FoxTrot

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For other uses, see Foxtrot (disambiguation).
FoxTrot
Author(s) Bill Amend
Website FoxTrot.com
Current status / schedule Sundays-only; daily until December 30, 2006
Launch date April 10, 1988; 26 years ago (1988-04-10)
Syndicate(s) Universal Press Syndicate
Publisher(s) Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre(s) Humor, Family, Satire

FoxTrot is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Amend. As of December 2006, FoxTrot was carried by more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide.[1] From its inception in 1988 it was published daily until December 31, 2006, when Amend switched to a Sunday-only format.[1]

The strip revolves around the daily lives of the Fox family, composed of parents Andrea (Andy, 42) and Roger (45), and their children, Peter (16), Paige (14), and Jason (10). It covers a wide range of subject matter, including spoofs of pop culture fads, nerd culture, and popular consumer products.

History[edit]

Amend states that after he submitted strips for three years, in 1987 Universal Press Syndicate offered him a contract.[2] FoxTrot was first published on April 10, 1988, under the syndication of Universal Press Syndicate.[3][4]

On December 5, 2006, Universal Press Syndicate issued a press release stating that Amend's strip, FoxTrot, would turn into a Sunday-only strip. Amend stated that he wants to continue doing the strip, but at a less hurried pace.[5] This news was followed by several weeks of the characters discussing a "cartoonist" semi-retiring to Sundays only, and what methods he would use to phase out the daily strips. The last daily strip was printed on December 30, 2006.[6]

Characters[edit]

FoxTrot centers on the daily lives of the Fox family, composed of father Roger, wife Andy, and their children: Peter, Paige, and Jason, who live together in the same house.[7] Additional characters include Jason's pet iguana Quincy; Jason's friend Marcus and his classmate Eileen Jacobson; Paige's friend Nicole and her classmate Morton Goldthwait; Peter's girlfriend Denise and his friend Steve; and other friends and classmates of the children and Roger's co-workers. Like many comic strips, FoxTrot employs a floating timeline, where time passes but the characters themselves never age.

Settings[edit]

The Fox family lives in a suburban setting. Several storylines in the strip have focused on summer vacation trips to various places. Early on, the Fox family spent summer vacation at "Uncle Ralph's Cabin".[8] Later vacations by the Fox family have included trips to Hawaii, Washington D.C., the desert, various amusement parks (see Bury My Heart at Fun-Fun Mountain for an example), and campgrounds. In a series of strips though, references are made implying that they live in or near Chicago. However, Amend has denied this and claims that he has never given a particular location or name for where they live.

Early in the strip's run, FoxTrot often dealt with societal issues such as drug abuse.[9]

Popular culture references[edit]

In addition to family humor, the strip has many stories built around fandom and popular culture. In one example, Jason was playing chess with his friend Marcus, but the game was tweaked into being a modified Dungeons and Dragons.[10]

On occasion, there have been a few celebrity guest appearances in the strip, such as The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Amend majored in physics at Amherst College,[11] and his knowledge of physics is sometimes reflected in FoxTrot's frequent inclusion of complex mathematical or physics formulae, usually written by Jason. Jason is also used to express Amend's knowledge of computer languages.[12]

Books[edit]

Main article: List of FoxTrot books

The strips have been printed forty-one different books, all by Andrews McMeel Publishing. Of the 41 books, 27 are collections and 14 are anthologies. The anthologies are composed of the two or three previous collections, and include Sunday strips in color.

Merchandising[edit]

During the late 1990s, the character of Jason Fox was licensed to Wolfram Research as a product spokesman for its Mathematica software package.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

In a 1990 article which reviewed various then-current comic strips, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave FoxTrot a "B" rating, calling it "the most idiosyncratic comic strip to debut since Calvin and Hobbes" and describing the Fox family as "believable."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FoxTrot to Cease Dailies" (Press release). Universal Press Syndicate. December 5, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  2. ^ Amend, Bill. "About The Strip – About Me". foxtrot.com. Bill Amend. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  3. ^ Arvae, Lynn (April 11, 1988). "'FoxTrot' comic strip premieres today". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  4. ^ "Hunting fox in suburbia: New comic strip premieres". The Miami Herald. April 10, 1988. pp. 1G. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  5. ^ "FoxTrot to Cease Dailies". amuniversal.com (Press release). Universal Press Syndicate. 
  6. ^ "Universal Uclick". amuniversal.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  7. ^ Amend, Bill. "About FoxTrot". Original Comic Website. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  8. ^ Amend, Bill (1990). FoxTrot: The Works (pp. 60–1). Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-8362-1848-5. 
  9. ^ "'FoxTrot' tackles drug abuse". Deseret News. March 6, 1989. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  10. ^ Andersen, Espen (December 12, 2007). "Applied Abstractions: Wikipedia As Seen By FoxTrot". espen.com. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  11. ^ "Bill Amend – Creator Bio". amuniversal.com. Universal Press Syndicate. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. 
  12. ^ Amend, Bill (2001). Death By Field Trip (p. 87). Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-1391-4. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  13. ^ "'FoxTrot' Character Jason Fox to Promote Innovative Educational Calculus Software" (Press release). Wolfram Research. June 8, 1998. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  14. ^ Tucker, Ken (October 15, 1990). "Black & White and Read All Over". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 

External links[edit]