Ruben Bolling

Ruben Bolling

Creating Tom the Dancing Bug

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per month
  • This is the Patreon version of the INNER HIVE Club that's been going on since 2012.  It's the club that literally saved the comic strip.
  • You get access to the weekly INNER HIVE message with each week's comic the day before it's published online, plus commentary, preliminary artwork, extra comics, contests, recipes, word-find puzzles, hot celeb tips and whatever else I can think of.


per month
  • You're a member of the INNER HIVE, with all its rights, privileges and responsibilities.
  • PLUS every January, those who have been in the INNER HIVE PLUS tier for the entire previous year will get four high-resolution files of Tom the Dancing Bug comics. 
  • PLUS you get access to archived content


per month
  • Every January, those who have been in the THE INNER HIVE'S SUPER FUN PACK for the entire previous year will get mailed to them some gift from the Tom the Dancing Bug studio.  Could be a signed/sketched book, an original sketch, an original illustration that was actually a component of a comic, or Something Else (tm)!  It's a "Mystery Box"!
  • Plus all previous rewards
  • Super fun!

About Ruben Bolling


Hello, friend.  And welcome to Tom the Dancing Bug!

I create this weekly comic strip to make fun of politics, the world, fabric softener, time-travelers, and giant wombats.  You can find news about the comic strip, and links to comics, here.

Here are blurbs for the ongoing series of books being published, The Complete Tom the Dancing Bug

"The fact that Tom the bug can keep dancing in this day and age is a testament to Ruben Bolling’s skills as a cartoonist!"
-Seth Meyers

"Behold the wondrous, whimsical, witty world that is Tom the Dancing Bug! If you're someone who's not a fan of potent political humor with an incisive absurdist twist that's not only consistently funny, but downright therapeutic for an ailing world, I suggest you avoid this book like the plague. For everyone else, it's a MUST-READ!"
-Mark Hamill

"This fine collection of work by Mr. Bolling provides ample evidence as to why he is unanimously considered one of the greatest cartoonists in the known universe. How he would rank in that other part of the universe is, of course, a matter that’s still being hotly debated within the scientific community.”
-“Weird Al” Yankovic

"Delve into the dementia, the dread, and the delightfulness of this collection of Tom the Dancing Bug's strips -- it's history through the lens of a self-loathing insomniac. In a way, it's all of us."
-Patton Oswalt

"God bless Tom the Dancing Bug! Funny, succinct, and highly original, Ruben Bolling is able to make sense from the chaos and tragedy of America's political nightmares and make you laugh while doing it. An increasingly rare and more difficult feat these extra bleak days. This is worth your time and money. Do it!"
-David Cross

"Ruben Bolling has been sending me his secret messages for years, in the form of comics printed first on paper, and then, once paper became extinct, on the internet. I don't know exactly what he's trying to tell me, except he seems to know about everything I find funny, delightful, strange and inexplicable to get my attention, from obscure literary references to negging deep dish pizza. I don't understand exactly what exactly he's trying to say to me, but I still obsessively keep reading, not just because he's hilarious, but because someday I hope to find out who this Tom the bug is, and why he is dancing."
-Peter Sagal

"I am a HUGE fan of Tom the Dancing Bug! It makes me laugh and think of course but it makes me feel better. No kidding, I read it and I think, someone else thinks like me, only funnier and better informed and I feel good. Thank you Ruben Bolling for giving us Tom The Dancing Bug. (Can't decide whether to capitalize ‘the’)."
-Gary Gulman

“Each week Ruben Bolling takes an unassuming little blank white rectangle and fills it up with clever cartoonery, sneaky commentary, and more political laughs than you can shake a stick at. All hail Tom the Dancing Bug!”
-Matt Groening

"Ruben Bolling's craft and commentary are as powerful and as pointed, as capable of making you laugh while breaking your heart as they were when we were all so very young."
-Neil Gaiman, from the Foreword

The INNER HIVE is a membership program by which you can get access to each week's comic at least a day before it's published anywhere online, plus other content, commentary, extra comics, contests, etc.  When the newspaper industry began collapsing, I was concerned that Tom the Dancing Bug was on its way to inviability.  I started the INNER HIVE as an experiment, and from the day it launched, it's literally saved the comic strip.

You can join the INNER HIVE, and get these benefits, and ensure the comic's viability, in several ways:

  • You can join the INNER HIVE right here on Patreon!  Easy!
  • You can join through Mailchimp/CampaignZee here.
  • You can join through Substack here.
  • You can even avoid these companies if you'd like, by pre-paying a two-year, non-recurring membership directly from me here. (If you'd prefer to pay for your two-year membership through a Venmo payment, email [email protected])

Since the INNER HIVE started, the world has changed and my comic strip has evolved, shifting its focus toward a certain orange-hued vitamin huckster, and the threat he and his cultists pose to America.  This new emphasis has been very important to me, and it has brought the comic strip a lot of attention and some very nice awards (it won the Herblock Prize in 2017, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2018, the National Press Foundation's Berryman Award in 2021, and it was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2019 and 2021).  

But Tom the Dancing Bug's reliance on the INNER HIVE to remain independent and self-sustaining has only increased.

If you like Tom the Dancing Bug, and would like earlier access to comics, and exclusive access to more comics, and behind-the-scenes information, contests, jokes, riddles, puns, palindromes, etc. etc., then joining the INNER HIVE, on any of the platforms offered, may be a lot of fun for you.  A free-market exchange!

In the new post-newspaper world of comics, this is an essential component to making Tom the Dancing Bug a viable project.  But I've also found it to be an essential component to making it fun for me.  I've had a blast sharing more comics, more thoughts, more information about how the comic is made, and more jokes with readers who are engaged, interested, and the first to read the new comic strip every week.

I hope you'll join me in the creation of Tom the Dancing Bug.  Thank you!!

If you have any questions, please email me at tomdbug at gmail dot com

By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 256 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 256 exclusive posts

Recent posts by Ruben Bolling

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