October 21, 2014

COMIC: THE EDUCATION OF LOUIS

Classic Tom the Dancing Bug on the goccomics.com site:

 

The Education of Louis (2010)

 

Td141016

 

click here to read



October 19, 2014

COMIC: IN DEFENSE OF THE "R" WORD

An NFL fan defends the "R" word

 

1209ckTEASER-the-R-word

 

Click here to read on Boing Boing.

Click here to read on Daily Kos.  

Click here to read on GoComics.  

Click here to read on Medium's The Nib.  (coming)



October 15, 2014

COMIC: HOW THE APE BRAIN ASSESSES RISK

Charley the Australopithecine, in "How the Ape Brain Assess Risk"

 

1208ckTEASER charley - ape brain assesses risk

 

Click here to read on Boing Boing.

Click here to read on Daily Kos.  

Click here to read on GoComics.  

Click here to read on Medium's The Nib. 



October 06, 2014

New York Comic Con

Nycc

 

I'll be at NYCC Saturday (10/11) afternoon / evening.  COME BY TO ANY AND ALL OF THESE BLOCKBUSTER EVENTS AND SAY HEY!

 

 

4:00-5:00pm

Signing / sketching on free* archival-quality** prints of Tom the Dancing Bug comics at the Andrews McMeel Publishing / GoComics Booth 2219.  I'll also be providing a sneak peek of the cover of the upcoming EMU Club book.

NOTE:  THE PRINTS ARE FREE* AND WILL BE GIVEN TO PARTICIPANTS FREE* OF CHARGE

 

8:00-8:45pm

Panel "Cartoons in the News: Editorial Cartooning Past and Present," Location 1B03.

Update: Comedy Bang Bang and The Birthday Boys two of my ex-favorite TV shows ungraciously scheduled a panel at the same time as this panel, and they're about to get a very humiliating lesson in which is more popular: editorial cartooning or TV comedy.

 

By the by and by, at both of the above events, I'll be selling rare, out-of-print Tom the Dancing Bug books for $10, and the ultra-rare Tom the Dancing Bug comic book for $5.  

 

--

 

UPDATE:

ADDITIONAL SATURDAY 10/11 SIGNING TIME:

3:00-3:45pm

I'll be signing/sketching Code Monkey Save World, for which I contributed a comic, at Greg Pak's table in Artists' Alley, table X-9

 

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*Free

**I don't know what archival-quality means, but they're big and spiffy looking.



RECOMMONDAY

I've already written and said enough about this collection.

 

Sublime.

 

Donald duck christmas bear mountain

 

click here to buy 

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "Christmas On Bear Mountain" (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library)

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Donald duck trail of the unicorn

 

click here to buy

 

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "Trail Of The Unicorn" (The Complete Carl Barks Library)



October 01, 2014

COMIC: GREAT MOMENTS IN WEATHEROLOGY SCIENCE

This week's comic: GREAT MOMENTS IN WEATHEROLOGY SCIENCE.

 

In which intrepid congressman Steve Stockman uses SCIENCE and a GLASS OF WATER to prove that we have nothing to fear from global warming.

 

1207ckTEASER-weatherology-science

 

This comic owes a great debt of gratitude to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a show so great, being America's best source for news is only its fifth most important attribute.

--

Click here to read on Boing Boing.

Click here to read on Daily Kos.  

Click here to read on GoComics.  

Click here to read on Medium's The Nib. 



September 29, 2014

RECOMMONDAY

I'm reading Fantagraphics' compilation book Bomb Run, which collects Harvey Kurtzman / John Severin EC war comics stories from the early 1950s (some of which were inked by Bill Elder).

 

Bomb run

 

First, a few quibbles.  When it comes to reprinted comics, I'm a fan of keeping them as close to the format in which they were originally published as possible.  I like it when the entire comic book is republished, with the full cover followed by stories, exactly as it first appeared on the newstands.  I like seeing the context of the stories in the larger comic book, and I think the comic book covers were an integral part of the reading experience as intended by the creators.  (I also admit I get something of a collector's thrill when I buy one of these and can say that I now own certain coveted, and sequentially numbered comic book issues.)

