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Rob Harrell to work on Adam@Home

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Universal Press Syndicate has announced that former Big Top cartoonist Rob Harrell is working on Brian Basset’s Adam@Home as the artist and production assistant. You’ll notice, Rob’s name inked into the strip starting today. Brian brought Rob into the strip to allow more time for his other comic strip, Red & Rover.

“We’re excited that a guy as talented as Rob was available to do it,” says John Glynn, acquisitions editor at Universal Press. “Fans may notice a slight shift in the art come Monday, but the characters will always be Brian’s.”

Community Comments

#1 Keith Bond
February/23/2009
@ 9:43 am

Noticed the change first thing this morning. Had to search to get an explanation. Definitely different. Not sure I’m pleased.

#2 Stephen Galliver
February/23/2009
@ 10:25 am

Ditto to Keith Bond’s comment. Maybe I just have change issues, but the new art is not up to snuff. Hopefully it grows on me.

#3 Carl Pietrantonio
February/23/2009
@ 11:44 am

I don’t like it. Not that the new art is bad but if a different guy is going to be doing the strip, then he should develop his OWN style and not just mimic or copy what the previous artist has done.

If it is that he wasn’t ready, then they should have waited to introduce the new guy.

NOT saying he is “bad”, but different guy = different style.

#4 Rick Stromoski
February/23/2009
@ 12:15 pm

Rob Harrell is top tier cartoonist as well as a museum quality fine artist. He can draw and paint rings around any of us….Brian could not have picked a better talent to take over Adam.

#5 Lucas Turnbloom
February/23/2009
@ 12:44 pm

I enjoyed the art before, but I like this too.
Good luck, Rob.

#6 Kurt Siegel
February/23/2009
@ 1:02 pm

No matter how good an artist or cartoonist Mr. Harrell is, the artwork in today’s edition of ADAM@HOME leaves a lot to be desired. The characters are… well, “cartoonish” is the only word that comes to mind. The faces are familiar, but not quite right. The “side-of-face” presentation of the mouth has never been pne of my favorites, and just doesn’t look right on characters I’ve enjoyed for many years. Even Adam’s head is a different shape.

I’m not saying that I could do better – heck, I have enough trouble tracing a straight line, much less drawing one without a computer – but I’m not a fan of what I see in today’s strip.

I’ll give it a shot. As long as the writing stays top quality, I’ll stay with the strip. (Which is the same way I felt when “SALLY FORTH” changed cartoonists, years ago. Since then, I think THAT strip has just gotten better.)

#7 Jeff Vella
February/23/2009
@ 1:57 pm

I agree with Rick & Lucas, Rob Harrell is an excellent artist who’s own comic strip was very funny and well draw. So to all the “Nay sayers” who are criticizing his latest venture, just remember – it’s tough enough getting a strip syndicated, but gotta be tougher stepping into an existing strip and try to please Its’ readers.

Mason Mastroianni did it with B.C., Jerry Scott and Guy Gilchrist did it with Nancy, I’m sure Rob Harrell will have no problem if we just give him a chance.
Good Luck Rob…

#8 Glen Taylor
February/23/2009
@ 4:14 pm

Their styles are as different as apples and oranges. This is a major change.

#9 Wiley Miller
February/23/2009
@ 4:34 pm

I’m guessing that this is a transitional period, where Rob imitates Brian’s style somewhat and gradually brings it into his own style, rather than having an abrupt change in drawing style. Comics readers are not very open to change, so it either has to be change hands with someone who can seamlessly match the style exactly, or make the change gradually.

#10 RS Davis
February/23/2009
@ 5:17 pm

DOes anyone know how many papers this strip runs in? Just curious how big of a fan base it has. I can imagine what would happen if Pooch Cafe or Get Fuzzy did something like this.
If the strip isn’t that huge in terms of numbers, maybe most readers won’t mind…

#11 Glen Taylor
February/23/2009
@ 5:46 pm

Don’t know where you are, RS Davis, but the comic is syndicated in at least one Canadian paper – the Vancouver Sun.

#12 D. Houll
February/23/2009
@ 7:53 pm

Perhaps Brian Basset should also farm out the some of the writing. Lately it seems that Adam@Home has been falling into the pattern of running slight variations of the same gag for six days in a row (i.e. Adam running on a treadmill, Adam doing charades).

Maybe two strips is too much for one person. Is it really possible to come up with 14 decent comic strip ideas per week?

Surely there are people out there who could bring some fresh ideas to the strip.

#13 Jon Levinson
February/23/2009
@ 7:58 pm

I do not like this at all. This has put me off the strip.

