Jean-Jacques Sempe is one of the most successful and best-loved cartoonists in the world, best known from his cartoons that have graced the covers and pages of the New Yorker for decades. Sempe has published numerous collections of his work in his native France, but never before have they been translated into English. Phaidon Press is delighted to present the first English translated publication of Everything is Complicated by Jean-Jacques Sempe, one of four witty and beautifully illustrated collections from this notorious and widely adored cartoonist.
Sempe is equally adept at capturing the little indignities (and triumphs) of everyday life as he is at high farce. Everything is Complicated, the second Sempe volume published in France, features some of his favorite subjects, such as hapless tourists, pipe-smoking novelists and unruly schoolchildren, as well as people who choose to express their innermost feelings through the medium of the protest sign. One classic image portrays a family after dinner; the father, still in his work attire (a clown costume) berates his three boys only to find that his tirade and dress leave the boys in hysterics. Another tell-tale cartoon tells of a workers union parading the streets in protest, demanding their rights as written on expressive posters, while one concerned-looking man uses his sign to inquire if anyone in the crowd has lost a glove. These inimitable drawings and watercolors, accompanied by perfectly judged deadpan captions are fresh, engaging and funny.
Sempe's work, once just the one-of-a-kind illustrations that appeared before our American eyes in delightful yet sporadic moments, can now be brought home as an enchanting part of every family's library. Everything is Complicated, just one volume of four, includes more than 100 illustrations, both pen and ink, with captions translated by Anthea Bell. Professionals, children, and adults of any age will fall in love with these charming books.