tom the dancing bug

Tokyo travel tips, day 4 (part 2): pork guts and fighting robots

Carla and I took a one-week trip to Tokyo. It was my sixth visit to Japan's capital, and it was my favorite so far. For the next few days, I'll be writing about recommended things to do there. See them all here.

We got back to Shibuya after our day on Mt. Takao at about 5 pm. That gave us enough time to get cleaned up and have dinner in Shinkjuku's "yakitori alley" before heading to Kabukicho for the Robot Restaurant show.

The official name for the yakitori alley is Omoide Yokocho (memory alley). It's also known as Piss Alley, but I didn't smell any piss. The grid of narrow pedestrian alleys, crammed with tiny bars restaurants, was as clean as Disneyland's Main Street USA. We got there around 6:30pm and it was already crowded with people ready for beer and grilled meat.

We found a place with a couple of available seats around the counter. It was called Ucchan. We sat down and were greeted by a busy staff. We asked for sake and they served it in glasses of crushed ice. This was the first time I had it served that way, and it was wonderful. I noticed that the glasses of beer that people were drinking had ice in it, too. One of the staff spoke a bit of English and I asked for a combination of grilled meats. He said it was pork only, and I said that was fine. Carla is not a huge fan of pork, though. Read the rest

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Ruben Bolling won the 2017 Herblock Prize!

Ruben Bolling, the brilliantly funny creator of comic strips we're proud to debut each week here at Boing Boing, has won the 2017 Herblock Award. His scathing and insightful treatment of Donald Trump, as featured in many episodes of Tom the Dancing Bug throughout the election campaign, were key to the Herb Block Foundation's pick.

“Tom the Dancing Bug” is a free-format comic strip that uses varying types of humor, artistic styles and formats. It’s an unusual strip in that in any given week, it could feature a spoof, a multi-panel sketch, political or absurdist humor, recurring characters or caricatures of real people. But during 2016, political subject matter was at its heart, as it mostly dealt with the election and the rise to power of Donald Trump.

We're proud and honored to publish his work here. Be sure to read the latest, published today!

Michael Cavna at the Washington Post, Herb Block's longtime home, quotes the judges and artist thus:

“Ruben Bolling created his own unique style of political cartoon, one that’s full of sly allusions and clever twists,” wrote judge Matt Wuerker, the Politico cartoonist and 2010 Herblock Prize recipient. ” ‘Tom the Dancing Bug’ pushed the form into new territory with imaginative tropes, deft imagery and provocative allegory.”

“Ruben Bolling’s cartoons are consistently sharp, funny and incredibly original,” wrote judge Mark Fiore, the freelance political animator who won the Herblock last year. “His use of recurring characters, like Hollingsworth Hound and Lucky Ducky, [adds] a wonderfully inventive richness to his masterful satire.” (Also judging this year was Martha Kennedy, Library of Congress curator of popular and applied graphic art.)

“‘Tom the Dancing Bug’ is an unusual comic strip because it’s totally free format; it can deal with australopithecines and giant wombats, or real-world politicians and topical issues,” the creator said.

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