City of Sin (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!

THE TABLE

Day 1 begins, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we could possibly muster.
The goods.
My table-mate and pal, Chris Arrocena, inking away.
Day 2 commences, albeit with slightly drained enthusiasm.
A Mr. Butterchips/Infinity Gauntlet mashup sketch during a lull.
Day 3 begins after a long night of overindulging in the City of Sin.

THE PEOPLE

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!
I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Fabrice Sapolsky, author/illustrator and senior editor at Humanoids (also former colleague of Decades of (in)Experience editor Francis Lombard).
Cosplay doesn’t typically move me one way or another, but I was inspired to snap a picture of The Big Thorbowski.

PURCHASES

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.
Additionally, I obtained this collection of Chai & Mulligan comic strips from my across-the-row neighbor Francis Baytan. Check him out!

THE CONVENTION

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 here.

That’s all for now, folks!

Bleeding Cool review and more!

Fair morrow (or evening I suppose, depending on which time zone you call home), peeps! I’ve extricated myself from the drafting table long enough to post another update here on the ole’ website. Not only has the pace of projects refused to abate, I now find myself entangled with a couple of secret (though fucking stellar) projects. Seriously, I’m gnawing off my toenails in anticipation of announcing the aforementioned ventures. In all fairness there’s no way to predict when—or even if—said endeavors will come to fruition, so I suppose they may not have been worth mentioning just yet. Oh well. I’ll simply dangle the carrots and watch you shiver with anticipation.

Anyway, the 3rd year of DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE continues to barrel forth. Switching to a full page format has certainly been a bit of an undertaking, but it has presented a worthy challenge for my writing and art. Your, the reader’s/fan’s, input is always welcome. Drop me or my publisher Antix Press a line to let us know what you think of this year thus far. If you haven’t as of yet found your way to our dark, licentious corner of the ‘web and needed some prodding, feel free to peruse this article from Bleeding Cool. My debt of gratitude to the wondrous and shiny Lauren Sisselman for the coverage!

That ornery organ grinder monkey, MR. BUTTERCHIPS, also continues his campaign of intellect and snark against the alt-right, gun lobby, homophobes, and stupidity/intolerance in general. His monthly antics can still be found with every new issue of the best damn independent literary magazine in the city of angels, Drunk Monkeys! The magazine is also attempting to become a paying market, so if you can swing a few bucks their way to include more content (and possibly increased installments of MR. BUTTERCHIPS) visit: http://www.drunkmonkeys.us/.

As stated in my previous post, THE GUITARIST, created by C.W. Cooke and myself (with colors by Jeremy Kahn) will be serialized in Antarctic Press‘ revamped Mangazine beginning in July! This is such a treat for us as we’ve wanted to paint the world with this epic comic’s shade of psychedelic since we conceived this rock and roll saga years ago. Preorder your copy here, and/or contact your local comic book shop to request they stock the anthology. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

As for the above referenced secret projects, I can only say that there may be a new graphic novel and picture book in the works. That is all I can can reveal. That is all I will reveal. In the meantime,allow your imaginations to roam freely. Will the new graphic novel be a sci-fi erotica? Can the new picture book possibly feature a shroom-dropping goblin? Probably not as those sound like agonizing reads, but I still invite you to speculate away. Once news is available I will post all the grungy details here. Or on Twitter. Or my Instagram. If interested, you can follow me on either of those social media sites @AJSchumacherart.

For interested parties, I was also recently interviewed on 2 independent podcasts. Thanks to Work Talk Podcast and Everything is Awesome Podcast for having me! Find the interviews here (Work Talk) and here (Everything is Awesome).

For now, I bid you all a fond adieu. These god-damn panels won’t materialize on their. I wish they did, believe me.

P.S. Don’t forget to shower your mothers with praise and love for bringing your sorry asses into the world this weekend!

Be Mine!: A February Update

February has already arrived with love (and the odor of this putrescent country) in the air. No need to be disheartened though, my fellow Americans, for I do believe in my heart of hearts that the residents of this nation will drown the reprehensible vocal minority and thwart the attempts of tyranny currently facing us. Seeing as the 24-hour news cycle, social media, the fucking barista at your local coffee shop, etc. all veer towards the political these days, I will attempt to stay on topic. As my plan is to discontinue the use of my personal Facebook page (though a fan page will be moderated by my pal, Chris Ball), I will make a concerted effort to update this blog on a far more regular basis. That said, with the profusion of projects depriving me of sleep these days that chore is easier said than done. Regardless, we’re all here now so let’s catch up.

Quickly… I have a lot to do.

SALINAS VALLEY COMIC CON

Held over the weekend of December 16th and 17th, 2017, my local convention assailed the student center of the community college for two days of comics and cosplay. Unfortunately the regional rags decidedly focused on the superhero aspect of the convention, once again putting on display the public’s tone-deaf comprehension of the breadth and scope of stories told via the comics medium. Moreover, the organizers were quite wonderful and welcoming to all who exhibited. I tabled alongside my writer buddy, Ray Zepeda, Jr. (of Tragic Hero Comics), which made the minimal sales and devisive attitude towards my particular brand of humor tolerable.

