Tom TOmorrow & Mallard Fillmore.... do they make you LAUGH?

As a card-carrying right wing nut, I probably SHOULD love “Mallard Fillmore.” I’m in agreement with its political slant 90+ percent of the time, and Bruce Tinsley is a genuinely talented caricaturist, and yet… the strip has made me laugh maybe twice since it started.

And then there’s Tom Tomorrow. In this case, I get the impression the guy’s not even the littlest bit interested in being funny. Mainly, he preaches. And preaches. And preaches some more. And then, just in case the preaching was too subtle… he lectures.

Look, I generally dislike “Doonesburry,” but to give GArry Trudeau his due, every once in a while, he makes me laugh when he does a non-political strip. And THAT means there’s a chance, a tiny chance, that his political strips are genuinely funny, and it’s only my political prejudices that keep me from seeing it.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, has never made me laugh, even the few times he’s done non-political strips. And worse still, even when he AGREES with me (hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day!), he’s STILL an unfunny, preachy bore.

Neither Tinsley nor Tomorrow seems to grasp that a dry, smug, preachy lecture doesn’t become funny just because you put it in the mouth of a cartoon bird.

But now a question for you: you may AGREE with the sentiments expressed in either of those strips, but tell the truth: do you really think it’s FUNNY? Does either strip actually make you LAUGH?

I personally do find TMW to be funny a lot of the time, but then again I agree with it a lot of the time, so that may help.

I find a lot of political cartoons are just terrible. As you point out, just because something is topical doesn’t make it funny.

I find neither Mallard Fillmore nor Tom Tomorrow the slightest bit funny. They may be right, or they may be wrong, but they aren’t good at telling JOKES.

This extends to editorial cartoons, too. If you want to see bad editorial cartoons, log onto the Toronto Star’s website and look at Theo Moudakis’s cartoons; the guy doesn’t seem to understand that the point to a CARTOON is to tell a visually compelling joke. His typical cartoon is just a picture of a politician saying something dumb, with no sight gags at all.

I don’t find This Modern World to be funny, but I definitely find it eye-opening and thought-provocative.

Mallard Fillmore is just dull, dull, dull. Is there a strip that isn’t a variation of “look at those crazy liberals”?

If I listed all the unfunny comics in my paper I wouldn’t get any work done today.

Okay, you talked me into it:

“Peanuts” - Schulze has been dead for what, a year now? This is like some sort of macabre puppet show. “See the dead man’s brain dance and tell jokes!”

“Cathy” - pathetic. never made me laugh.

“Heart of the City” - huh? what is this about?

“Mallard Fillmore” - shouldn’t this be appearing in between chapters in a junior high history book?

“Garfield” - proof that some people never get tired of hearing the same joke over and over.

“Helen of the Internet” - I try. I’ve been a geek for my entire life, so I feel required to like this strip, but there’s no art and no humor.

“Doonesbury” - I’ve noticed that if you go and read really old Doonesbury books, it was funny once - like in 1972.

“Boondocks” was funny for a while, but it seems to have run out of steam.

I really liked “Mother Goose and Grimm” when it was actually satirizing fairy tales and folk stories, but I haven’t seen it in ages.

porkchop-we’re mostly talking about political strips.

I like Tom Tomorrow, and I can’t stand Mallard. Probably because I’m an Evil Pinko Commie. :wink:

And hell, he put Ann Coulter in the proper place.

There’s a natural compare & contrast opportunity between Doonesbury and Mallard Fillmore. And yes, I tend to agree more with Trudeau’s world view than Tinsley’s. But be that as it may: Trudeau is more likely to play fair. While he didn’t criticize Clinton’s policies, he would criticize his style and his personal foibles (remember the waffle?). (Your suspicions are correct, astorian…Doonesbury is funnier than your biases allow.) :slight_smile:

MF, on the other hand, seems to think that now that the Republicans control the White House, there are no sources of humor in Washington. Instead, he’s just bashing his favorite straw-men–the media, and the “liberal education establishment”.

It’s gonna be a long 3 years for Tinsley, until the Democrats regain control. He’ll have to run more “Bill & Jesse road trip to spring break” series.

I love Tom Tomorrow. I own all the This Modern World Books, and I have Sparky the Wonder Penguin tattooed on my ass. Well, I may be making that last bit up, but the guy cracks me up to no end. Of course, it helps that I tend to agree with him, but there are a few conservative comentators that make me laugh. Ann Coulter, for example. (Of course, in that case, I’m not exactly laughing with, if ya know what I mean.)

