Jean-Jacques Sempé has something of a varied CV. Having been expelled from school, he went on to become a door-to-door tooth powder salesman, a soldier and a comic book artist, before going on to creating some rather iconic covers for The New Yorker and cartoons for Paris Match.
His sketch-like, kinetic style is instantly recognisable, capturing fleeting moments and peculiar characteristics in simple pen-work and watercolour. Each image, no matter how uncomplicated, manages to tell a unique little story, often populated with large-nosed fellows, pneumatic women and no shortage of calamities.
Now, more than 250 of his images have been drawn together in a new Phaidon book designed by Sarah Boris, joyfully titled C’est La Vie! The Wonderful World of Jean-Jacques Sempé. Even though the captions are translated from French (by Asterix the Gaul translator Anthea Bell), they’re no less hilarious – each vignette succinctly distils the hilarity in human life from some of the most banal scenarios. As Sempé himself puts it: “What I like so much about cartoons is the way thy can express certain ideas discreetly. It is a way of talking about yourself without really seeming to do so.”
- Yuri Andries captures life in the harsh and beautiful landscapes of Ladakh
- Meet Collletttivo: an expanding group of typography buffs with an open source philosophy
- Creative agency bus.group on its beautiful and playful editorial designs
- A Black Cover Design on how corporate graphic design can change employee moods
- Kelly Anna and Josie Tucker create an empowering zine to celebrate female strength
- Diyala Muir's animation Blue Hands mimics the surreal experience of grief
- Photographer Ryan Duffin embraces the quirks of his subjects and the outtakes of life
- KFC's latest ad reminds you it's not AFC, BFC, or even CFC
- Alexis Jamet's animations are warm, nostalgic and beautiful in their simplicity
- République's new look for Playboy is "aimed at anybody and everybody"
- Lars Högström's typographic choices are inspired by the hip-hop cassettes of the 90s and 00s