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Chelsea News Profiles Cartoonist Ruben Bolling

Does the name Ken Foster[sic] mean anything to you? Okay, how about Ruben Bolling? Finally, how about Tom the Dancing Bug? They are all one and the same. I didn’t know that either.

It turns out that Foster[sic], a long time Upper East Sider, is a highly successful editorial cartoonist. He chose Ruben Bolling as his AKA when he was in law school and thought his rather daring cartoons should stay anonymous. (“It was based on my shyness,” he laughs, so he grabbed the names of two minor league baseball players.) And Tom the Dancing Bug? That’s the title of the weekly cartoon that has brought him multiple awards, financial security, and thousands of fans.

Michelle Willens, for The Spirit and The Chelsea News, profiles
Ruben Bolling for local New York City community newspapers.

Of course that should read Ken Fisher as the cartoonist’s birth name in those opening paragraphs.

edited to add: The writer and/or the paper has corrected the Foster/Fisher problem in the article, though the “tags” still show “Foster.”

But otherwise it is a nice read.

In 2017, he received The National Cartoonist[sic] Society Award and a Herblock Prize (named after one of his idols). He is proud and surprised by his 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2019 and 2021.

“One of my most exciting days,” he recalls, “was walking by a newsstand and seeing the New Yorker, The Wall St. Journal, and the NY Times, knowing I had a cartoon in each of them that week.”

The cartoonist’s own latest book, available on Amazon, is out as well, a collection of his more recent works. It is called “Eat the Poor.” I can’t wait to see what that means.

That’s not quite right either. While it is his newest book it is not “his more recent works.” Eat the Poor is volume five (2007-2011)of the complete Tom the Dancing Bug.

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