Episode 180: Ruben Bolling


Ruben Bolling should have been a lawyer. He graduated from Harvard Law School, he married a lawyer, and he even does some work in the field. But after seeing an ad in a school paper, the artist’s fate was sealed, creating the first installment of Tom the Dancing Bug in a flash of creative inspiration. This week, the comic celebrates its 1,300th installment. Thirty-years after its Harvard Law School Record debut, the the strip has become a staple in alt-weekly paper across the US, along with various online outlets, including, most notably, Boing Boing, where’s it’s syndicated weekly. Tom showcases a wide range of styles, satirizing politics, celebrity culture and his fellow cartoonists, as is the case with both the reoccurring feature God-Man: The Superhero With Omnipotent Powers! and Super-Fun-Pak Comix, which jams a page of Sunday strip-style work in a single comic. After a year or so of scheduling conflicts, we finally managed to sit down and discuss Bolling’s beloved strip, just in time to get real about the role of comic strip satire in one of the scariest political years in recent memory.

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