The World of Cosey: 20 years!

This month, my website ‘The World of Cosey’ celebrates its 20th birthday! In september 2002, I had some vacation days left when I changed jobs. I decided to spend the time realising an idea I had for some time: a web site dedicated to the works of Cosey. I suspected that Cosey himself wouldn’t start an adventure in the virtual universe (I was right about that), and I felt he deserved a presence on the worldwide web.

And that was how it started…

Over the years, many Cosey fans have sent me messages, e-mails, chats but also ‘real post’: news about Cosey, posters or publications that were missing from the ‘Other Works’ section of my site, wine labels, lottery tickets (no prizes won), links to interviews on tv, radio or newspapers, etc. With some of them, I have had wonderful conversations by mail about many aspects of Cosey’s work. I want to mention and thank some of them here – my apologies to anyone else who has mailed me – Bernard Matthey-Doret, Dinu Logoz, Philippe Regottaz, Ralph Doumit, Jean Christophe Defline and Thomas Geertz. Thank you all!

It has been an incredible experience to receive messages about Cosey from parts of the world where it must be very hard to get your hands on albums by Cosey. I wonder if these fans can actually read the albums – as far as I know there are very few english translations, let alone Bengali or Japanese. It must be these formidable drawings of Cosey that speak to everyone.

The amount of visitors to ‘The World of Cosey’ is astounding, I find. I have sound statistics on my site since 2016 and since then, my site was visited almost 90 thousand times. In years with a new album (like 2021), I have on average 52 visits every day, in years without new albums (like 2020 or this year), still 33 visits are made to my site every day, on average. Highest daily scores were reached in January and February 2017, when Cosey received the Grand Prix in Angoulême.

“Incroyable Roger Klaassen, fidèle avec son World of Cosey, malgré les années et ma participation quasi inexistante!
D’autant plus impressionnant qu’il réalise lui-même de très belles aquarelles de voyage.”

Bernard Cosey, september 2022

Finally… Cosey himself. Very soon after publication of ‘The World of Cosey’, he contacted me about my site. He was very kind and positive about it, and he immediately authorised any use of his artworks on the website. Although Cosey writes about a ‘participation quasi inexistant’, we cooperated in making ‘virtual expositions’ and interviews in the weeks up to publications of albums, from 2008 onwards. I have learned that I must never ask him if he is working on a new project – everything is secret until the publisher announces a new album.

I met Cosey only once, in Angoulême in 2018. We walked from his hotel to the exposition ‘Une quête de l’épure’ and talked about the expo and about Calypso, which had been published a few months before… but Cosey preferred to talk about my water colour drawings, as he does in the text he wrote to celebrate this 20th birthday of ‘The World of Cosey’.

Modest about his own phenomenal achievements, generous towards others, that is typical of Cosey. I hope I can maintain this website for many years to come and – although I grant Cosey all the free time and rest he wants – that I can add many novelties to the site.

Thanks to all contributors, to Cosey and to all visitors!

If you want to see my water colour drawings, please visit the Sketchbook-page of my website.

Angoulême 2018

Jonathan Intégrale 17 (2)

Nelly Rieuf Bista
© Cosey/LeLombard, 2022

The ‘Jonathan Intégrale – tome 17’ will contain only one episode of the Jonathan series, the finale volume 17 – La Piste de Yéshé. A dossier of some 40 pages will precede the Jonathan story.

The dossier is written by Nelly Rieuf Bista, a french woman who has been living in the Himalayas since she was 23 years old. She worked on art projects in Mustang (Nepal) and Ladakh (India), founding the Matho Monastery Museum. Among others, she works with teams of restauration artists to preserve mandalas and wall paintings – as you can see on the photo above. Not only has she been working on art projects: she also worked on a drink water system that works at the low temperatures in the high mountains.

Title of the dossier is ‘Vivre sur le toit du monde’ (‘Living on the roof of the world’).

The title page of the dossier
© Cosey/LeLombard, 2022

Thanka painter in Kathmandu (Nepal).
© Cosey/LeLombard, 2022

Thankas and mandalas were an inspiration for Cosey while working on Jonathan 17, where we see Jonathan assisting a thanka painter. It also was a inspiration for the magnificent cover of the Intégrale.

