Pieter van Oudheusden
Pieter van Oudheusden. 

Pieter van Oudheusden was a Dutch comic writer, translator, magazine editor and teacher at a professional writer's school. As a comic writer, he alternated between stories drawn for adults and ones made for children. He was most prolific as scriptwriter for Jeroen Janssen's graphic novels, but also scripted Rob Peters' series 'Professor Hilarius' and Jan Vervoort's 'Freezer & Albedil', to name a few. His best-known children's comics were written for Mario Boon's 'Mon en Tuur' (2011-2012), Pieter Hogenbirk's 'Steffie & Flint' and the juvenile spin-off of 'Suske en Wiske', 'Junior Suske en Wiske' (2011-2013). Van Oudheusden was additionally notable for his contributions to the Dutch cultural magazine Zone 5300 for a period of 19 years. During his final years he was editor of the Dutch children's magazine BoekieBoekie.

Comics journalist
Van Oudheusden was born in 1957 in Puttershoek, in the Dutch coastal province South Holland. He studied audiovisual design at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. From the 1980s on he was editor, text writer, critic and journalist for various comics-related magazines, such as Stripschrift, Zozolala, Titanic and Zone 5300. He interviewed a great many comic artists and writers, and was involved in the 1987-1988 restyling of Stripschrift at the publishing house Vonk. When the new direction was cancelled after one year, Van Oudheusden launched the magazine De Toestand (1989-1991) with Peter de Raaf, a mix between his rendition of Stripschrift and the defunct comic magazine Titanic.

Translation career
Through Peter de Raaf's studio, Van Oudheusden started a long career of translating comic book series. Among them titles from French-language comics,  like Peyo's 'De Smurfs', Cosey's 'Jonathan', Yslaire's 'Samber', Jacques Martin's 'Alix', Éric WarnautsRaives' 'Les Suite Vénetiennes', Pascal Rabaté's 'Ibicus', Manu Larcenet 'Le Combat Ordinaire', Vincent Cara's 'Reign' and Jean van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski's 'Thorgal'. From English to Dutch, he translated the graphic novels by Posy Simmonds, Adrian Tomine's 'Scenes From an Upcoming Marriage' and Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's 'Y - The Last Man'. In total, Van Oudheusden annually translated about 50 comic book titles. He also translated children's books, such as Joyce Dunbar and James Mayhew's 'Mouse & Mole' series.

Bakamé door Pieter van Oudheusden en Jeroen JanssenDe grote toveraar door Pieter van Oudheusden en Jeroen Janssen
'De Wraak van Bakamé' and 'De Grote Toveraar. De Kruisweg van Mpyisi'. Artwork by Jeroen Janssen. 

Comics scriptwriting career (adult stories)
As a scriptwriter, Van Oudheusden worked with many Dutch and Flemish comic artists. His collaboration with the Belgian Jeroen Janssen was the most fruitful. Together they made graphic novels like 'Een Nachtegaal in de Stad' (2000), 'Klaarlichte Nacht' (2001), and a trilogy about African folklore character Bakamé the hare (2003-2010). Van Oudheusden's earliest script was co-written with Frank Herzen for the chivalry comic 'Koning Arthur. Lancelot en De Groene Ridder ' (1985), drawn by Gerrit Stapel. Together with performance poet Jules Deelder (under the pseudonym Julian de Joint), Van Oudheusden penned the plot for the gag comic 'Professor Hilarius' (De Lijn, 1985) and 'Topsland' (Bee Dee, 2004), both drawn by Rob Peters. He wrote 'Liefde en Verraad' for Fred Marschall, serialized in the Dutch comic magazine Titanic and in 1990 published in book format by Arboris. He and Marshall also published 'De Ondergrondse Wegen van het Hart' (Gemeente Rotterdam, 1997).

With comic artist Jan Vervoort, Van Oudheusden made the series 'Freezer & Albedil' (Dynamo, 1992). Together with Erik Wielaert, he made a contemporary adaptation of the fairy tale 'Bluebeard'. For Adri van Kooten, he scripted 'De Laatste Engel' (Bee Dee, 2002) and 'Spertijd' (Bee Dee,2006), a story set in an imaginary, army-occupied Europe. The Flemish artist Eva Cardon (Ephameron) illustrated Van Oudheusden's 'Weg' (Bries, 2010), a series of short stories about a bear and little fox, interconnected by a subplot about a young writer struggling with writer's block. With Mario Boon, Van Oudheusden made 'Mechtlo' (Comic Strips, 2003) and 'Catanova' (2014).

