Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mallard Fillmore

I torture myself daily by reading "Mallard Fillmore" in the Statesman. It's put on the opinion page along with "Doonesbury," the idea being to counter the supposedly liberal Doonesbury. Well, there's certainly no question that MF is conservative.

A big difference, other than the political viewpoint, is that DB has story lines and jokes that are often funny. MF is just pretty much an unrelenting series of shots at "liberals" and the Obama administration. Around Christmas time, MF ran a few strips that didn't have a political point, instead opting for a religious point, but other than that his strips are pretty similar.

And it struck me today that his strips accurately depict the Republican mindset these days. Minimal humor, zero ideas, nothing positive, just criticism after criticism, shot after shot, at their political opponents.


fortboise said...

They are indeed very different comics. Tinsley produces what amounts to an editorial cartoon on a daily basis. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but his work isn't all that good. ("Good" as in creative, making points with any subtlety, having artwork the ink, doing more than just harping on his extreme point of view, etc.)

Trudeau has created a rich and durable set of stories woven together over time. Timid editors have occasionally felt his work was "too political" to run with the rest of the comics.

Looking at what cartoons the Statesman does see as suitable for its comics page, one might infer they don't have a very high opinion of their readership... or perhaps their readership has expressed itself, and is getting what it deserves?

Neither alternative is attractive.

Sara E Anderson said...

MF is one of the many conservative toons that never has a joke in it. It's just: duck says something mean about a Democrat, and whoopsIforgottomakeajoke. From what I see in student papers, I can only conclude that political cartoons are very very hard to do well.

Nemesis said...

Great commentary on the similarity with today's Republicans, Alan.