Sketch for the cover of the Intégrale
© Cosey/LeLombard, 2022

The dossier will be illustrated by photos taken by Cosey, and… of course, by many drawings – most of them preparatory sketches for Jonathan 17. Among them, we will see some cover designs for the album.

All pictures in this ‘news message’ are taken from the dossier of the ‘Jonathan Intégrale – tome 17’. Photos and drawings are made by Cosey.

The album will be in shops by 4 november 2022.

Thanks to Cosey

Jonathan Intégrale 17 (1)

A new volume of the Jonathan Intégrale has been announced for November 4th.

The album will contain the last Jonathan story (‘La Piste de Yéshé’), and more… it will have 104 pages. Above, you can see the marvellous cover.

Thanks to Bernard Matthey-Doret

Der Weg nach Yeshe

Salleck Publications/Eckart Schott Verlag announces the release of the german edition of Jonathan 17 – De Weg nach Yeshe for the second half of 2022. A release date has not yet been confirmed.

As far as I know, this is only the second translation of the 17th Jonathan album, after the dutch version.

Thanks to Dinu Logoz

Tintin, c’est l’aventure

In the June/August issue of the magazine ‘Tintin, c’est l’aventure’ (no. 12), we can read an article about Cosey. The articel consists of an interview with Cosey and a fold-out page with drawings from ‘À l’heure où les dieux dorment encore’.

The magazine itself is dedicated to travels and most articles have a link to Tintin. In the interview by Frédéric Granier, Cosey tells about major differences between his working method and that of Hergé. But also of some of the similarities: even if Hergé’s and Cosey’s drawings are very different, both of the artists strive to great simplicity and readability.

It is a short interview, but interesting. The magazine (halfway between magazine and book) itself is beautiful and worth its price, I would say.

Ralph Doumit’s ‘Cosey raconte des histoires’

I finished reading ‘Cosey raconte des histoires’, written by Ralph Doumit and published by PLG. I have written a full review of the book here, but I can give you my conclusion here: it is an excellent book. Ralph succeeds in bringing to light some themes and characteristics of Cosey’s work that give insight in the peculiarities of Cosey storytelling.

Please read my review and go to your favourite bookstore!

In stores now: Cosey raconte des histoires

Since last Friday, the book ‘Cosey raconte des histoires’, by Ralph Doumit, is available in your bookstore. The book is published by PLG in its collection ‘Mémoire Vive’.

Ralph call the book a ‘hommage’ to the stories Cosey has made. the book has a biographical part, Ralph’s personal lecture of Cosey’s albums and his notes going with some typical Cosey pages. The book also contains interviews or notes with or by Gilles Ciment, Jean-Pierre Grandjean and Jean-Luc Cornette.

100 pages; 15 euros.
Avaialble in all major french online bookstores.

Paul Aroïd

50 Years ago, the career of Cosey took a turn for the good: only 22 years old, he was offered the opportunity to make a comic for the Lausanne newspaper ’24 Heures’. It was his first publication as a ‘complete’ comcis author: writing and drawing his own story.

In the ’24 Heures’ edition of april 9th, this 50 years jubilee was celebrated. Interesting anecdote: Cosey presented another project to the publisher Marcel Pasche. This project was about a story in… Tibet. Pasche suggested to make stories that played in the region where the newspaper was read, the region around Lausanne.

The result was the development of Paul Aroïd. Cosey made two stories that foreshadow his typical page layouts and drawings that capture the atmosphere of the Alps.

After the two Paul Aroïd stories, Cosey and ’24 Heures’ continued their cooperation. Cosey made a story with the character Séraphin Ledoux, a graphical predecessor of Jonathan. We are talking of the year 1975, the same year that the first Jonathan story was published in Journal Tintin – another decisive step in Cosey’s monumental career.

This drawing was published last saturday, in remembrance of the 50th birthday of Paul Aroïd.

Thanks to Bernard Matthey-Doret


Jonathan has become ‘godfather’ of the Chislay Tolop Khang organisation. The organisation runs a library where children can borrow books for free in Choglamsar, near Leh (India).

