Fred Basset 1963 – 2023 (maybe)

Fred Basset has been in rerun status for nearly two months.

A week after celebrating its 60th anniversary the comic strip went into rerun mode.

According to a comment by “dv”:

Fred Basset comics are reruns right now because the artist who has been drawing them since 1991, Michael Martin, has retired. The copyright holder, Arran Keith, is currently looking for a new artist to continue the strip. In the meantime, they are running reruns of old strips.

The last new Fred Basset comic strip was published on March 11, 2023. Martin announced his retirement in a blog post on the Fred Basset website, saying that he had been drawing the strip for 32 years and it was time for him to step aside. He said that he was confident that the strip would continue under a new artist, and that he wished the best for the future of Fred Basset.

The Daily Cartoonist doesn’t have access to the original announcement but it seems that possibly Michael Martin retired in March but his last comic strips continued until he had got through the 60th anniversary strips.

Sunday July 16, 2023* is the first rerun. It originally ran on Sunday July 25, 1976*:

The following daily, July 17, 2023* continued the reruns being originally published on July 17, 1974*:

The reruns continue into the month of September. September 4, 2023* = May 28, 1976*:

I haven’t been able to find any “MBM” signed strip from earlier this year as being previously printed.

The “dv” note above does say Alex Graham’s daughter Arran Kieth is looking to replace Michael B. Martin:

Keith has said that she is looking for an artist who is “a fan of the strip and who can capture Fred’s character”. She has also said that she wants the new artist to be someone who is “willing to put their own stamp on the strip”.

It is not yet known when the new Fred Basset comic strip will be published. However, Keith has said that she is hopeful that it will be back in newspapers soon.

So there is the chance that new Fred Basset is only on hiatus and has not ended.

Fred Basset

by Alex Graham and Arran Kieth & Michael Martin (signing “MBM”)

July 9, 1963 (UK date) – ?July 15, 2023? (US date)

continues as reruns July 16, 2023 on.

first U.S. newspaper appearance: June 28, 1965

above: the July 15, 2023 issue of Fred Basset

We’ll make note here that the rerun strips are © Alex Graham, Ltd whereas the original run leading up to July 16 (except for the July 3-8, 2023 strips) are © Solo Syndication (Daily Mail).

* Dates, unless noted, are as published in the United States and may be different from United Kingdom dates.


Solicitations for the 2024 Fred Basset album are saying:

Celebrate 60 years of Fred Basset! Britain’s favourite basset hound returns for the final time [emphasis added] in this collection of witty cartoon strips from the Daily Mail.
Fred is retiring [emphasis added] – but not without returning one final time to take a bow.

6 thoughts on “Fred Basset 1963 – 2023 (maybe)

  1. I have both the Graham versions and Martin versions of the strip in my collection. Could it be time for Fred to retire instead of suffering the fate of Nancy?

    1. We agree it was a rough quarter century under the Gilchrist regime, but Jaimes has brought the writing back to fine form and better.

  2. Conflicting reports: Amazon’s UK book site for the 60th Anniversary collection out later this month is the final, that Fred is “retiring,” while Daily Cartoonist is reporting that daughter Arran is looking for a new artist to help continue the strip.

    1. The Daily Cartoonist is reporting what a “dv” passed along, and notified readers here that TDC “doesn’t have access to the original announcement” – even arguing against a portion of the announcement (the date of Martin’s last original published comic strip).
      Some research revealed that the comic strip is, in fact, currently in rerun mode
      I agree that Arran’s (then) desire to continue with new strips and Summersdale’s solicitation for the 2024 annual are at odds, but since we have no personal connection with either all we can do is report it all (our same day update).

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