Alien Invasion by Ruben Bolling
The EMU Club Adventures by Ruben Bolling BUY BOOK ONE ON AMAZON: Alien Invasion In My Backyard BUY BOOK TWO ON AMAZON: Ghostly Thief of Time Other options to buy The EMU Club Adventures book series from Ruben Bolling Visit the official EMU Club Website for Kids! More information about The EMU Club Adventures! Book: Alien Invasion In My Backyard - An EMU Club Adventure by Ruben Bolling Book: Ghostly Thief of Time - An EMU Club Adventure by Ruben Bolling


April 16, 2019

TOM THE DANCING BUG NAMED 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST

Pulitzer prize

 

It was announced yesterday that I was named a 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist.

 

Hearty congratulations to this year's winner, the great cartoonist Darrin Bell.  (UPDATE 4/17: I just learned that Darrin is the first African American cartoonist to win the Pulitzer, which makes his deserving win even more fantastic!)

 

And congratulations to the other finalist, Rob Rogers, another great cartoonist, who was fired from his Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff cartoonist position of 25 years for drawing cartoons critical of Trump, a situation he handled with dignity, integrity and humor.  I'd just seen Rob speak about this last week, as I wrote here.

 

Being told out of the blue that you didn't win an award isn't always an awesome experience, but as losing goes, this is a pretty good way to lose.  I'm genuinely honored to have been named in consideration of such a prestigious award. (UPDATE 4/17: Here is a link to the nominated Tom the Dancing Bug comics, on the Pulitzer website.)

 

I've a had kind of an amazing run of awards (and near-awards) recently, and it always delights me to have the chance to thank the fantastic partners and supporters of Tom the Dancing Bug:

 

- Andrews McMeel Syndication / GoComics, my partner and friend (yes, corporations can be friends - or, full of friends) for over 22 years;

- All of Tom the Dancing Bug's invaluable print clients;

- Boing Boing, an awesome website made by awesome people, which premieres the comic online every week and is an ardent supporter in every way; and

- Daily Kos, which has done so much for progressive politics and for political cartooning and for Tom the Dancing Bug!

 

And of course I thank Tom the Dancing Bug's INNER HIVE, which literally saved the comic strip when I started the Hive in 2012 and still saves it every single week.  As I said to them in this week's mailing, I share the honor which each and every one of them, because they are on the Tom the Dancing Bug team and are an essential part of the Tom the Dancing Bug process.

 

With the decline of print newspapers, INNER HIVE subscribers sustain the new business model that makes Tom the Dancing Bug a viable enterprise.  In return for their subscription fee, they get Pulitzer Prize-losing comics a day before they appear anywhere online, as well as commentary from a Pulitzer Prize-losing cartoonist.  All this plus jokes, behind-the-scenes looks, extra exclusive comics and whatever other benefits and privileges I can dream up or make up.

 

(Yes, this just became a fund raising drive.)  This is the best time to join the Tom the Dancing Bug team.  Who knows, maybe your support will put Tom the Dancing Bug over the edge next year to become a Pulitzer Prize winner!*

 

Information on how to join the INNER HIVE can be found here, or you can simply and directly join through Patreon here.

 

Anyway, I truly appreciate all my partners, friends, fans and readers, in whatever capacity they support or enjoy Tom the Dancing Bug.  I already feel so fortunate to have the privilege of making comics that are read by so many people.  Being honored for my efforts is an extra thrill because I can hope that honor can help justify the support I've received and reflect well on the friends who have believed in me and the strip.  

 

Rb

 

 

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*Not the way it works.

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To comment, please use Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



April 02, 2019

MoCCA ARTS FESTIVAL IN NYC: OFFICE HOURS

Hey, I'll be conducting Office Hours this Saturday, 4/6/19, in NYC at the MoCCA Arts Festival, from 3pm - 5pm.  Come on by the National Cartoonists Society booth (A122); I'll be giving out fist-bumps, answering questions, asking questions, toting books, and kissing babies.

2019 MoCCA Arts Festival
at Metropolitan West, West 46th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues, NYC




Any last-minute changes will be posted on this space and my twitter account.

Hope to see you there!



March 06, 2019

HOMESTEAD HIGH HOMEWORK

 

1428temp

 

The really hilarious thing about this week's comic is that it's based on a real place.

 

Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors is in Homestead, Florida, and kids 13-17 are housed in the facility run for profit by a subsidiary of Caliburn International.  It's for children who applied for asylum in the U.S., but "unaccompanied" isn't always accurate, because that's the designation for children arriving without parents, but they may have arrived with adult siblings, other relatives or family friends.

