Mallard Fillmore, 30 Years a King Comic

Mallard Fillmore by Bruce Tinsley made its King Features syndicated debut 30 years ago today.

Since the Comics Kingdom archives don’t go all the way back to the beginning, here’s the first week:

June 6, 1994
June 7, 1994
June 8, 1994
June 9, 1994
June 10, 1994
June 11, 1994
June 12, 1994

Bruce Tinsley would continue the strip for 23 years when late in 2019, “due to unforeseen circumstances” the strip went into reruns. In March 2020 Loren Fishman became the Mallard Fillmore cartoonist. Later in 2020 Bruce would return to the duck alternating with Loren. That set up lasted through 2021. Since 2022 Loren Fishman has been the Mallard Fillmore cartoonist.

But, back to the beginning…

The Duck existed before Bruce and Mallard signed with King Features.

Tinsley created Mallard Fillmore as the comic mascot of The Daily Progress’s Marquee entertainment insert. Mallard debuted on June 22, 1990.

As Wikipedia tells it:

In 1991 [sic], Bruce Tinsley, who was an editorial cartoonist for the Charlottesville, Virginia paper The Daily Progress, was asked to create a cartoon character as a mascot for the newspaper’s entertainment page. A duck, which Bruce named “Mallard Fillmore,” was accepted, and made his debut in the paper.

Mallard became the a regular cover feature and was used in Tinsley illustrated columns inside the magazine.

On July 13, 1990 the Fillmore comic strip first appeared, titled The Fillmore File. It lasted until October 5, 1990.

Beginning as an illustrated column it became a sequential comic strip with the fifth weekly issue of August 10, 1990. And then, suddenly, it was gone. The Charlottesville Observer explained:

It wasn’t only Tinsley – The Fillmore File also began appearing in The Washington Times (circa 1992-1993).

Which brings us back to the top and Mallard’s King Features debut.

4 thoughts on “Mallard Fillmore, 30 Years a King Comic

  1. I used to read Mallard in the Boston Globe, their conservative “humor” strip for representation. Every day was a gripe: this sucks, that sucks. Never understood why conservatives get up on a bright sunny morning full of promise, then turn on Hate Radio and TV and read “Mallard”. Like drinking a big cup of poison to spite the world. Such miserable people, all self-harmed.

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