August 3rd, 2017
This week, we’re reading Mallard Fillmore, Bruce Tinsley’s strip about a conservative quacker (no, that’s not a value judgment– I mean, literally; he’s a duck) working in a liberal newsroom.
Mallard arrived on the scene in 1994, during the Clinton era, as a conservative voice to challenge the left-leaning political establishment of the day. He has now survived two Democratic presidency, and is now on his second Republican administration.
According to the fictional history of the strip, Mallard was hired to work for WFDR-TV in Washington, D.C. after diversity hiring quotas required that they give a job to an “amphibious-American.” But his coworkers don’t seem to notice his species nearly as much as they notice his right-wing (haha, wing, get it) politics. He may look like a bird, but he’s a fish out of water among his liberal cohorts–boss Mr. Noseworthy and best frenemy Chantel.
Diving into Mallard’s archives is a veritable history lesson on the past two decades of conservative thought– whether it’s Clinton’s impeachment, 9/11, or the ACA, Mallard has had something pithy to say about it. But one of the reasons I chose to write about Mallard this week is because Mallard is knee-deep in one of the longest-running story arcs in its history. While Mallard is usually a place to find single-panel gag commentary, Bruce is currently writing a longer story in which Mallard is looking into adopting a dog from a shelter. It’s a great change of pace for the feathery correspondent and fun to see him interacting in a more character-based story where we get to see him as a person– er, duck– more than simply a talking head. We’re looking forward to more like this from Mallard in the future.
Whether you agree with him or not, a peek into the panels of Mallard Fillmore can instantly give you a perspective into the issues and questions that matter to American conservatives today, whether those issues are politics or pet adoptions.
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