FoxTrot


FoxTrot

Infobox Comic strip
title=FoxTrot


caption= First panel of "FoxTrot" Sunday strips since 1999.
creator=Bill Amend
status=Weekly
syndicate=Universal Press Syndicate
publisher=Andrews McMeel Publishing
comictype=print
genre=Humor, Family, Satire
first=April 10, 1988
last=December 30, 2006 ("end of dailies; Sunday-only continues")
website= [http://www.foxtrot.com/ FoxTrot.com]

"FoxTrot" is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Amend. As of December 2006, "FoxTrot" is carried by over 1,000 newspapers worldwide.cite web| url=http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/newsrelease/?view=468| author=Universal Press| title=FoxTrot to Cease Dailies |accessdate = 2006-12-05] It was published on a daily schedule from its inception in 1988 until December 31, 2006, when Amend switched it to a Sunday-only format.

The strip centers around the daily lives of the Fox family, an American family composed of two parents and three children: the parents Roger (father) and Andy (mother), and children Peter, Paige and Jason, who are 16, 14, and 10 years of age, respectively. The strip covers a wide range of subject matter, including spoofs of pop culture fads and popular consumer products.

Characters

The "Foxtrot" comic is centered around the daily lives of the Fox family, consisting of parents Roger and Andy, and their three children: Peter, Paige, and Jason. Additional minor characters include Jason's pet iguana Quincy, Jason's best friend Marcus and love-hate classmate Eileen Jacobson, Paige's best friend Nicole and her admirer Morton (whom she hates), Peter's best friend Steve, his blind girlfriend Denise, and other friends and classmates of the children. Some storylines also focus around Roger at work and his boss, Pembrook.

ettings

The Fox family lives in a two-story house in a suburban setting; their address was identified in the first strip as 1254 North Elm Street, but the city and state have never been specified, though the family goes to Chicago Bulls games, so it can be thought that it is a Chicago suburb.

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" . [cite book|last=Amend|first=Bill|authorlink=Bill Amend|title=FoxTrot: The Works (pp. 60-1)|publisher=Andrews McMeel Publishing|date=1990|location=Kansas City|id=ISBN 0-8362-1848-5] Later vacations by the Fox family have included trips to Hawaii, Washington D.C., the desert, various amusement parks (usually in a fictional "Fun-Fun" chain of theme parks, i.e. "Isles of Fun-Fun Resort", "Fun-Fun Mountan", ect.), and campgrounds.

Popular culture

In addition to family humor, the strip has many stories built around fandom and popular culture. The characters - primarily Jason, Peter, and Paige — frequently have new obsessions or interests which reflect the time period at which the strip was published. At least two FoxTrot strips have directly mentioned Wikipedia.Fact|date=December 2007

Jason is often portrayed as having a fascination in various science fiction and fantasy titles, including "Star Wars", "Star Trek" and "Lord of the Rings". He also plays the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. In addition, both he and Peter are frequently seen playing video games on the computer and on gaming consoles. On some occasions, the games are referred to by their actual names, while others are identified by fictional names. The latter usually reference real-life titles, such as "Riviablo", a combination of "Riven" and "Diablo". Other examples include "World of Warquest" ("World of Warcraft") and "Mortal Karnage" ("Mortal Kombat").

cientific references

Amend majored in physics at Amherst College, [ [http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/features/foxtrot/bio.htm Universal Press Syndicate: Creator Bio ] ] 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. [cite book|last=Amend|first=Bill|authorlink=Bill Amend|title=Death By Field Trip (p. 87)|publisher=Andrews McMeel Publishing|date=2001|location=Kansas City|id=ISBN 0-7407-1391-4]

Inside Jokes

In a nod to Amend's being a graduate of Amherst College, Peter is nearly always seen wearing a purple and white hat with an A on it (an allusion to Amherst College). His dad is occasionally seen wearing a purple and yellow hat with a W on it (alluding to Amherst's traditional rival, Williams College).

tyle

Passage of time

FoxTrot is similar to other comic strips in that the characters do not age (although Roger's forty-fifth birthday was celebrated in the strip's first year). There was an in-joke on the lack of aging in a post-9/11 strip in which Andy told Jason that Roger had donated blood even though he was scared of needles because "We all have to grow up, kiddo." Jason replied, "Whoa, did I stumble into "For Better or For Worse"?", referring to a comic in which the characters age.

Although the characters do not age, past events are occasionally referenced in the strip—most notably, Jason's summer at Camp Bohrmore, a science-based summer camp, in a 1997 storyline. Other past events in the strip may be referred to as happening "last year" even if the referenced storyline was printed more than a year ago.

Parodies and subtleties

The characters appear to be aware that they are living a comic strip, with references to such events as ink shortages and "whitening" toothpaste that erased the lines between Roger's teeth. In scenes where a character is reading a newspaper, Amend will often add a joke headline to the paper (such as "Cartoonist to join NASCAR Circuit"), usually accompanied by a caricature of himself. Also, countless references praising cartoonists are made, such as Jason's saying that "all the smart women go for cartoonists" and that the cast of 24 may have been cartoonists (when asked how they could function at 3:00 to 4:00 AM). Other comic strips are sometimes referenced as well, and characters from other strips are sometimes drawn in the background. The characters are often seen reading magazines such as "Fourteen", "Illistrated Sports", and "Thyme". Sometimes, details in the background will change subtly from panel to panel, such as the text on a poster, magazine or coffee mug.

Computers

Several FoxTrot gags revolve around the use of a computer. The first of these to appear in the strip was an Apple II; in 1991, Andy had purchased an unidentified style of Compact Macintosh. Later on, this was replaced with an unidentified Macintosh desktop computer, similar in design to a Macintosh LC or Power Macintosh. This computer, in turn, was sold in a 1999 story after Roger's unsuccessful attempts at online stock trading; shortly afterward, the family purchased an "iFruit", a parody of the original model of the iMac. Starting in 2007, a newer computer resembling the most recent model of iMac has been shown.Fact|date=November 2007 The iFruit talked constantly and had a desperate fashion sense. Andy and Jason apparently have separate computers now.

Books

There have been 35 "FoxTrot" books published so far, all by Andrews McMeel Publishing. Of the 35 books, 25 are collections and 10 are anthologies. The anthologies are composed of the two or three previous collections, and include Sunday strips in color.

Merchandising

During the late 1990s, the character of Jason Fox was licensed to Wolfram Research as a product spokesman for its Mathematica software package.cite web|title=Wolfram Research|url=http://www.wolfram.com/news/foxwiz.html|date=June 8, 1998|accessdate = 2006-10-11] In fact, Mathematica was referenced at least once in the strip (though several years before Jason was licensed).

References

External links

* [http://www.foxtrot.com FoxTrot.com]
* [http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/features/foxtrot/index.htm Universal Press Syndicate FoxTrot Page]
* [http://homepage.mac.com/billamend/ Bill Amend's Homepages]
* [http://www.gocomics.com/foxtrot/ FoxTrot comics] and [http://www.gocomics.com/foxtrotclassics/ FoxTrot classics] at GoComics
* [http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/features/foxtrot/bio.htm Biographies of Bill Amend]
* [http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/newsrelease/?view=468 Bill Amend's press release about FoxTrot Ceasing Dailies]


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