I can still remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing, when they told me that I killed Martin Luther King. I was in my house, watching our old black and white TV, and I was nine years old. A talking head looked me right in the eye and said that, while I may not have pulled the trigger, “we ALL killed Dr. King”. I didn’t know then that it was the first of thousands of times I’d hear that over the next forty-seven years.
Pluto’s in the news again, because it may be reinstated as a full-fledged planet again. That’s great with me, nostalgia-wise. On the other hand, my fear is that the whole thing’s gonna be decided democratically; if enough people WANT Pluto to be a planet, then it’s a planet.
I’m speaking from experience, here; I was raised in the Age of Relativism. Most of my teachers’ mantras were themes and variations on, “nothing is either ‘better or worse’…everything is relative”. So, my generation, and those since, think EVERYTHING’S relative. Two plus two equals whatever I feel as though it should equal, so I should get an “A” in math. No nation’s government is really better or worse; thinking that is judgmental (the single most terrible thing to be, in 21st Century America). American students rank near the bottom in every academic category EXCEPT “how well they THINK they’re doing” academically.
Mallard Fillmore first waddled on the comics scene on June 6, 1994, attracting the attention of many conservative newspapers, and even some liberal ones too.
I want to take this opportunity to say, “Thanks, Mallard fans!”
I can’t believe it was 20 years ago today that Mallard first appeared in newspapers all over the country. Most of the editors who took a chance on Mallard were worried that it would be “too controversial.” They didn’t “get it.” You did. You, loyal fans, who wrote and called your local papers to say you liked Mallard kept my little comic strip going, and have done so for 20 years now.
I know I’m terrible at this “blog” thing, and I’m sorry I haven’t updated it lately. I could give you a bunch of excuses, but I guess it really boils down to “Life happens,” just as it does for you.
King Features, which syndicates Mallard Fillmore, has a weekly blog feature called “Ask A Cartoonist.” You can find it here. Recently, one of the writers of the blog asked those King Features’ cartoonists who worked with Jay Kennedy, the late Editor in Chief at King Features, to share their memories of him. Jay Kennedy was simply one of my best editors ever. Jay was the person, other than my family, who I talked most to, for 14 years, until his untimely death. I loved our conversations and I really, really miss him. He is responsible for Mallard’s syndication, so I thought I would include my memory of Jay here on my blog.
’Tis the season for me to get lots of hate mail for my right-wing, mean-spirited, bigoted, Neanderthal position on….food. Yeah. Some of my most controversial cartoons are, apparently, the ones in which I make fun of what passes for food around “The Holidays”.
My response to the aforementioned emails has been to do even more such cartoons. For years now, I’ve made an annual ritual of warning merrymakers about the dangers of pseudo-foods like prepackaged “stuffing”, canned “cranberry sauce” and anything that originates with the ubiquitous “can of cream-of-mushroom soup”.
In this comic strip, you get 382 percent more asterisks than in Doonesbury*. Mallard Fillmore has more asterisks than an MLB record-book. Why? So you can check out the sources of the outrageous assertions and iconoclastic animadversions I put in my little comic strip. Because I try to give you the scoop that the mainstream media don’t. Lots of readers find my valuable information so incredible, that they think it must BE incredible.Hence the *s.
Right after last week’s discussion of the backlash from drawing funny pictures of women, I had to go and draw Miley Cyrus for an upcoming cartoon (super-secret sneak preview on this page). But I think I’m safe on this one; there’s not much a cartoonist could do to Miley that she hasn’t done to herself (that didn’t come out right). I mean, the main criticism I get when I draw women is that I’m either “making them look ugly”, or, that I’m “objectifying them”. I think Miley’s already accomplished both things on her own.
I’ve always drawn caricatures of people, from my teachers and classmates, as a kid, to Barack and Bashar, now.
And they’re still making people mad.
And, just like back in school, it’s usually not the people I draw who get mad, it’s people indignant on behalf of the people I draw.
This has always struck me as a little condescending–“If the person you’re drawing knew better, he/she’d be really offended, so I’m gonna be offended for him”.
This is Bruce Tinsley. I write and draw Mallard Fillmore. This is my very first blog. Ever. I know it looks just like a “column”, or “piece”, but for reasons I don’t fully understand, it’s a blog. And I’m blogging, even as we speak, because it’s a verb, too.
I’m going to do it every week or so, if you, my loyal fans and my chronic critics, (and those of you who are both, like you, Mr. Calgie) like it.