#14 Garey Mckee
February/23/2009
@ 8:45 pm

“Maybe two strips is too much for one person. Is it really possible to come up with 14 decent comic strip ideas per week?”

Is it really possible to come up with 7 decent ideas a week? Let’s face it, in every comic strip you are never going to have a winner every day. All you can do is stay true to your writing and be as consistent as possible. Not every one is going to be a hit, but hopefully there are more hits than misses. As a strip grows and becomes more character driven, the consistency in writing becomes easier.

#15 D. Houll
February/24/2009
@ 12:10 am

I get that it’s tough to come up with a winner of an idea every day. What bothers me as a reader of comics is when I read a strip on Monday, it isn’t funny, and I know that the comic is just going to keep making the same joke for the rest of the week. It kind of puts a person off reading the strip. Marvin and Adam@Home are both bad for this.

At least with other strips, like say Hagar the Horrible, if the joke on Monday is bad, at least I can have hope that the next day might be better. If nothing else it will be something different. It’s never just six different variations in a row of one gag about Hagar stuck on a desert island or something. Sure the comic does a lot of those types of jokes, but it spreads them out.

If a cartoonist wants to do a week of jokes riffing on one topic, it would be a lot more interest to read if in incorporated some kind of story arc instead of just being slight variations on the same gag.

#16 E. Tucciarone
February/24/2009
@ 6:36 am

I am disappointed that Basset has decided to change artists, but given his weekly-themed strips of late, I have to say I’m not terribly surprised. He does this with Red and Rover, too, which is one of the many reasons I don’t read that strip any more. The thickly shoveled, affected “innocence” of R&R is incredibly cloying, and the “father smokes a pipe, mother does housework in a dress” concept makes no sense in today’s world. I get the concept of nostalgia, but there are enough strips in the newspaper that actually do date back to at least the sixties where we really didn’t need another. In fact, if anything we should be looking for newer, fresher strips instead of a week-long exploration of a kid making a cigar box and rubber band ukulele. So Adam@Home was a bit more contemporary and therefore refreshing, even if we just spent a week watching him “working” in his sleep. At least there were some computer jokes that people could relate to, and the family situations were much more up-to-date. Now we have a new artist, and it remains to be seen if this is going to be an improvement, or merely the wrong strip being farmed out.

#17 Randy Pettigrew
February/24/2009
@ 9:05 am

Also, Laura is not nearly as sexy as she was before!!

#18 Glen Taylor
February/24/2009
@ 9:38 am

It’s like watching the first season of the Simpsons again.

#19 Lee Goodman
February/24/2009
@ 10:31 am

I’m definitely having trouble liking the new drawings. Quite a shock to the system. They do not seem as expressive and are ‘cartoon-ish’ as someone else said but then it IS a cartoon! Will take a long time to reconcile current characters with my old friends!

#20 Glen Taylor
February/24/2009
@ 12:11 pm

Honestly, he doesn’t even seem to be able to get Adam’s hairline right. Every frame is different. Only the third frame on Monday looks right…

#21 R Pyle
February/24/2009
@ 12:17 pm

Changes in the artwork don’t phase me, but I’d like to be able to read the lettering.

#22 Aaron Taylor
February/24/2009
@ 12:47 pm

I can’t even get my own hairline right…

Give it time. I think most of us are familiar with Rob’s work on Big Top and that he’s a really fantastic artist. Once he gets into the swing of things, the artwork will flow. I know I’d have one heck of a time doing better.

#23 Vincent LaQuire
February/24/2009
@ 12:47 pm

I’m disappointed that Brian will not be doing Adam@home any longer. I’m sure Rob Harrell is a competent artist; but I prefer Bassett over Rob’s rendition of one of my favorite strips.

#24 Adam Abrams
February/25/2009
@ 2:26 am

As much as I’m sure that Rob Harrell is a talented artist, it’s just a major shock to see familiar characters change so much as Adam did today!

I empathize with someone coming into an established strip and taking on a probably thankless task such as this.

At the same time, I gotta say, why does Adam’s hairline now shape-shift so weirdly unless he turns sideways?

And yes, Laura has lost her indefinable sex appeal.

At first I thought this must be one of those rare “stunts” where different artists trade comics for a day or something. I was alarmed to discover it’s a permanent change. The way the characters are drawn forms such a big part of their perceived personality. You only really realize this when something like this happens. Adam drawn by someone else just doesn’t “feel” like Adam any more.

I do recall that when Sally Forth switched artists, there was an outcry over the big difference in the characters’ look – and as a result of this, the new artist modified his style to more closely match the previous appearance. Maybe if we all send similar comments to Adam’s syndicator, we’ll get a similar outcome…?

#25 Mike Peterson
February/25/2009
@ 5:16 am

Eight panels so far. Two strips.

