René Follet

René Follet (10 April 1931 — 14 March 2020), sometimes known by the pen name Ref, was a Belgian illustrator, comics writer and artist.

René Follet
Born(1931-04-10)10 April 1931
Brussels, Belgium
Died14 March 2020(2020-03-14) (aged 88)
Brussels, Belgium
Notable works
Les Zingari
Yvan Zourine
Steve Severin
Awardsfull list


René Follet was born in Brussels in 1931.[1] His first publication appeared when he was 14, illustrating a promotional issue of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island for Aiglon, a chocolate factory. In 1949, he started working for the two main Franco-Belgian comics magazines of that time, Tintin and Spirou. For both, he collaborated on the series of 4 page historical stories which functioned as a starting point for many young artists like Jean Graton and Hermann Huppen. He also provided numerous illustrations for both magazines, as well as books for Casterman publishing.[1]

In his long cartooning career, spanning over 50 years, Follet never had a long-running or particularly successful series, but his many shorter series and one-shots earned him the acclaim of many of his peers.[2] He worked for the Dutch magazine Eppo, and for the major publishing houses in Belgium and France, including Dupuis, Le Lombard, and Glénat. He also worked as the main penciller for artists Mitacq and William Vance, and made a long promotional comic for Citroën.[1] At the beginning of his career, he was asked by Edgar Pierre Jacobs to help him draw Blake and Mortimer, but Follet refused because Jacobs did not want Follet's name to be included in the credits.[2]

As an illustrator he worked in pencil, acrylic, and other materials, and as a cartoonist was considered a master of the realistic and picturesque drawing style, or as he was dubbed, "the 'most famous unknown' great master of the 9th art".[1][3]

His major influences were Jijé, whose series Valhardi he continued for two albums, and the Dutch comics artist Hans G. Kresse (known for his American Indian series 'Les Peaux-Rouges' published by Casterman).[2]

Follet died at the age of 88 on March 14, 2020.[4]



Series Years Volumes Writer Editor Remarks
Bruno Brazil 1973–1977 5 Greg Magic-Strip William Vance drew the comics, Follet provided the page lay-out
Ivan Zourine 1979 2 Jacques Stoquart Magic-Strip
Steve Severin 1981–2003 9 Jacques Stoquart and Yvan Delporte Glénat 3 in French - 6 additional in Dutch
L'Iliade 1982 1 Jacques Stoquart Glénat Adapted from the Ilias by Homer
Jacques Le Gall 1984–1985 2 Jean-Michel Charlier Dupuis A collaboration with MiTacq
Valhardi 1984–1986 2 Jacques Stoquart and André-Paul Duchâteau Dupuis Continuation of the series after Jijé and Eddy Paape
Alain Brisant 1985 1 Maurice Tillieux Dupuis
Edmund Bell 1987–1990 4 Jacques Stoquart and Martin Lodewijk Cl. Lefrancq Based on the stories by John Flanders (Jean Ray)
Daddy 1991-92 2 Loup Durand Cl. Lefrancq
Bob Morane 1991–2000 3 Henri Vernes Nautilus and Claude Lefrancq Follet drew one story in 2000, and made the cover art for two others (drawn by Gerald Forton)
Harricana 1992 1 Jean-Claude de la Royère Claude Lefrancq Drawn by Denis Mérezette, Follet did the page lay-out
Marshall Blueberry 1994 1 Jean Giraud Alpen Drawn by William Vance, Follet did the page lay-out
Ikar 1995–1997 2 Pierre Makyo Glénat
Les autos de l'aventure 1996–1998 2 De la Royère Citroën Promotional comics
Terreur 2002–2004 2 André-Paul Duchâteau Le Lombard Fictional biography of Madame Tussaud
Les Zingari [fr] 2004–2005 2 Yvan Delporte Hibou
Shelena 2005 1 Jéromine Pasteur Casterman
L'étoile du soldat 2007 1 Christophe De Ponfilly Casterman Announced (28 August 2007)[5]
L'affaire Dominici 2010 1 Pascal Bresson Glénat

Book illustrationsEdit

According to Follet, illustrations are too short in comics[clarification needed]; so he also illustrated novels or history books :

He also worked:



  • Béra, Michel; Denni, Michel; and Mellot, Philippe (2002): "Trésors de la Bande Dessinée 2003-2004". Paris, Les éditions de l'amateur. ISBN 2-85917-357-9
  • Peeters Jozef (2006) : René Follet, un rêveur sédentaire (éd.l'Age d'Or)
  • René Follet publications in Belgian Tintin, French Tintin and Spirou BDoubliées (in French)
  • René Follet albums Bedetheque (in French)
  1. ^ a b c d De Weyer, Geert (2005). "René Follet". In België gestript, pp. 110-111. Tielt: Lannoo.
  2. ^ a b c Interview with ZozoLala magazine (in Dutch)
  3. ^ or as the website Evene puts it:

    "le plus 'célèbre méconnu' des grands maîtres du 9e art."

  4. ^ (14 March 2020). "Arte, addio al fumettista René Follet". Brussels. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  5. ^ Casterman site
  6. ^ Biography at Bédétheque

External linksEdit