International Basic Sciences Knowledge Contest

Jean-Jacques Sempé


Jean-Jacques Sempé is a French satirical draughtsman. He is an author of more than 30 collections of pictures, published in 30 world countries.

Jean-Jacques Sempé was born on 17 of August 1932 in Bordeaux. He was a middling pupil and troublemaker dismissed for disruptive behavior. Since nineteen, he dedicated himself to comic pictures.

Some specialists consider that Jean-Jacques Sempé is one of few living geniuses of gag caricatures. Despite of the fact that Sempé has never visited any school of art, he became one of the most worldwide famous animator. Sempé’s pictures are childish frankness, poetic picturesqueness, pronounced mood, a lot of feelings and fine emotions, bright feeling of vitality and full happiness, suddenly frozen moment of life, deep fresh air breathing, unity and harmony with the world around, romantic and gentle irony... Sempé’s graphics is masterful and virtuosic, completely unfettered, vivid; very gentle and dashing ability of the hand ...

The start of his career was difficult, but Sempé worked like a galley slave: he worked for many magazines such as Paris Match, Punch, and Express. He is an author of many sketchbooks and in 1954 he, together with his friend René Goscinny, “gave birth” to little Nicolas.

In books about little Nicolas and his friends Rufus, Alceste, Maixent, Agnan and Clotaire eight-year boys live a full-fledged children’s life. They go to school, play, fight, communicate with girls, invent different mischief and reach funny situations, but the main thing is that all stories are written with sparkling humor kindness and love. Everyone understands them. While reading these books, you will never lose your smile, even for a minute. How can it be otherwise??! How can you not laugh about mischief-makers who always make noise during lessons, dream to become great bikers, presidents, astronauts, cooks and marry a girl with a best kick of the ball!

A story of creation of a cycle about Nicolas and his friends began in faraway fifties of the last century, from small comic pictures drawn by Jean-Jacques Sempé. His friend, writer René Goscinny decided to write texts to these pictures. Thus, it turned into funny comic stories with little Nicolas as a hero. Young readers liked this pretty boy very much and waited edgily for a new story. Authors composed and drawn even more new stories and their publishers decided to combine them into books.

A lot of years went but little Nicolas is still extraordinarily popular and beloved by children in many world countries. Cheerful stories about this kind and charming madcap, his friends and school are close and understandable for children. Regardless of a language they speak.

These stories are translated into 37 languages, ad their total circulation exceeded 10 millions of copies.

We shall only add that Jean-Jacques Sempé hass a son called … Nicolas!

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