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. "I made a decision early in 2016 that Trump was the political phenomenon of my lifetime and just about devoted the strip to that."