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Mr. Butterchips Buzz and more!

Since its release just over a month ago, MR. BUTTERCHIPS: A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY from SLG Publishing has been making its way around the ‘net! With the help of Don’t Hide PR, the book has received nods from AiPT, Graphic Policy, The Comicon, and others. I have been assured there are several more reviews in the pipeline, but for the time being you can feast your eyes on the write-ups from Effective Nerd, Graphic Novel Resources, and Biff Bam Pop!:

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

Read Aaron’s full review posted on his Effective Nerd site.

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

Stergios’ evaluation can be Mfound on his Graphic Novel Resources site.

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.

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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.

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And remember, you can join these shiny happy people in welcoming MR. BUTTERCHIPS into your home today!

Fan Pic 1Fan Pic 2Fan Pic 3Fan Pic 4

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.

Tease 1

COMMISSIONS

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 alexschumacherart@gmail.com to discuss. Here are a couple of the more recent pieces I produced:

Dr. StrangeKillraven-webThanks and hope you’re all healthy! 75 days to go…

 

 

Summer Lovin’

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.

RINGO AWARDS

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.

MPTSP 2

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.

BUTTERCHIPS COLLECTION RELEASED!

In the event you’ve missed the news delivered across social media platforms, I’m pleased to announce that MR. BUTTERCHIPS: A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY is now available from alternative comics luminary SLG Publishing! Thanks to Dan Vado for taking a chance on the sardonic simian.

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.

BUTTERCHIPS FRONT

Should further convincing be required, you can read THIS spoiler-free review from my pal Aaron Iara of Effective Nerd.

BRY-FY INTERVIEW

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.

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Next up, a guest spot on the spectacular Imaginary Ramblings. Release date TBD.

Hope this brings everyone up to speed. Much more in the months to come, so gird your loins and brace for impact!

Ringo Awards

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

Ep 15-web2

Mr. Butterchips #9-panel

Thank you for your consideration!

Quarantidings from lockdown!

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”.

Moving

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.

Lets Chat 1

MR. BUTTERCHIPS

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. Butterchips collection! 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.

Mr. Butterchips #45-web1

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.

If you require a professional opinion to assist in deciding whether this is the right book for you, check out reviews from Effective Nerd, Comic Book Yeti, Bleeding Cool, Graphic Policy, and Knowledgeable Cabbage.

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STIMOLA LIVE!

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!

Stimola Live

***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.

Easter Funnies

There will be forthcoming news for Decades of (in)Experience and (hopefully) progress on the graphic novel front. Hope you are all doing your best to stay healthy and sane.

Our best is all we can do right now.

DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE 200th episode, and other updates!

Greetings, wayward denizens of the interwebs!

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!

CFTA

KNOWLEDGEABLE CABBAGE REVIEW

Cabbage Comics 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 store and, 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.

Decades of (in)Experience

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.

Mr. Butterchips

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:

Adrian Has Issues: Initially interviewed by Adrian in 2017, he once again chose to subject himself to nearly an hour of my jibber-jabber. Listen to our conversation about Decades, authenticity, and peanut butter cups in the episode he titled Gen-X Sisyphus.

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.

Decades of (in)Experience 200th Episode

STUDIO SALE

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.

Alex Schumacher Art

Email me at alexschumacherart@gmail.com if interested.

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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!

 

Pre-Holidaze Update

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!

New Interview With Geek Freaks Podcast

Last Monday, Geek Freaks Podcast released a new episode in which co-host Frank interviewed yours truly. We spoke of Decades of (in)Experience, Mr. Butterchips, and the process of finding a literary agent based on the odyssey which led to my signing with the esteemed Stimola Literary Agency. There was also a section in which we compared the pros and cons of independent publishing vs. establishing yourself in a more mainstream arena. Have a listen for yourself at http://thetopfivepodcast.libsyn.com/alex-schumacher-interview-call-of-duty-and-outer-worlds-reviews.

Alex Schumacher Interview

Year-End Sale And Contest

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.

The World's Crummiest Umbrella Original Art Giveaway

 

Tom Spurgeon

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.

