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.
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
This is an interesting comment about our Veterans.
And an introduction to his family, especially the parents.
And his father, a NASA scientist.
Let us not forget his brother.
Remember when TV Dinners first became popular?
And on to comments on running.
Which leads to a profound comment on the part of Rover.
Or, possibly exhibiting a human trait.
Live free or die. Or something like that.
Red’s observations on life.
And, Rover’s observation on life.
Red looks out for Rover’s diet
And Rover looks after Red’s grooming
And then there is the great Slipper Caper.
Red at School
And after school activities
And Marsha Brady
We will wrap up with some holidays.
On to Christmas.
And finally, 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.