A great French master of humor and poetry, Sempé was one of the most sought-after artists by the American magazine New Yorker.
Popular for the Petit Nicolas
Jean-Jacques Sempé, who died Thursday at the age of 89, was not only the co-creator of Petit Nicolas. The French cartoonist was also known for his humorous press cartoons, notably in the prestigious New Yorker magazine. A great French master of humor and poetry, Sempé was one of the most sought-after artists by the New Yorker with over a hundred hand-drawn covers. In 1978, Jean-Jacques Sempé joined the New Yorker, after having discovered the magazine thanks to his fellow designers Chaval and René Goscinny. “I was almost 50 years old and for the first time in my life, I existed ! I had finally found my family !”, He declared then. His first “A” represents an office worker ready to fly from the window of his tower .
A hundred hand-drawn covers
In each of his works, we find his favorite themes: the smallness of man in nature, his loneliness in the city, his disputes, his ridicule and his excessive ambitions, the limits of team spirit. In homage to the cartoonist, the Journal du Dimanche published this week an unpublished illustration, the one which was intended to make the front page of the publication on September 11, 2001. But, with the terrible terrorist attacks which notably saw the fall of the towers of the World Trade Center, the New Yorker changed its front page and filed this drawing in its archives. It will be published in a beautiful book, to be published in September, Sempé in America (editions Denoël-editions Martine Gossieaux).