Decades of (in)Experience Webcomic

Below are some beautiful tributes from those who knew Tom best.

From Heidi MacDonald of The Beat: ‘Rip Tom Spurgeon’

From cartoonist John Porcellino of King Cat fame: ‘Tom Spurgeon 1968-2019’

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 alexschumacherart@gmail.com.

Happy trails for now, folks!

The World’s Crummiest Umbrella giveaway and more!

The World’s Crummiest Umbrella 5th Anniversary

The World's Crummiest Umbrella 5th Anniversary

My first picture book, The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, was published in August of 2014 by Wandering in the Words Press. This little tale depicting a particularly poignant event has received several humbling reviews.

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!

To enter, simply send a proof of purchase to: alexschumacherart@gmail.com

Decades Of (in)Experience

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.

Alex Schumacher Decades of (in)Experience

Alex Schumacher Webcomics

Betsy Streeter Cartoons

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 me alexschumacherart@gmail.com if interested in a comic cameo.

Join me in supporting humanitarian and progressive organizations. Thank you!

Mr Butterchips Webcomic Print

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)!

Until next time.

-Alex Schumacher

Fundraiser

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 me here if interested in a comic cameo.

Join me in supporting humanitarian and progressive organizations. Thank you!  

BUTTERCHIPS print 2019

Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con and Sirens of Sequentials (New Review)

For those who follow me across the social medias, you may have noticed I spent the past weekend exhibiting at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con with my buddy and inker extraordinaire, Chris Arrocena. I returned home with a few less books, a few more pounds (so much sumptuous food!), and had a wonderful time meeting new creator friends and a handful of independent comics enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, the convention itself was not without its fair share of inadequacies. Some of the blemishes could have been avoided, some were beyond their control. More on that later.

On Friday the convention floor was open from 3 pm to 8 pm, allowing VIPs and others to get their bearings. Saturday was by far my busiest day sales-wise which was most likely affected by the 10 am to 7 pm hours of operation.

On Sunday, the final day of the show, families attended in droves to have their children get a picture with a Power Ranger or saunter from toy booth to toy booth. Unsurprisingly, my picture book The World’s Crummiest Umbrella was the day’s top-seller. Thank you to the folks who took the time to stop by the booth, chat about my work, and purchase some of my wares!

Our Table At Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con Review
Day 1 begins, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we could possibly muster.
Alex Schumacher at Amazing Las Vegas Con
The goods.
Chris Arrocena Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con
My table-mate and pal, Chris Arrocena, inking away.
amazing las vegas comic con 2019
Day 2 commences, albeit with slightly drained enthusiasm.
Mr. Butterchips Infinity Gauntlet
A Mr. Butterchips/Infinity Gauntlet mashup sketch during a lull.
Alex Schumacher and Chris Arrocena
Day 3 begins after a long night of overindulging in the City of Sin.

The People At Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

McLain McGuire Comics
After nearly 2 years of working with him on my self-published Defiling the Literati, I finally had the opportunity to meet designer and printer McLain McGuire!
Fabrice Sapolsky
I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Fabrice Sapolsky, creator and senior editor at Humanoids (and ex-colleague of Decades of (in)Experience editor Francis Lombard).
The Big Thorbowski Cosplay - Thor and The Big Lebowski Mashup
Cosplay doesn’t typically move me one way or another, but I was inspired to snap a picture of The Big Thorbowski.

My Comic Con Purchases

Andy Kuhn Comics
Considering the expenses of a convention which didn’t yield high returns, I did not make many purchases. I did however obtain a couple of signed books by Andy Kuhn, an artist I have long-since. admired
Francis Baytan Comic Strips
Additionally, I obtained this collection of Chai & Mulligan comic strips from my across-the-row neighbor Francis Baytan. Check him out!

The Convention – Amazing Las Vegas

I certainly don’t want to dwell on the negative, but the convention itself felt underwhelming and poorly organized. Maybe it was due to my discomfort in extreme heat. Maybe it was my increasing age-inspired misanthropy. Either way, there were foibles galore. The programming schedule was nowhere to be found and the floor layout was so difficult to navigate that several people who came specifically to support our table vocalized their frustrations with trying to locate us. I saw several members of the security team patrolling the floor, which was great, but the show was surprisingly bereft of any official staff.

