Comics A.M. | Lethem to guest-edit 'Best American Comics'

Comics | Novelist Jonathan Lethem is the guest editor for this year's Best American Comics collection, the first to come from outside the comics realm. Series editor Bill Kartalopoulos says he was "amazing": "He clearly knows a lot about comics and cartooning. His novels draw on his lifelong love of comic books, he’s written Omega the Unknown for Marvel, and he’s more than familiar with the historical and contemporary landmarks in comics. But as someone who’s not 'from' the comics field he brings an entirely fresh perspective to the material from the past year that we considered for the book. He doesn’t bring any baggage to the table about who 'should' be included in this volume based on status or popularity or currency. Comics can be so insular sometimes, so we’re lucky to have this kind of attention from someone like Jonathan." [Publishers Weekly]

Political cartoonists | Ken Kurson makes the case for Ted Rall, who lost his freelance cartooning gig with the Los Angeles Times after the LAPD cast doubt on a blog post he wrote, while admitting right in the headline that Rall is "a hard guy to defend." [LA Observer]

Kickstarter | Tom Tomorrow's Kickstarter campaign to fund a collection of his cartoons blew past its goal of $87,000 and racked up more than $300,000 worth of pledges. The campaign got a bit of a boost from Tomorrow's friend, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who donated a signed guitar, but that's just one reward; the project attracted over 3,000 backers. [LA Times]

Creators | Writer Lee Goldsmith celebrated his 92nd birthday by giving a talk about his comics career, during which he penned Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Girls' Love Stories for $200 a week. Goldsmith worked in comics from the 1940s to the 1970s and then turned his hand toward musical theater, writing lyrics for a number of Broadway shows. [Miami Herald]

Creators | Tamil filmmaker J.S. Nandhini talks about the difficulties she encountered in making what may be the first digital graphic novel in Tamil, The Girl with a Red Nose Ring, and why she chose to make a comic rather than a movie: "I felt that people didn't 'see' the grandeur of the visuals I had inside my head. Comics gave me this wonderful opportunity to show people my writing skills along with the visuals I had imagined for the story. So I decided to make a comic book." [DNAIndia]

Collecting | Matt Krantz explains the basics of buying comics as an investment — what to look for, how grading works, even how much of a commission the auction houses take. [USA Today]

Commentary | Rob Salkowitz takes a birds-eye view of the recent conversations about diversity (or lack thereof) in comics. [ICv2]

Exhibits | Hannah Schwartz pays a visit to the ToonSeum's exhibit of political cartoons and offers an opinion as to why some cartoons work and some don't. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Festivals | The Autoptic Festival kicked off this week with a group of 20 creators, including Charles Burns and Dominique Goblet, working together on a 40-page comic for the show. Reporter Euan Kerr was there to record the events and talk to the organizers about what makes this show, which takes place this weekend, special. [MPR News]

Conventions | The Florida Comics Experience, a small comic con that drew 1,000 people last year, is changing its format at the last minute: Instead of taking place at the local civic center, the event, which is this weekend, will be a reopening party for the Famous Faces and Funnies comic shop in West Melbourne, Florida. The store has moved to a larger location after being damaged in May when a car crashed through the front of the building. Florida Comics Experience organizer Tom Croom said the special guests slated for the show will go to Wasabi Con instead, but most of the other events, including the costume contest, will still take place, and the entrance fee will be waived. [Florida Today]

Conventions | There will be a significant manga presence at this weekend's J-Pop Summit in San Francisco, including Kodansha's new digital comics service, Kodansha Advanced Media, and a giant Attack on Titan head. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Elite Comics of Overland Park, Kansas, will have 20 booths — "a small continent" — this weekend at Kansas City Comic Con. The retailer is one of the sponsors of the show, and in this interview owner William Binderup discusses what makes a successful comic shop and what he likes about the business, including the fact that he can bring his two dogs to work. [Kansas City Star]

Retailing | Kelsey Husnick profiles Packrat Comics of Hilliard, Ohio, winner of this year's Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. [Columbus Dispatch]

Crisis: Why Did The Flash Have to Die to Save Infinite Earths?

More in Comics