“War and Peace”? It’s about this woman who has a cocktail party …

#26 Lassie Bee
February/25/2009
@ 8:35 am

WHY is a new artist taking over Adam@Home, anyway? Did Brian Bassett retire? Is he sick? Did he just get tired of drawing a comic strip every day?

#27 Wiley Miller
February/25/2009
@ 8:42 am

I have it on good authority that Brian lost the use of his right hand in a rather volatile “discussion” with his editor. Apparently the editor’s empty head inadvertently got in the way of Brian’s fist.

#28 Liz Dooney
February/25/2009
@ 10:56 am

Noticed the change in the artwork immediately but was hoping it was only temporary. With so many changes going on in the world I guess I was hoping at least my favorite comic strip would stay the same. I’ll still keep reading it and perhaps I’ll grow to like it in time.

#29 Garey Mckee
February/25/2009
@ 5:52 pm

I think we should give Rob a break here. As Rick said, he is obviously a top notch talent. It has to be very very difficult to pick up the artwork of a feature that has an already established fan base. I would imagine in 10 years time (God willing) the evolution of the strip’s style will be so natural that readers will only have a feint memory of the day Rob took over the artwork on the strip.

#30 Geoff Doherty
February/26/2009
@ 6:09 am

I’ve been getting Adam@Home via email for years. I didn’t even mind the “theme weeks” really.

But I do not like this change. If anything, why couldn’t the artist give up his other strip? I’ve never heard of it to be honest.

The next thing I’ll be doing after making this post is cancelling my email subscription to Not Adam Anymore@Home.

#31 Corey Pandolph
February/26/2009
@ 6:41 am

From someone who has been trying to fill the enormous shoes of Phil Frank for the past two years, listen to me when I say give Rob some time and a break.

It hasn’t even been a week. If you want Adam to continue to be the strip you know and love, you can’t trip up the new guy right out of the gate.

Corey Pandolph
The Elderberries

#32 Wiley Miller
February/26/2009
@ 7:42 am

Absolutely not, Corey! We must make snap judgments! Any change, no matter how minute, is bad and must be rejected!!! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!

#33 Bill Hinds
February/26/2009
@ 8:49 am

The average newspaper comics reader doesn’t have the sensitive eye of a cartoonist. They probably don’t even notice a difference. Rob’s work has traditionally been carefully crafted cartoons, while Brian’s have been free-wheeling sketch-like drawings. “Red and Rover” is Brian’s real passion, and I bet he doesn’t mind if Adam@home starts to drift toward Rob’s style. I think everyone will be pleased when Rob becomes relaxed in a style that works for him. Of course it’s hard to relax when message boards are banging you with virtual bamboo canes while you’re trying to work.

#34 Dan Collins
February/26/2009
@ 9:49 am

Rob is a great guy. Best of luck in the new job, RH!

#35 Robert Gidley
February/26/2009
@ 1:59 pm

Man, I can’t wait for the poodle and the circus bear to move in next door to Adam! Hope that Rob gets a chance to do some of the writing on the strip, too. I still enjoy “Big Top” in reruns.

#36 Rick Stromoski
February/26/2009
@ 3:10 pm

“””The next thing I?ll be doing after making this post is cancelling my email subscription to Not Adam Anymore@Home.

Rhymes with swat.

#37 Marshall Simonds
February/27/2009
@ 9:33 am

It’s a change, but things change. Give the guy a chance, the artwork is different, but there seems to be more substance to it so far. The strip, while not bad, has been a bit blah over the past couple of years as R&R has developed more. I think this is a good change.

#38 Wiley Miller
February/27/2009
@ 1:10 pm

Alan-
May I suggest that you delete the posts of people who don’t follow your very simple rules of using their full, real names rather than childish screen names? If they can’t say something without anonymity, then they have nothing worthwhile to say.

#39 Nitya Ram
February/28/2009
@ 6:04 am

I used to love Brian Bassets drawing – Rob Harrell is quite terrible. Earler the body language of the characters was so easy to read – now these look like drawings by a little kid. Baby Nick is no longer a person with character, but just a few filled in pen lines. It is very sad. I wish Brian Basset would get back.

#40 Donna Bond
February/28/2009
@ 11:10 am

As a regular reader of the Adam cartoon strip I’d become concerned with a noticable lack of creativity as 2008 drew to a close, and when I noticed the change in drawing style this week I wondered if Brian Basset had had a health problem (like a stroke or something) so I had to find out what caused the change in drawing style & script and am relieved to know it’s related to Rob Harrall becoming an assistant. He brings a freshness to this favourite cartoon and hopefully “Adam” won’t be such a loser after all. I had pretty well stopped reading the cartoon if I saw ‘one more computer’ in the strip. That’s not to say I think a cartoonist’s job is easy because I don’t and I appreciate the efforts of both of these cartoonists.

