Fred Basset has always been an oddity of a comic strip. First syndicated in 1963 and now drawn by the original artist's daughter and a colleague, this bizarre little daily feature gives us a basset hound named Fred who spends all day behaving quite like a dog and thinking abstract little thoughts that have very little to do with anything at all. I will freely admit that I do not "get" Fred Basset. I am not convinced that there is anything there to "get." Granted, I will take its whimsy over the blatant stupidity of Crock, but I do sometimes wish that Fred would get the hell out of the 1970s. Perhaps his owners could even break out of their gender roles. That might be fun.
In today's strip, however, the authors demonstrate that, in true medieval fashion, they recognise the greatness of their own work. As medieval writers aspired to be "auctors" whose work would be cited and honoured by others, so do Michael Martin and Arran Graham. Their determination to have their greatness recognised has led to them placing a collection of Fred Basset comics amidst books labelled, "Tolstoy," "Dickens," "Proust," and "Mark Twain."* The self-promotion isn't even disguised. Well done, you guys.
Next week, tune in to watch Fred eat a chocolate, imply to his owner that he needs to go for a walk, and join the Third Crusade. It promises to be quite a good time.
P.S.: I had to make some stuff up here. There is no Middle English equivalent for "eponymous." Since there's also no modern English synonym, I had to break the word down and cobble it together out of tiny scraps of English (instead of Greek). There is also no Middle English equivalent for "hero" in the way meant here. Ah well.
P.P.S.: This is Japes' hundredth post. Hip. Hip. Hurrah!
*Why does only Twain get a first name? This is going to bother me for days.