FoxTrot

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FoxTrot
Author(s)Bill Amend
WebsiteFoxTrot.com
Current status/scheduleSundays-only; daily until December 30, 2006
Launch dateApril 10, 1988; 30 years ago (1988-04-10)
Syndicate(s)Universal Press Syndicate/Universal Uclick/Andrews McMeel Syndication
Publisher(s)Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre(s)Humor, Family, Satire

FoxTrot is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Amend. The strip launched on April 10, 1988, and it ran seven days a week until December 30, 2006. Since then, FoxTrot has strictly appeared on Sundays.[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.

Publication history[edit]

Amend states that after he submitted strips for three years, in 1987 Universal Press Syndicate (UPS) offered him a contract.[2] FoxTrot was first syndicated by UPS on April 10, 1988.[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 a week-long arc 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] At the end of its run as a daily comic, FoxTrot was carried by more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide.[1] Since moving to one comic every week, Amend has said that it's harder to remain topical because Sunday's deadline is 30 days ahead of publication, compared with just 10-day deadlines the rest of the week.[7]

Characters and story[edit]

FoxTrot centers on the daily lives of the Foxes, a suburban family, composed of father Roger, wife Andy, and their children: Peter, Paige, and Jason, who live together in the same house.[8] The Fox family lives in a suburban setting. While vacations have taken the Fox family to Hawaii, Washington D.C., the desert, and various amusement parks and campgrounds, Amend says that he has never given a particular location or name for where they live. But in some of the comics the characters are wearing Kansas City Chiefs jerseys, so they may live in Missouri or Kansas.

In addition to family humor, the strip has many stories built around fandom and popular culture. "Guests" in the strip have included The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Amend majored in physics at Amherst College,[9] and his knowledge on the subject is sometimes reflected in FoxTrot's frequent inclusion of complex mathematical or physics formulae, usually written by Jason, whom Amend described as "largely an exaggerated representation of [his] own geeky nature."[7] Jason is also used to express Amend's knowledge of computer languages.[10]

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, who is blind, 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 "for specific reasons and to create specific dynamics between [Peter, Paige, and Jason]."[11].

Books[edit]

The strips have been printed in 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.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FoxTrot to Cease Dailies" (Press release). Universal Press Syndicate. December 5, 2006. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. 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. Archived from the original on 2006-12-14.
  6. ^ "Universal Uclick". amuniversal.com. Archived from the original on 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  7. ^ a b Booth, John (April 14, 2010). "Interview with FoxTrot's Bill Amend". Wired.
  8. ^ Amend, Bill. "About FoxTrot". Original Comic Website. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  9. ^ "Bill Amend – Creator Bio". amuniversal.com. Universal Press Syndicate. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010.
  10. ^ Amend, Bill (2001). Death By Field Trip (p. 87). Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-1391-4. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  11. ^ https://www.wired.com/2010/04/interview-with-foxtrots-bill-amend/
  12. ^ "'FoxTrot' Character Jason Fox to Promote Innovative Educational Calculus Software" (Press release). Wolfram Research. June 8, 1998. Retrieved 2015-02-03.

External links[edit]