RED AND ROVER by Brian Basset (November 30, 1957 – still going strong)


Front Cover


Back Cover

I got this book at the Tacoma Book Center a couple of weeks ago. Tacoma is appropriate, as Basset lives north of there, somewhere around Seattle, WA.

Several years ago I started collecting the “Adam” cartoon books. “Adam” also ran in the local paper. Then, one day, the strip changed. For the worse.

I mentioned this strip on my post about zombie cartoons, noting that the original artist was gone, but the syndicate (I suppose) carried on.

There are various sources for the change. The back of this book only mentions that he drew “Adam”, mentioning that it was syndicated in 1984. This book was published in 2002.

From the Wikipedia article, we learn that after being laid off from the Editorial Cartoonist job at the Seattle Times, he concentrated on “Adam” strips. The article continues with a comment that he turned over the drawing to Rob Harrell. It does not say who writes the “Adam” strip. There is some overlap with the “Adam” strip and “Red and Rover”.

At the time of the article ( last update Feb 2014) he was married to Bobbi Robinson and the father of two grown sons, two grown stepdaughters, and one teenage son.

There is an earlier, February 2004,  interview which says he lives with his wife Linda and two teenage sons.

Sounds like Linda was the wife in the “Adam” strips.

Anyway, it is not clear to me if he jumped, fell or was pushed off the “Adam” strip, but I am happy that he landed in Red and Rover land.

You can find his strip at Go comics.

He is the recipient of the 2013 Ruben Award for Newspaper Comic Strips.

Red and Rover have a facebook page,  with comics from Go Comics.

There is a great link to NASA and within that link, another to this really great cartoon.

The NASA Poster

There is a fantastic interview by Suzanne Tobin, Washington Post Comics Editor from Friday June 8, 2001 from which we have,

I’ve been doing another comic strip since 1984, which is syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, called Adam@Home, which is about a work-from-home dad taking care of three young children, including an infant, while his spouse works outside the house. It’s a very contemporary strip which is somewhat jaded and caught up in today’s fast paced world, which led me to think about doing a strip that harkened back to a simpler time and place. I also felt that having done Adam@Home as long as I had that I finally taught myself how to write a comic strip. It’s not something that came naturally. I had been a political cartoonist at the Seattle Times from 1978-1994. So in developing Red and Rover, I not only took my time, but there were some circumstances that MADE me take my time, in that a number of larger syndicates passed on it initially, because they wanted something that was more demographically defined, i.e. a Gen X strip. At one point my wife and I figured that I’d put in close to 1700 hours on Red and Rover before receiving one nickel. I felt and still feel that it’s possible to do a comic strip that appeals to all generations, not unlike “comfort food.” And fortunately for me, The Washington Post Writers Group saw in “Red and Rover” my exact vision and we’ve had a wonderful relationship ever since. After one year, Red and Rover is running in about 60 newspapers and the only paper that has dropped it after running it is in Budapest, Hungary. Go figure! 

Oh, and in the interview, he mentions that the strip is set in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s.

I urge you to check out the link and read the whole interview.

Here is a letter to the editor after Basset was laid off from the Seattle paper.

Brian Basset — The Times Is Wrong To Get Rid Of Seattle’s Own Cartoonist

Like hell you are going to eliminate Seattle’s only intelligent editorial cartoonist. Brian Basset is not only a great editorial cartoonist, but the only one who can creatively express our local reactions and concerns.

You need to remind the hatchet person involved that editorial cartoonists are supposed to be provocative, because that’s what stirs us mentally and wakes us up for reading the rest of the sludge in the paper. Other newspapers with ties to great editorial cartoonists covet them, not eliminate them.

Brian Basset is Seattle’s own. You are wrong to be throwing away his talent. Your readers have had enough and shouldn’t have to say that we knew Brian Basset, the nationally known and respected editorial cartoonist, when he used to work for a paper in Seattle.

Don’t repress the press. Bring back Brian Basset. Steve Danishek


There is a Brian Basset on Linkedin who is president of Wet Nose Productions. Sounds like our guy.

And finally, the August 10, 2012 edition of the “Bezango Times” blog has some brief excerpts of an interview, but is interesting in that it has current photos of Basset.

So, before we look at some cartoons we note that in his 1991 collection, ”Life in the Fast-Food Lane”,

He dedicates the book as follows:

For my Mother and Father, who let me draw on walls.

For that, we are all thankful. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Now, on to Red and Rover.


How They Met 01


How They Met 02


How They Met 03


How They Met 04


How They Met 05


This is an interesting comment about our Veterans.

Real Army

And an introduction to his family, especially the parents.


His parents

And his father, a NASA scientist.




Father's Job


Father Two

Let us not forget his brother.

Big Brother


Remember when TV Dinners first became popular?


TV Dinners

And on to comments on running.


New Tennies

Which leads to a profound comment on the part of Rover.



Or, possibly exhibiting a human trait.


Almost Human

Live free or die.  Or something like that.



Red’s observations on life.


Gum Ball Machine

And, Rover’s observation on life.


Dog Slobber

Red looks out for Rover’s diet


Dog Food Taster

And Rover looks after Red’s grooming



And then there is the great Slipper Caper.


Slipper Caper One


Slipper Caper Two


Slipper Caper Three


Red at School



And after school activities



And Marsha Brady


Marsha Brady

We will wrap up with some holidays.





Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers


On to Christmas.



Christmas Two


And finally, New Year’s.

New Year's


Since the book covers the first year of strips, we are obviously at the end of the book.

Hope you enjoyed it.


About visualhumor

Enjoy viewing and collecting visual humor from around the world.
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6 Responses to RED AND ROVER by Brian Basset (November 30, 1957 – still going strong)

  1. Cynthia fehr says:

    Love Red and Rover……. my favorite cartoon!

  2. Marianne Davis says:

    I am dependent upon starting my day with Red and Rover! Our series of Goldens taught me to appreciate, nay ADORE the bond that we humans and dogs can enjoy. You HAD to have had some of the many endearing experiences that you have written for your readers.

    My grandson received an anthology of Calvin and Hobbes for his birthday…have you thought about publishing an anthology of your inspiring strips?

    • visualhumor says:

      Thank you for your comments on Red and Rover. Yes, I have had many interesting experiences on my search for cartoon collections. As for an anthology, I don’t know. I kind of let the selections and comments on each post try to speak for themselves. Also, an anthology would be a look back, and I am really more interested in seeking out and writing about cartoon books (mostly) that I come across in my travels. However, I do appreciate your comments.-Ted

  3. Mary Barnes says:

    Today’s Red & Rover in The Roanoke Va. Times is so wonderful !! About Rover having to wait so long in Heaven until Red will join him..

    I just lost one of my dogs and will now head out to find another dog to rescue.

    Thanks for the smiles and tears, Mary Barnes

    • visualhumor says:

      I am very sorry for your loss. I hope you can connect with a ‘Rover’ for you. ‘Red and Rover’ are carried in a paper here in Oregon, and I enjoy following the strip. Thank you for the comment.

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