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Reuben Bolling

Comix Talk for Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is it in fact appropriate to wish my neighbors to the North a "Happy Canada Day"?  If so, well then, cheers and happy no-longer-colonies day!  

Nope, I've Never Done This!

Hypey Mc Hype: Barry Smith and coffee always equals a good InkTank strip :)

Oooh Pretty... Flight 7!  Kazu Kibuishi posts previews from the upcoming installment of the comics anthology series.

Even Reuben Bolling Gets The Blues: The creator of Tom the Dancing Bug gets some high profile links to his comics but unfortunately not to the "approved" postings of them.  This sucks but it's inevitable that things like this will happen.  Best to be prepared by putting in a clear URL to your work on the comic image itself.  Any other tips?

Last One To Leave MySpace, Turn Off the Disco Lights: I saw on Comics Reporter that Dark Horse is moving its webcomics portal/monthly anthology off of MySpace and back to its own website.

Review: Lauren Davis tackles the post 9/11 thrilller webcomic Nathan Sorry.

INTERVIEW: Mike Rhodes interviews Donna Lewis for the local alt weekly paper.  Lewis's webcomic is Reply All which to be honest is a mess in terms of art (it looks like MS Paint) but does have some good moments in the writing.  Not really funny so much as an honest and knowing tone, it's a pretty good effort at a comic built around an adult woman's point of view.

NOT WEBCOMICS: I don't know if these are "authorized" but someone has made funny little animations out of a few Kate Beaton comics.  This take on her "Two Watsons" comics cracked me up silly this morning.

Great Webcomic Finales?

The Comic Strip That Has A Finale Every Day from Tom The Dancing Bug

Tom Spurgeon started it by picking his 10 favorite comic endings but Reuben Bolling is right - how could he leave out The Comic Strip That Has A Finale Every DayTom also posted picks from his readers here.

So it leads me to think - what are the best webcomic endings so far?  It's not all that often that a webcomic is properly wrapped up in finale fashion but I bet there's a few that have struck a chord.

Comix Talk for Friday, April 23, 2010

Wow - it's been one crazy summer week. So the big story this week is the move of Reuben Bolling's Tom the Dancing Bug from Salon to Boing Boing.  At least I think it's kind of a big deal as has a huge audience and as Reuben Bolling explains it was the first place he contacted after learning Salon was dropping his strip.

Digital Strips has a plug for Patrick Farley's Kickstarter drive to let him focus on his webcomics site, Electronic Sheep. For those who weren't reading webcomics 10 years ago you may not have the context for how mind-bending Farley's work was at that point.  He pushed... hard on the web.  He had comics with radically different art styles, different web environments, different everything.  And it was all good.  Having him freed up to work on comics would mean getting a lot of great new work.  Consider pledging...

REVIEWS:  Daily Cross Hatch has a review of the latest Snake Pit book - a compilation of the journal comic from 2009.  I have the book, was struggling with a review -- I think this review is pretty useful -- this is journal comic at it's most basic.  I did this, I saw that.

Also worth checking out is a look by the Storming the Tower blog at the quasi-Penny & Aggie-Something Positive cross-over via the character of Helen.


From the Mailbag: Thormod Skald writes about his webcomic Farnir The Dragon -- an action/comedy/political satire:

The dragon Fafnir awakens from a centuries-long slumber to find his treasure stolen and scattered across the world. Unfortunately for him, anyone who finds a piece can control Fafnir for nine days and as usual, the greatest power is often in the hands of the biggest idiots.

Comix Talk for Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Culture Pop by Seth Kushnar

Seth Kushnar's CulturePop debuted this week.  The first one is about Alyssa Loveless talking about performing and her music.  I really dig Kushnar's website Graphic NYC, and this comic project looks very promising.  Different vibe but its somewhat similar to a great journalistic comic called CulturePulp by Mike Russell.

BUSINESS: Tom Tomorrow's current comic is a funny take on the Internet but a little bitter about the changes waste the Internet is laying to existing business models.  Tomorrow and Reuben Bolling are two extremely talented cartoonists that should be able to make it in the Internet world.  Maybe they need their own Robert Khoo business guru but if nothing else they ought to talk to Jeff Rowland at Topataco and see what they can do with taking control of their merchandizing opportunities.

LEGAL: Linda Joy Kattwinkel, Esq., Intellectual Property and Arts Attorney at Owen, Wickersham & Erickson writes a post on what to do when your artwork is being ripped off.  Good advice.

AWARDS: James Hudnall writes about his experience being a judge for the Eisner nominations this year.

MILESTONES: Shaenon Garrity reports that Daniel Merlin Goodbrey has concluded his webcomic All Knowledge Is Strange and started a new webcomic 100 Planets.

REVIEWS: reviews this month's Zuda contestants. (h/t

HYPE: has a bit more and pix on the upcoming book Kill Shakespeare.  Plus a take from a Shakespeare scholar.

NOT WEBCOMICS: has a round-up of the recent uncovering of work Jack King Kirby did for an animation house in the 80s.  Neat to see even more ideas from the comics legend.

Comix Talk for Monday, March 29, 2010

So here's a good question worth a think. Salon just let Reuben Bolling know it's canceling it's contract for Tom The Dancing Bug (which apparently means This Modern World is the last comic at Salon?)  Tom the Dancing Bug is a smart, funny comic and the question now is -- what's the business plan for Bolling going forward?  Seriously, if there's one cartoonist who I would volunteer time to help brainstorm and execute a new business model for, he'd be on the short list. 

Penny Arcade - Penny Arcade Expo: Hope PAX East was awesome.  I'll jealously read the reports trickling in today as attendees tell their tales of brushing against the PA crew and breaking into spontaneous nerdcore beatboxing in the hallways.  In honor of the recent PAX East here's a link to Geekosystem's Top 10 Most Obscure PA characters.

