Renowned New Yorker cover illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempe illustrates the quirky charm of France's countryside and small towns with his signature style and gentle sense of humor and irony. His drawings are famed for their striking use of pen and ink, their inimitable style, and most of all for their satire and tragicomic vision. The 78 drawings in this charming portfolio are sweet and sentimental. They somehow manage to be gentle even when the topic is difficult. They probe the quirkiness of life in provincial France and wordlessly pinpoint the quintessential features of modern French life, creating a world peopled by bemused psychoanalysts, baffled lovers, dreamy couples, and long-faced aquiline-nosed depressives yearning for universal truths. Not only is the volume a tribute to France, but it celebrates those who are ready to see the comic and lighthearted beyond life's problems and their own egos.
Jean-Jacques Sempe is a French cartoonist best known in the United States for his cover illustrations of The New Yorker magazine. His career started within the context of the Franco-Belgian comics industry, and he is best known internationally for a strip called "Le petit Nicolas," which started in the 1950s. In the U.S., he is celebrated for his posterlike illustrations that convey a story in a single frame.