Alien Invasion by Ruben Bolling


February 21, 2016



Every week, a mailing is sent out to the esteemed members of Tom the Dancing Bug's INNER HIVE, exclusively presenting the week's upcoming comic strip, at least a day before web publication, as well as other information, content, stuff, etc., et al. and whatnot.


For your perusal, here is last week's INNER HIVE mailing, a particularly lengthy one, as it dealt with the death of a Supreme Court Justice and an important Tom the Dancing Bug character.


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After The Donald's win in New Hampshire, I just felt I had to do a comic about the phenomenon and its actual implications.  Of course, with his persistent success in the Republican polls, despite the experts' predictions, he had become a legitimate force weeks ago.  But as we move toward South Carolina, whatever you think of his ultimate chances of becoming president, you have to acknowledge: [Stuff] Got Real.

Here are some shots of how I drew this week's comic.  I decided to go with a cartoony look instead of a more realistic comic book look because the caricatures in this style are more forgiving.  I couldn't bring myself to draw a realistic Trump eleven times.

By the way, the black and white version of each week's comic is submitted to my syndicate Universal Uclick on Monday, and then the color version is submitted on Tuesday (then sent to the INNER HIVE on that day, then published online on Wednesday on

Because of President's Day, this comic was submitted on Friday, and the black and white version had this title panel:

But over the weekend, I had time to switch out the title panel with the fabulous, classic, gold-embossed title panel you see in the color version.


And because of these deadlines, I was unable to do a comic this week on the big news for the nation and for Tom the Dancing Bug: the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The news was announced while I was at the movies ("Hail Caesar," very good), and when the movie was over, I checked my phone for messages and saw that my Twitter feed had blown up.  I wondered what was going on, and scrolled through tweets like "Does @RubenBolling know yet?" and "Condolences to @RubenBolling."

It took me a while to realize what happened, and I was taken by how many people so closely associate me with the Justice.  I had transformed him into a Tom the Dancing Bug character that I've used for well over a decade.

Here is the first "Judge Scalia" comic, created in response to Bush v. Gore.

And in the Tom the Dancing Bug Universe he became an action-packed (activist?) anti-hero, travelling the land (and across the entire time/space continuum) meting out his brand of two-fisted justice.  Here are just a few of his adventures.

A reader (and a Friend of Tom the Dancing Bug) who is a legal academic told me that she once presented Justice Scalia with a Judge Scalia comic for his signature.  He read it, and very graciously refused to sign, saying that it could be interpreted as an endorsement.  Always the careful lawyer.

On that bitterly cold February 13, we lost one of the most important and influential players in American politics, a brilliant legal mind, a husband, father and grandfather, and a Tom the Dancing Bug character.



Speaking of recurring characters, this week's upcoming Classic Tom the Dancing Bug (to be published this Thursday) will present the first appearance of Sam Roland, The Detective Who Dies (1995).  I always look back fondly on my creation of this character, because when I thought of him I quickly wrote not one comic strip, but a five-part series of comic strips that depicted the arc of his life and deaths.  Never before nor since have I suddenly, seemingly in one instant, devised that many comics, satisfying that many deadlines.  What a bounty.




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