Sempé Jean-Jacques

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Jean-Jacques Sempé, usually known as Sempé (French: [sɑ̃'pe]; 17 August 1932 – 11 August 2022), was a French cartoonist. He is known for the series of children's books he created with René Goscinny, Le Petit Nicolas, and also for his poster-like illustrations, usually drawn from a distant or high viewpoint depicting detailed countrysides or cities.For decades, he created covers for The New Yorker.

His career started in France within the context of the Franco-Belgian comics industry. His "mute" watercolours or single image sketches, where the characters speak in pictures or not at all (but somehow manage to convey a rich story) slowly gained international attention. He won his first award in 1952 which is given to encourage young amateur artists to turn professional.

Sempé's full page cartoons appeared in Paris Match for many years.In the 1950s, Sempé became a friend of René Goscinny who would later create Asterix. Together, they invented the character "Little Nicolas" in 1959. Le Petit Nicolas appeared from 1954 in Le Moustique and Sempé drew upon childhood influences and memories to illustrate the comic. In 1960, the comic Le Petit Nicolas was published in Pilote magazine. It was at the time unusual modern children's literature given that it is centred on the experience of the child, rather than an adult interpretation of the world. In general, Sempé rarely drew from life, drawing something every day, putting sketches aside when he got bored with them.

His work has appeared as the cover of The New Yorker magazine from 1978,more than a hundred times.He illustrated Süskind's 1991 novella Die Geschichte von Herrn SommerLe Petit Nicolas was translated into 30 languages. A translation of his drawings into English, by Anthea Bell, was published in four volumes in 2006: Nothing is Simple (1962), Everything is Complicated (1963), Sunny Spells (1999) and Mixed Messages (2003). On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the Wilhelm Busch Museum held an exhibition of his work in 2012.