Welcome to the first post of 2021… Or is it 2020, the extended dance remix? Regardless, here we are in January and another twelve months stretching ahead with which to influence change and share stories!
As some of you may already know, my weekly webcomic DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE ended a 5+ year run on the first of the year. Fear not, for even in the absence of a weekly comic there are plenty of projects in the works including my new graphic novel (on submission now!) and illustrating a picture book starring an intrepid snail written by Douglas Cole. Of course, the monthly misadventures of your favorite foul-mouthed monkey MR. BUTTERCHIPS returned to the pages of Drunk Monkeys Magazine last week as well!
Speaking of, for the new year I wanted to offer some incentive for folks to support my work and/or share my Patreon with their friends and family. So, if I were to acquire ten more patrons at the $10 or higher levels, or twenty new patrons at the $5 or higher levels I’ll send EVERY patron a copy of MR. BUTTERCHIPS: A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY!
Sound good? Then let’s start spreading the word 😎
I hope you all enjoyed a lovely holiday season and look forward to the possibilities of the new year!
Good tidings, inhabitants of the digital realm! As we’ve now crested that death-defying plunge into the holidays, I resolved to make at least one more post here on the blog before this hellish year has officially come to a close. Since last updating in August there has been a flurry of activity. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
If you are looking for a little bit of truth wrapped in some dark humor, Alex Schumacher‘s Mr. Butterchips: A Collection of Cantankerous Commentary is the perfect anthology to check out. – Carla Vazquez, A Place to Hang Your Cape
Read the write-up in its entirety on the AP2HYC site.
Schumacher’s brilliance and timeliness of subject matter make this a MUST READ as he makes the reader laugh as much as he makes you think. – Pharoah Miles, Graphic Policy
Soda and Telepath‘s own Anthony Pollock was also gracious enough to host me for an interview regarding the book, my genesis with the character, etc. Our spirited exchange can be found on the S & T site in their interview section.
You still have time to obtain a copy as a holiday gift for the comics lover in your life! Visit my books page for purchasing options.
DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE
Following a transcendent five-year journey, Antix Press and I will be making a monumental announcement regarding the webcomic come December. My gratitude for Francis Lombard and the dedicated audience attracted over the course of our run cannot be overstated. You all are the sole reason I’ve continued pushing this boulder up the hill, so to speak. My efforts as a Gen-X Sisyphus would have been insurmountable were it not for the encouragement and support I’ve received since the onset of the comic in 2015.
Truly, from the bottom of my soul, thank you all.
That said, there are some Decades-related projects in the works. One of said ventures is a limited edition sculpt of everyone’s favorite inebriated immortal, Drunk Death (pictured below)! In partnership with You Are Player One, these gorgeous figurines will be available shortly in time to order the perfect holiday gift. Stay tuned for details…
As the gift-giving season approaches, I’m planning to open 4-5 commission spots for interested parties. Original art makes for a distinctive, one-of-a-kind holiday present! An added bonus is that you’ll be supporting an independent artist, which has become increasingly vital for the survival of our trade.
Slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Use the form on the contact page, or email me at email@example.com for more info. Samples below.
If you’re looking for exclusive content, behind the scenes access, and other goodies unavailable to anyone else, please consider subscribing to my Patreon page. With many projects in the works, there’s sure to be an abundance of material specifically presented for my patrons in 2021!
I’m pleased to announce that I have signed with the phenomenal Allison Hellegers of Stimola Literary Studio! I want to state that my former agent (Pete Ryan, also of Stimola) and I split amicably. He’s an amazing person and there were simply circumstances beyond anyone’s control which led to our parting ways. The groundwork he laid and faith he had in me/my work will ALWAYS be held in high regard.
That said, I’m considerably reinvigorated to be repped by Allison! While there’s nothing I can properly announce at this time, I’m currently prepping several projects to be shopped by Allison in the near future. One of which is my latest graphic novel, but I’ve already divulged too much. You’ll just have to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for further updates.
There is also a comic strip being considered by Universal Press Syndicate for possible syndication. My initial pitch was a sanitized version of Mr. Butterchips, entitled MONKEY SEE… (excerpt below), but Universal respectfully rejected the idea with an invitation to propose other concepts.
Thus, I spent the last few weeks putting the pitch package together and delivered my submission the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the acquisitions editor with whom I’m in contact. Whatever the outcome, 25-year-old Alex would absolutely lose his mind if he knew we had a personal connection at one of THE big syndicates. Life is weird sometimes…
Anyway, Hope everyone is having a great holiday season so far and we’ll see you in 2021!