 

Unaccompanied_minors_in_homestead

 

Separate from Trump's monstrous family separation policy, this treatment of "unaccompanied" minors differs significantly from the treatment under Obama:  It apparently takes much more time to place the children out of facilities with sponsor families and relatives, and there are reports that the children are being used as "bait" for sponsor families and relatives to come to claim the children and then get deported.

There is no great solution for the humanitarian crisis in Central America, but I know that cruel and punitive deterrence policies deliberately inflicted on children can't be any part of the United States of America.

 

20190131_homestead-28-3a79f061e401786121f6733f5d8d6f521d456e60-s800-c85

 

You can read more about Homestead here: NPR; Miami Herald; Concord Monitor; Berlin Consulting.

 

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Excerpted from this week's Inner Hive mailing



January 30, 2019

Can you spot the criminal danger: the footnotes

1423ckTEASER-spot-the-criminal-danger


This week's comic has some statistics in it, and I thought I'd share the sources that I wrote about to the INNER HIVE on Monday.

 

Because the only the best comics have footnotes!

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"49 out of 50 extremist murders in 2018 were committed by domestic right-wing terrorists."
https://www.adl.org/murder-and-extremism-2018

OxyContin "promoted its use to doctors as safe and non-addictive, contributing to an addiction epidemic that now kills about 130 Americans every day."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2622774/

Undocumented immigrants are "convicted of crimes at a rate of about 0.75%"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/two-charts-demolish-the-notion-that-immigrants-here-illegally-commit-more-crime/


And Wikipedia lists 26 "key" members of Trump's 2016 campaign, five of which have now been indicted or pled guilty.
(George Papadopoulos was a Trump advisor who also pled guilty, but he isn't listed as a key member.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_2016_presidential_campaign
https://www.businessinsider.com/who-has-been-charged-in-russia-investigation-mueller-trump-2017-12#rick-gates-one-of-manaforts-business-partners-6

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December 01, 2018

DECEMBER 2018 INNER HIVE DRIVE

If my print and web clients are the body of Tom the Dancing Bug, and my readers are its soul, the INNER HIVE is its lifeblood.

 

While that metaphor may be both mixed and utter nonsense, it is true that with the collapse of the print newspaper market, the INNER HIVE, the comic strip's subscriptions club, has been essential to its viability.  Members get the weekly comic strip at least a day before it's published anywhere online, plus commentary, puns, preliminary art, extra exclusive comments, palindromes, giveaways, additional comics, "content", craft projects, diatribes about my various blood feuds with other cartoonists, weather forecasts, "other stuff," cautionary tales, extraneous info, etc.

 

And if you've been thinking of joining the INNER HIVE (or even if you haven't), this would be the month to do it.

 

First, if you join one of the upper tiers of the Patreon version of membership, you are required to be a member throughout 2019 in order to be eligible for the year-end rewards. 

 

But far more importantly, if you sign up for the INNER HIVE during December*, I will donate $25 to USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to help protect and care for refugees in crisis.

 

So at base INNER HIVE membership levels, MORE than the amount of your sign-up/initial membership dues will be donated to help those in need.

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 5.39.52 PM

 

In choosing to donate to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, I was inspired by INNER HIVE charter member Neil Gaiman, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, and has done much work to help help and publicize the work they do.

 

Gaiman unhcr  

 

There are two ways to join the INNER HIVE.  Both get you the weekly emails containing the comics, and both will trigger the donation to UNHCR.

 

1. You can join through MailChimp/CampaignZee, for which the cost of INNER HIVE membership is $11.95 per six months.  HERE.

 

2. Or you can join through Patreon, for which the cost of INNER HIVE membership is a minimum of $3.00 per month, with higher tiers which can get you extra rewards.  HERE.

 

More info on membership can be found here.

 

So not only do you get early access to stupid comics, exclusive access to stupid commentary on those stupid comics, and other stupid stuff, you help make the world a slightly better place for those who are in crisis.

 

Central-america-img_0612-1200x650

Join me in making Tom the Dancing Bug.

THANK YOU,

Ruben Bolling

 

--

Not applicable to Gift Memberships.

*Because Patreon membership dues are monthly, for members who sign up through Patreon, membership must be maintained for six months to be eligible for this pledge.

 



GIVE THE GIFT OF TOM THE DANCING BUG

732temp

 

This year, you can give that special someone a Gift Membership to Tom the Dancing Bug's INNER HIVE.

