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Brian Basset creates space shuttle poster for NASA

A poster created by Brian Basset to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the U.S. Space Shuttle program was selected by NASA employees to honor the program. The poster depicts his Red and Rover characters racing along the landing of the space shuttle.

“The U.S. space program has been the one constant throughout my entire life,” Brian said. “I was humbled and honored when given the opportunity to create the art for the commemorative Space Shuttle Program 30th anniversary poster.”

In 2004, Basset became the only cartoonist to have his space-themed comic strips displayed at NASA’s headquarters in Washington. On July 26, 2005, Basset’s original drawing commemorating NASA’s return to flight after the Columbia accident launched aboard shuttle Discovery on the STS-114 mission.

Community Comments

#1 Matt Conning
April/5/2011
@ 9:19 pm

What a perfect match! NASA and newspaper comic strips: two things that nobody cares about anymore.

#2 Gar Molloy
April/6/2011
@ 5:33 am

Um…I care about NASA and I’m not even American. I just think it’s really cool that people go into space, and as far as I know they’re not mining moon gold or anything, so they’re going purely for the sake of science and exploration. It’s not really ‘useful’ from an economic standpoint, but it’s exciting and important.

I really like this image and the sentiment it captures.

#3 Jeff Pert
April/6/2011
@ 8:48 am

I say congratulations to Mr. Bassett for a wonderful drawing unlikely to be appreciated by a cynical, nay-saying society.

If what Matt says is really true, especially about NASA, we’re a poorer country for it. As Gar points out, here’s one U.S. effort that isn’t all about making $$$ (although if the program hadn’t been so cut back over the years, I’m sure someone would have found a way to cash in on it by now).

I’m all for capitalism and a strong U.S. economy, but the fact that something like NASA (and comic strips) is an object of derisive cynicism is exactly what’s wrong w/ our society.

#4 Josh McDonald
April/6/2011
@ 9:15 am

Great picture! Especially considering when I was about Red’s age I had a toy space shuttle very like the one he’s holding there. Though I was never able to get nearly that close to a real shuttle.
…sigh…

#5 Norm Feuti
April/6/2011
@ 9:57 am

I have to concur with Josh. I’m old enough to remember when the Shuttle program was a new thing. It was the first spaceship that actually looked like a spaceship. It was a cool time to be a kid.

Ah, but we do live in the “anything that didn’t exist before I was alive is stupid” generation, don’t we?

#6 Graham Nolan
April/6/2011
@ 11:20 am

That’s a pretty ignorant statement, Matt. If you don’t think people care about newspaper comics, you’ve never seen the flood of letters that come in when a paper cancels somebody’s favorite (and every strip in the paper is SOMEBODY’S favorite).
As far as NASA goes, public apathy may have set in, but they were on the cusp of forging new territory with the advent of the Constellation program and the new Aries rocket until the President cut their budget.
NASA may be a bloated government bureaucracy now but they have and will continue to do great things. I grew up on the Space Coast and saw STS-1 lift off and tell you…people care.

#7 Stephen Beals
April/6/2011
@ 12:24 pm

Gosh, Matt, what else don’t you like? I’m fascinated!

I got to see John Glenn take off (well, he was in the shuttle with the other astronauts) in 1998. Seeing that in person made me feel like a kid who was witnessing complete scientific wonder.

I really like Brian Basset’s poster.

#8 steve skelton
April/6/2011
@ 12:39 pm

Great stuff, Brian!!

And for the record, I care about newspaper comics.

#9 Jason Dodge
April/6/2011
@ 2:51 pm

Really great cartoon. Brian captured a lot of joy and wonder in this cartoon.

I also dig a good newspaper cartoon. (BTW Graham congrats on getting Sunshine State syndicated)

#10 Graham Nolan
April/6/2011
@ 3:16 pm

Thanks a lot, Jason!

#11 Jerry Yarnetsky
April/8/2011
@ 9:08 am

Fabulous poster! It so captures that child awe and wonder about space most of us lose.

As far at Matt’s comment …

The newspaper industry is certainly undergoing a sea change at the hands of the Internet — and with it newspaper comics.

However, so much of the pain was self-inflicted. Newspapers enjoyed great times, but ate themselves from the inside out to attain ever growing and ever more unrealistic profit demands of shareholders.

To increase the next quarter’s profits, they killed their news departments and killed the comic sections and features– the very things people bought the newspapers for to begin with.

I grew up on comic strips and I am a former newspaper reporter. But it’s no longer enjoyable to read newspapers because all the good stuff is gone. The news is no longer news. The great new comics are not making it into the papers because they keep shrinking the selection and filling it up with stuff from decades ago.

>sigh<

I am thankful a new comics ecology is slowly emerging on the internet.

#12 brian whitmer
April/11/2011
@ 8:43 am

Congratulations Mr. Basset! Eat your heart out Peter Max! :-)

#13 Scott Spinks
April/20/2011
@ 8:23 am

Nice work, Brian! I share the same memories you do about the space shuttle program. I’m sad to see it go, but I am looking forward to the next phase. Hopefully there will be one. I’d love to have a studio on the moon. :)

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