I’ve never seen Mallard Fillmore. Never even heard of him outside of people complaining about him on the SDMB. Guess I’m just lucky that way.

Tom Tomorrow’s hilarious. In the past year or so he’s gotten way too preachy, though. I agree with most of what he says, but still…

I think one strip of Mallard Fillmore was almost funny once. Once.

How about Ruben Bolling (“Tom the Dancing Bug”)? He has his up and down days, but the ups are quite something, IMHO.

Ruben Bolling kicks serious ass–especially his Super Fun Pack Comix.

And regarding Tom Tomorrow, I pretty much agree with rjung.

I keep wanting Mallard Filmore to be funny, but it never quite is for me.

This Modern World is often funny in spite of the fact that it repulses me by relentlessly beating a straw man, oversimplifying other people’s view points and proseletyzing.

I’m a big Tom Tomorrow fan and yes, there have been many occasions when I’ve actually laughed out loud at the strip.

I think there’s a difference. Tom Tomorrow is more an editorial. He’s not deliberately trying to be funny, except in an ironical way.

Mallard’s a dickhead of a duck who relies on the same old bash-Kennedy bash-Clinton bash-liberals jokes. Considering the wealth of new material out there, he should be funny, but he’s not.

In addition to being even-handed, Doonesbury also takes a break for non-political stuff. That helps ease the preachiness factor.

BTW, Tom Tomorrow runs a blog in which he sometimes talks about his strip. He mentioned specficially that the small size of the strip makes it difficult to convey a nuanced argument. It tends to sound extreme, but in his blog, he comes off a more thoughtful.

What? And nobody’s posted any of the strips themselves, just to compare?

Because, frankly, I’ve laughed aloud many times while reading “This Modern World.” For example, this one really kicks my butt.

“You got a problem with that?”:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I’ve gone on record before offering my disdain fo MF, and I’ll take this opportunity to do so again. Firstly, the right is as entitled as the left to having comic strips slanting their way. MF, however, neglects one glaring thing. It ain’t comic. I think it boils down to the fact that Tinsley doesn’t know how to tell a joke, and he’s more interested in the spin of his angle than in providing comedy. A typical strip would be: Silly Liberal: “communism is good, but the Soviets goofed it up.” MF: “sigh Stupid Silly Liberal…”

Jeez, Ziggy’s funnier than that.

Liberal here (just in case anyone forgot). But I do like stuff like South Park, which is Republican humor. MF just isn’t funny. I’ll still read talking critters well drawn, but humor requires a surprise, and there are none here. Doonesbury, on the other hand, can be sublimely funny at times. It was at its height of humor for politics, IMHO, when it was lampooning Governor Jerry Brown (a liberal), and it was just killing 'ol Moonbeam and it was sweet. I’ve read most of Doonesbury, and he really gave it to conservatives Nixon and Bush I, but the rest came off a bit flat, but not as flat as MF does all the time.

Really great political cartooning is hard to come by. Its mean, it hits you in the gut or between the eyes.

I absolutely cannot stand Tom Tommorow, and I don’t bother with Mallard Fillmore.
But I do miss Jeff MacNelly.

Mallard bugs me, he isnt too funny.

TMW is kinda hit/miss. It can be preachy, or actually funny, depending.

Pesch is right. Political content aside, this is almost an “apples and oranges” argument. “Tom Tomorrow” is a weekly cartoon; “Mallard Fillmore” is a daily comic strip that usually relies on continuing topics and/or stories over the course of one (or several) weeks.

That said, I, without hesitation, think “Tom Tomorrow” is funnier–and it’s not just because I’m closer to “Tomorrow” politically than MF. 99.9% of the time, the strips consist of MF pontificating self-righteously about the latest liberal “outrage” or (as mentioned previously) bashing some representative of one of Tinsley’s “favorite straw-men–the media, and the ‘liberal education establishment’” in a manner that Jack Chick would find too heavy-handed. Moreover, no effort is made to make these shallow liberal caricatures into well-rounded characters. It seems as though Tinsley holds liberals in such contempt that they aren’t worth being make into even slightly interesting characters. In contrast, if you look at “Doonesbury” or “Bloom County” at its peak, you’ll find that some of their strongest and funniest characters (e.g., Uncle Duke and Steve Dallas) were political (or–in the case of Uncle Duke–moral) opposites of their cartoonists.