two-sided gag comics that dealt with everyday madness. In 1968 he imported Lucky Luke from Spirou and the Isnogud series , which he created in collaboration with Jean Tabary in 1962 for Record magazine . Last but not least, it also provided a stepping stone to younger and more experimental draftsmen such as Marcel Gotlib , Claire Bretécher , Jean-Marc Reiser , Enki Bilal , Jacques Tardi or the later film director Terry Gilliam in Pilote .

In 1964 he was involved in the script of Tintin and the Blue Oranges .

At the end of the 1960s there were arguments between Goscinny and the employees, when the political unrest of the time also reached the editorial office. Goscinny was offended, and the atmosphere at Pilote was never the same again. In 1974 the publishing house Dargaud (since 1960 owner of the magazine) rejected his proposal to set up his own company for the album production of the bestsellers Asterix and Lucky Luke, in which he wanted to hold half. Goscinny drew the consequences and left Pilote , Asterix appeared from then on without prior publication in Pilote in other magazines or directly as an album by Dargaud. The ex-editor-in-chief now had the leisure to tackle another project and in the same year founded the Studio Idéfix (see “ Idée fixe ”) in Paris with Pierre Tchernia and Uderzo . There the cartoons Asterix Conquered Rome and Lucky Luke: His Biggest Trick were produced, both of which were based on Goscinny's models. Goscinny directed several times himself.

Grave of René Goscinny in Nice (F)

The artist died of a heart attack on November 5, 1977 in Paris during a medical stress test at the age of 51. He left behind his wife Gilberte, to whom he had been married since 1967, and his daughter Anne Goscinny, born in 1968 .

After death

Not long after his death, the Idéfix studio was closed for lack of further orders. At the end of 1979, Uderzo finally separated from Dargaud by founding his own publishing house for the publication of the Asterix albums : Les Editions Albert René. Goscinny's daughter, who has been taking care of her father's work since her mother's death in 1994, is also involved.

Filmography (selection)

own works




In the French cities of Paris , Angoulême , Chessy , Montpellier and Pau streets are named after Goscinny. In Fismes there is an "Allée Goscinny Uderzo".

In Viernheim (D) there is a René-Goscinny-Weg.

Since 1988, scenario artists have been honored with the Prix ​​René Goscinny at the Angoulême comic festival .

On January 23, 2020, a life-size statue in bronze - on a bookcase - was unveiled in Paris near his former home.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Goscinny exhibition in Paris at
  2. On the 85th birthday of René Goscinny at
  3. René Goscinny at
  4. Luc Junior Complete Edition, Egmont Comic Collection 2015, p, 4
  5. René Goscinny at
  6. Little Nick at
  7. Pilote at
  8. Tintin et les oranges bleues at
  9. Asterix author René Goscinny died at
  10. Goscinny had sent Peter Sellers a very similar script without receiving a response - the case was closed with Goscinny's death.
  11. Statue of Asterix creator Goscinny unveiled in Paris, January 24, 2020, accessed January 24, 2020.