Sunday, March 12, 2006


Anyone who is a regular reader of the New Yorker should be pretty familiar with the work of Jean-Jacques Sempe, one of the greatest gag cartoonists and illustrators around today. Back in January, Tom Spurgeon gave a little preview of four new collections of Sempe's work that Phaidon Press was planning on publishing. I thought I'd take the time to add my voice to Tom's and let readers know that these books are now officially available (or at least should be very soon), and that you should purchase all of them with undue haste.

The books titles are: Everything Is Complicated, Nothing is Simple, Sunny Spells and Mixed Messages, and just about cover Sempe's entire career. It is also worth noting that Phaidon is also publishing a collection of Sempe-styled note cards, all of them dealing with bicycles and cycling in one respect or another.

Basically, Sempe is a genius. I remember pasting his sumptious New Yorker covers up on the walls of my room as a kid, enthralled with his mastery of color and line. This is probably one of the most notably comic events of the year, though no one apart from Tom seems to have noticed. Bottom line, you owe it to yourself to check these books out. Perhaps some more art samples will convince you.


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