A Message to Fans As Mallard Fillmore Turns 20!


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. 

As long as you still want me, I’ll keep my end of the bargain; to bring you the stuff you won’t often see in the rest of your paper, and stick up for you: the average hard-working, tax-paying, individual-liberties-loving Americans, who sometimes feel like they’re on the endangered species list.

Below is Mallard Fillmore’s origin story.

Thanks again. Here’s to the next 20 years …


54 thoughts on “A Message to Fans As Mallard Fillmore Turns 20!

  1. Keep up the good work..I will wear my Mallard shirt all day in honor of mallard.I will wear an American flag in honor of WW2 Vets, we all need to thank them before they are all gone.

  2. Love your strip! Have ever done a comparison of Harry Truman’john
    ” the buck stops here” with BHObama’s “the buck stops elsewhere . . . Unless it’s good news”

  3. I think you misspelled your t-shirt. You need another “t”, and of course, the “Mad” should have been in MUCH larger type, since I couldn’t even see it.

  4. Hey, brain trust. In response to your June 22nd strip, the summer solstice is a single event that occurred at 6:51 a.m. EDT on June 21st. This weekend did not mark the “beginning of the summer solstice,” it marked the beginning of summer. I guess I should expect that level of ignorance from a climate-change denier.

  5. How about suggesting that Obama broker another prisoner exchange: We’ll return 30 million Mexican citizens, being illegally “detained” in the US, for our 1 Marine.

  6. So this marine has been detained for less than 3 months and he’s already “rotting” in jail? And it’s Obama’s fault? Can’t imagine why people call you a “hater”.

  7. Obama has his teamsters on the web to attack anything that doesn’t bow to his magic ink pen or holy phone.

    We have a US marine in illegal detention in Mexico. This is ignored but we send five known terrorists back into the wild for a deserter.


    • M on June 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm said:
      Bruce Tinsley:
      I don’t suppose you will even bother reading this (if you can read) since I am a public school teacher. You obviously have nothing but contempt for all teachers. Your strip is not funny, not creative and definitely not amusing. It is mean-spirited, snotty, and made up of out-right fabrications (is that too big a word for you?) Your so-called ‘Comic Strip’ is rude and offensive to me and other teachers. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from my university. I spend countless unpaid hours in my classroom making sure I am doing the very best for my students. I work very hard teaching students what they need to know to prepare them for their future. In my eighteen-plus years of teaching, I have never met any teachers like those you caricature in your strip.
      I can’t believe you get paid to ridicule and insult people who are dedicated to making the world a better place. There is nothing in your strip that is going to improve anyone’s life. Why don’t you ridicule drug dealers? Why not poke fun at murderers? Why not ridicule our government’s lawmakers’ pathetic excuses for polluting our planet? Why don’t you insult those people who go out of their way to make the world a stupider, meaner, uglier place? Oh, I forgot, I guess you can’t make fun of yourself.
      You and Rush Limbaugh must be the best of buddies. You both are smug, ignorant, hypocritical, insulting, and rude. Neither of you do anything but try to bully those people who don’t think like you.
      Next, I suppose you’ll start demeaning nurses, or crippled people, or nuns, or the mentally ill, or the mentally handicapped. Those groups would make good targets for you. Why don’t you just come out and blame teachers for all the world’s ills? Then you can start putting them in camps to torture and punish them for their crime. Too bad for you, Adolph Hitler already beat you to that one! That must have been a real disappointment. Think of all the funny comic strips you could have done with that idea! (Your diatribes are every bit as wrong, mean, and crazy as concentration camps, and also about as funny!)
      Why don’t you come into my classroom, and see what I and countless other educators do every day, year after year? I guess that would be too hard, and you wouldn’t have the guts to admit you are wrong. I think you need a different job. You would do very well at cleaning out toilets, since that is about the level of your humor.
      You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
      Mary Caddell
      Educator (and proud of it!)

