Reviews: Foxtrot

Not What It Used To Be

FoxTrot was one of my favorite comic strips when I was growing up. These days, however, while I generally still enjoy it in spite of becoming more aware of its flaws, I personally find the strip to be a shadow of its former self.

The strip covers the day-to-day life of the Fox family, who all have their various quirks and obsessions. Like most comic strip families, the Foxes frequently bicker and get on each others nerves while occasionally reminding us that they do, in fact, love each other enough to stick together, the latter of which can be quite heartwarming.

Unfortunately, various members come off as unlikable at times, especially Andy, the mother of the family, who's utterly merciless when it comes to other people's mistakes or bad behavior, and completely unwilling to spend money on their hobbies, but frequently gives herself a pass on both areas, making her come off as quite a hypocrite. Furthermore, some of the one-shot strips frequently draw from a few personality quirks per character, compared to somewhat more nuanced characterization in storylines.

The jokes draw from a broad variety of sources, from the character interactions to various pop culture references, and are for the most part, quite well done. The latter tend to date the strip somewhat, though, and you may enjoy those less if you weren't old enough to remember what was being written about.

Unfortunately, since 2006, the series has gone over to only printing Sunday strips. This change is quite unfortunate, because apart from strips coming out at only one seventh the previous rate, it sacrifices the opportunity for continuity and small storylines. The storylines were an important part of the strip, because while there was hardly any permanent Character Development, they allowed for stories that were more than a setup to a joke, and sometimes showed surprising sides to the characters. FoxTrot uses the Sunday format well, from various jokes with color to ones that make use of greater space, but it's disappointing to see that's all there is to the strip these days.

I'd recommend checking out one of the old FoxTrot books. As for the main strip, though, it's clearly past its prime, and while I enjoyed it "back in the day", like Roger did with Captain Goofball, I actually agree with Andy that today's kids deserve to laugh their heads off, perhaps with a strip that will replace FoxTrot in the Sunday papers.

Fox Trot

Fox Trot is a currently-running Sundays-only comic strip (although it was daily until 2006) It tells the adventures of a regular suburban family. There's Roger, the Bumbling Dad who is terrible with computers, Andy, the Deadpan Snarker Moral Guardian Jerk Ass mother of the family, Peter, the unlucky Butt Monkey character and a massive Big Eater, Paige the Bratty Teenage Daughter who shops at the mall day and night, and Jason, the Author Avatar Breakout Character of the family. If you have not yet read this comic, I recommend you check it out or buy a book - it'll keep you laughing all the way through the night.