After more than a half-century of drawing one of France’s best-known comic heroes, co-creator Albert Uderzo says its time to walk away from the drawing board.

Uderzo, 84, emphasized Monday that the comic will continue, with several artistic successors lined up, according to Reuters. Citing the need for continuity, the artist told RTL radio: “I want it to carry on for generations and generations.”

The Italian-born Uderzo and friend Rene Goscinny co-created the small and heroic Asterix the Gaul, who with upbeat sidekick Obelix first appeared in October 1959. The adventures of the Roman-battling characters have been translated into more than 100 languages.

After Goscinny’s death in 1977, Uderzo assumed both the writing and art duties.

The publisher Hachette announced Monday that Asterix books have sold 350-million books around the world.