I would recommend Mr. Butterchips to fans of political cartoons, boisterous stand-up comedians, and off-beat comic books. If you want a good laugh paired with sharp wit and insight, Mr. Butterchips is for you. — Aaron Iara
One of the best features of this book to me was seeing how the character, setting, and situations evolved over time… By the time I got to the large story that ends the book, I felt a familiarity with things that made the plot hum. — Stergios Botzakis
Mr. Butterchips is both a funny and important chronicle of just how insane the world is right now. Maybe buy one for your asshole uncle who keeps saying that Black Lives Matter is a “Marxist movement” and that you should “do your research.” — E. A. Henson
See why E. A. found A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY to be “easily one of the most traumatic reading experiences I’ve had in recent memory” at the Biff Bam Pop! site.
Interview requests are surprisingly mounting as well. The unsuspecting hosts must not have been subjected to any of my previous guest spots. If you’d like to whet your whistle for future conversations to come, or simply have some masochistic need to hear me prattle on about my cartoon capuchin comrade, there happen to be a couple of sardonic symposiums available for your enjoyment!
Ben and Matt of Imaginary Ramblings chatted with me for the better part of an hour as our discourse winded its way through a variety of topics including drunken misadventures, the current satirical landscape, as well as our furry and frenzied friend, MR. BUTTERCHIPS. Listen to our discussion in its entirety on their Podbean site.
Shortly after expelling my self-aggrandizing bile all over the fellows of Imaginary Ramblings, Chris Osborne of Play Comics Podcast was gracious enough to offer me some precious airtime as well. I’ve been lucky enough to have connected with the majority of podcast hosts with which I’ve had the pleasure of speaking and this exchange is no different! Luckily Chris was a fan and showered me with the praise every artist’s fragile ego requires. Hear our tête-à-tête by visiting the Play Comics site.
And remember, you can join these shiny happy people in welcoming MR. BUTTERCHIPS into your home today!
Visit my dedicated book page for all of the convenient ways to purchase A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY now.
DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE COLLECTIBLE
Here’s a peek at a groovy collectible coming soon from Antix Press and myself. The maestro behind this little beauty is Nick Littlefield, aka youareplayerone.
As I’m looking to earn some extra dinero during my pandemic sabbatical, I’ve opened up a few slots for commissioned art. Prices begin at $40 for a simple, one-character illustration. If interested, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. Here are a couple of the more recent pieces I produced:
Thanks and hope you’re all healthy! 75 days to go…
The summer heat is on and 2020 continues to prove itself as one of the most exasperating years in recent memory. I could go into some long-winded diatribe about politics, intolerance, pandemics, etc., but there has been a number of positive developments for me on which I would much rather focus for the sake of this post.
This is just a quick THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to nominate me for a Ringo Award. Whether this will lead to a place on the final ballot remains to be seen, but this doesn’t diminish my gratitude for all of your efforts and support!
STIMOLA LIVE TUTORIAL
On June 2nd, 2020 my tutorial ANATOMY OF A COMICS PAGE debuted on the Stimola Live YouTube channel as part of the Stimola Literary Studio‘s initiative to provide content for families while on lockdown. Over the course of the just over 10-minute presentation I run through the basics of what comprises a graphic novel/comics page including layout, directing the eye, panel placement, and more! You can find my tutorial along with a plethora of educational and entertaining videos on the Stimola Live Channel‘s page.
MYTHIC PICNIC TWEET STORY
At Mythic Picnic‘s behest I submitted a 3-panel comic to the “Twitter-ary” Magazine’s competition. I was delighted to find that my contribution, SUPERHUMAN LOSS, ended up taking the $250 second place prize. My tweet story was a reflection on the unexpected 2018 loss of my beloved sister-in-law. Below is an excerpt from the short piece.
THE COMIC BOOK YETI – DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE RETROSPECTIVE
During March of this year, amidst growing Coronavirus concerns and my impending relocation, I was invited by Matt Ligeti (The Comic Book Yeti) to provide a bit of a retrospective on my webcomic DECADES OF (in)EXPEREINCE. As Antix Press and I published the landmark 200th episode in February of 2020, my article was a celebration of our enduring partnership and the temerity (pertinacity?) involved to even reach such milestone. With nearly 5 years behind us I do hope you’ll give my comic communique, Half a Decade of (in)Experience, a read.
As I won’t be able to sell the books at trade shows or in-store signings any time soon, any and all shares regarding the book’s release are appreciated! Please feel free to contact me should you be interested in a personalized copy.
Should further convincing be required, you can read THIS spoiler-free review from my pal Aaron Iara of Effective Nerd.