While obviously beyond the control of the convention, I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend at the larger-scale conventions. Focus has shifted away from indie creators to a staggering interest in collectibles and fan art prints (which are 100% illegal). My pal Brian Fies espoused sentiments regarding the latter I wholeheartedly agree with in a recent post on his site:

I think true fan art is terrific. A kid who loves Iron Man and draws up little pictures, stickers and stuff to sell for a buck a piece is technically violating copyright but should be left alone. They’re expressing their passion for the character. I like passion.

Likewise, comics professionals who’ve made a living drawing these characters should get a pass. Neal Adams defined the look of Batman in the 1970s and for generations to follow. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Adams can draw and sell all the Batmen he wants.

That’s not what’s going on here. These print peddlers are big commercial operations. They’re not in it for the love of characters or stories, they’re in it because the prints sell. And unlike fandom, booth space at conventions is a zero-sum game. There’s only so much real estate. These big guys crowd out others doing original art with characters and stories they actually created.

It’s hard to feel sorry for giant corporations that own Superman and Indiana Jones. That doesn’t make violating their copyright OK. I don’t think these print emporiums are good for comics, conventions, creators or fans, and I’d really like to see cons crack down on them, maybe with a little encouragement from the true copyright holders and their scary lawyers. Make room for new creative voices producing original material. That’s the real life-blood of the industry and art form.

For this and other creative reasons, I am making the following announcement exclusively here: Unless I am invited as a guest—and let’s be honest, this isn’t bound to occur any time soon—I will no longer be exhibiting at larger comic conventions. Instead, I will be focusing on book fairs where my particular storytelling may be better received.

A NEW DECADES REVIEW!

Moving on to more enthralling news, the sensational Sirens of Sequentials published a new review of Decades of (in)Experience as of May 29th, 2019. Reviewer, and Siren-in-chief CJ Pendragon, had this to say about the webcomic:

Decades of (in)Experience is not a bit of light reading before bed but it is an introspective narrative full of sociopolitical commentary, hierarchy questioning and wanderlust. I loved it.

I recommend Decades of (in)Experience to those who can stomach being taken by surprise by a multitude of sensitive topics. Schumacher doesn’t tiptoe around them or soften the blow, he deals them up in a realistic and relatable manner that’s refreshing in a sea of kid-gloved comics.

Read the write-up in its entirety at Sirens of Sequentials.

That’s all for now, folks!

Quick and Dirty: 3 Reviews + Big News!

In the event you missed my unveiling over the past few weeks, DEFILING THE LITERATI has been receiving some spectacular attention as of late. The hat trick of reviews began on March 24th with a sleeper write-up from Shean Mohammed of Graphic Policy. Shean says, “Alex Schumacher is a burgeoning artist that every comic fan should know more about.” Quite the compliment! His full review can be read at Graphic Policy

Next arrived Kevin Bramer of Optical Sloth‘s appraisal of the literary magazine comics collection on March 28th. Kevin’s summation asserts, “It’s an eclectic mix that works well together, and I’d recommend it highly for anybody who thinks comics need at least a dash of more real-world events and opinions.” Check out Kevin’s commentary in full at Optical Sloth.

Finally on March 29th, Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti dropped his assessment of the book. In part, Matt proclaimed, “Schumacher’s cartoons are straightforward, unmissable, and powerful because of it.” As this was Matt’s first foray into reviewing political or satirical comics of any kind I truly appreciated him rising to the challenge and providing some much-appreciated commentary! The Comic Book Yeti’s piece can be read here.

Defiling the Literati Review

Now, for the pièce de résistance. If you follow me on any one of my other social media accounts you have probably already heard the good news, but I’m now represented by Peter Ryan of Stimola Literary Studio! I’m absolutely thrilled to join such a stellar roster of authors and illustrators.

Stimola Literary Studio

The moral here is don’t ever stop knocking on doors, kids. You never know who might finally answer.

Until next time,

-Alex Schumacher