Trois Cheveux Blancs
The self-taught 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.
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 pre-historical characters 'Saki et Zunie'. The series, that was also called just 'Saki' or 'Saki, Zunie et la Nature' appeared irregularly throughout the 1960s.
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', that contained books about animals but also illustrated fairytales.
Zunie (Le Trombone Illustré, 24/3/1977)
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.
He had his real breakthrough on the comics field with the creation of the fairytale 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
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.
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 André Franquin was an admirer of his work. Other artists that were inspired by his magical work were Emmanuel Civiello, Didier Comès, Riff Reb's and Claire Wendling.