#41 Wiley Miller
February/28/2009
@ 11:17 am

Let’s put any of this speculation to rest before it gets started. Brian’s decision has absolutely nothing to do with his health. Brian is quite well.

#42 Glen Taylor
February/28/2009
@ 7:37 pm

“Let?s put any of this speculation to rest before it gets started. Brian?s decision has absolutely nothing to do with his health. Brian is quite well.”

“I have it on good authority that Brian lost the use of his right hand in a rather volatile ?discussion? with his editor. Apparently the editor?s empty head inadvertently got in the way of Brian?s fist.”

Sorry, Wiley, but which of your comments above, is true?

I got a bit excited when I saw the Saturday color version, but then realized that is was Brian’s last one.

#43 Wiley Miller
February/28/2009
@ 8:32 pm

“Sorry, Wiley, but which of your comments above, is true?”

I hope you’re not serious.

#44 E. Chemerinsky
March/1/2009
@ 11:27 am

Wow, you thankless crybabies are making me embarrassed to be an Adam@Home reader. Would you rather have no Adam@Home? Perhaps the syndicate should have given more notice that the change was coming, but the strip is still alive. And in an age where newspapers are falling, strips are being killed, and the medium is shifting dramatically. Here?s a thought if the new art is so offensive to you stop reading Adam@Home, but quit whining about it. Think about it, why would a syndicate make a decision like this? Because, for whatever reason, Brian Basset clearly was not going to continue doing the art for this strip. So what choice must there have been? The syndicate could have (a) ended the strip or (b) brought in a new artist. If you care at all about this strip, be glad they chose the latter. And look at the work. Look closely. Doesn?t it seem clear that Rob Harrell?s mandate was to make the strip look like Basset?s work, so that the art would be as close to Basset?s vision as possible? Please quit your whining and, if you really care about this strip, just be glad that it is continuing and that the plug wasn?t pulled altogether. Frankly, I do think that Rob is a very good artist, but that is really beside the point.

#45 Wiley Miller
March/1/2009
@ 12:06 pm

Actually, it is Brian’s decision entirely on whether to continue the strip or not, and in what fashion it would continue. But your point is still well taken, as Brian is still writing the strip and just turning over the art to Rob Harrell. So it’s still the same strip, just drawn by someone else.

#46 Abell Smith
March/1/2009
@ 8:02 pm

Wait… Erwin Chemerinsky is a comics fan?

#47 Dave Stephens
March/2/2009
@ 4:50 am

The new artist clearly has no real interest in even attempting to imitate Brian’s style. Too bad. But it’s Brian’s decision and I respect it…

#48 KIM STERLING
March/2/2009
@ 8:55 pm

I think the drawings have lost some character.They don’t have the variety of expressions. The boy especially. Adam is shorter and has too short arms. Reminds my of the early Sally Forth. Does he still have hair on his back?

#49 Ken Gagne
March/3/2009
@ 9:02 am

I love Rob Harrell and Big Top, but Adam@Home, regardless of the quality of either artist, is not a good fit for him.

#50 Cathleen Murphy
March/3/2009
@ 3:21 pm

I thought Brian was on vacation and the strips were of Adam’s early days but usually there is a vacation message when cartoonists do this. I hate the printing of the words. The font is hard to read. My paper shrinks all the comics (Mercury News). I’ll continue reading it to see if the stories get better.

#51 Ron Adams
March/3/2009
@ 4:39 pm

So I find this site and find out why my favorite comic strip has changed for the worst. Too bad, so sad, good-bye Adam@home.

#52 Wiley Miller
March/3/2009
@ 5:17 pm

If Adam@Home was your favorite comic strip, wouldn’t have been due the writing of the feature? Since Brian is still writing the strip, just turning over the drawing aspect to another (very capable) hand, why would say “good-bye” to it?

#53 Wiley Miller
March/3/2009
@ 5:18 pm

That should have read… “wouldn’t THAT have been due…”

Sure wish we had an edit tool for our comments.

#54 Ron A
March/3/2009
@ 8:57 pm

Rob’s drawing cannot compare to Brian’s drawing (as others have pointed out) and (which is just as important as the writing).

It is reported that Brian is still writing the comic, and Rob doing the drawings, however, it doesn’t appear to me to be the same person.

The comic is not the same without Brian doing the entire strip; hence, good-bye.