 

That's right, you can give a loved one / friend / frenemy a yearlong membership to the INNER HIVE, and from the moment you sign them up and throughout 2019 they will receive the weekly INNER HIVE emails containing:

- that week's Tom the Dancing Bug comic, at least a day before it's published online; and

- exclusive commentary, extra comics, contests, giveaways, word-find puzzles, and advice for the lovelorn

and all other benefits and privileges of membership will be conferred up on them.

 

Simply sign up here, including the recipient's name and the email address the INNER HIVE mailings should be sent to:

 

Name of RECIPIENT
Email address of RECIPIENT

 

It is for you to inform the recipient of the gift.  The recipient will simply receive the next INNER HIVE email after you sign them up.

More info on the INNER HIVE is here.

 

IT'S THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING, EVERY DING-DONG WEEK, UNTIL IT STOPS.

Thank you, and have a Merry Everything.

Rb

 

526temp

 

Terms and Conditions apply.  They always do.

The Gift Membership will end 12/31/19.

Payment is for starting the membership.  Recipient may cancel at any time (there's no accounting for taste).

Any questions, please contact teamdancingbug@gmail.com

 

 



November 28, 2018

GOCOMICS INTERVIEW

An interview I did with GoComics is now up on their blog.  Here.

I have a lot less control over what I write about than people would guess. I’m not talented enough to pick a subject or a target and then be sure I’ll come up with a great comic. Nor do I think of lots of comics ideas and then choose the best one. My process is that I stare at a blank piece of paper for a long time, or write very stupid things on it, and then, eventually, suddenly, one idea comes to me. One. And that’s the Tom the Dancing Bug for that week.

 



November 13, 2018

JEFF "DIARY OF A WIMPY KID" KINNEY ON THE EMU CLUB ADVENTURES! AND AN OFFER!

HEY, I'm floored by what Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, has said about The EMU Club Adventures books, my chapter book series for ages 0-100 (but especially 6-12):

 

181107 kinneyad yellow

 

THE SIGNED/SKETCHED OFFER:

In celebration of Jeff Kinney's incredible endorsement, and in preparation for the upcoming holiday gift-giving season, for a limited time, I'm again offering copies of The EMU Club Adventures, Books 1 and 2, with a personalized signature and drawing in each.

 

SHARE THE JOY OF EMUS WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

"There are tons of little mysteries all around us.  Sometimes if you look really, really closely at them, you find out some amazing, incredible things.  And you might just save the world."

-Stuart Tennemeier, President of The EMU Club

--

 

You can buy both books, signed and sketched, shipping included, for $59.95.

 

Continental U.S. only for now, please.

 

If you would like the books signed "to" a particular name (your name, the name of a gift recipient, etc.), type that name in the field below.  If not, you can leave that field blank.

 

If you're a member of Tom the Dancing Bug's INNER HIVE, enter the email address you use to subscribe in the field below.  If you're not, no problem!  Just leave that field blank.

(btw, you can click here to join the INNER HIVE.)

 

OFFER RUNS ONLY THROUGH FRIDAY 12/7, BUT MAY END EARLIER DEPENDING ON SUPPLIES.

 

UPDATE: OFFER HAS EXPIRED.  THANKS TO ALL WHO ORDERED!

 

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 6.47.03 PM

 

 

Of course, you can also buy both or either book in the regular way on Amazon...

BOOK ONE:  ALIEN INVASION IN MY BACKYARD

BOOK TWO: GHOSTLY THIEF OF TIME

… or you can purchase them elsewhere by clicking here, or even by going to a bookstore!

 

THANK YOU!

 

161209 publicity page amp web

 



November 08, 2018

AGAIN AND AGAIN

For some reason, I feel moved to put this back up on the blog.

I helped produce this back in 2013, after Sandy Hook.

Absolutely nothing has changed since then.

Nothing.

 



October 12, 2018

RICHARD SCARRY'S 21ST CENTURY BUSY TOWN JOBS

This week's comic, More Richard Scarry's 21st Century Busy Town Jobs, is making the rounds across the web and social media, so I thought I'd post the first comic I did in the format, from 2014.

 

These two comics have been among my most popular, which makes me happy because I really loved drawing them in Scarry's style.

 

 

1215cMC richard scarry

By the way, please do join the INNER HIVE for much more Tom the Dancing Bug, including each weekly comic strip emailed to you at least a day before it is published online, extra comics, commentary, prizes, and whatever else I can throw in there.  JOIN HERE.

 

 



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