Speaking of the MR. BUTTERCHIPS book, promo mode has now commenced. As such, I have started the rounds being interviewed on several indie comics podcasts beginning with Bry-Fy the Comics Guy. The chat was a pleasure and I hope you’ll all enjoy our conversation.
With an indefinite lockdown looming, I’m making a concerted effort to update the blog more frequently. To that end, here’s a gentle reminder that nominations for the Ringo Awards are well underway. Keep in mind that the nomination period will close on June 25, 2020. If you enjoy either DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE and/or MR. BUTTERCHIPS, please consider nominating me for:
• Best Cartoonist
• Best Webcomic
• Best Humor Comic
Here we are, friends. It’s day 5,872 of the end times. Or is that day 5,871? Or 5,873? It’s so easy to lose track of time these days.
Of course, this is simply an attempt at some levity in such a somber period of history. I’m striving to remain (fairly) confident that in one way or another we will emerge from this unmitigated crisis at some point in the future. I’m also confident the world will be a vastly different social and political landscape when we do. Once the dust settles, the wreckage is cleared, and the dead are mourned we will forge a new way of life. A better way of life. At least, that’s what I hope will be the outcome.
In the midst of the apocalypse, my wife and I relocated for her new job. Which, while a wonderful opportunity, could not have come at a worse time. The move is thankfully behind us at this point and we are all safe and sound in the compound. It truly is amazing to see just how much shit you accumulate when you’ve lived in one place for a span of time which can only be described as an “era”.
It feels somewhat frivolous to provide updates on my work during this time, but something I have been thinking about lately has prompted me to do so. Since lockdown began, the arts have been a haven for a vast number of people. Whether it’s creating art, embracing art, or being a patron, the arts have kept many (if not all) of us optimistic for the promise of better days ahead. I’ll admit, this cautious optimism is something that I have adhered to begrudgingly. However, there’s something hauntingly beautiful about the visual and performing arts being a last bastion of hope in these troubling and uncertain times.
In an effort to always look on the bright side of life (in a Monty Python way), here are some current comics goings-on:
LET’S CHAT PODCAST
Chris Revill’s social media manager (Christopher Ball) happened to be a mutual friend. When Chris was contacted by Christopher about the possibility of bringing me on the show as a guest, he realized we’ve actually been following one another’s work from afar for some time. Late in the evening of March 22nd, 2020, Chris and I jumped on Skype to record what became a rollicking hour plus conversation which switched gears several times. Listen to the interview in its entirety at the Let’s Chat podcast Stitcher, or your favorite podcast site.
Next week all final art, guest pinups, and foreword from a special contributor will be turned in to the publisher for final approval on the long-awaited Mr. Butterchipscollection! The book will contain the 44 strips previously published by Drunk Monkeys magazine, along with a brand new 22-page standalone story which won’t be available anywhere else. Watch here for the impending official announcement.
If you haven’t already read April’s installment, meant to be a preamble for the standalone story, you can do so in the April issue of Drunk Monkeys.
DEFILING THE LITERATI
As it is all but assured that the remaining conventions of 2020 will be cancelled, I’d like to direct your attention to my Etsy shop in an effort to recoup some of the expenses of my family’s aforementioned relocation… Particularly now that I’m unemployed to boot. If you’re feeling generous and/or have long since considered buying a copy, Defiling the Literati is still for sale with the quarantine bonus of free shipping! I’ll personalize it for you with a quick sketch as well.
Another unfortunate byproduct of my wife’s and my move was the last minute cancellation of my “Anatomy of a Comics Page” live stream which was to be part of Stimola Live, a series of readings, tutorials, and educational content presented by Stimola Literary Studio. I was just informed that the initiative will be extended as self-isolation continues and I will be rescheduling my presentation for a date in the near future. When a slot is secured I will update the Events page accordingly. Be sure to check out the site for all of the fantastic videos already available, including entries from my pals like Scott SanGiacomo. Thanks for your understanding and I’ll have info for you soon!
***Just for a chuckle, I also recently shared this Easter-themed gag panel from the vaults. This was from 2016 during my stint as resident cartoonist with Five 2 One magazine.
There will be forthcoming news for Decades of (in)Experienceand (hopefully) progress on the graphic novel front. Hope you are all doing your best to stay healthy and sane.
2020 has arrived and, despite my enduring disappointment with the absence of hoverboards and flying automobiles (thanks Bob Gale!), I continue to forge ahead. Please do not take my lack of updates as anything more than life happening. If you follow me on any other social media platform you’ll already know I have certainly remained productive, which has been somewhat of a chore considering these dark geopolitical times and my wife and I finding ourselves smack dab in the middle of relocating back to the Bay Area. Presented herein are some highlights which occurred over the last few months of blog inactivity.