      • Miss “Educator”, Bruce makes fun of all sorts of people in Mallard Fillmore. But you don’t seem to care because you seem to think that it’s fine to make fun of anyone except teachers. Why are you “educators” so sensitive to criticism? Cops get made fun of all the time and they “make the world a better place.” Yet I rarely hear them call to silence someone. But when someone like Bruce Tinsley points out some negatives in public education suddenly he needs to be silence? If that’s the attitude you have I pity your students.

        • Joe, she did not say that, she spoke the truth about this worthless individuals sense of humor and that if it does not meet the tea partiers feelings then it is incorrect. Both Mallard and Tinsley should look at their humor and see what it is for itself. Garbage.

          • Tom, yes she did say that. I’ve met plenty of teachers like Mary before. They hate the fact when anybody says something slightly negative about the education system. I’ve been at the end of their anger before. Plus you completely ignored the fact that she compared Bruce to Hitler. I wouldn’t have cared if Mary just did you did and say that Bruce and the strip are garbage but she went even further. Then she throws in her “educator” position in his face. She also showed she has a low opinion of people who cleans toilets. I also noticed you insulted Brian for stating for stating his views about Mary. I guess you think that since Mary is an educator she can say any nasty thing she wants without any criticism from anyone. That’s not how the first amendment works.

      • Mary – you could not even get one sentence down in your post without resorting to an ad hominem attack against Bruce. Of course Bruce can read. Twenty years of writing very insightful comics proves that. Bad form for someone who graduated summa cum laude! Your second sentence is a blatant generalization. Bruce does not “obviously” have contempt for all teachers – only the teachers who insidiously fill our kids’ minds with liberal pablum. The kind of teaching that is so caring and compassionate – tolerates everything – allows no losers – ridicules capitalism, competition, traditional families and self-reliance – even bails everyone out. These same teachers are surprised when their students grow up to be…irresponsible adults who…turn to their liberal government to bail them out of their…irresponsible decisions. Student loans payment limits by Pres. Obama are just the latest example of this. The mallard is a comic genius who points out time and time again that liberalism will always eventually fail because it fosters, and even subsidizes, irresponsibility. Bruce’s comic strip is funny, creative, and amusing. You just don’t appreciate it because you cannot see the deeper point he is trying to make. Not enough time right now to respond past your third sentence but you sure got to Adolph Hitler quickly! Thank you for your hard work as a teacher. I trust that you are teaching your students to be industrious, hard-working, responsible adults that will shun liberalism and make responsible decisions that will lead to self-reliance.

        • Talk about generalization, your whole letter is totally full of generalizations. You must have been not only educated by Mallard and Tinsley but also from FOX.

          • Tom – I can give specifics to back my claims…but then you would probably say that my evidence is anecdotal. Student loan debt in this country exceeds $1.2 trillion, which is the second highest consumer debt behind only mortgages on homes. About $1 trillion of that student loan debt is guaranteed by the federal government. No wonder that tuition rates are increasing at double digit rates every year when the federal government is pushing all this money into the system. Don’t get me wrong – people have the right to borrow money – they just need to pay it back with the requisite interest. If they pursue a degree that is not is demand…because they chased their “dreams”…they have to accept the consequences, rather than asking the federal government to bail them out. Oh, and you seem to imply that an education by Tinsley, or FOX for that matter, is a bad thing. I cancelled my cable last year…too much contention on the airwaves for me…so I would not know what is being presented on FOX these days.

      • I, too, am an educator and absolutely find this comic strip a lot more insightful than Liberal ones like Doonesbury. I think Mr. Tinsley only criticizes/satirizes those teachers who follow the NEA politics to the letter. Those are the ones who aren’t Summa Cum Laude material, but “summa cum how?” (i.e.- barley got C grades throughout their college days while working towards education degrees). I was Summa Cum Laude in my undergrad years, before I went to get an teaching certificate. I found those 30 credits hours to be the easiest classes at the college, such that anyone who breathes and can read can pass and get a teaching certificate. Yes, teachers work hard to get children to learn. But the courses we take are a joke for the most part. And the NEA is the worst thing that ever happened to American education, which is what Mr. Tinsley is trying to get at.

