Albert Uderzo, co-creator and long-time artist of the Asterix and Obelix series, has decided to retire. The books that he drew with co-author Rene Goscinny are some of the pinnacles of comics. Filled with wordplay and ancient trivia, they are a wonderful introduction to history both Roman and modern.
I consider the series to have ended, for all intents and purposes, with Goscinny's death in 1977. More recent volumes, of which there have been many, seemed stale and lifeless compared to the bright sparks in each of the early stories. Comparing the before and after shows how comic art is first and foremost narrative.
For all that, Uderzo's formidable comic artistry made reading Asterix a joy.