Paris: Four original drawings by the creator of Asterix the Gaul sold Tuesday for nearly 400,000 euros to benefit Paris hospitals.
Albert Uderzo, who invented the plucky hero who gleefully took on Roman legions, died from heart failure linked to the coronavirus in March at the age of 92.
His widow Ada said the charity auction was a way of thanking "our new heroes who have resisted the invader," a reference to the virus that has killed more than 28,000 people in France.
The four original cartoons sold for 390,000 euros ($426,000), the auction house Artcurial told AFP.
Uderzo co-created Asterix with scriptwriter Rene Goscinny and kept the epic going after his friend's untimely death in 1977.
He went on to create an entire gallery of characters beloved of children and adults across the world.
The drawings - which included images from the relatively recent adventures, "Asterix and the Secret Weapon" and "Asterix and Obelix All At Sea" - were donated to the Paris hospitals trust by the artist's widow and daughter.
Ada Uderzo and her daughter Sylvie wanted "to join with whole nation in paying tribute to French hospital staff" for their work during the pandemic, the auction house said.
More than 380 million Asterix books have been sold worldwide in 111 languages, with films, television series, video games and a French theme park dedicated to the comic and its characters.