      • Mary, I think you nailed it. There is nothing remotely funny in his tasteless ultra right-wing “comic strip,” to anyone with a social conscience or an IQ over 90. I guess the Tea Baggers/KKK bunch eat it up, but each strip is tiresome and repetitive and always below the belt. This strip offers nothing to main stream society. Why would a newspaper carry such trash?

        • Translation: You disagree with Mallard Fillmore since it’s a conservative strip so it needs to be shut down so you’ll have more liberal ones. By the way, the KKK was never a part of conservatism. In fact, they went after Republicans. You Rich, like Miss “Educator” have nothing worth saying but insults towards not only Mr. Tinsley but to the readers. Why are you guys even reading the strip if you hate it?

  8. Mary, glad you got that off of your chest. It would not be good to take your frustrations into the classroom and spread them to the children. Why do you mention that people that clean toilets have low level of humor, are you a hater of those who do menial task for a living?

    • You said it. I did janitorial work, including cleaning toilets, to pay my way through college. There is no such thing as menial work, only menial people who think the job is below them.

  9. “Steve” is not the only person watching CBS. I don’t get cable, so I watch Scott and Co. I cannot stand Bryan Williams’ voice, and Diane Sawyer is, well, I just don’t like her anchoring style. She is a good reporter, but as good an anchor.

  10. If I may, I’d like to see Mr. Fillmore speak to the irony of how we had a revolution over 200 years ago to escape a tyranny where one person could, with but a signature, create laws.

    We won and wrote a constitution to assure that we would never again have to face this.

    But, now we have a guy in the White House who with an ink pen, does exactly what Kind George III did… and more ironic still is that the UK, the nation we broke free from, while still a monarchy, never has to worry about that ever happening to them again.

    Actually, ‘irony’ is but a very tame word for this. ‘Tragedy’ and ‘betrayal’ are far more fitting.

    Mallard… you are needed, sir.

  11. MFranklin – Excellent point made about POTUS and his unconstitutional pen! King George III would be envious. Take courage – I believe there will be a day of reckoning for Pres. Obama this coming November at the mid-term elections. He’ll still be blaming Bush43 when it’s six years into his presidency and the informed electorate is no longer buying it. Hopefully control of both houses will go to the conservatives which will pave the way for a conservative president to be elected in 2016. Then we can get back to running our country on constitutional fundamentals rather than the whims of a president determined to unilaterally “fundamentally transform” our great country despite what our elected representatives in Congress want. Pres. Obama’s transformation so far appears to be driving us off a financial cliff.

  12. Rich, Mary and Tom represent those who worship B Hussein Osama no matter what he does. They resort to name calling and the tag lines that they got from MSNBC. This is a clear indication they represent an indefensible position. They are the reason the idiot was able to steal the 2012 election (multiple votes, anyone? Ohio – you want to vote a few more times?). They are the stupid, uneducated and brain dead types that allow the spoon feeding of the liberal media that Osama, I mean, Obama is an infallible god. The country is going to hell in a hand basket lead by the devil’s child and all those dumb enough to worship the trail of slime he leaves behind.

  13. There is NO one other than Mallard with whom have had absolutely no disagreement over the course of the past 20 years. Looking at him each morning is like looking in an ideological mirror.

  14. Hey, I read Mallard FIllmore every day. In fact, it’s the first comic I read. I saw that cartoon that appeared in my newspaper on August 20, 2014 about bored Government employees watching porn. Now, that’s not good.