The table setup for SVCC.
Ray Zepeda, Jr. (right) and myself
Storytelling panelists (L-R): Ricardo Padilla, myself, Ray Zepeda, Jr.

DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE YEAR 3

With the new year brought a makeover for my anti-hero weekly series published by Antix Press. I discussed the shift with my editor, Francis Lombard, and we both agreed it was an organic evolution which could very well enhance our capabilities to convey the follies of Luke Carlin. Of course, the decision also equated to a more labor-intensive production schedule, but Francis and I have been content with the outcome thus far. It would be great to have some feedback from some of you readers out there! Let us know how you are enjoying (or despising) the new full-page comic strip format. The third year begins in the archive here (episode 1 below), and new episodes are published every Friday on the Antix Press site.

DEFILING THE LITERATI SIGNING

Our local comic shop, Current Comics, invited me to hold a signing for my literary magazine comic collection held on February 10th, 2018. There was a decent turnout, resulting in a number of sales (including a few MR. BUTTERCHIPS coffee mugs). A huge thank you to the store manager Nick Black, who is always tremendous when it comes to supporting local creators, and the comics enthusiasts who took the time to chat and purchase a book!

Me and the monkey manning the table.
Signing for a new fan.

OTHER

2018 also brings a new year of monthly diatribes railing against the insanity of modern times from your favorite curmudgeonly Capuchin, MR. BUTTERCHIPS. Thus far he has already lambasted intolerance in all of its expansive vile forms (as seen below) and the bullshit rationale behind the religious freedom rights espoused by the reprehensible illegitimate POTUS and his irretrievably insane evangelical hangers-on. Whatever will he call out next? The only way to find out for certain would be to follow his antics in the literary magazine Drunk Monkeys.

A couple of projects are in production as well, which I must keep under wraps for now. Apologies for the vague posting, but hopefully receiving word on said endeavors will be forthcoming posthaste. As I said, I will do my utmost to keep this blog apprised of any and all new events, announcements, etc. going forward so be sure to check back often. Maybe not that often, but often enough. Thank you to everyone who continues to support my work!

Stay gold, and here’s to another year of spinning yarns!

Alternative to what?

I’ve always held some contempt for the moniker “alternative comics”. Mind you, some of the comics which fall under that specific distinction are among my favorites. Titles such as Peepshow, Milk & Cheese, or American Splendor turned me on to an entire new world of comics and introduced me to the sprawling world of the underground from the 60’s and 70’s. I simply detest the idea that these comics, writers, and cartoonists are considered an afterthought to the mainstream which continually perpetuates the bullshit idea that comics are just for kids and only about superheroes. As though showing two people fucking is any worse than the hypersexualization of the majority of female (and sometimes male) characters who adorn the pages of books published by the “big 2”. Some of us are just more honest about that shit.

Alright, end of rant. As I step down from my soapbox, here are some projects of mine which won’t be picked up by Disney (oh, excuse me… Marvel) or Time Warner (sorry again… I mean DC) any time soon.

Debuting Monday from the cool cats over at Drunk Monkeys is my new monthly series Mr. Butterchips.

Mr. Butterchips-color
Mr. Butterchips colored by the kick-ass Allan Ferguson

The strip will follow the daily exploits of the titular (and cuddly) curmudgeon as he rails against the madness and mundanity of everyday life. He’s a weathered and jaded organ grinder monkey in the pursuit of love and happiness amidst a cultural landscape divided by the disappearing middle class, increasing violence, decreasing education, and the condemnatory pricks who look unfavorably on his love for human women. It sounds heavy, but trust me when I say it will be funny as hell too. You may even be surprised at how much you relate to the little asshole. Drunk Monkeys invites you to get to know this fella starting next week (and possibly drop a few shekels on some killer merchandise to support us in our efforts).

Decades of (in)Experience, published by Antix Press recently passed the six month mark! While I am aware this may sound like a relatively short period of time, when producing a weekly feature in addition to a full-time day job, several other projects, and a propensity for procrastination, this is quite the feat. Luke Carlin has been an interesting, if not cathartic, character to explore and my editor Francis Lombard has been nothing short of a wet dream. From the word “go” he has not only allowed my sordid tales to sully his site, but has been enthusiastic and genuinely excited to assist in spreading Decades of (in)Experience like the dark-humored STD that it is. I have just now begun to dig into the meat of who Luke Carlin is as a person, and there is much more to come including the possibility of a print collection. So be sure to catch new entries in the Decades of (in)Experience series every Friday on the Antix Press website and catch up on everything you’ve missed on the archive site here.