The main goal of the organisation is “to make Chispay Tolop Khang a place for kids to explore their land, as the whole world, through books and literature. A place of reading and knowledge”. On their website and their Facebook-page, you can get an impression of the many actvities of this sympathetic organisation.

The library was founded by Sophie Samdup, born in France but now living in India. We wish them luck with their new godfather!

Tintin, c’est l’aventure

I saw an announcement of the 12th issue of ‘Tintin, c’est l’aventure’, a beautiful magazine around Tintin and adveturous travels. On the cover, you can see it will include an article about Cosey. I assume it will be an article about ‘À l’heure où les dieux dorment encore’, but – who knows – it might have some extra content.

We must be patient, because this numer 12 will be published in June 2022.

De Weg naar Yeshe

Next week, the dutch translation of ‘La piste de Yéshé’ will be published by Le Lombard. Dutch title: ‘De Weg naar Yeshe’.

The album will be published in a softcover edition

Rencontre au sommet

At the end of 2021, ‘Rencontre au sommet’ (‘Meeting at the summit’) was published by swiss publisher Splotch. In this book (a comic), Gilles-Emmanuel Fiaux tells the story about his fascination and admiration of the works of Cosey.

This story begins when Gilles-Emmanuel discovers Jonathan at the age of 13. Soon, he also discovers that Cosey lives at a walking distance from his grandparents home. The start of several attempts to meet Cosey and trying to get Cosey’s advice on Gilles-Emmanuel’s comics and drawings, etc. … a somewhat frustrating experience.

On one of the first pages, Fiaux gives his readers a warning that he will change drawing styles throughout the book. The comic is also a report of a journey of artistic discovery. From several posts on his website, I learned that Fiaux already worked on the album in 2013.

The album is a very personal piece of fan-art, and I think that many admirers of Cosey’s work will recognise the enthusiasm of Gilles-Emmanuel.

A very peculiar experience was that I read my own name in the album… in 2013, I participated in the exposition ‘Des couleurs pour Cosey‘, for which several professional artists coloured a page of ‘Celle qui fut’ (there was also a competition). Gilles-Emmanuel Fiaux was among them, and he shows an impression of the exposition, featuring my page next to his and others’.

You can order ‘Rencontre au Sommet’ by contacting Gilles-Emmanuel Fiaux directly: go to his website and send him a message via the contact page.

Expo at Daniel Maghen

Yesterday, the retrospective exposition of works by Cosey was opened at the Galerie Daniel Maghen in Paris. Jean-Christophe Defline was one of the first visitors and made some photos.

The exposition is open until 11 december, from Monday-Saturday 10.30 – 19.00. You can find the Galerie Daniel Maghen on 36, Rue du Louvre in Paris.

More info about the expo – with a possibility to visit the expo ‘virtually’: go to the website of Daniel Maghen.

Cosey himself, posing a little uneasy, so it seems.

On display are original drawings of pages from the albums, sometimes accompanied by the ‘mise en couleurs’ – the sheets with the colouring by gouache.

I like the variety of objets that can be seen at the expo.

Thanks to our reporter in Paris, Jean-Christophe Defline

dBD no. 158

In number 158 of dBD (november 2021), we can read a 8 page interview with Cosey, written by Frédéric Bosser, about – of course – Jonathan 17 and ‘A l’heure où les dieux dorment encore’.

Questions and answers are more or less along the usual lines: why a new Jonathan and why put an end to the series, Cosey’s way of working, his trips to Tibet, etc. But still, it is an interesting interview because Cosey got some more space to answer the questions.

The interview is illustrated with images from both new books – beautiful as ever.

Thanks to Jean-Christophe Defline

Retrospective in Basel

The Cartoonmusuem Basel, in Basel (Switzerland) of course), announces a retrospective exposition of the works of Cosey. We need a little patience, because the exposition is scheduled for 11 November 2022 – 12 March 2023 – more than a year from today.

On the site of the museum, we read: ‘Cartoonmuseum Basel is honouring this multi-award-winning artist’s oeuvre in a retrospective – the first in the German-speaking world. It encompasses original drawings, including pages from the latest and final volume of Jonathan, as well as sources of inspiration, photographs, sketchbooks and films.’

More information: click here (german and english website).