    I am a Government employee. Have been a good one for 48 years. I don’t watch porn, but I can understand the “boredom” albatross. I can remember being bored once . It was the year the Cleveland Indians won the World Series. Or, maybe it was those Chicago Cubbies. So, when I feel the old ennui coming on, I abandon the desk where I am stationed (you know, the one with the employee help and emergency phone), and go check in with my fellow employees in person, and see how they’re doin’. Then I go up to the desk at our information center and talk to visitors to our facility, the public, you know, the good folks whose tax dollars pay my salary. And there I provide them with excellent information, service, and help.

    Those tax dollars do provide me with a modest salary, fair to middlin’, I’d guess. It’s enough to help with such frivolous expenses as health insurance, auto insurance, home owners insurance, property taxes, and the like, but certainly is not adequate to take care of an average American family of four for a year. But, hey, I’m not complaining, ’cause I love and work very hard and well at my Government job.

    So, Mr. Tinsley, in keeping with the “Fair & Balanced” mantra, I eagerly look forward to your upcoming comic strip that tells what bored employees in the private sector do to relieve the boredom.


  15. Just as the desktop PC is becoming obsolete, the laptop is not far behind. The tablet in some form will be ubiquitous in the future. I am looking forward to seeing the shitting duck’s head simply EXPLODE with rage and frustration when that happens, and possibly go postal.

  16. Saw your strip today. All I can think is “Wow, this dude is completely unconcerned about being thought of as a racist”. Yes, I saw the asterisk. But the message is that gangs of blacks assaulting someone isn’t newsworthy. Sure you’re talking about reverse racism in the news, but only someone familiar with your humor would understand that. It’s obvious, though, that you care not one whit how slippery that slope is. And I can guess why too. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck maybe it burns crosses like one too.

  17. Wow, the bickering that goes back and forth because some people think you’re talking about them specifically when you’re only generalizing cause if you want to call out a specific person, you do. Anyway, been loving the recent strips response to the alleged racial injustices against blacks while we whites sit back and do nothing when crimes committed by blacks against whites. I guess that would be racist.

  18. People like Ted like to think that reverse racism is the answer to combating racism. Seems to me that people who think and perpetuate this are the cause of the widening of racial conflict in this nation as of late.

  19. Thank you again for providing amusing but thought-provoking commentary. Amazing that your past two “comics” reported far more about a racially motivated (what else could it be) beating than any national or local news source. I’m sure my “letter to the editor” to this effect will not be printed but I continue to search out your strip. It’s a breath of fresh air and a good counterpoint to others – something all of us need. I’m sure Walt Kelly is having a hearty laugh in a far better place.

  20. You certainly have a right to express your opinion on “this group & that group”, even the President, point fun and ridicule to your hearts content. This basicaly is what your “comic strip” is all about. BUT you crossed the line from border line funny and thought provoking to disgusting, cruel and REALLY out of line with your 9-29 strip! We can only hope & pray that the loved ones of the people that were publicly and brutality beheaded did not see your opinion of their loved ones death. To use these events to bring proffit and acclaim to yourself is on the same level as using 9/11 for personal gain. Shame on you and shame on the paper for running the strip.

  21. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I was appalled that anyone could be so unfeeling as to create a “comic strip” depicting this horrible barbaric way that was used to put someone to death. I would hope that before this “comic strip” is used to create something of this nature again, they would please consider those who lost their loved ones in this gruesome manner.

  22. Charlotte and Pat, just where in the cartoon is any violence or beheading? You guys must be the Progressives that Mallard was talking about.

  23. I think the Sept. 29th strip re: beheading is disingenuous at best, since it’s the fundamentalist “Christians” who are responsible for murdering doctors who perform abortions. What’s the difference between shooting and beheading??

  24. Today’s strip seems to suggest that it is because some women don’t act like “ladies” that they are getting beaten up. There are no “good old days” when men and women treated each other more civilly. Back in the day when women “knew their place” men hitting their wives was even more common.

  25. Just wanted to thank you for your writing and making me laugh. I only get your comic once a week so I have missed some of the above discussed publications. In my humble opinion, you should all calm down and remember you have free will and freedom of speech.

