Routine Check 8/7/12

– Comedy folks have been passing around this recap of Tig Notaro’s stand-up set at Largo in which she reveals a recent breast cancer diagnosis. Notaro has always been one of my favorite comedians and it’s been great to see her take a big spike in popularity the last couple years thanks to the podcast explosion and her decision to finally release a debut album. I hope she blows through this and continues her climb to the top of the comedy mountain. That sounds like an amazing, hilarious, and cathartic set. Louis CK (who also performed along with Bill Burr and Ed Helms) hit up Twitter later to say it was one of “a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets” he’d seen in 27 years.

– The LA Times has a storyline for Larry David’s upcoming improvised HBO film with the great Greg Mottola. At first, I thought someone had royally screwed up and found an early draft of Envy, the infamous Ben Stiller/Jack Black/Christopher Walken comedy (which I actually enjoyed, for what it’s worth) that David worked on before ultimately having his name removed, but Sean O’Neal at AV Club pointed out that sour grapes are just generally a pet theme of David’s, you know, like in that movie he made called Sour Grapes.

– Another quick movie note: As previously rumored, Bruce Dern has signed up along with pleasant surprise Will Forte to play a road-tripping father and son in Alexander Payne’s years-in-development Nebraska. Payne tends to be pretty modest about his stuff (“It’s just a little comedy…nothing too ambitious”) but the fact that he’s been trying to get this made for so long makes it sound like more of a passion project than he’s letting on. I’m really, really excited about seeing Dern dig into a big role like that again. He is one of my all-time favorites (as will soon be evidenced by a lot of my episode selections for my big dumb Episodic project) but he never really had that late-career transition/resurgence that we had with Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson, Peter Boyle, Dennis Hopper, Rip Torn, etc.

– In the wake of a lot of conversation about comic book artists’ rights in regards to Jack Kirby/Siegel and Shuster/Before Watchmen, the always-interesting mythbuster column Comic Book Legends Revealed details a couple different attempts to give Batman co-creator Bill Finger proper credit along with Bob Kane on various adaptations of the franchise, including some fascinating, frustrating correspondence between Finger’s ex-wife and Warner Brothers prior to the 1989 film, dug up by Finger biographer Marc Tyler Nobleman, who launched his own, similarly unsuccessful attempt for the latest film (using the seemingly perfect angle that Finger was the first to use the “Dark Knight” name). The amazing thing is that apparently no money is even involved, it’s just a credit that nobody can reasonably argue against.

– Comic Book Resources did an interview with Kevin Eastman about an upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles annual that he’ll be drawing solo, surprisingly the first time the series’ co-creator has ever done so. Part of me feels like this should be bigger news, since Eastman and Laird are both still among the most important grand wizards behind the last thirty years of comic book buzz, but I’ve had a pretty neutral-to-bored reaction to the current IDW comic Eastman has been collaborating on, and he sounds so shallowly excited about everything from the upcoming Nickelodeon cartoon to the terrible-sounding Michael Bay-produced reboot that I wonder if he didn’t stop caring ages ago. Still, I love Eastman’s blocky, personal drawing style and can’t help but nerd out a little that he’s drawing the comic on the exact same paper stock he and Laird drew the earliest issues on, pages he literally bought the last 300 of when they were discontinued.

Today in streams and freebies: My friend Mustafa is a member of an interesting band/project called Happy Valley Band, in which leader David Kant uses music transcription software to create new and (d)evolved versions of American classics, which can be heard in full effect in this archived live stream from WFMU.


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