COMICS FOR THE APOCALYPSE
In late November 2019, I was introduced to the lovely English chap Samuel George London through my good pal Aaron Iara of Effective Nerd. Samuel was nothing short of welcoming and convivial from the get-go. Following a brief email exchange, Samuel and I were able to schedule an interview to accommodate our significant time difference. In the early morning hours (for me) of a weekday morning in late November 2019, Samuel and I engaged in an engrossing chat revolving around my work and which fastidiously chosen comics I would bring along in the event of a cataclysmic asteroid collision—hence the title of his podcast. The episode was posted on December 16th and can be listened to in its entirety on the Comics For The Apocalypse soundcloud. Thanks again to Samuel for having me on the show!
KNOWLEDGEABLE CABBAGE REVIEW
Defiling the Literati closed out 2019 with a laudatory review from Christa Harader, aka Knowledgeable Cabbage. Christa was accommodating enough to fit my collection of magazine comics into their already jam-packed review schedule. Christa’s favorable write-up was greatly appreciated and can be read in full by visiting their website. Here’s a taste of what Christa had to say about Defiling the Literati.
Overall, “Defiling the Literati” works well as a collection of work and an anthology of high-quality pieces. Schumacher’s work carries an acidic bitterness born not of cynicism, but frustrated optimism, and the effect is inspirational as well as entertaining in its own right.
The book is currently for sale in my storeand, for a limited time, offered with free shipping. If you’ve vacillating between whether or not to buy yourself a copy, now would be the optimal time to do so.
A SOBERING REFLECTION
Creatively, the new year was christened with the publication of a highly personal examination of my sordid history with—and current attempts to recover from—alcohol abuse. Moonchild Magazine kindly indulged me and agreed to include the piece in their 6th issue entitled, “We Are Not Broken”. A Sobering Reflection was unleashed upon the world as of 01/2020 and the comic is available to read online for free. Gargantuan amounts of gratitude to Editor-in-Cheif and beautiful soul Nadia Gerassimenko for the encouragement and support throughout this process. Below is an excerpt from the 3-page graphic essay.
MR. BUTTERCHIPS COLLECTION
I have been teasing the release of the Mr. Butterchips book for some time, but I assure you this compendium draws closer and closer to an actual release date. The most I can divulge at this time is that the collection will be comprised of the first 42 individual comic strips, a 22-page standalone story you will not be able to read anywhere else, a few pin-ups from professional friends, and a surprise foreword. Look for an official announcement soon.
DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE REACHES 200!
Decades of (in)Experience reached its watershed 200th episode on Friday, 2/21/2020. When Francis Lombard and I embarked on this journey together in October of 2015, I don’t believe either one of us had any preconceived notions as to how long the series would last. Our mindset was simply to break free from the bondage of expectation and tell an engaging, relatable story unencumbered by any particular fad or popular genre. I cannot express how much Francis and I appreciate the encouragement and support garnered over the last 4 years and change. Speaking of support, several comics outlets generously lent their platforms to help Antix Press and I get the word out about this milestone episode:
Spoiler Country: Following a false start due to technical difficulties, Spoiler Country’s “man on the street” Casey Allen and I had a spirited conversation regarding the history of the webcomic and what readers may expect next.
Bleeding Cool: The lovely Lauren Sisselman of Bleeding Cool is a stalwart supporter of indie creators, having even written previously about Decades and Defiling the Literati. In her latest article, Lauren cordially assisted in our efforts to commemorate this particular landmark.
**An interview conducted by Fanbase Press will also be available to read as of March 12, 2020.
As mentioned before, my wife and I are in the midst of relocating. With moving comes all of the necessary preparations such as packing and cleaning. In regards to the latter, I will be selling some original pages in an effort to lighten my load and possibly offset some of the costs moving tends to incur. Available pages come from such books as Benjamin & The Fish (215 Ink, 2011 & Read Furiously, 2016), The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung (Arcana Studios, 2013), Fame: Tom Daly (Bluewater Productions, 2013), and select pieces from Decades of (in)Experience and Mr. Butterchips.
I’m just getting warmed up. This year promises to deliver new artwork, continued stories documenting the human condition, and with any luck, some BIG announcements. Beware the Ides, and talk at you all soon!
While the scorching heat of infernos presently ravaging the globe doesn’t exactly scream, “Holiday Season”, there’s enough of a nip in the air to remind us that the time of overcooked turkey, celebrated consumerism, and shopping-mall Santas is close at hand.
