Alien Invasion by Ruben Bolling
ALIEN INVASION IN MY BACKYARD: AN EMU CLUB ADVENTURE! by Ruben Bolling Other Purchasing Options via Andrews McMeel Publishing


June 15, 2015

THE COMIC STRIP THAT HAS A FINALE EVERY DAY, THE ANIMATED SPECIAL

 

 

 

 

To those who complain that THE COMIC STRIP THAT HAS A FINALE EVERY DAY never changes -- how's this for movement?

 

Finale-Every-day-animated

 

Thanks to David Ohman!



RECOMMONDAY

I just finished, and really enjoyed, Bruce McCulloch's ("Kids in the Hall") memoir, Let's Start a Riot.

 

I was amazed to discover just how much Bruce and I have in common.  Which is only this:  We both have quotes by Mark McKinney on the back of our books.

 

Mcculloch-startariot4



June 14, 2015

BEST BOOK REPORT EVER...

 

…gets an A+ from the author!

 

Alien Invasion in My Backyard!

Alien invasion book report

 

Keep the cards, letters and photos coming!



June 13, 2015

COMIC - COMBATING CARTOONISTS' UNLIMITED POWER

COMIC -

 

COMBATING CARTOONISTS' UNLIMITED POWER

 

 

1242cbTHUMB news - je suis atena

 

 

Click here to read on Boing Boing.

Click here to read on Daily Kos.

Click here to read on gocomics. 

 

For more information about Atena Farghadani, click here or here.

 

To take action by appealing to Iranian authorities, click here.

 

----

 

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

 



June 11, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

PGR-25th-Anniv-Logo-300ppi1

 

Yes, I'm calling today the 25th Anniversary of Tom the Dancing Bug.

 

A quarter of a century ago today(ish), a young, fresh-faced cartoonist showed up at the hallowed offices of the legendary weekly newspaper New York Perspectives with nothing but a dream and a picture of murderous fetus.

 

Upon seeing the work and assessing the talent of the young man, the editor of New York Perspectives uttered the phrase that would launch a comic strip: "Um, yeah, okay."

 

That very first Tom the Dancing Bug, entitled "Bad Fetus," can be seen here; I've re-published it today on the weekly Classic feature.

 

Td_c150611_0001TEMP

 

I want to thank my readers, because without people reading the comic… well, it could certainly have existed, but it would have been more of a sad, outsider-art kind of thing, with county authorities discovering in the home of a deceased loner thousands elaborate drawings and stories about australopithecines, time-travelers, nap-taking aliens and politicians.

 

And of course I thank all the editors, art directors and publishers who really said far more than "Um, yeah, okay."  They've taken the leap of faith in me by presenting to their readers a comic strip whose only premise is: whatever Ruben Bollilng can come up with every week.  I truly appreciate, and am grateful for, that.

 

BUT MOST TO THE POINT, I want to the thank the stalwart members of the proud and mighty INNER HIVE, who not only substantially support Tom the Dancing Bug, they have essentially become part of it.

 

LUCKY DUCKY ADweb

 

I'm having this 25th Anniversary day serve as the culmination of my HIVE DRIVE, to encourage as many Tom the Dancing Bug readers to join me by subscribing to the INNER HIVE.  Subscribers not only get exclusive access to comics before they are published online, they also get exclusive access to contests, bonus comics and commentary (insightful and/or stupid) on each comic.

 

SO, please do take this moment to JOIN THE INNER HIVE BY CLICKING HERE.

 

HERE is more information about the INNER HIVE.

 

HERE is a sample INNER HIVE mailing, and HERE is another.

 

HERE is a GIF of a llama.

 

AND BELOW are quotes and testimonials from a few satisfied INNER HIVE members.

 

"I used to spend 20 dollars a year on TOM THE DANCING BUG collections… Happy to support him and pass the word." -Neil Gaiman

 

"My only argument with Ruben B. here is his apologetic tone for asking you to pay money for early access to his very good comics —- that is to say, something that YOU LIKE AND WANT.  DO NOT APOLOGIZE, RUBEN." -John Hodgman 

 

"I signed up the second I read about it. It's a lot of fun. I enjoy hearing Ruben tell the story behind each of his comics." -Mark Frauenfelder

 

"Ruben Bolling is a comic genius, a clever artist, a true gentleman, a pseudonym, and and important ally in the struggle against deep dish pizza."  -Peter Sagal
 
----
 
 
THANK YOU.