#55 Monica Palmer
March/3/2009
@ 10:36 pm

Yes, I would prefer they cancel strips rather than turning them over to someone else. I wouldn’t want to be in a world where Non Sequitur or Barkeater Lake were drawn by someone else. I’m also against running classics in the newspaper, but not online where readers have a choice. I say give up the space to someone new. Great fresh ideas are out there.

#56 RS Davis
March/3/2009
@ 11:02 pm

Since Brian Basset created Adam@Home in the first place, isn’t it his to do with as he pleases? Frankly, whether his decision was a good one or not will be market driven, but I have no problem if a guy creates something, busts his tin can on it and then decides to take in a different direction. It’s his.
At least the writing is still being newly generated. I’d much rather see a successful strip with a new look keep going than a rerun strip that keeps going and going for ever with nothing new to offer.
Give it a chance, a change in the look could make it better, eventually. Afterall, when Bon Scott died no one thought AC/DC would last but Hells Bells, they seemed to do ok.

Alright, sorry about that.

#57 Glen Taylor
March/4/2009
@ 9:59 am

Over the years, I’ve seen all kinds of transformations. I’ve seen Lynn Johnston recently decide to wrap up For Better or Worse in a satisfactory way and decide to recycle her old strips from the beginning. I’ve seen Berk Brethed send Opus off over the hill in the meadow (and then, sadly, bring him back, but that’s another story). I’ve seen Rex Morgan actually become readable. Sally Forth actually improved. I have no idea who is doing Peanuts now, but its is OK. And I’ve seen Calvin and Hobbes and the The Far Side ended with dignity (although Larson is still recycling his material infinitely in his desk calendars – to the point that I had to beg my daughters not to buy me another one each Christmas because I’ve memorized them all!). Would Calvin and Hobbes be even remotely satisfactory if someone else were drawing it? No way. Sometimes death with dignity is the right choice.

#58 Deb Smith
March/5/2009
@ 2:17 pm

It stinks. If it ain’t broke, don’t dink around with it. And yes, I’d prefer no Adam @ Home as opposed to somebody elses Adam @ Home. If PT Barnum had written Gone With The Wind instead of Margaret Mitchell, would it still have been Gone With The Wind? Although, PT Barnum did point out that there is a sucker born every minute…….

#59 Wiley Miller
March/5/2009
@ 2:24 pm

That analogy is hardly apt.

Again, Brian is still writing it, which is the prime force of any comic strip. And as time goes on, you’re not going to be able to detect any difference in the art. If anything, both the writing and the art will be better than it has been, as that workload has been lifted from Brian’s shoulders.

#60 Larry Levine
March/5/2009
@ 2:31 pm

“I have no idea who is doing Peanuts now, but its is OK”

No one is doing Peanuts, the syndicated strips are Schulz reruns.

#61 Glen Taylor
March/5/2009
@ 3:21 pm

“No one is doing Peanuts, the syndicated strips are Schulz reruns.”

It really is amazing how timeless Schulz’s material is.

“If anything, both the writing and the art will be better than it has been, as that workload has been lifted from Brian?s shoulders.”

OK, we get that you are friends with one or both of these guys, Wiley, but these are really an unsupportable assumptions. Why should the writing get better? Right now, it seems kind of out of sync with the characters and somewhat awkward. Their voices have changed somehow. I would think that it would be harder to get into the heads of the characters if you are not drawing them too.

#62 Martin Edwards
March/6/2009
@ 10:40 am

I am surprised at the comments here. Thank Goodness someone with a spark has taken over this strip. It’s finally funny again. Adam@Home used to be one of my favourtes, before the format change in the mid 1990’s. It has noticably been going downhill for the last few years and had become a strip I no longer enjoyed and often just skipped. It really needed this fresh infusion of wit. Two thumbs up.

#63 Chris Pierson
March/6/2009
@ 4:03 pm

It’s interesting that Brian’s still writing it, because my reaction to the past couple week’s strips has been “man, this thing had gotten tired, but the new guy’s really reinvigorated it.” Maybe not having to both write and draw the strip has allowed Brian to devote more energy to the writing? The strip seems clever again, in a way it hasn’t in years, to be honest — and it feels like the days of week-long repetition may be in the past too.

I’ll take different art if it the strip stays funny.

#64 Wiley Miller
March/6/2009
@ 4:27 pm

“Maybe not having to both write and draw the strip has allowed Brian to devote more energy to the writing? ”

Yes. That’s the whole point of what he’s doing, to improve it rather than end it. It’s impossible to produce two daily comic strips by yourself without sacrificing the quality in one or both. This was his most viable option in keeping it going. Personally, after reading it for a week, I think the strip has already vastly improved and the art with each edition is getting closer to Brian’s style.

