Friday Foster

Every legend has a beginning and this cult comic strip entitled “Friday Foster” brings us back to January 18th, 1970, when it started its run in some major American newspapers in the classic format of three daily black and white panels (although on Sundays it grew to half page in full colour). Putting time in perspective, it is obvious that the adventures of this African American model turned into a high society photographer did not mean any formal revolution in the multimillion industry of syndicated strips, but as fate would have, she was the first black main character in the history of comic books and that helped to break many social taboos that crawled for decades, although some Southern outlets decided not to publish it because there was still racial segregation in the streets.

Interestingly enough, a white writer from New Jersey called Jim Lawrence created those scripts with a huge Afro aesthetic and the cool drawings had the unmistakable style of Jordi Longarón, an artist from Barcelona (Spain) who enjoyed some success during the golden era of the Spanish illustrator agencies. And, by chance, he became the first Spanish comic book artist to debut in the competitive US market. Now that we are celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of “Friday Foster,” I met with Longarón in his home studio in order to discuss the roots of this legendary work that has never been reissued, discover the personal sacrifices he underwent to keep that character alive and his thoughts on the eponymous film starring Pam Grier, which was released during the Blaxploitation days. Welcome to an exciting journey with an exceptional soul music soundtrack over the panels that changed everything without making big noise.