This just seemed like an awfully odd comic to run on Black Friday

Cidu Bill on Nov 25th 2017


Unless there’s something going on here that I’m missing…

Filed in B.C., Bill Bickel, comic strips, comics, humor | 16 responses so far

16 Responses to “This just seemed like an awfully odd comic to run on Black Friday”

  1. Brent Nov 25th 2017 at 04:01 am 1

    Malls are dying… we’ve had two converted into office space and a third that was downsized (they demolished half of it) and still has trouble filling many of it’s spots. Black Friday is probably the best day for the anteater to try to pull this trick… the ants might know that shopping malls are getting rarer, but the quest for sales might make them chance it.

  2. waferthinmint Nov 25th 2017 at 05:27 am 2

  3. chuckers Nov 25th 2017 at 08:22 am 3

  4. mitch4 Nov 25th 2017 at 09:32 am 4

    Okay okay, you’ve convinced me, they do entirely mean “open” in the sense “open for business, not closed”. I was trying to take it at least in part as something like “open air” as against “enclosed”.

    When I was growing up in the Miami area, even big shopping malls could be mostly open air. I mean just the walkways and “public square” areas, not the stores themselves. This meant a store would either have narrow doorways with doors that had to open for each customer, or a broad sliding patio-door style, which spilled the air-conditioning expensively to the outdoors.

    This led to enclosing the whole place, in the Northern and later pretty universal style. Ted from Ft. Lauderdale, and others familiar with Miami in the sixties say, might recall that Dadeland was originally built in the open-air style. (Hey, is Dadeland still there?)

  5. Cidu Bill Nov 25th 2017 at 11:02 am 5

    I’m with Brent: a Black Friday sign would have drawn them into the “mall” easily enough, making yhe peculiar “Who sees open malls anymore?” unnecessary.

  6. Mark M Nov 25th 2017 at 11:49 am 6

    Even before online retail became a thing, I was never much into shopping malls. I generally go to a store when I absolutely need something and then I want to get what I need and go.

    Regarding the comic, I think these ants are toast at this point regardless of whether or not they enter the “mall”.

  7. billytheskink Nov 25th 2017 at 12:01 pm 7

    Oh man, how many times was this gag used in DePatie-Freleng’s Ant and the Aardvark cartoons?

  8. James Pollock Nov 25th 2017 at 08:36 pm 8

    In my youth, malls were the “it” trend.
    Malls allowed for different flavors of retail… the anchor stores, the specialty retailers, and the fast-food providers… to help drive traffic to each other. This was reflective of an era of peak mobility amongst Americans… want something? just go there, and get it.

    That still works, even though first mail-order, and later online ordering, cut into the synergy.

    Today, though, the “it” trend is mixed-use development… properties with retail (and other commercial tenants) on the ground floor, and residential space above. Live and work close together. This reflects a decreasing emphasis on mobility, specifically, on private motor vehicle use. The theory goes that you can live, work, and shop all within the same area, saving you from needing to spend all that time driving.

  9. Mark in Boston Nov 25th 2017 at 09:51 pm 9

    When I worked near a mall I went to the mall for lunch nearly every day and often did some shopping.

    Now I don’t live near a mall. It’s a half-hour trip. So I never go there.

  10. Kilby Nov 26th 2017 at 04:04 am 10

    @ billytheskink (7) - Not as often as you might otherwise suspect. I purchased the entire collection a while back: as far as I can recall, most of the aardvark’s methods are most “active” than “passive” (perhaps because the ant is generally too smart to fall for such a dumb trick). I’ll keep an eye out for this one the next next time my kids watch the DVD.

  11. larK Nov 26th 2017 at 11:47 am 11

    I fail to see much difference between a mall and a classic Main Street, the kind that every town had (and that has been dying for the last 30 years or more) other than the mall has a) a roof, b) is “new” (”shiny”), and c) is all private property (this is not a good thing, in my view, but allows you as the owner to control the experience, Disney-like). Our Main Street, which is trying to be revived back to something like its prime when it was the shopping destination of the area, has all the attributes of a mall: the anchor store (the big Sears at the end of the street, and now I think the only free standing Sears left — they are tenacious and don’t know when to quit…), the smaller specialty stores, the fast food places, the slower food places, all synergistically driving traffic to each other, the movie theater (sadly closed now), even other draws the mall never had, like the public library, and the Y; and even parking in a free shopper’s parking lot if you can’t find on spot on Main Street itself. There was this Dennis the Menace Christmas comics digest that I remember having that has the Mitchell’s going downtown to shop in that perfect 50s world that I could very well imagine was our downtown back in its prime — a thriving Main Street in the snow covered days before Christmas, Santas ringing bells, hot roasted chestnuts sold to the teeming night-time crowds going into the big department store. And I think our town has a good shot at reviving its Main Street, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the “genuine” Main Street experience doesn’t become the hot new shiny thing in the coming years.

  12. mitch4 Nov 26th 2017 at 12:25 pm 12

    larK, one big difference is implied by something you mention as an aside: vehicle traffic. There are indeed some Main Street type shopping districts that exclude motor vehicles from the street — but not all, and I would guess not even the majority. A mall OTOH is characterized by being a pedestrian environment. (Though probably allowing small electric carts or Segues for staff.)

    Or are you thinking more of “strip malls”? I would agree that a “strip mall” on the side of the road is not so different from a downtown or Main Street shopping area. But it isn’t what most people mean by “mall” tout court.

  13. James Pollock Nov 26th 2017 at 02:42 pm 13

    “one big difference is implied by something you mention as an aside: vehicle traffic.”

    flashback: “Lotta space in this mall” — Dan Aykroyd, as Elwood Blues, in “The Blues Brothers”.

  14. billytheskink Nov 26th 2017 at 04:37 pm 14

    @ Kilby (10) - I had (probably still have, somewhere) a Betamax tape with 6 or 7 of the Ant and Aardvark cartoons on it, and know those few quite well. On that tape, the aardvark disguises his mouth as the entrance to the ant’s anthill on two occasions and as the entrance to a club/lounge on another. This comic really reminded me of the latter, which is not a complaint. They’re great cartoons and I rather like being reminded of them. I have seen other A&A cartoons not on that tape as well, but it has been a while and I do not recall if the gag appears in those or not.

  15. Meryl A Nov 28th 2017 at 04:10 am 15

    Some communities around here are working hard at bringing back store and restaurants - they seem to do better with the latter, one has a moratorium on more restaurants - but same leads to problems with lack of parking, so free parking is going away or is diminished in some communities with the result that locals who have been coming continually are in an uproar.

    One mall near here has had a large bowling alley/video games,bar open and across from it a locked room is coming. And the local community leaders want to have a “wonderful”downtown area to attract young people - tall apartment buildings, etc.

  16. Kilby Nov 28th 2017 at 04:37 am 16

    @ billytheskink (14) - I checked the contents of the Ant&Aardvark DVD: all 17 cartoons are on it, but most of them seem to run only 6 minutes. Did you record that tape yourself, or was that a purchased item? If the latter, it seems incredible that it would only have 36 (or 42) minutes of material on it.

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