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March 23, 2010

Salon Drops Tom The Dancing Bug

The cartoonist Ruben Bolling announced yesterday at his blog that the online magazine Salon has canceled his long-running feature, Tom The Dancing Bug. That cancellation took effect immediately.

imageBolling's strip has run in Salon since the pioneering web magazine's inception in 1995. Bolling reported in his statement that he was told that the strip was dropped because of "severe budget constraints." Given that Bolling's strip has been a signature feature for as long as it has and still places high on the top features list through to the last strip run, severe would seem to be the applicable term.

Bolling also expressed gratitude for Salon and made public his desire to find a new web site home for the strip.

The feature will continue either way. "Losing Salon does not affect Tom The Dancing Bug's financial viability," Bolling told CR. "I wasn't on staff, or paid some exorbitant fee; they paid a syndication-type fee that can't make or break a feature." Bolling's biggest regret is in how well the strip did over the years with Salon in terms of how many readers enjoyed the comics through that publication. "[T]here was a great relationship between Tom The Dancing Bug and Salon's readers -- which is why it was consistently one of the site's most-read features -- and I'm hoping I'll be able to replace that."

Bolling says that he is listening to offers for a new web site home for the strip, which is also syndicated.

This Modern World is at the moment I'm writing this Salon's final surviving strip. Keith Knight announced his break with the publication in early February.

image from the last strip
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

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