----

 

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

 

 

 



June 10, 2015

THE SHIRT THAT HAS A FINALE EVERY DAY

 

Yes, the media sensation that's taken the pop culture world by storm, THE COMIC STRIP THAT HAS A FINALE EVERY DAY, finally has a t-shirt.

 

LET THE WORLD KNOW that you bid a fond farewell to this comic strip by wearing this stylish shirt.  Every day.

 

483color finale every day t-shirt AD IMAGE

 

ORDER YOUR MEN'S SHIRT HERE.

ORDER YOUR WOMEN'S SHIRT HERE.

 

 

----

 

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



June 05, 2015

THE HIVE DRIVE: WEEK 2

The HIVE DRIVE is a celebration of Tom the Dancing Bug's 25th Anniversary.  It's like an NPR pledge drive, but without the long speeches, tote bags and actual public service.

 

If you've enjoyed the comic strip and want to enhance your enjoyment by becoming part of the Tom the Dancing Bug team, please take this time to join the INNER HIVE.

 

 
 
 
 
By joining, you not only support the strip, you get each week's comic strip emailed to you at least a day before it's published, with additional content, comics, backstory, drafts, etc.  You essentially become PART of the comic strip, helping to make it happen and receiving insider information and status.
 
 
 
It's been my honor and privilege to produce Tom the Dancing Bug for you, my valued readers, for 25 years, and I hope you'll join me as I continue my comic strip exploration of australopithecines, giant wombats, middle school, impoverished ducks, two-fisted judges, omnipotent superheroes, and whatever else I can find to fill up my weekly rectangle of comics...
 
 
 
Last week, I published the INNER HIVE mailing from that week (featuring Louis and David Letterman).  This week, I'm doing it again.  These two comics were released publicly on Wednesday (Aunt-Man) and Thursday (What's the Deal with that Cowboy Cigarette Guy?), but INNER HIVE members got these comics on Tuesday, with this commentary that, if not for the HIVE DRIVE, would never have been published.
 
 
SAMPLE INNER HIVE MAILING (from 6/2/15):
 
 

TOM THE DANCING BUG
6/2/15

THE MARVEL-OUS ADVENTURES OF AUNT-MAN!


After a few failed attempts at a FIFA-themed comic (I guess my heart wasn't in it), I settled on an Aunt-Man comic, something I'd thought I would save until closer until the release date of the Ant-Man movie (in July).  But Aunt-Man would not wait.

Unfortunately, this comic will be about 18% less funny in New England, where their eccentric pronunciation of the word "aunt" slightly undermines the premise of the comic.

Of course careful readers will know that this is based on a silly throwaway comic in Super-Fun-Pak Comix a few weeks ago.  It got a really nice and enthusiastic reaction, and that sort of inspired me to see if there was an entire comic strip there.



--

AND NOW, on to the thrilling conclusion to Tom the Dancing Bug's 1993 Marlboro Man saga that started on last week's Classic page.  (Click here and scroll down to read our story thus far.)

So, back in 1993, only a couple of weeks after publishing a comic about the Marlboro Man showing up on David Letterman's Late Show set, I saw something strange in an episode of Seinfeld.  By the way, in the days before DVRs, I have no idea how I got the screenshot of Elaine holding the magazine (there's no way I drew it from memory).  It's possible I just happened to have been recording the episode on my VCR.

Here is the "classic" Tom the Dancing Bug that will be published this coming Thursday:



Because the comic helpfully provided the air date of the Seinfeld episode in question, I was now able to find an actual screenshot of the scene from YouTube:



And by the way, here is a video of George conspicuously eating Rold Gold brand pretzels, from the 1993 episode, "The Glasses." ("May I have one of those Madam?")  And here is a 1993 Rold Gold commercial featuring Jason Alexander.  Of course, product placement is an insidious, but not illegal, form of advertising.  It's product placement of tobacco products in order to contravene a ban on TV advertising of tobacco that was the problem.

Have I suffered for my bold expose of network television's unholy alliance with tobacco?  You be the judge:  I ask the question, WHY HASN'T THERE BEEN A NETWORK TV SHOW BASED ON MY HIT ALTERNATIVE COMIC STRIP???