He additionally wrote short stories for Lian Ong ('Fatale Vrouwen' #10, Sherpa, 1990), Schwantz ('Haarlem van Heinde en Ver', Multiplex, 2008), Andrea Martens ('Arq', Sherpa, 2009), Jan Vriends, Fred de Heij, Michiel de Jong, Kim Duchateau, Aiméé de Jongh, Lode Devroe ('Painted Desert') and Alice Kok, most of which appeared in Rotterdam's alternative comic magazine Zone 5300.The book 'Het Hoofd van de Kunstenaar. 3x Bellen' (Museum Jan Cunen, Oss, 2008) featured short story comics scripted by Van Oudheusden and illustrated by Barend van Hoek, Paul Kleman, Marc Nagtzaam, Eric Odijk, Charlotte Schleiffert, Roland Sohier and Maarten Vande Wiele. A modest and scholarly man, Van Oudheusden explored all the dark recesses of the human nature in his stories interlarded by humor and melancholy.

Comics scriptwriting career (children's stories)
A more light-hearted, long-running series on Van Oudheusden's resumé was 'Junior Suske en Wiske' (Standaard Uitgeverij, 2010-2013), a junior spin-off of Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske', drawn by Jeff Broeckx. This was a reboot of the similar 'Klein Suske en Wiske', in the previous decade drawn by Broeckx and written subsequently by Marc LegendreUrbanus, Dirk Nielandt and Kris De Saegher. When Van Oudheusden turned ill in 2012, he was succeeded by Willem Ritstier. Another juvenile comic by Van Oudheusden's hand was 'Mon en Tuur' (2011-2012) for Ballon Media, drawn by Mario Boon. For Pieter Hogenbirk, he wrote the comic 'Steffie & Flint' for National Geographic Junior.

The Nebraska Twins door Alice Kok en Pieter van Oudheusden
'The Nebraska Twins', a story in collaboration with Alice Kok for Zone 5300 (fall 2007).

Children's picture books
Between 2002 and 2013, Van Oudheusden wrote several children's picture books for the publishing house De Eenhoorn, many of which received awards. These books were illustrated by mostly Flemish artists, such as Goele Dewanckel ('Ik Verveel Me Nooit'), Inge Bogaerts ('Mevrouw Ja en Meneer Nee', 'Toen Mijn Vader Een Reus Was') and Stefanie de Graef ('Scherven van de Memel'), and characterized by their literary, philosophical texts and artistic drawings. With the publication of his final book, 'Scherven van de Hemel' (March 2013), he compared writing stories to making birdhouses: "Very nice if it works; annoying if it doesn't work".

Hangar 84 door Pieter van Oudheusden en Lode Devroe
'Hangar 84', with Lode Devroe in Zone 5300 #80, 2007.

Illness and death
In november 2013, Van Oudheusden died in Rotterdam from a brain tumor, diagnosed a year earlier in September. He was 56. His illness, particularly how the brain damage changed his personality, were subject of the award-winning documentary, 'IK' (2013) by Jona Honer, in which she followed the author during his final months. Van Oudheusden also chronicled his illness in the comic story 'Land's End' (illustrated by Aimée de Jongh), dedicated to his daughters. It was printed in the January 2014 issue of Zone 5300.

In 2020, Jeroen Janssen published 'Posthumus’ (Sherpha, 2020), a graphic novel based on a previously unpublished script by Pieter van Oudheusden. The story is a biographical flashback on the life of Austrian composer Franz Schubert, though with creative and anachronistic liberties. Janssen did visit certain locations in Schubert’s lifetime and added bonus sketch material in back of the book. 

Liefde en verraad door Pieter van Oudheusden en Fred MarchallSpertijd door Pieter van Oudheusden en Adri van Kooten
'Liefde & Verraad' (artwork by Fred Marschall) and 'Spertijd' (artwork by Adri van Kooten).

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