Of Illumination and Ducks

I’ve been thinking too much about the Mallard Fillmore “comic strip” lately, and I think I finally understand what I dislike most about it. It isn’t the politics, though I rarely agree with them; it isn’t the art, though I don’t much like it; it isn’t the half-assed citations without dates or pages, though they drive me crazy. Confused by the chaff of annoyance thrown up by those characteristics, it’s taken me a while to figure out what causes me the most discomfort about the thing.

It’s not a comic.

It’s an illuminated blog post. Every day Bruce Tinsley writes a blog post about current events or fruit cake or mushroom soup or whatever else is on his mind (all fine blog fodder, by the way), illuminates it with a cartoon duck motif and mails it to King Features Syndicate. Two weeks later (that’s a guess) his blog post appears in its illuminated glory in newspapers across this great land of ours. Try reading a week of them aloud to someone. See how often you need to describe the illustration or name a character speaking to get the point across. My guess – never. This isn’t a politics or content issue. Try the same on the editorial cartoon pages or with Doonesbury.
Now, it only amuses me that this is about the least efficient way to blog, ever. But I am perturbed that he’s taking up space on the comic page that an actual comic strip artist could use. If Tinsley wants to have the words published, just transcribe them and let someone who can use the art space do so.

Comments are closed.