  26. Occasionally I have enjoyed MF; the “10 Reasons For Home Schooling” series, all of which I cut out & saved, comes to mind. But often I feel dirty after reading hateful “humor” based purely on assumptions, with absolutely no factual basis, and today is just such a case. Mr. Tinsley no more knows if President Obama dis-likes or dis-respects the men who received the infamous ‘latte salute’ than he knows when the world will end, tho I’m sure some of his readers feel they have the inside scoop on that info, as they are smarter, better & closer to God than the rest of us who choose the positive spin on things when ever possible, and practice tolerance & acceptance.

    Every President since the invention of photography has been captured in a less than perfect salute in this same situation. W’s infamous “Dog salute” comes to mind. Many Presidents have been guilty of this same offense, but I do not recall any being so chastised for this honest mistake; it must have been an other wise slow news day. The President of the US has a lot on his mind, like how to respond to a video taped beheading, perhaps, that might lead to a momentary lapse in the formal protocol some of you demand for your own selfish satisfaction. But as a Navy brat, I know that a non-military man such as President Obama is not required to salute. He made the effort as a courtesy because he does care about & respect the people who serve him. I for one am very happy to have a President who isn’t focused on manufacturing reasons for war, telling the whole world how they need to live, because the whole world needs to live like US, dammit! Yes, WMD, etcetcetc, so many mistakes of consequence have been made, but you get all frothy over a sloppy salute that wasn’t required because the talking heads tell you to. Sad.

    So keep it up, you are helping the cause. As a registered Republican for over 40 years, who is voting for the OTHER party this time, I’m just one of many who are no longer are willing to tolerate this toxic negative rhetoric, who are moving toward the peaceful way of thinking & living. As civilized society speaks out against hate mongers, they do so politely, even tho they aren’t heard as loudly, because they aren’t red faced, screaming with spit flying from rabid mouths. It’s a fact the Tea Party is over, and Republicans are loosing more elections; I’m looking forward to the results come this November. In the meantime, all you haters take your blood pressure meds & keep your eyes firmly on the news; they will keep feeding you the negativity you thrive on.

  27. In response to your shark and seal comic:
    Transwomen are some of the most vulnerable people, and it is not comedy to attack people who are already hurting. It breaks my heart. I think of the trans people who will read this, intentionally or not, and I know they will remember how they are hated for being who they are. It hurts to be hated for something that you can’t change, and being trans is one of them. You can’t help that your brain and body don’t quite match up, that the skin you’re in doesn’t fit quite right. And just because they are trying to feel okay, to feel for once at home in the bodies they were born with — can you imagine how it feels, to be an alien in your own body? — they are dragged through the mud, even beaten, sometimes murdered. Please, please don’t hurt them any more.

  28. I agree with Izzy. Your recent strips belittling the struggle of transgender individuals, particularly the Oct. 19, 2014 strip that essentially compared transgender individuals to predators, was inexcusable. Being asked to respect the decision of a transgender individual to identify as a gender other than the one he was born with is not political correctness run amok, as your strips suggest, but simple respect for fellow human beings. I don’t know how your editor sleeps at night. Your opinions should be relegated to a madman rambling on a street corner, not elevated to the level of national social discourse through this comic strip.

  29. I don’t read you often enough, but when I do, I always get a chuckle. Thanks.

    BTW, there seem an awful lot of Leftys writing you who are jealous that you are funnier than Garretson Beekman.

  30. You are an absolute moron. I have a PhD in engineering from the top institution in the world, speak four languages, and run several businesses. Why the newspapers still carry your idiotic, simplistic, completely non-funny garbage is beyond me. But you won’t last much longer. The next generation is much, much savvier.

  31. Just read your (comic?) strip in Sunday’s paper. What good purpose do you think you are serving with the Hitler comparison? If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. No good purpose was served by this. I know you can probably think of something better to joke about! I certainly did not think it was funny. It just made you look bad.

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