Erik en Opa (1976)
Born in Schiedam, Jan van Haasteren studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam. He began his career with the advertising agency Nijgh & Van Ditmar, before assisting Loek van Delden on the newspaper comic 'Smidje Verholen'. He joined the Marten Toonder studios in 1962, where he started out working at the animation department. He eventually joined the comics production. From 1963 to 1966, his main work was pencilling the strip 'Kappie'. He also illustrated numerous stories with the Disney characters 'The Big Band Wolf' and especially 'Hiawatha' for Donald Duck weekly, as well as comics with 'The Flintstones'. Van Haasteren left Toonder in 1966, and joined the studios of Joop Geesink. There, he worked on the series 'Rick de Kikker', that was published in the Heintje comics paper.
He started freelancing in 1966, and the Toonder studios remained one of his main clients. He created 'Bartje en Opa' with Patty Klein for free Amsterdam and The Hague papers (1967-71). This comic was continued under the title 'Erik en Opa' in Jippo from 1975. In 1968, he took over 'Polletje Pluim' from Dick Matena in Prinses for a couple of years, and did pencil work on the Toonder newspaper strips 'Horre, Harm en Hella' (with Thé Tjong Khing, 1969) and 'Aafje Anders' (1970), as well as on five 'Panda' stories. In addition, he did promotional work for Joop Geesink's 'Loekie de Leeuw'.
He was present in the magazine Pep from 1972, where he began the absurd series 'Baron van Tast', which was scripted by Lo Hartog van Banda, Patty Klein and Frits van der Heide (1972-75). In this comic Van Haasteren first showed his talent for crowded panels and background jokes. He also the gag strip 'Voortvluchtig' (1973) and an episode of Dick Matena's 'De Argonautjes' (1974).
He returned to the pages of Donald Duck in 1973 with 'Ketelbinkie' (text by Wim Meuldijk) and a year later 'Ome Arie'. Van Haasteren began his comic about dynamite expert 'Tinus Trotyl' in Sjors in 1974. This series was later continued in Eppo, a magazine for which he also drew 'De Stuntels' in cooperation with Toon van Driel (1978) and his final comic, 'Brian en de Brainbox' from scripts by David Ireland (1985).
Voortvluchtig (Pep #6, 1973)
Throughout the years, Van Haasteren has worked extensively with scriptwriter Patty Klein. They created 'Ole en Kreutel' for Vecomijkrant and for Geesink Productions, they made a series of stories under the title 'Zij Maakten Geschiedenis' for the TV show 'NOS Kiosk'. For a period of ten years, they worked on 'Sjaak en Oom George' for KRO Gids from 1978.
Baron van Tast
In 1975 Van Haasteren was one of the founders of the satirical magazine De Vrije Balloen. He used pseudonyms like Harold Hurry and Jean Pion for his more adult and satirical work for this magazine. Van Haasteren has additionally worked in advertising and especially his crowded posters became wellknown. He was eventually asked by Jumbo to produce crowded Jigsaw Puzzles, which earned him international fame.