No doubt by now you've heard the rumors (after all, little can be kept a secret today with the Internet). But for those of you who don't know what I'm referring to or prefer facts to speculation, this will be my last week writing Sally Forth. While strips I have previously penned will be running through May in dailies and June on Sundays, I will no longer be giving voice to Sally, Hilary and--most important of all--Ted, after this Friday.
It was a tough decision to make, leaving characters that have become not only friends but my family, knowing that I will no longer get to explore their world, embark on their adventures and enjoy growing old together (well, not literally in the Forths' case). And I will forever be grateful to those who made the comic and the characters a part of their lives and especially to those who took the time to write to me (both in praise and in criticism). But as I have learned in the last few years one must not only accept change but often embrace it, for sometimes only by altering one's path can one discover their true direction.
However, just because I'm saying a fond farewell to one strip does in no way mean I'm bidding adieu to the funny pages. In fact, one of the biggest reasons I'll no longer be writing Sally Forth is because I'll be concentrating on my newest comic outing--writing Mallard Fillmore!
Why Mallard Fillmore you may ask? Well, as the years have passed I have watched the strip's three-panel polemics come to more and more mirror my own views. True, some may say that my opinions have hardened. But I would counter that they have instead crystallized, becoming more definite, clear and increasingly transparent. Many of you younger readers may not quite realize it yet but as you get older you'll soon see that the word "others" was never meant to be inclusive. That the phrases "social injustice" and "a financially and spiritually crippling war based more on doctrine than defense" are just that, phrases. That the most important question a person can ask his (not her) white self is "What's in it for me?"
That's why over the past few months I have been working closely with Mallard's creator Bruce Tinsley to accurately understand and acquire the strip's singular voice, its distinctive use of caricatures over characters and its unique ability to boil down complex political and social issues into pithy personal attacks (often focusing on one's extra weight or incorrect gender). Bruce has also helped me find quick (if not exactly quick-witted) responses to many of the problems plaguing our Christian nation, providing me with such insightful examples as: "Why is there a subprime mortgage crisis? Because poor people are stupid." "Why can't Hilary make a good president? Because Bill got a blow job." "What's the best way to address rising Russian nationalism, China's growing economic strength and an unprecedented tarnishing of America's global image? Because feminists are ugly."
It's been an interesting and involving re-education to say the least, and I will try my best to make certain I don't let down the tens of Mallard Fillmore fans (or, as they like to refer to themselves, "bird brains"). And I hope that you, too, will join me on this new path of well, if not enlightenment then certainly entitlement.
Thank you and God Bless America.