* not comics: I'm happy for cartoonists I like to get deals in other media they want and are interested in doing -- and hey, these look fun -- but my primary interest as a comics reporter is in keeping track of Gary Tyrrell's idea that comics are the new stand-up: a low-threshold performance art that will drive talented people to other, more profitable media for the next 20 years.
* bundled extra: happy to see Greg Stump's Disillusioned Illusions, which was essentially a handmade and distributed comic in its most recent iteration -- will get a bump up in public profile via an edition with FU Press. Stump is a deeply funny cartoonist, and I don't know anyone who does comics quite like he does: more Donald Barthelme than Donald Duck.
* look at this cool Jim Osborne comic. Osborne is one of the many artists in the underground tradition that has almost no penetration into our general knowledge of comics. I hope that the undergrounds have a more comprehensive legacy in 2050 than they have right this moment, but it's going to be tough.
The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events
By Tom Spurgeon
* Image Expo has announced for July 2, the week before Comic-Con International. They made some headlines last summer by having their summer event the Wednesday before the big show -- which got them more buzz than actual press, what with people having to file right before they start filing all of their Comic-Con article. They sure owned the news cycle early on, though, and I think moving it five days back will have a similar effect.
* David Letterman ended his lengthy run as a late-night talk show host and reluctant celebrity last night. That's a great broadcasting career and a significant one in American comedy for its gentle, curdled, insistent chiding nature against Reagan-era cultural banality using both very modern snark and even older, even dumber show business tools: a two-front war with more battles won than anyone might have predicted. 1985 was the worst year of my life. The two things that kept me sane were Letterman's NBC show and the Chicago Bears. I worked at a newspaper readjusting type on the sports pages. I would come home an hour after everything had to be released upstairs, a little bit after midnight. I slept on the couch in my Mom's living room, because I was afraid of being seen from an outside window and my bedroom was next to the garage, easily accessible. I would watch Letterman's show every night it was on until I fell asleep. I am very grateful to have had that TV show at that time in my life, as dumb as "having" a TV show sounds. I hope he has a happy retirement, as best as he's able. Comics has a culture of constantly proving one's love to the medium, many times through whatever of its representatives with which you had close contact at a key point in your life. I think some of it is a pose, and some of it is a general longing and ache that people hang onto because they like to keep a part of their mindset in that space. Some of it is very real and very personal. An object, a work of art, a recurring experience can save your life if it comes to you with the right thing at the right time, no matter what that thing might be. Sometimes it's just the distraction. Sometimes it's something more. It's always welcome. Thank you, Mr. Letterman.
* the writer Matt Fraction appears on Seth Meyers' late-night show this evening. I'm very happy for Matt to receive an opportunity like this, to build the kind of cultural cachet that he deserves and I hope will continue to go to comics-makers. I hope he has fun. I suppose there may be a television show announcement of some sort.
Another nice thing is that he's linked to the pages for each podcast, so you get to see the photos that Amy Beadle Roth does when she's in attendance, like the one above featuring Nina Bunjevac. Amy is a fine photographer.
Eurocomics USA Invasion: IDW To Publish Complete Sinner
One of the 100 great comics of the last 20th Century and one of the ten all-time best drawn, if IDW does bring us a complete edition of Jose Munoz and Carlos Sampayo's Sinner, that will be a line drawn across the page at or near the top on the "missing comics editions" list in this golden age of reprints. That is just a lovely comic, cynical and cool, the ur-modern crime comic.