Jean-Jacques Sempé, french cartoonist of Petit Nicolas, died at the age of 89
Steph Deschamps / August 12, 2022
The humorist Jean-Jacques Sempé died peacefully (Thursday) evening, August 11 (2022), in his 89th year, in his vacation home, surrounded by his wife and close friends, said Marc Lecarpentier, his biographer and friend, in a statement to AFP.
Great French master of humor and poetry, a mixture of derision and modesty, Sempé has traced since the 1950s until today a work full of bonhommie: drawings for the New Yorker, Paris Match or L'Express to the albums of Petit Nicolas.
Sempé was one of the most sought-after artists by the New Yorker with a hundred covers drawn by his hand.
Born in 1932 in Pessac, near Bordeaux, the cartoonist published a dozen albums in his career, Saint Tropez, Tout se complique and especially Petit Nicolas, which has sold some 15 million copies today.
A natural child, beaten and stammering, Sempé did not really have the childhood of his hero Nicolas, whom he grew up with Goscinny in an idealized France of the 1950s.
In 1950, he sold his first drawings to Sud Ouest, which he signed DRO (from to draw).
Since the Petit Nicolas that he created in 1959 with René Goscinny, Jean-Jacques Sempé has published almost one album a year and signed a hundred front pages in the press.
A bus on a bridge crossing the Seine at night, musicians, cyclists, a fire-eater, scenes in Central Park, Saint-Tropez or the Jardin du Luxembourg... In each of his works, we find his favorite themes: the smallness of man in nature, his solitude in the city, his disputes, his ridiculousness and his excessive ambitions, the limits of team spirit.