Le Petit Nicolas, by Sempé

Without any formal art training, Jean-Jacques Sempé has become one of the most famous French cartoonists. Born in Bordeaux, he started his career as a press illustrator, contributing to Sud-Ouest, Le Rire, Noir et Blanc and Ici Paris. In the 1950s, Sempé often used a character named Nicolas in his cartoons for Le Moustique. René Goscinny suggested that they should start a comic with this character, which resulted in the first version of 'Le Petit Nicolas'. The strip appeared in Le Moustique between 1954 and 1958 and was mainly based on Sempé's childhood memories.

Cartoon by Sempé
Cartoon by J.J. Sempé (1964)

However, the comics format didn't suit Sempé and the project was dropped. By 1959 Sempé and Goscinny were making new stories with Nicholas for the newspaper supplement Sud Ouest Dimanche, this time as an illustrated text story. This became the format that made 'Le Petit Nicholas' famous. It also appeared in Pilote magazine from the first issue, and has been collected in books by publishers Denoël and Gallimard.

Also a successful illustrator for Paris-Match, Punch and L'Express, Sempé has also drawn for the US magazines The New York Times and The New Yorker. Several of his other work has also been collected in books, such as the 'Marcellin Cailou', 'Raoul Tabourin' and 'Monsieur Lambert' series.

Le Petit Nicolas, by Sempé

Laatste update: 2012-07-24

Series en boeken door Jean-Jacques Sempé op voorraad in de Lambiek Webshop:

X

Since 1999, Lambiek presents the Comiclopedia as a free service to comic fans from all over the world. The database has expanded to over 12,000 biographies of international comic artists, and also has an extensive Dutch section about comics in the Netherlands.
For 15 years, the site was funded from the resources of our Amsterdam-based shop. However, the current economical circumstances make it difficult for us to maintain this service. At the moment the Comiclopedia's sole editor works for us free of charge, aided by a couple of (international) volunteers.

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.