(I've actually come somewhat close, but that's a story for another day…)
 
 
By the way, speaking of my fantastic relationship with INNER HIVE members, it was an alert member who found the below New York Magazine article online, from November 29, 1993, about the first Marlboro Man comic:
 
 
173 new york magazine article letterman marlboro

 

************************
 
 
So that is a sample email to the INNER HIVE, with comics in advance of publication, and commentary, backstory, etc.
 
 
Note - Another reason to join now:  I've just cut ties with Amazon Payments, which caused problems with my subscribers, so the INNER HIVE no longer uses that system.  (I now use CampaignZee and Stripe, which will be much better.)
 
 
 
 
-
 

TESTIMONIALS FROM A FEW SATISFIED INNER HIVE MEMBERS:

 

"I used to spend 20 dollars a year on TOM THE DANCING BUG collections… Happy to support him and pass the word." -Neil Gaiman

 

"My only argument with Ruben B. here is his apologetic tone for asking you to pay money for early access to his very good comics —- that is to say, something that YOU LIKE AND WANT.  DO NOT APOLOGIZE, RUBEN." -John Hodgman 

 

"I signed up the second I read about it. It's a lot of fun. I enjoy hearing Ruben tell the story behind each of his comics." -Mark Frauenfelder

 

"Ruben Bolling is a comic genius, a clever artist, a true gentleman, a pseudonym, and and important ally in the struggle against deep dish pizza."  -Peter Sagal
 
-

----

 

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

 



June 03, 2015

BOOK EXPO AMERICA

Thanks to everyone who came out to the BEA / Bookcon signing of ALIEN INVASION IN MY BACKYARD.  I was absolutely delighted to meet you, and draw Stuart for you.  Please let me know on twitter or facebook (or email) what you think of the book!  To those who didn't make it through the line, I apologize -- we went way over our time as it was.  Next time!

 

CGRJOjuXEAIVAIk

 

----

 

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



May 29, 2015

BOOKCON

New York City:

 

Tomorrow, Saturday May 30, at 11am, I'll be at Bookcon (Javits Center) signing/sketching in copies of my new book ALIEN INVASION IN MY BACKYARD.  Come by!  I can't wait to meet you!

 

Andrews McMeel booth 2540



May 28, 2015

TOM THE DANCING BUG'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY - THE HIVE DRIVE

In celebration of Tom the Dancing Bug's 25th Anniversary, I'm launching the HIVE DRIVE, which will run now through June 11.  If you've enjoyed the comic strip and want to enhance your enjoyment by becoming part of the Tom the Dancing Bug team, please take this time to join the INNER HIVE.

 
 
By joining, you not only support the strip, you get each week's comic strip emailed to you at least a day before it's published, with additional content, comics, backstory, drafts, etc.  You essentially become PART of the comic strip, helping to make it happen and receiving insider information and status.
 
As part of the HIVE DRIVE, I'm publishing this week's mailing, sent out to INNER HIVE members on Tuesday (the Louis comic wasn't published until yesterday, the Classic comic was published on gocomics.com today).  Each mailing is different; this particular one happens to focus on the backstory of this week's "Classic" Tom the Dancing Bug.
 
It's been my honor and privilege to produce Tom the Dancing Bug for you, my valued readers, for 25 years, and I hope you'll join me as I continue my comic strip exploration of australopithecines, giant wombats, middle school, impoverished ducks, two-fisted judges, omnipotent superheroes, and whatever else I can find to fill up my weekly rectangle of comics...
 
SAMPLE INNER HIVE MAILING (from 5/26/15):
 
************************
 

TOM THE DANCING BUG
5/26/15

WHY IS EVERYONE CALLING HIM LOUIS "FLASH" MALTBY??

IN THIS INNER HIVE MAILING:

1.  Louis's ORIGINAL attempted nickname, almost an embarrassing error; and

2.  A really interesting "Classic" Tom the Dancing Bug, from 1993, never before reprinted, in which the strip revealed an ACTUAL potentially illegal practice on David Letterman's The Late Show.  (Really!) (DON'T MISS THIS!)

--

Originally, the nickname Louis was trying to anoint himself in this week's comic was not Flash, but Cap.