 

The other approach is to reprint stories, not comic books.  Fantagraphics has taken that approach here, stripping the John Severin-pencilled stories out of issues of the comic books Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat of 1951 - 1953, and collecting them.  Further, these stories were originally published in color, and here they are presented in black and white.

 

Even though Fantagraphics has taken the exact opposite approach from the comic book reprint philosophy I prefer, this is a beautifully crafted book, showcasing some truly amazing stories.  Kurtzman's  tales will surprise a lot of readers who may think that early 50s war comics would have been simplistic shoot-em-ups.  These are complex, touching, psychologically rich stories with moral ambiguity.

 

And Severin, whose humor work I always found a notch below his stellar contemporaries, absolutely shines here.  His careful and methodical drawings are perfect for portraying the planes, tanks and war machinery, but he also depicts the soldiers with clarity and great emotion.

 

Espcially when they're dying.  There is a lot of dying here, and Severin, perhaps with help from Kurtzman's layout-sketches, draws these soldiers, suddenly gunned down or caught in an explosion, with a poignant brilliance.  While alive, his figures can seem stiff, but in the throes of death, he draws them in naturalistic, realistic poses that make them come... alive.

 

IMG_4053 IMG_4054

Compare the stiff figures of living soldiers above to the dramatic pose of the dying soldier below.

 

And despite my objection that it was the expectation and intention of the creators that the comics be printed in color, I didn't even mind much that they are published here in black and white, because I do admit it highlights the linework.

 

In short, while I've got some reservations about the presentation, which I admit is beautifully done, these are some of the best comics I've ever read.

 

Recommondayed!

 

Click here to buy Bomb Run.

 

 

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To comment, please use facebook or twitter (#tomthedancingbug @rubenbolling).

 

 



September 28, 2014

COUNTER-EARTH DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Seems like a good time to run this comic from 2011...

 

1028cTEMP counter-earth - education

 

 

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To comment, please use facebook or twitter (#tomthedancingbug @rubenbolling).



September 24, 2014

COMIC: Lucky Ducky, in "Unemployment Is Not a Bug - It's a Feature!"

Lucky Ducky, in "Unemployment Is Not a Bug -- It's a Feature!"

 

1206ckTEASER-lucky-ducky---unemployed

 

Just a bit of commentary here, a shortened version of what I sent out as part of the INNER HIVE mailing for this comic.

 

I certainly hope that the comic stands on its own, but I think interested readers might want to know that this comic was inspired by two simultaneous news stories from last week.

 

1.  John Boehner bemoaned the fact that the long-term unemployed are lazy malingerers who don't even want jobs.

 

 

2.  The President of the Dallas Fed, one Richard Fisher, said that the current unemployment rate is on the verge of being too low, which will introduce our economy to worrisome upward wage pressure and inflation.

 

 

Forget that the data do not support Boehner's view of the unemployed at all, and leave aside Fisher's incredible view that even after years of wage stagnation, we have to take policy steps to thwart job creation and potential wage increases.  This is an example of two policy makers at the top levels using mutually exclusive rationales to use their levers to tilt the economy in favor of the upper class at the expense of the lower class.  As I wrote to the INNER HIVE:

 

The appearance of these two stories at the same time brought into stark relief the hypocrisy of these two positions which are intellectually incompatible, and yet are central to the right wing recession mythos.  We shouldn't have policies to generate jobs both because the lazy unemployed won't even take them, and because when they take them, they'll create economic conditions that will be detrimental to the wealthy.

 

And so, Enter:  Lucky Ducky.

 

--

Click here to read on Boing Boing.

Click here to read on Daily Kos.  

Click here to read on GoComics. 

Click here to read on Medium's The Nib.  

 

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To comment, please use facebook or twitter (#tomthedancingbug @rubenbolling).



September 20, 2014

SPX 2014

Derf's blog post about the great fun we all had at the Small Press Expo this year.  Here.

 

Here's his selfie with me...

 

1902968_10152366983979007_7536392314691662217_n

 

...and with me and some up-and-coming cartoonist who seemed pretty talented -- I think he'll go far.

 

10615503_10152366983929007_7245322604346820420_n

 

(Also at that table were Tom Tomorrow and Shannon Wheeler.)



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