Alien Invasion by Ruben Bolling


June 05, 2015


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.



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.)



"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).


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