hound that's almost human!"
Fred Basset arrived in the pages of the "Daily
Mail" on 8th July 1963
And he's never looked back. His creator, Alex
Graham, had previously been
responsible for another canine-centric strip,
"Wee Hughie" which he'd been
drawing for "The Dundee Weekly News"
for some 18 years prior to Fred's
arrival. It's often suggested that Fred was
based upon Graham's very own
basset hound called Frieda, and certainly,
the traits that Fred exhibits in
his strips have must have been closely observed
from a real-life counterpart.
Fred leads a dog's life. He mutters and mumbles
through the days,
giving us an insight into his doggy mind and
his canine thoughts. Our
Fred's a rather pompous fellow, as it happens.
He doesn't understand
his owners, just as they don't understand
him. Then again, he looks
down his nose at his own doggy pals like Fifi
the poodle and Jock the
Scottish Terrier. Their behaviour seems so
much more inferior to his own.
Fred has toddled on through the days and years,
irrespective of the
changing world around him. The strip has never
been particularly topical,
or political. And that's just how the readership
When Alex Graham died in 1991 he left behind
a surplus of unpublished
artwork, and these, combined with 28 years
of strips mean that there are
some 9000 toons in syndication. So it looks like
Fred will be with us for
a wee while longer!
well as the newspaper strips, there have been at least 58 anthologies
published over the years
- and they're still coming out annually today...
In 1976, Fred was
granted his very own tv series, which was shepherded
to the screen by Bill
Melendez. You can read more about
the toon here...
Here's the original strip, to
view each day...
Wow. Here's Tony's guide to the
associated books. He's got
a complete series of cover scans
to share with us...
And Double:Take have the rights
to the animated
series, if you're interested...
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