On its own merits there's nothing exceptional about today's "Mallard Fillmore." It's as inert and joke-free as ever. In fact it could be argued that today's strip is substandard--and I realize the absurdity of applying the concept of "standards" to a comic strip that has never shown the slightest interest in such rudiments as humor, character or storytelling. But aside from those reliable absences, today's number is even devoid of the strip's raison d'etre: a smackdown to the liberals. At least last month in another strip about holiday food (fruitcake) creator Bruce Tinsley managed to shoehorn in a reference to a conservative bugaboo (the ACLU). Surely today's riff on packaged eggnog could've included a dig at global warming, Michael Moore or Nancy Pelosi. How hard could it be? It's not like the context matters. I mean it this time: Bruce Tinsley is not even trying.
But then this story hit the wires. And voila! Funniest Fillmore ever.
'Mallard Fillmore' Creator Arrested Again on Alcohol-Related ChargesEditor & Publisher does err when it describes the strip as having a "conservative edge." "Mallard Fillmore" has no edge whatsoever.
By E&P Staff
Published: December 12, 2006 10:15 AM ET
NEW YORK Edward Bruce Tinsley, 48, creator of the comic strip Mallard Fillmore -- known for its conservative edge -- was arrested in Columbus, Indiana, on Dec. 4 and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, the Indianapolis Star reports today. He posted a $755 bond.
It was his second alcohol-related arrest in less that four months, according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department. His previous arrest was Aug. 26.
The comic appear in almost 400 papers in the U.S., including the Star.
Tinsley lives in Columbus. He a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 -- almost twice the level at which an Indiana driver is considered intoxicated.
Update 10:05 pm: In looking at the strip again it occurs to me that the quotation marks around the word "Holiday" are a reference to the War on Christmas. Well played, Tinsley. But since today's is only one of a series of Mallard's Worst "Holiday" Food strips, my argument that it is substandard still stands.