Also, the Penny Arcade crew announced they would not be making a third installment in their videogames series but you can still read Macgasm's refresher review of the first two episodes of On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness here.

OTHER CONVENTIONS: In other con news, I'm still trying to make sure my schedule allows me to attend, but it looks like Rob Balder of Erfworld will definitely be there.  Where? At Intervention of course. And don't forget the Comics Events calendar for dates for comic conventions and other events

Milestones: Gordon McAlpin finished Book Four of his Multiplex webcomic.  This comic has gotten better and better -- McAlpin does the character-driven material as well as the movie-driven stuff.

REVIEWS: El Santo reviews Evan Dahm's Rice Boy - it's another example of why El Santo is one of the best reviewers in comics right now.  (My review of Rice Boy is here.)

INTERVIEWS: Sequential Tart has an interview with Rene Engstrom, creator of the completed webcomic Anders Loves Maria.

Opinion: I'd rather have Tatsuya Ishida on the editorial pages than most working editorial cartoonists.  Ishida is at least as opinionated as 3/4 of them and his art runs laps (MULTIPLE FREAKIN' LAPS) over all of them. 

iWEBCOMICS: Johana Draper Carlson talks about Alex de Campi’s Valentine comic, particularly the effort de Campi's making to bring it to multiple platforms simultaneously.

AROUND THE BLOGS: Last week, Howard Tayler had a great post on ideas and their value in the world - worth reading still.  And Tom Spurgeon lists the webcomics suggested by readers of his site, The Comics Reporter.  Not a bad list...

THE MAILBAG: Jason Whitley wrote to alert us to the return of Sea Urchins, which apparently used to be a newspaper-only comic (there's a book collection of these available here).  The comic is by Whitley and Scott Eckelaert, but so far there's not much in the way of comics up on the website.

NOT WEBCOMICS: I've still only read one Scott Pilgrim book, but the trailer for the movie looks like great fun.  

Van Gogh's forced move online

I've heard plenty of gripes and worrying coming from traditional cartoonists over the stress and headaches of moving their operations online to keep up with the changing cartooning market. Well, the clever cartoonist Ruben Bolling has envisioned what it may have been like for the great Van Gogh to have had to deal with online marketing. Check out the comic strip here.


Just another day in the home office in itstoodamnhotville...

It will be a sad day in Mudville when Scary Go Round steps up to the plate for the last time.  Even John Allison is getting verklempt.

Awhile ago Warren Ellis put out a call to creators to post about their webcomics at his Whitechapel forum. A long list ensued - much good stuff there, some of it new to me!  From there I found Border Crossings a suitably strange story but one with promise.  I can't tell if the two stories so far are meant to be interlocking or not but either way it has a creepy, odd tone -- both the art and the writing.  Definitely interesting so far.

Also reading Mister Crimson which has art very like Howard Chaykin's The Shadow comic book.  Actually the plot is a bit like putting The Shadow into the future.

Cartoonist Bob Flynn talks about the tools he uses making comics.

Reuben Bolling incites his fans to vote Tom the Dancing Bug to the top of the Rankopedia's list for best comic ever.  As far as lists go this is one of the most naked popularity contests I've seen in awhile.  I doubt Bolling is doing this out of anything other than a sense of fun and irony.

Kind of an interesting site - 30 Day Artist - features an artist each month making 40 pieces of art on the site.

Is Chris Hastings' dog (name: Commissioner Gordon) the cutest dog in the world?  

Let's Start With A Few Good Stories This Morning

This is pretty cool - the Ohio State Cartoon Library & Museum has asked Dave Kellett to donate a piece of Sheldon original art to their collection of American cartoon art.  Kellett is asking his readers to help him pick which piece to donate.

Ruben Bolling links to this piece by Tim Kreider in the NYTimes who only recently gave up his comic strip The Pain for other projects.  Kreider writes interestingly about happiness, nostalgia and being in the flow, what he calls "absorption" - a good read.

Newsarama has an interview with Lucy Kinsley of the autobiographical comic French Milk. (h/t Daily Crosshatch)

Cat Rackham made me laugh. 

Is Reuben Bolling Auctioning Off Product Placement in Tom The Dancing Bug?

Apparently so according to the Daily Cartoonist.  Although normally my reaction to this is kind of a "yetch" -- who knows maybe it'll save comics!

Onward Into the Webcomics Breach - UPDATED

It's Wednesday and that means it's July.  We'll have new art from Isabel Marks up top of the site there for July sometime this evening.  Also you all already read, right? Well one more reason to add it to your daily feed - that site just got a website design refresh, plus it now bills Brad Guigar as "editor-in-chief".  Good stuff!

AWARDS: There was a lot of hubbub yesterday about the nominees for the Harveys, including this story on how Gemstone publishing provided pre-filled in ballots for its employees in past years.  The Harveys, like the WCCAs, rely on counting up nominations for comics to determine the list of nominees for each category.  How many people participate is really important to the strength of the award.  I don't think the Harvey's released that information - but if anyone knows the number of votes for nominees please forward it on to me.  On this note Johanna Draper Carlson offers her tips for fixing the HarveysUPDATE: Tom Spurgeon pens an essay on why The Harvey awards should pack it in.

Also just in - Reuben Bolling just won just won the 2009 AAN Award for the Best Cartoon in Alternative Newsweeklies for his comic Tom the Dancing Bug.

INTERVIEWS: Newsarama has an interview with another Zuda cartoonist - this time it's Andy Belanger.  His comic strip Bottle of Awesome started this week.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE: James Duncan's adaptation of The Decemberists' "The Mariner's Revenge Song" is all kinds of creepy awesome.