I'm always amused by the occasional effort to cast comics and cartoonists into hip outsider-culture items and personalities for the simple reason that comics exist so far outside the mainstream they have no choice but to take on that role whenever they receive a little publicity.
What's particularly odd about the inclusion of comics people on this list by Whitney Matheson is that with USA Today you have a media instrument about as outside as a Big Mac box. So this can't help but be mainstreaming-style coverage (Des Moines, Jeffrey Brown; Jeffrey Brown, Des Moines), but one based on those cartoonists being really cool, putting cartoonists in the role of the bohemian invitees at some weird American mass culture cocktail party. It's not a bad thing, but it's kind of a weird one, and the venue may at least it may indicate that comics is past the stage where its followers become giddy about product placement in a movie or TV show. Although I doubt it.