Brian Basset Looks Back on Career

‘Red and Rover’ cartoonist, based in Edmonds, looks back on career

Brian Basset has drawn newspaper comic strips for decades.

Now he’s preparing for the next phase of his career.

If you are like me the Everett Herald headline and subhed shrieks that Brian Basset is retiring.

Rest assured that is not the case … not yet.

The cartoonist’s local newspaper runs a front page profile of Brian Basset today.

photo: Olivia Vanni / The Herald

For more than two decades, Basset has sketched out the adventures of a boy and his dog in the newspaper comic strip “Red and Rover.” It runs in more than 300 papers including The Seattle Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Herald, of which Basset is a subscriber…

Basset believes he has another five years left in him as a comic artist [emphasis added] before he brings “Red and Rover” to an end. In the meantime, he’s working to solidify his comic’s legacy while setting the stage for the next phase of his career.

Comic [strips] became Basset’s full-time profession after he was laid off by The Times in 1994. With a change in workspace, “Adam” was rechristened as “Adam@Home.” A few years on and Basset was itching for a do-over. He wanted to take everything he learned from trial and error and put it into a new strip, one that was good from the get-go.

The main character for the new comic would be Red, a 10-year-old boy largely based on Basset’s own childhood. Basset described Red as “a kid who’s happy, and that’s in short supply today.” The boy’s best friend is his dog Rover. The two are inseparable, and the strip would showcase their joyful friendship with the goal of putting a smile on readers’ faces.

The profile is a heart-warming tale of a boy and his comic strip about a boy and his dog.

Basset is nearing the end of his comic career. While he loves cartooning, it takes a wear and tear on his body. He wants to retire at 70 and to give “Red and Rover” a fitting end, because the strip is “too personal” to hand off to someone else.

“I want ‘Red and Rover’ to retire when I go, on my terms,” Basset said, “because I don’t want it to have a different voice down the road by somebody else that’s not part of the makeup of the characters when I created them.”

Brian gets a nice feature article starting with half of page one:

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