René Goscinny (14 August 1926 – 5 November 1977) is one of the most famous writers of European comic books, and one who did much for the comic book writer profession to be taken seriously in Europe. He is the creator, among other series, of Asterix, Iznogoud and Les Dingodossiers (with Gotlib), and significantly contributed to the success and lore of Morris' Lucky Luke. Both Asterix and Lucky Luke are the highest selling Franco-Belgian Comics series ever made.
Born of Polish Jewish parents who had moved to France shortly before World War I (Gościnny means "hospitable" in Polish), Goscinny spent his early years in Argentina (several of his relatives who had stayed in Europe were killed in The Holocaust) 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.
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 comic book artist 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 from a heart attack at the age of 51 in 1977 resulted in several works being in trouble; of those series that went on without him, most never regained the level of creative quality that he had provided.
His favorite tropes included Anachronism Stew, Affectionate Parody, Running Gag, Shout-Out, Hurricane of Punsnote , Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, and Villainous Breakdown. He is also responsible for a noted Parody Displacement when his parody of Barbe-Rouge in Asterix (the hapless pirates whose ship always gets sunk) ended up becoming more famous than the original. He was himself victim of one, as his short, manic, bloodthirsty alter ego in Achille Talon fits the Da Editor image so well people often thought it was true to life.
Comic books and books Goscinny created or worked on include:
- Asterix (with Albert Uderzo)
- Les Dingodossiers (with Gotlib)
- Iznogoud (with Jean Tabary)
- Lucky Luke (with Morris)
- Ompa-pa the Redskin (with Albert Uderzo)
- Le Petit Nicolas (with Jean-Jacques Sempé)
- Du raisiné sur les bafouilles (with Morris)
Animated films directed by Goscinny include:
- Lucky Luke:
Tropes & Trivia in his works:
- What Could Have Been: Morris and Goscinny created a gangster comic book story in 1956, Du raisiné sur les bafouilles◊. They intended to turn it into a series, but Lucky Luke (and Asterix as well for Goscinny a few years later) took too much of their time to materialize it.