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RIP Jean-Jacques Sempe (1932 – 2022)

#1 · Posted: 21 Aug 2022 12:21
The French artist Jean-Jacques Sempe has died, aged 89.

Sempe is probably best known for illustrating the series of short stories "Little Nicholas" which were written by Goscinny, the co-creator of Asterix. They describe the everyday antics of a schoolboy and his pals.

In interviews, Sempe stated that he actually hated comics and, although he drew some comic strips early in his career, his main output were illustrations and gag cartoons for magazines in which he poked fun at the foibles of the bourgeoisie and the ironies of life in general.

One that I love is when a group of friends are seated around a table awaiting dinner and one of them tells of how he was walking down the street one day and slipped on a banana peel. Everyone laughs and others describe similar incidents such as falling into the river while fishing or falling off a ladder while painting the ceiling. Everyone laughs their heads off. Then the maid comes in and describes in similar amusement how she has just slipped and fallen and spilt dinner all over the floor! No-one laughs.

Some of Sempe's books have been translated into English and can be found on Amazon.

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