Astérix creator Albert Uderzo has publicly fired a shot back at his daughter, who recently criticized the French cartoonist of selling the rights to his pint-sized Gallic hero.
"To be accused by my own daughter … of being an old man, manipulated and deluded in his insatiable greed by the gnomes of finance, is already quite undignified," the 81-year-old cartoonist said in a statement released to French press.
"The accusation made against me is not only inspired by the appetite for power, it also aims to insult Astérix readers by confusing my abilities as an author with that of a publishing house shareholder," he added.
Earlier this month, news emerged that French publishing giant Hachette Livre had purchased a 60 per cent share of Éditions Albert-René — the publishing company Uderzo had set up in 1979 to release the Astérix comics.
As part of the deal, Uderzo agreed to allow Hachette to continue publishing new Astérix volumes in the event of his death.
Uderzo and colleague René Goscinny, who had met in the 1950s, teamed up to create and publish tales about the diminutive, mustachioed hero Astérix in 1959. He continued the series after Goscinny's death in 1977 (Goscinny's daughter, Anne, also consented to the Hachette deal).
Earlier this month, Uderzo's daughter Sylvie lashed out at the sale and her father's decision, penning a blistering diatribe published in French newspaper Le Monde. She continues to retain a 40 per cent stage in Editions Albert-René.
Hachette has declined comment, with a spokeswoman describing the situation as a family matter.
In addition to the popular comic book series, which has translated into more than 100 languages and sold more than 300 million copies around the globe, the Astérix world also includes several movie adaptations, a theme park in France and a significant merchandising component.
The senior Uderzo is at work on a new Astérix book set for publication in October to mark the 50th anniversary of the character's debut.