Bassie en Adriaan by Frans Verschoor
De avonturen van Bassie en Adriaan 2 - 'De Ontvoering'.

Frans Verschoor was a Dutch comic artist, best known for his celebrity comic series based on the popular children's TV show 'Bassie en Adriaan'. The comic books were published between 1983 and 1985. Verschoor later drew a 'Bassie en Adriaan' gag comic, printed in Bassie en Adriaan Magazine (1997-2000). He also made illustrations for the Leeuwarder Courant and designed the cover of the 'Bassie en Adriaan' record 'En De Verzonken Stad' (2001).

Early life and career
Frans Verschoor was born in 1956 in Hillegom, in the north-coastal province South Holland. After his military service, he first lived in Ermelo, before settling in the Frisian town of Tijnje. Verschoor was a good friend of Bas and Aad van Toor, the two comedians who'd later become known as Bassie and Adriaan. In 1973, he and Karst Berkenbosch recorded a Frisian-language album, 'Zomer op Ameland', which was re-released in 2001.

Bassie en Adriaan
In 1976, the brothers Bas and Aad van Toor, who had a circus and theatrical act since 1955 under various other names, first performed under the name 'Bassie en Adriaan'. Aad van Toor played the part of Adriaan the acrobat, while Bas provided comic relief as the clown Bassie. Their act caught on and in 1978 they received their own children's series on Dutch television. Throughout the decades, new seasons would come about, usually serialized adventure stories where they tried to solve mysteries. The brothers not only wrote the stories and the gags, but Aad also directed each episode and composed most of the music (with Bert Smorenburg). Aad also played the part of recurring villain the Baron, while Bas did the same for his henchman Vlugge Japie. 'Bassie en Adriaan' quickly became popular both in their home country as well in Flanders, Belgium, where their shows were broadcast too. They were easily the most succesful Dutch-language children's TV franchise of the late 1970s and the 1980s. A stream of audio plays, musical albums, theatrical shows and video cassettes became available. New TV seasons continued to appear as late as 1996. Even after that, date they remained recognizable faces on television and in theatres until they retired their characters in the early 2010s.

De Avonturen van Bassie en Adriaan #3 - 'De Diamant'.

Between 1983 and 1985, Frans Verschoor made his debut as a comic artist by drawing three full-length comic books about Bassie en Adriaan, scripted by Aad van Toor: 'Het Geheim van de Sleutel' (1983), 'De Ontvoering' (1983) and 'De Diamant' (1985). The stories, serialized in Troskompas, were slightly based on narratives from their TV show, though considerably altered. While Bassie owned a parakeet named Sweety in the series, the animal stayed home in their caravan when they went on adventure. In the comic strip this bird was changed into a parrot named Kobus. He is not only able to converse with Bassie and Adriaan, but also joins them on their adventures. After three albums the 'Bassie en Adriaan' comics were terminated. A fourth story, 'Het Geheim van de Schatkaart', was announced but never appeared in comic book form. Instead it was adapted into a weekly audio play, broadcast on the Dutch radio station Hilversum 2 (nowadays NPO Radio 1) under the title: 'Bassie en Adriaan op Schattenjacht'. In 1985 it was adapted for television too.

Final years and death
In 1997, Bassie and Adriaan received their own monthly magazine, Bassie en Adriaan Magazine. Most of the material were stories, puzzles, jokes, games, coloring pictures and reprints of the 1980s comics, but Verschoor also drew new one-strip gag comics. The magazine ran for 16 issues until 2000, when Verschoor unexpectedly passed away. The brothers took the decision to discontinue both the magazine as well as the comic strip, out of respect for their departed friend. 

Self-portrait of Frans Verschoor (right), next to Adriaan and Bassie.

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