I was halfway through the pencils on this strip, using the nickname Cap, when my son happened to come in to my office and look over my shoulder.  He said, "Is this a crossover reference to Chagrin Falls?"

I didn't know what he was talking about, and he reminded me that the name of the son in the Smythe family from my "Chagrin Falls" storyline is named Cap!

Apparently my imagination is so limited, I can only think of one fictional nickname.  And my memory is so limited, I can't recall when I've already used it for a fairly major character.

I had to quickly think of another "cool" nickname (I found a website that lists NHL nicknames), and then replace all the Caps with Flashes.  And instead of a kid asking Louis, "Why would anyone call you Cap? You aren't the captain of ANYTHING," he asks about the TV show.

Whew.  It's a good thing someone is paying attention to this stuff… and wanders into my office at exactly the right time.

Here are my Cap-filled notes for this comic:



--

This week's upcoming "Classic" comic (to be published on Thursday on gocomics.com/tomthedancingbug) came to mind because of the retirement of David Letterman.  He used to do a segment called "Brush with Greatness," and I guess this is Tom the Dancing Bug's brush with Dave.

It comes to us from 1993, when Letterman had just moved from his Late Night show on NBC to a newly refurbished theater and new show, The Late Show, on CBS.  And, apparently, when Tom the Dancing Bug was a crusading, muckraking journalistic comic strip.  

At the time, this logo of Marlboro cigarettes, a stylized picture of their iconic cowboy, was absolutely ubiquitous on advertisements around the world.



And, as an AVID watcher (and HUGE fan) of Letterman's show, I noticed something odd about his brand new set...



I was able to find a couple of shots of Letterman's 1993 set (from YouTube) to show you guys the actual evidence:







I tried to keep things fun and lighthearted with the Larry "Bud" Melman punchline (a reference to an old character from the show), but I did genuinely think something was going on here.

I loved Letterman, but I was sure he himself wasn't behind any of this, and I actually contacted a couple of media outlets.  I spoke to The New York Times's advertising columnist, and he called back saying he wouldn't write about this because he'd spoken to their late night talk show expert, who thought The Late Show and CBS would never circumvent the law like this.  I guess he was convinced this was a purely artistic expression of a New York cityscape, and it was a coincidence that some images happened to be a boon to Philip Morris, one of the biggest advertisers in the country.

But New York Magazine did run a piece on my comic strip, which unfortunately I cannot find online to show you guys.

I believe that within a few weeks (couple of months?), these logos mysteriously disappeared in a subtle set re-design.

BUT THE STORY CONTINUES NEXT WEEK!!

A couple of weeks after this comic appeared, I noticed ANOTHER instance of these tobacco advertising shenanigans, involving ANOTHER beloved (by the country, and by me) comedy star, and I did ANOTHER comic about it, in which Tom the Dancing Bug revealed that the conspiracy goes deeper and deeper!  (Really! I was surprised to look back and see how substantive I got.)

Stay tuned for the second installment in this series, next week!

--
 
************************
 
So that is a sample email to the INNER HIVE, with comics in advance of publication and commentary, drafts, etc.
 
Note - Another reason to join now:  I've just cut ties with Amazon Payments, which caused problems with my subscribers, so the INNER HIVE no longer uses that system.  (I now use CampaignZee and Stripe, which will be much better.)
 
 
 
-
 

TESTIMONIALS FROM A FEW SATISFIED INNER HIVE MEMBERS:

 

"I used to spend 20 dollars a year on TOM THE DANCING BUG collections… Happy to support him and pass the word." -Neil Gaiman

 

"My only argument with Ruben B. here is his apologetic tone for asking you to pay money for early access to his very good comics —- that is to say, something that YOU LIKE AND WANT.  DO NOT APOLOGIZE, RUBEN." -John Hodgman 

 

"I signed up the second I read about it. It's a lot of fun. I enjoy hearing Ruben tell the story behind each of his comics. Good luck, Ruben!" -Mark Frauenfelder

 

"Ruben Bolling is a comic genius, a clever artist, a true gentleman, a pseudonym, and and important ally in the struggle against deep dish pizza. I am happy to pledge to him my sacred honor..."  -Peter Sagal
 
-

----

 

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