Born in Clichy-sous-Bois on December 20, 1933, the cartoonist Marcel Uderzo passed away on January 24, 2021, in Évreux, at the age of 87.
Born into a family of Italian immigrants, Marcel started work in comic books in 1964, learning independently while he worked in his father’s instrument workshop. He then struck a deal with his older brother, Albert Uderzo: while continuing to help his father make guitars, Marcel worked for a year, from home and part-time, developing his skill by drawing and inking the boards of Tanguy and Laverdure, before working on Asterix.
In 1966, he was hired part-time by Éditions Dargaud to create the visuals for products derived from Asterix (wallpaper, pictures for children’s bedrooms, mustard glasses, etc.).
From 1981 to 1985, Marcel worked on his first personal project. During this time, he drew the three albums for Les Aventures de Mathias, before completing Le Tambour magique, Le Masque iroquois and Les Dieux du lac. In all his creative endeavors, he was supported by his writer and main professional partner, Michel Clatigny, aka “Moloch”.
In 1982 and 1983, Marcel produced two adaptations of the Les brigades mondaines novels by Gérard de Villiers, for the publisher Livre Essor. Out of discretion, he signed his albums under the pen name “Cristini”, after his mother.
In total, Marcel Uderzo produced around 30 albums (including several advertisements) and remains an emblematic figure in the world of French comic books, even if he long remained in the shadow of his brother Albert.