#65 Alan Gardner
March/6/2009
@ 5:14 pm

It?s impossible to produce two daily comic strips by yourself without sacrificing the quality in one or both.

Or a balanced/social life. I think there are enough successful double dipping editorial cartoonists or strip cartoonists about that would challenge this idea.

Queuing retort by Mark Tatulli…

#66 Wiley Miller
March/6/2009
@ 8:00 pm

You can double-dip for a while, but after a few years, it really takes its toll on your sanity and health. I speak from experience as well as observations of others.

#67 Garey Mckee
March/6/2009
@ 10:38 pm

Don’t forget Corey Pandolph. He has several different features going including The Elderberries which he had taken over production of. He obviously has kept his sanity intact. Right?

#68 Mark Tatulli
March/6/2009
@ 11:02 pm

I think “strip quality” is too subjective. No matter how bad your strip may be or become, there’s always some people who are big fans and think it’s the greatest thing. While I don’t think it’s impossible to create two “quality” strips, I do think it’s impossible to satisfy yourself as an artist while doing two strips, because you know when your own work is not up-to-snuff and could be better if you had the time.

#69 Wiley Miller
March/7/2009
@ 7:30 am

” I do think it?s impossible to satisfy yourself as an artist while doing two strips, because you know when your own work is not up-to-snuff and could be better if you had the time.”

That’s what I meant about producing quality. You simply can’t do your best work in both because of the enormous deadline pressure in producing two (or more) daily features. You’ll always end up just knocking out material just to fill the space in the one you care least about, which is what Brian found himself doing in Adam@Home over the past couple of years. It’s two full time jobs, and just as working two full time jobs in any profession, something eventually has to give. Some are able to keep up the level of quality longer than others, as Mark has since the launch of Lio, but health and family eventually determines the fate of one of the features. Brian’s answer was to get help in producing the art.

#70 Garey Mckee
March/7/2009
@ 4:31 pm

Maybe a cartoonist’s success in producing more than one strip also might be determined by the type of strips being produced. Mark’s Heart of The City and Lio are two completely different types of strips with two types of humor. I can’t speak for Mark but I would imagine that range of genre and humor might help keep him more engaged in writing and drawing both strips rather than if both strips were similar in subject and style. Then again, why would anyone want to create two similar strips in the first place?

#71 Theresa Thomas
March/7/2009
@ 5:01 pm

Interesting discussion —

My kids and I both noticed the visual change, and we’re not cartoonists, so it is likely not going unnoticed by the “average” reader or fan of the strip.

Regarding doing two strips by the same cartoonist, Jerry Scott of Zits and Baby Blues comes to mind — both strips seem fairly creative; at least our family enjoys them.

It does seem that Harrell’s drawings of the Adam characters take a little getting used to. In the Friday 3/6/09 strip, for instance, Clayton’s visual appearance seemed very startling.

A few years back when Sally Forth changed artists, I remember the dustup over it; it seemed that the new artist was too good at drawing well, and the readers wanted back the old style (Hilary’s one-ponytail look, etc.). I seem to recall the artist modified his drawing correspondingly.

I’ve heard that the profession of cartoonist can be very demanding, Good luck, Brian!

p.s. We’re great fans of Non Sequitur too!

#72 Charles Brubaker
March/7/2009
@ 8:31 pm

“Regarding doing two strips by the same cartoonist, Jerry Scott of Zits and Baby Blues comes to mind ? both strips seem fairly creative; at least our family enjoys them.”

The difference, though, is that while the two strips share the same writer, the artists are different. Rick Kirkman draws “Baby Blues” while Jim Borgman handles the art in “Zits”.

Thus, the workload is not as grueling as writing and drawing two strips at the same time.

#73 Bill Hinds
March/7/2009
@ 10:49 pm

I draw Tank McNamara, write and draw Cleats, write and draw Buzz Beamer, and write, draw, animate and do the voices for the animated Buzz cartoons at sikids.com.
Here’s a sample: http://tinyurl.com/bzz33t

I’d tell you more but I have to get back to work.

#74 Arvind Krishnan
March/8/2009
@ 5:41 pm

sigh, i miss Bryan Basset’s artwork, this new guy’s style just doesnt cut it for me. I hope the comic goes back to normal soon

#75 Mark London
March/8/2009
@ 7:46 pm

Good comic strips are so hard to find these days, so it’s a real pity to have a good comic strip so totally ruined by this new artist. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The whole newspaper business is going down the tubes, now with the internet. In any event, sad to say, now I have one less comic strip to read. Thanks for the great work, Bryan. Good luck with your other work.