Ep-20-web

Last week also saw the commencement of The Fucking Funnies for Five 2 One Magazine, beginning with a satirical ode to the douche-baggery of Donald Trump. With this comic, Donald Drumpf in: The Big D, we have thrown down the gauntlet and hope to enlist many other cartoonists and writers for this new digital underground movement. As the newly appointed Art Director handling the curation of The Fucking Funnies, I am seeking contributions of gag panels, comic strips, one to two page comics, and art which will be included in print editions and online. Specifically we are looking for the odd, the dark, and/or the absurd. Comics and cartoons that have profanity, violence, sexuality, etc. are welcome though we are not interested in shock value just for the sake of being shocking or offensive. That said, bring us your brazen works full of satire, sarcasm, surrealism, and searing commentary. If you think you’ve got what we’re looking for submit here: http://five2onemagazine.com/submission-guideline/.

May 16th will see the publication of another comic of mine in The Fucking Funnies series, Downtown Weed in Five 2 One Magazine’s 12th issue along with another cartoonist or two who has already joined in the uprising. Don’t be shy kids. I’ve shown you mine, now it’s time to show me yours. Be sure to read Donald Drumpf in: The Big D!

Drumpf tease 3

My writing pal, and ballsy author, Craig Hart was also kind enough to recently invite me on his podcast for a whiskey-fueled interview. We talked raw for a good half hour about the writing process, some of my projects, and our collective loathe of the literati. Have a listen by clicking here!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. You can now return to your weekend drinking!

October news and updates

Fall, the last quarter, and my favorite time of the year is upon us. The weather drops, heralding the break-neck ride into the holiday season where good cheer, germs, and the almighty dollar are scattered with reckless abandon. This year as we head into October, I’d like to toss y’all some stale bread crumbs leading to some new work:

  • On Monday October 5th Drunk Monkeys will be publishing my short story Rock the Cash Bar. They are self-described as “Part Literary Magazine/Part Film Blog/Totally Original”, and have committed themselves to publishing work that’s as eclectic as possible, from some of the most exciting emerging voices in the literary scene. Find them on Facebook here and visit their site here, where you will be able to read my story.
  • With a release date to be determined, The Round Up Writer’s Zine will feature my short story Loathe and an Elevator in their October issue. They are devoted to fresh and relatively unpublished writers, with a particular interest in transgressive pieces, dark humor and works laced in sarcasm. If this is your brand of whiskey—I sure as hell know it’s mine—join The Round Up on Facebook here and find their site here. Check both places or back here for the release date.
  • Beginning October 19th Antix Press will begin running my weekly illustrated feature, Decades of (in)Experience. Without divulging too much, it’s about navigating the tempestuous and fucked up waters of adulthood… Without so much as a clue of what it means to be an adult. Your guess is as good as mine. Antix Press will begin running teasers soon in preparation and anticipation of the big launch, so be sure to visit them here.
  • While this is a bit further out, the November issue of The Yellow Chair Review will feature a poem of mine entitled Random Texts to the One You Love. They are a newer journal seeking work that is deep down in your guts, work that makes you churn and makes you ache.  I’m thrilled they saw the bloodshed in my piece and am looking forward to unleashing it on the world. Go say howdy to them on Facebook here and pore over their site here. Be sure to tell ’em who sent you!

Thanks for sticking with me through the flash flood of news. There’s much more to come, with a herd of rehabilitated short stories and poems released into the wild, as well as developments on the novel, and projects in the works. So come on back and be sure to also follow me on Twitter @AJSchumacherart for nuggets of gold, profanity, and self-indulgent profundities.

Salud!

Lynch the Literati!

Just a quick update this time around, giving a bit of a recap on my reading at the XL Publichouse last Saturday, September 12th.

A decent sized, mostly attentive crowd indulged me through about an hour and a half of poetry. The craft beer served by the bar is strong, so I’m certain liberal imbibing played at least a small role in the response from those in attendance. When all was said and done, 21 poems—mostly in prose format—were served up hot and steaming. A few generous souls took pity and treated me to a drink. By the last poem I’m not certain whether or not I was even speaking English anymore, but everyone seemed entertained, if nothing else. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Lynch the Literati_2

FullSizeRender

There are some bad ass announcements coming early next month. No bullshit, there’s some cool things in the works. C’mon back in October for the scoop, y’hear?

September news and updates

Here we are, folks, already in the 9th month of 2015. I don’t know about you, but it’s been a god-damn whirlwind for me!

For this go-round I just wanted to share a couple of quick updates.

  • In a week (Saturday September 12, 2015) I will be reading some selected poems, flash fiction, and story excerpts at the XL Publichouse in Salinas, CA. For more information you can visit the events page here, or see the Facebook advertisement here. If you’re in the area come on out, have a few drinks with me, and let’s get rowdy! Show starts at 9pm.

  • Shaping up nicely is a weekly feature which will be running soon on the Antix Press site. Though I can’t reveal too much as of now, it will be launching in October of this year so keep an eye out here for the official announcement.

More news coming soon-ish on short stories, poems, and the novel. Until then, check out some of my words, and have a great Labor Day weekend! I’ll be downing a few and hope you will be too.

Salud and bottoms up!