Writer Jim Lawrence and artist Jorge Lonaro created the first Afr-Am woman to lead a syndicated comic strip (1970-'74). The photog assistant from Harlem becomes an international supermodel viewing the world through her own unique lens. Mirroring the times, the early '70s strips took on a harder street edge dealing with the political realities of the inner city, but by the mid-'70s it had softened into a globe-trotting soap adventure with sharp fashion in the vein of rival "Brenda Starr". Yet Friday's presence in mainstream papers after decades of hurtful stereotypes was invaluable, portraying a proactive modern career woman with sharp wits taking on all obstacles.
The strip ran concurrent with the rise of Feminism, as well as the Blaxplosion films. In this era of empowerment culture, Pam Grier helms a broad strokes 1975 film caper made oddly byzantine by a maze of name cameos, while Yaphet Kotto has a clearly enjoyable time as co-lead. It's not as classic as Coffy or Foxy Brown, and much of it cruises into general TV cop fare, but the cast, the sense of style, the talkbox Funk soundtrack, and its Proud Fist politics enliven the ride.
Fans and collectors can purchase a new doll collection of Friday in all her classic period styles (from the film) on the Museum Of Uncut Funk website.