Albert Uderzo (biography)Medium:
Watercolour on BoardSize:
14" x 19" (350mm x 470mm)Date:
1966This is the original Watercolour painting by Albert Uderzo.
Note: This is a hand coloured (by Fleetway Studios) bromide from the Uderzo original pen and ink art. This is a very unique item and a rare collectors piece. Original Uderzo Asterix art now commands upwards of £100,000 per page. This fascinating example is as close to the original as most budgets will allow.
The Asterix strip originally appeared as "Asterix le Gaulois" or Asterix the Gaul in France in 1959 in the first issue of Pilote and then was subsequently reprinted in album form in 1961. The original English translated version of Asterix then appeared in Valiant magazine in 1963. In this Asterix was a Briton called Little Fred: the Ancient Brit with bags of Grit, his sidekick Obelix was called big Ed and Getafix the village druid was called Hocus Pocus. The artwork was all from "Asterix the Gaul" and there was no change in storyline except that it was set in Britain.
However in 1965 Asterix was again reprinted, this time in Ranger Magazine. The original French story 'Asterix and the Big Fight' was serialised in Ranger and called "Britons Never, Never, Never Shall be Slaves". The first episode was printed for the 1st issue of Ranger on 18th September 1965. The story was changed to make the heroes ancient Britons rather than Gauls, and sometimes the text was pretty different too, but the artwork was identical to the original. Asterix was renamed Beric, Obelix was called Son of Boadicea and his dog, Idéfix, was called Fido. As far as we know Ranger used the black and white bromide of the original artwork which was then coloured in Fleetway's art studio. When Ranger ceased publication in 18th June 1966 and was incorporated into Look and Learn, the following week on the 25th June 1966, the French Asterix story "Asterix and Cleopatra" was serialised as "In the Days of Good Queen Cleo". The strip ended on the 22nd April 1967 with no subsequent Asterix strip succeeding it.
As in "Britons Never, Never, Never Shall be Slaves", the artwork for "Cleo" was the same but the wording was totally different including Obelix's name being changed from Son of Boadicea to Doric. Likewise we believe Look and Learn got the black and white prints of the original artwork and then had it coloured in their own studio.
It is important to note that these translations of Asterix for Ranger were done by Ranger's editor John Sanders and are completely different to the translations by Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge first published in 1969.
It is interesting to note that before the Hockbridge/Bell translations, English versions of Asterix cartoon movies often used the Ranger/Look and Learn names- Asterix remained Asterix but the village chief became Tunabrix rather than Vitalstatistix.