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Review: Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips

Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips

The 1970s were full of films that have forever changed how we view stories. This was the era of Spielberg and Coppola, when they were still young men, and Kubrick when he was already a master behind the camera. It was often referred to as an era of outcasts, people who would not normally be seen. This generalization is interesting, because this was also when the “Blaxploitation era” of films entered Hollywood.

For the first time, POC characters were no longer just secondary, but a good majority of the main cast in many of these films. One of those films was Friday Foster, which was about a model turned photographer, who witnesses a murder and teams up with a private detective to uncover multilayered conspiracy. I found the film though one of my uncles and later discovered it was based on a comic strip, which I found to be better than the movies and was more interesting than the Modesty Blaise comic strip I read at the same time. Thanks to the good people at Ablaze Publishing, we now have the complete run in one beautiful tome, Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips, we discover a protagonist, much deeper and much more intriguing.

In the “Foreword” written by James Lawrence Jr., the son of the creator Friday Foster, we find out just how prolific a writer his father was , and just how self deprecating he was, despite his immense talent. In” Introduction” Christopher Marlon regales the reader with his quest to collect these strips, some of which was even sold to a Spanish company, before he was able to collect them all. In “James D. Lawrence: Notes for a Biography”, David Moreu gives a short rundown of the author’s life. In “ Jordi Longaron: The Man Who Dreamed in Technicolor”, Moreu interviews Longaron in a sprawling discussion about his life , his relationship with Lawrence and his inspirations for the comic strip. In “ On The Verge Of Impossible: Anatomy Of A Remaster”, Javier Meson gives a short take on just how difficult it was to not only collect the strips but to secure the rights, a kerfuffle reminiscent of the mess going on with the Hulk films. In “The Newspaper Previews”, we find a few examples different newspaper had to entice readers to read the strip. In “The Critics Reviews”, we find two reviews by prominent publications, showing sometimes outdated thinking. In “1970”, we find Friday trying to get ahead at the magazine she works while often contending with her male counterparts who often not as smart or as qualified as she was. In “1971”, we find Friday and her cohort chases a story from New York to Spain, fight xenophobia in Chinatown, to a honeypot scheme involving stolen jewels. In “1972”, our protagonist tracks down an heir to a fortune, deal with handsy misogynists, chase down missing artifacts, get romantically pursued by two men and solve a haunted house crime. In “1973”, chase a story about pickpockets, head to Africa in a jungle adventure dealing with animal poachers, a plus size model dealing body discrimination, a strange request from a billionaire having to do with an amnesia patient, to a Blacks only cult. In “1974”, Friday deals with jealous models and journalistic espionage, in what turns out be a romance between the two antagonists. In “Fan Mail”, we get a view of the more interesting fan letters including one from the Chrysler Corporation, pointing out safety precautions. In “Lawrence Siblings Interview”, the author’s children reminisce about their father. In “Friday Foster Enters Academia”, Alberto Villamandos wrote dissertation on how the world views this iconic comic strip. In “The Menomonee Gazette”, we find out how the strip was so popular that it made its way into reprints. In “The Friday Foster Dell Comic Book & What Did It Sell”, tells of when Dell got into comic books and for a brief time had the intellectual property for Friday Foster. In “The Tale of the Two dark Angels: From Friday Foster to Angela Harpe”, we find out how Lawrence intrinsically continued Friday’s adventures in the form of Angela Harpe in the Dark Angel series. In” Pam Grier”, Moreu has the privilege of interviewing the Hollywood icon about her experience filming the movie. In “Arthur Marks Interview”, the film’s director talks about his experience making the movie and how he dealt with the criticism. In “Motion Picture Reviews”, we see how divided the reception was on the film. In “Motion Picture Press Book”, the reader gets to see how press kits were made in the 1970s. In “The Friday Foster Soundtrack”, we find out just how influential the soundtrack was and how future generations have used it to make new music. In “Robert Tonner Interview”, the doll maker talks about what went into creating the Friday Foster doll from his 2008 collection. In the last section, “Museum Of Uncut Funk Interview”, the site’s creators’ talks about they discovered the comic strip and how the site keeps it alive through an online exhibit.

Overall, Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips is what casual and diehard fans of the comic strip need to have in their library. The stories, essays and interviews by the different writers more than entertains, they give the ultimate look at this hero. The art by the different artists are beautiful. Altogether, if you are looking for a gift for an old school comic book fan, this book more than suffices and offers a different protagonist who was ahead of her time.

Story: Jim Lawrence Art: Jordi Longaron, Jorge Longaron, Gray Morrow, Antonio Moreno, Rudolfo Muragachi
Translation: Andrea Rosenberg Editing: Christopher Marlon, Rich Young, Kevin Ketner
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: AmazonBookshop