Jean-Jacques Sempe, who illustrated the much-loved “Little Nicolas” (Le Petit Nicolas) collection of French kids’s books, has died aged 89, his biographer advised AFP on Thursday.
In addition to his work on “Le Petit Nicolas”, an idealised imaginative and prescient of childhood in Nineteen Fifties France which turned a world best-seller, Sempe additionally illustrated extra New Yorker journal covers than every other artist.
“The cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempe died peacefully (Thursday) night, August 11 (2022), in his 89th yr, at his vacation residence, surrounded by his spouse and his shut mates,” mentioned Marc Lecarpentier, his biographer and buddy, in a press release to AFP.
Sempe, who initially wished to be a jazz pianist and had a troublesome childhood, dropped out of college aged 14 earlier than mendacity about his age to hitch the military.
Military life did not agree with him, nevertheless, and he started promoting drawings to Parisian newspapers and whereas working at a press company befriended cartooning legend Rene Goscinny of “Asterix” fame.
Collectively in 1959 they invented “Little Nicolas”.
“The Nicolas tales had been a solution to revisit the distress I endured whereas rising up whereas ensuring every thing got here out simply advantageous,” Sempe mentioned in 2018.
Right now the books are worldwide best-sellers with greater than 15 million copies bought in 45 international locations, and have been tailored into a preferred movie and cartoon collection.
However in 1959 they went largely unnoticed, and he continued to promote drawings to newspapers to make ends meet, an early profession he described as “horrible”.
It was solely in 1978 when he was employed by The New Yoker that he discovered sustainable success. “I used to be virtually 50 and for the primary time in my life, I existed! I had lastly discovered my household,” he mentioned.