On Strips: Black Friday

By | Friday, November 28, 2014 Leave a Comment
My plan for today's post was to share all the comic strips I could find poking fun at Black Friday.
Retail and Frazz are pretty much all I found. There were a few strips that did some day-after-Thanksgiving gags -- eating too much, not having leftovers, having nothing but leftovers, etc. -- but pretty much nothing surrounding Black Friday besides these two. Admittedly, I gave up after a while, so there may well be more out there, but whether there's one or two more is besides the point. The point is that almost no one seems to be able to find humor in Black Friday.

Which strikes me as curious. Every year, we watch Aunt Barbara go through the newspaper ads after Thanksgiving dinner, strategizing the best route to score all the deals before her neighbor. Every year, we hear about two little old ladies acting like mafia thugs over a fleece blanket that's been marked off 20%. Every year, we see news reports about people who camped out in a freezing cold outside a Best Buy overnight, so they could be the first person to buy the latest Call of Duty game for ten dollars cheaper than it is online. Every year, we hear about a minor road rage incident in the Kohl's parking lot. There is TONS of comedy potential here, and people who write comedy for a living are flatly ignoring it.

I can only think of two explanations offhand. First might be that cartoonists think it might be too regional. The name "Black Friday" was indeed regional when it was introduced, so I could maybe buy into that explanation for older cartoonists who've been doing their strips since the early 1970s, but people from Jim Davis onward should be pretty aware of the idea as a national thing.

The other idea I can thing of is that all these cartoonists know at least a couple people who take Black Friday deadly seriously, and take great offense even when the creator makes a slight, offhand comment about it. The assumption might be that if you get a strong enough negative reaction to a casual comment, something printed up in the newspaper is bound to draw more ire. And while many would think stirring the pot in this way is a good thing, newspaper cartoonists have exactly been known for being edgy for at least a few decades now.

I don't know about that either, though. Seems to me I've seen plenty of gags around religion, and that's usually taken pretty seriously by followers. Is it possible that Americans are more committed to shopping than to reading their Bibles? As much as Bible-thumpers scare me, I'd be almost more scared of anyone that committed to wanton consumerism.

I don't know, though. I've only been mulling this around for today, and haven't come up with any better answers. Anyone else have any ideas?
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