#76 Bill Hinds
March/8/2009
@ 8:32 pm

I believe the March 8 strip was done by Brian Basset, not Rob Harrell.
So the authors of the preceding two comments can’t tell the difference, or they’re not actually looking at the strips, or they thought that last week’s strips were Brian’s and this Sunday strip is done by Rob, which means they prefer Rob’s art over Brian’s.

#77 Rick Stromoski
March/9/2009
@ 5:20 am

I’m beginning to think that most of the naysayers posting here are really just one or two persons posting under various aliases. In fact I’m convinced of it.

#78 BRONSON SMITH
March/9/2009
@ 9:09 am

very sorry to see Adam@home go down the tubes like this – should have been mentioned in the comic strip to warn the viewers – I thought Basset had a stroke or died – this new strip is not well drawn nor is it going to be a regular-read in this household – too bad –
by bye Adam

#79 Sara Miller
March/9/2009
@ 9:17 am

Speaking as one of the “average” readers out there?I was unpleasantly startled by the new look of Adam@Home. It was one of my favorites precisely because the characters were very appealing visually. Now there is a harsher, sharper quality to the drawing & I find I don’t look forward to reading it anymore.

From the comments above I understand that the new artist is very good, but I don’t think this issue is about the quality of the art. It’s about look and feel, and the realization of a certain vision. I dearly hope the warmth of the earlier strips will return.

(My other must-reads are: Rose is Rose, For Better or Worse, Zits, Luann, Garfield, Non Sequitur, Jump Start, Sally Forth and Bizzaro.)

#80 Amy K Thomas
March/9/2009
@ 4:30 pm

I also wish that we’d been told about the change, as my kids and I have been waiting until Bassett got back from vacation… When he didn’t, it took me 10 minutes to find this website with correct information. Basseet’s website says nothing about it.

Without knowing the truth, our annoyance and disappointment in the strip has been increasing, instead of our working toward acceptance. Now we’ll start trying.

We’re not sure if we’ll like who our friends have become. My 11 year old said to tell you she’s done with it. Apologies and best wishes to Corey Pandolph, but I don’t read Elderberries any more, either.

#81 Nathan Beadle
March/9/2009
@ 5:00 pm

I have to say my reaction upon first sight of the ‘new’ comic was not one of appreciation or being impressed. It just feels so cheap to read, even if the characters are still Brian’s. It has such a cheap feel now compared to the finely drawn characters before. I’m having a hard time reading them, I’m trying, but the attachment is just not there

#82 Heidi Rose
March/9/2009
@ 6:23 pm

Adam@home was at the top of my home page so I enjoyed reading it every day as soon as I turned on my computer. I noticed the change in the art instantly and assumed the change was temporary. I’m so disappointed to find out that it’s a permanent change. It’s just not the same strip any more! I’m sure that Mr. Harrell is a fine artist, but he’s not Brian Basset, and I guess that is what I liked about the strip. Just as everyone has their own unique signature, I liked Mr. Basset’s art and the way his characters had a certain “sweetness” to them. Laura used to look pretty and kind, now she looks chinless and crabby. Just my observation. I wish Mr. Harrell the very best with this strip, but I will miss my fellow Issaquah resident cartoonist and “his” Adam.

#83 Ken Burrows
March/9/2009
@ 6:59 pm

I too will never again read Adam. It was one strip I loved so dearly that it hurt when I read it. It was the height of creativity.

Now it is nothing but a shell of its former self. I think that it should have been nominated for a Noble Prize for its art and now I will never taste its sweet fruit again. And nobody asked me to wirte this about adam@home. I am a real average reader. I get it e-mailed to me but now I don’t read it no more. And like i said, no one asked me to write this.

#84 Rick Stromoski
March/10/2009
@ 5:02 am

This is just complete BS. Alan perhaps you should lock down this thread at this point…since one person is obviously posting under several aliases..it’s serving no purpose.

#85 Rick Stromoski
March/10/2009
@ 7:18 am

“CLINT FLICKER”

Need I say more?

I have no qualms with individuals voicing their opinion , but to give a forum to one or two individuals repeatedly bashing a cartoonist while under cover posting under various false identities defeats the purpose of what your forum should be about.

Anyone posting under false identities should be banned from this board.

#86 Alan Gardner
March/10/2009
@ 8:49 am

The individual posting under “Clint Flicker” has been blacklisted and his comments deleted as he had posted previously under another name.

Yesterday, Rick questioned whether some of the negative responses on this blog were also individuals posting under false names. I’ve reviewed the IP addresses, email addresses and names of the commentators so far and conclude that the responses are largely genuine readers. It’s reminiscent of when Eduardo Barreto took over the artwork on Judge Parker. It generated a great deal of response from readers.

Haven’t we all learned the lesson yet – don’t mess with the comics – that includes the artwork.

