Rene Goscinny

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Goscinny by Floc'h.


René Goscinny (1926-1977) is one of the most famous scenarists of the French-Belgian school of comic books. He is the creator, among other series, of Asterix, Iznogoud and Les Dingodossiers (with Gotlib), and significantly contributed to the success of Lucky Luke.

Born of Jewish parents who had moved to France from Poland shortly before WW 1, Goscinny spent his early years in Argentina (several of his relatives who had stayed in Europe were killed by the Nazis) where, at age 18, he started working as a writer and illustrator for a French newsletter in Buenos Aires. He moved to the US in 1945, came back to France for his military service, and returned to New York where he got to work alongside the founders of Mad Magazine.

He met Morris, creator of Lucky Luke, in 1949, and in 1955 started writing Le Petit Nicolas, a series of short stories about a schoolboy's daily life. Illustrated by Sempé, Le Petit Nicolas became a perennial favorite of the French readership; it was adapted to movie format in 2009. In 1959, with illustrator Albert Uderzo, he created what would remain his most famous series, Asterix.

In the 1960s and 1970s, he was a key figure of the weekly illustrated magazine Pilote and wrote the scenarios of Iznogoud, Les Dingodossiers and other series. His sudden death in 1977 resulted in several cases of Author Existence Failure; of those series that went on without him, most never regained the level of creative quality that he had provided.

Whatever he was working on, his favorite tropes included Anachronism Stew, Affectionate Parody, Running Gag, Shout-Out, Hurricane of Puns, Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, and Villainous Breakdown. He is also responsible for a noted Weird Al Effect, when his parody of Barbe Rouge in Asterix (the hapless pirates whose ship always gets sunk) ended up becoming more famous than the original.