Impeachment may dominate the 24-hour news cycle, but here on the ole’ blog we have better things to discuss than the collapse of the Mango Mussolini’s reign (though this can be entertaining in and of itself). Fall is my most cherished time of year, so instead of dwelling on the corporate catastrophe that is Christmas or the depressing current state of American politics let’s jump right into recent comics goings-on!
To celebrate 2 years of my collection of literary magazine comics, Defiling the Literati, I’m selling remaining copies with free domestic shipping! As I will not be making any further appearances until 2020, this will be your only opportunity to procure one of these satirical compendiums for that lover of sardonic humor in your life. Secure your copy (or copies) by visiting our page on Etsy.
The World’s Crummiest Umbrella Original Art Giveaway
The auction for 2 pieces of original art from my picture book, The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, will come to a close at the end of the month. You still have time to enter, but you may just miss it if you procrastinate further. Visit our giveaway page for details.
This last week, the comics universe bid adieu to one of its most stalwart and unwavering supporters. Tom was most widely known for his five-year run as editor of The Comics Journal and his riveting blog The Comics Reporter. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Tom in person. His name loomed large in the industry and his writing exhibited nothing less than a profound devotion to the medium. His unexpected loss is a blow to the entire comics family. This week’s Decades of (in)Experience is dedicated to Tom’s memory.
Below are some beautiful tributes from those who knew Tom best.
As to not end this post on a completely downer note, I wanted to mention there are several exciting projects in the works. Of said prospective developments, one is a Mr. Butterchips collection with a storied underground publisher with whom I’ve wanted to work since jumping back into the shark-infested comics ocean back in the early 00’s. More details to come.
If you’d ever like to contact me for possible work, to compliment/criticize my comics, or anything in between, feel free to give me a shout at email@example.com.
The World’s Crummiest Umbrella is a touching story that will delight both parents and children. I highly recommend picking up a copy. – Beach Bound Books
This is a good read. It has a great message in it and you may even catch yourself saying “yep, that was me that one time.” – Storytime Books
In celebration of its 5th anniversary, I will be auctioning off 2 pieces of original art produced for the book. 1 piece of art will be awarded to someone who purchased the book prior to September 1st, 2019, and 1 will go to someone who purchases the book between now and November 30th, 2019!
The more keen-eyed observer of my weekly webcomic Decades of (in)Experience may have noticed a slight diversion in artistic stylings over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I sprained the thumb of my drawing hand whilst on vacation in Hawaii. Yes, I know, boo-fucking-hoo. Regardless, I was in need of some assistance and found just the reinforcements I required in cartoonist pals Jacob Rafael Estrada, Kurt Belcher, and Betsy Streeter. Some teasers follow, but to read the full episodes visit the archive of apathy here.
New Interview – Constructing Comics
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt Kund of Constructing Comics to chat about recent projects, and possibly tease at an upcoming work-in-progress. What could said projects possibly be and how do I sound on the rare occasions I am 100% sober? The answers can only be found by listening to the interview here on the Constructing Comics SoundCloud site. Thank you again to Matt for being gracious enough to endure an entire conversation!
Mr. Butterchips Fundraiser
As announced previously, the personalized limited edition prints (pictured below) will be available for $10 (+ S&H). A cameo appearance in one of my upcoming comics can be secured with a donation of $40! All proceeds (minus S&H) will be divided amongst RAICES, PLANNED PARENTHOOD, and the ACLU. Please visit my shop to purchase a print and/or message firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in a comic cameo.
Join me in supporting humanitarian and progressive organizations. Thank you!
You can also pick up a print if you attend any of my limited public appearances, such as Blue Moon Comics on Saturday, September 14th where I will be taking part in the 3rd annual Marin Comics Fest. If you happen to be in Marin County, come on by and bring a friend (or 13)!
UPDATE 8/20/2019: The fundraiser benefiting RAICES, PLANNED PARENTHOOD, and the ACLU will be extended indefinitely. To see how you can participate, please see the original post from 7/8/2019 below.
As this week’s all new Mr. Butterchips announced, I will be conducting a fundraiser throughout the month of July.
Personalized limited edition prints (pictured below) will be available for $10 (+ S&H). A cameo appearance in one of my upcoming comics can be secured with a donation of $40! All proceeds (minus S&H) will be divided amongst RAICES, PLANNED PARENTHOOD, and the ACLU. Please visit my shop to purchase a print and/or message mehere if interested in a comic cameo.
Join me in supporting humanitarian and progressive organizations. Thank you!