The 2017 Herblock Award has been given and Ruben Bolling has won. I don't mind saying that there wasn't a court in the land that could stop the people at the Herblock Foundation from recognizing Ruben Bolling as the political cartoonist of the year.
If you've read my related blog posts before, you know that I consider Tom the Dancing Bug (TTDB) as one of the best-written, funniest and most sharply observed comics in the all the lands. I remember my first week at the syndicate (then known as Universal Press) when the venerable Lee Salem decided I should have a "reading week."
Lee wanted me to read the sales kits of every feature Universal represented. There were more than 100 features! WTH! That's a lot of reading no matter what language you speak.
Well, when I came across "Tom" my socks were knocked off ... over my shoes ... and down the stairs to the vending machine where they both shared a very refreshing Diet Fresca.
Meanwhile, I was so impressed, delighted and amused that I took that TTDB sales kit and the two of us began a month-long relationship where we did everything together: movies, discoteque-ing, saddle-making, stair-climbing ... all the traditional American rites of courtship.
It wasn't until I proposed a long walk in a warm Spring rain that our romance was quickly (and quite tragically) over. I was sad until I found out we could print many, many more.
Suffice to say that I am not ashamed to say that I love and have loved Tom the Dancing Bug. Ruben is such a talented writer that he can tug on your heart, your funny bone, your head and even your soul. He will make you laugh. He will make you think. He will help you make a loafer stink.
Congrats, Ruben. The Herblock Award is so well deserved and I love you in all the approved and legal ways. Also, your art is getting better.
[Lead Image Courtesy the TTDB Facebook page]