Trois Cheveux Blancs, by René Hausman
'Trois Cheveux Blancs'.

The self-taught Belgian comics artist René Hausman has distinguished himself with his notable watercolor technique and the effective typecasting of animals and fable characters. Born in Verviers, he dropped out of school at age 18 to spend all his time on drawing. He learned the finer points of the profession through consults from the father of Maurice Maréchal, and Raymond Macherot. Among his other artistic influences were  J.J. Grandville, Georges Beuville, Benjamin Rabier, Calvo, Pellos, Jijé, André Franquin and Gus Bofa. One of his first jobs were illustrating advertisements in his local newspaper and creating images for school films. During his military service at age 17, he made scientific drawings for educational purposes, but also his first illustrations and cartoons for the weekly Le Moustique.

Saki, by René Hausman
'Saki', Dutch version (Robbedoes #1045).

Hausman published some animal illustrations in Tintin in 1958, but he found his spot in the competing magazine Spirou later that year. Together with editor-in-chief Yvan Delporte, he created his first comic pages about the prehistorical characters 'Saki et Zunie'. The series, simply titled 'Saki' or 'Saki, Zunie et la Nature' appeared irregularly throughout the 1960s.

Laiyna by Rene Hausman
'Laiyna'.

Hausman estrablished himself as a talented illustrator of animal kingdoms, which became his trademark for many years. He became the illustrator of the weekly animal section 'Bestiaire' and even got his own collection published by Dupuis, called 'Terre Entière', which contained books about animals but also illustrated fairy tales.

Zunie by Hausman
'Zunie' (Le Trombone Illustré, 24 March 1977).

After years of doing mainly illustration work, Hausman returned to comics in 1976. From that year, he drew erotic fables for Fluide Glacial from scripts by Binet, Delporte, Dubois or Gotlib. He took on the character of 'Zunie' again, but by now in a more adult fashion and written by Hausman's son Hugues, in the Spirou supplement Le Trombone Illustré in 1977.

comic art by René Hausman

He had his real breakthrough on the comics field with the creation of the fairy tale heroine 'Laiyna' in the mid-1980s. Together with scriptwriter Pierre Dubois, Hausman created two stories with the character, 'La Forteresse de Pierre' and 'Le Crépuscule des Elfes', that where later collected in Dupuis' prestigious Aire Libre collection.

Le Prince des Écureuils, by René Hausman
'Le Prince des Écureuils'.

In 2003, Hausman wrote and drew the prehistoric book 'Les Chasseurs de l'Aube', which was followed in 2007 by 'Le Camp-volant'. He his next book in cooperation with Michel Rodrigue. 'Le chat qui courait sur les troits' was published by Le Lombard in 2010. René Hausman, who is called the "Bard of the Ardennes", has designed several stamps with local animals for the Belgian Post since 1992. In 2016, he released his final comic with Le Lombard, 'Chlorophylle et le monstre des trois sources', with Jean-Luc Cornette, based on the characters of Raymond Macherot.

On 7 October 1995 both Hausman as well as Jef Nys were named honorary citizens of the Walloon city Durbuy. 

He has remained present in Spirou with occasional illustrations. René Hausman is also the designer of the labels of the La Chouffe beer. One of the few remaining artists from Spirou's classic era, René Hausman passed away in April 2016, at the age of 80. He was well-respected among his fellow comic artists; it is known that both Marten Toonder and André Franquin were admirers of his work. Other artists that were inspired by his magical work were Emmanuel Civiello, Didier Comès, Riff Reb'sClaire Wendling and Zep.

On 16 October 2017 a comic book mural depicting four comics drawings by Hausman was revealed at the crossroads of the Rue Mangombroux and du Palais in Verviers, Belgium. The local square was renamed after him at the same time. 

Le camp-volant by Rene Hausman
'Le Camp-volant'.

Series and books by René Hausman in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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