Friday, August 13, 2010

14th August Alice Provensen (1918) Rene Goscinny (1926 - 1977)

Alice Provensen was born in either 1917 or 1918. I have read both, but whichever it is, it does not matter, she has illustrated for most of her adult life, until 1987 as half of an illustrative team with her husband Martin. Together they created memorable picture books. Since Martin's death she has illustrated several books on her own and they too are noteworthy. See her illustrations at this website.

Rene Goscinny was part of two very successful partnerships too, he as the author with two different illustrators. He teamed with illustrator Albert Underzo to produce the Asterix books and with Jean Jacques Sempe to produce the Nicholas stories. Asterix has been a phenomenal success, even now that there are numerous graphic novels and Underzo has continued this series. The Nicholas stories are told in the first person by Nicholas himself, a high-spirited French schoolboy who always seems to be in trouble, but it is adults who are the brunt of the humour. The first of these books was published in 1959 in French and under a pseudonym. They were later translated into English by Anthea Bell and Phaidon have published them in covers that are attractive but representative of the age and humour and thus made them accessible to multitudes of young English-speaking readers.

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