Strip Tease

As I mentioned last week, "The Boondocks" creator Aaron McGruder is taking a six-month hiatus. Seeing as the main reason we picked up "The Boondocks" in April 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq War, was that it was biting and timely--and not available anywhere in Tucson's print media--it didn't make sense to publish reruns.

Therefore, starting this week, one new (to us) strip and one sort-of-new strip are taking its place. The new one is "Tom the Dancing Bug," a large-panel strip by Ruben Bolling (a pseudonym for Ken Fisher) that, like "The Boondocks," is biting and timely. The 15-year-old strip does not feature anybody named Tom, nor does it include any dancing bugs. What it does do is skewer current events. It's carried by both gutsy mainstream and alternative newspapers, as well as It has placed in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies' annual contest in each of the last five years, winning first-place honors twice.

The sort-of-new strip is "The Last Days of Roland and Cid." It's been running in the Reno News & Review for the last several years, and we've been running it as space was available in our listings sections for the last couple months. The creator of "Roland and Cid" is Michael Grimm, a Reno-based graphic designer who's also a writer/theater actor/director. Michael explained the strip's genesis in an e-mail to me: "The concept for 'Roland and Cid' was born in New York, as a sort of twisted sci-fi story about two entertainers from the Middle Ages who are abducted by aliens and dropped off in our modern world on the eve of the Apocalypse. Due to the confines of a weekly strip, most of the storyline has been abandoned, but some of the details creep up from time to time." Michael--his brother, Bob, is one of our movie reviewers--also illustrated our "Films Are a Force of Nature" (Jan. 26) cover. And he's planning on soon moving to Tucson with his girlfriend, he reports.

Check out the strips in our print edition, and let me know what you think.

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