#87 Pat Daley
March/10/2009
@ 10:22 am

The change has been noticeable and distracting and bothering me for a few weeks so that I finally googled to see who’s drawing the strip. The characters just don’t look right and I think that takes something away. I always enjoyed the strip but now find the story line to be pretty lame and repetitive. Too bad.

#88 Scott Metzger
March/10/2009
@ 10:27 am

?Haven?t we all learned the lesson yet – don?t mess with the comics – that includes the artwork.?

Exactly. Although I think Rob Harrell is enormously talented. I still can?t believe that Big Top never became a huge it. It was a very funny, very well-drawn strip.

#89 Darren Thorneycroft
March/10/2009
@ 11:03 am

I’m an “average” cartoon reader (although I excelled @ drawing in my jr. high art classes), love my daily paper (in my “reading room,” of course) and noticed the change of artists immediately. And it was NOT for the better IMO. Full disclosure: Like Adam, I am a work-at-home dad, a writer, with a young thumb-sucking son, now 4-1/2, who as an infant/young toddler so closely resembled little Nick that many strips had me in stitches, hitting so close to my life as “Darren@Home.” But the new look is jarring and just doesn’t have the same feel, personality, or impact as the Basset-drawn strips. Sad to say I will probably stop reading in the near future, as I have with the “new” back-to-the-past “For Better or for Worse” which indeed is MUCH worse. Just my 2 cents FWIW.

#90 Joe Rank
March/10/2009
@ 12:11 pm

“Haven?t we all learned the lesson yet – don?t mess with the comics – that includes the artwork.” – AG

Generally true, but subjective. Look at “Dick Tracy”…classic Gould vs. Dick Locher. Noticeable differences, but done with a respect to the original.
Other strips that changed artists went through a gradual transformation. Heck, even “Garfield” changed over time. Other legacy strips I suspect have to be a composite of tracings of earlier panels until the new artist gets the groove.
Give it time.

#91 Mark Tatulli
March/10/2009
@ 12:34 pm

I agree with Joe. Give it time. I look back on where my own characters started and I cringe. It takes time to find a groove and a comfort level, but it always happens.

#92 Mike Witmer
March/10/2009
@ 12:46 pm

I’m curious how many folks would’ve gave Adam@Home a sideways look for a second and moved on had they not read this article?

Knowing Rob’s ability, I’m positive this strip will excel with him at the helm.

#93 Mike Witmer
March/10/2009
@ 12:47 pm

And remember, newspaper editors, one negative comment equates roughly to 748,029 angry readers.

#94 Alan Gardner
March/10/2009
@ 12:57 pm

I agree with Joe. Give it time. I look back on where my own characters started and I cringe. It takes time to find a groove and a comfort level, but it always happens.

I completely agree. There is always a natural change in drawing styles in all comic strips. That is acceptable because it happens over the course of years, not a day. I’m not familiar with the Dick Tracy transition, but I’m guessing it was before the advent of blogs and public forums where people could complain so openly. I suspect the reaction would have been similar.

My “don’t touch the comics” line was not to be taken as a dis’ on the talent of Rob (or Brian), but a comment on the reaction by readers. Drop their comic, alter the drawing style, change the format and they come unglued.

#95 Lucas Turnbloom
March/10/2009
@ 1:17 pm

“I agree with Joe. Give it time. I look back on where my own characters started and I cringe. It takes time to find a groove and a comfort level, but it always happens.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

#96 Jason Nocera
March/10/2009
@ 2:13 pm

I think Rick’s on the right path, Alan. I suspect that a link to this story was posted on a different forum and readers of that forum are having fun with it. So while it may be different people, I doubt they’re genuine. Of course, I could be wrong.

Perhaps you can check your site statistics. Have you seen a sudden increase in traffic arriving through search terms related to this article or a link from a specific forum?

#97 Jason Nocera
March/10/2009
@ 2:19 pm

Okay – My guess is everyone is coming from GoComics. Which is fine – at least they’re comic fans:

http://www.gocomics.com/features/4/feature_items/412616

#98 Alan Gardner
March/10/2009
@ 3:02 pm

I have closed this thread as it is no longer a dialog. Perhaps I should have done it sooner. I have removed the last comment by Ilf Ring who admitted it wasn’t his real name.

I do want to respond to one thing he wrote regarding requests to close this thread.

So what, repress freedom of speech in a forum that was designed to foster this form of discussion…

This is an “open” forum only to the extent that those wanting to join in the conversation are willing to obey the rules of the community – first and for most – use your first and last name.
Since it is obvious that Ilf and others were not willing to abide by our standards, their comments were deleted and any future comments will be moderated.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.