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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

In the beginning, there was Finality…

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s August already.

The eighth month of the year.

2015 is over the halfway mark and I have no fucking clue where the time has gone. The Stones may have had time on their side, but this humble blogger can’t seem to figure out which end is up these days. Actually, that isn’t entirely true. This year has just been somewhat of a sleep-deprived, muddled smear thus far with many a personal changes and many a stories developing, filling notebooks and other such blank pages in the forms of novels, shorts, and poems.

Speaking of such vowel movements, a new short story of mine entitled Finality has been published by the good folks of questionable taste over at Every Writer’s Resource. Kind enough to sully their site with the likes of my prose, EWR: Short Stories has even gone so far as to feature my story on their front page.

She lay on the bed crying, the tears wouldn’t cease. The world was so god-damn unfair. She had gone to bed two hours earlier in an attempt to escape the memories and find some much needed rest. Rest eluded her, as did any form of peace or solace. It had been a week since his departure. Though it wasn’t his fault, she couldn’t help but feel resentment, a supreme anger.

He had left her alone.

He had left her in pain.

Fault didn’t matter as she cried into the sprawling loneliness of the apartment bedroom. The sobs ricocheted off of the walls, rippling through the tiny, sparsely furnished one bedroom walk-up they shared.

The night he abandoned them, alcohol flowed heavily. Whiskey always flowed heavily. After another bottle, another fight, he disappeared. The last memory she had was the revving of his engine, the screeching of his wheels.

To read the story in it’s entirety, visit EWR: Short Stories Finality page here and keep your eyes peeled for upcoming announcements on other offerings of the vaguely literary variety. Now log off and go do something productive with your weekend!

2015 updates!

2015 is off to a roaring start, hence the lack of updates. There’s a lot of exciting things in the works and, while there are some I am not at liberty to divulge too much information, here’s a rundown of what I can share.

The Guitarist kickstarter will (hopefully) be coming your way next month from the good people at Under Belly Comics. CW Cooke and I have been wanting to share this story with everyone for some time and have now been lucky enough to find a publisher who is not only willing to distribute this crazy book, but allowing us to do it our own demented way. Maybe they’re insane. Along with our talented colorist Jeremy Kahn, we’re looking forward to bringing this tale of epic madness to you later this year. Here’s a sample page :

Page 5-colorRecently my time has been occupied by storyboarding thanks to my agent and the very cool DreamWorks TV (yes, that DreamWorks). I was hired to board an episode entitled Wish Delivery of their series Astrid Strudelman: The Unicorn Whisperer, created by Thessaly Lerner, aka The Ukulady, with animation by Will Guy. They’ve been fun to work with and it’s been a killer experience so far! I’ll be sure to update when I have more information as to when the episode will air. Without giving away too much of the story, here’s a look at some of the work in progress.

There are also a ton of short stories in the works, some being pitched to literary magazines and journals, as well as a novel being developed. Excerpts from both may be posted soon on the writing page, so keep an eye out.

That’s all for now, folks! Hope everyone else out there is having a great 2015 so far as well.

End of year project updates

Very merry greetings to all! I do hope your holiday season is great so far, and would just like to take the time on this stormy winter day to give everyone an update on projects of mine to look out for in the new year.

My new picture book, and follow up to The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, is in production now. It will be published by Wandering in the Words press and is tentatively slated for a spring 2015 release. Without divulging too much of the story, I wanted to share a peek of the main character from this whimsical little tale. Here is a quick sketch from my collection of character designs and story notes:

GB-sketch-webAs shared in a previous post, Under Belly Comics has picked up The Guitarist, the new graphic novel series from CW Cooke and myself. The story and artwork are currently undergoing some cosmetic overhauls as we put together the rest of our creative team. Check back here often for production art and updated on release information. This is going to be one wild ride, and to whet your whistle, here’s a teaser image brought to you with backgrounds by colorist Melch Valimento.

(Not final artwork)

There are also some exciting developments which have occurred recently in the animation industry. Unfortunately there isn’t much that I can share as of now, but I’ll reveal that there are some series pitches submitted to networks as well as other opportunities which have presented themselves that may serve as entrance into the field. Hopefully there will be more to share in the new year, so for now, send your good vibrations my way and think happy thoughts.

2015 is going to be one exciting year! Happy holidays y’all!

Happy Turkey Day

Holiday greetings to all of the great folks who take the time to come visit my site! I created this piece entitled “Dinner Music” just for all of you (click the image to enlarge). I hope you all have a joyous Thanksgiving full of family, fun and, of course, FOOD! Amidst all the hubbub, don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on what makes you truly thankful.

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Before I take off on my trek for turkey, I wanted to share a few photos taken from the event held by Old Capitol Books last weekend for The World’s Crummiest Umbrella. I had a great time talking and reading to a wonderful group of attendees, both young and not so young. A huge thanks to everyone who came out and I’ll post more pictures soon!

The next event will be held at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco on Saturday, December 13th. If you’re in the area, come on by, say howdy, and pick up some early holiday gifts. As they say, the greatest gift is a passion for reading.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone! Gobble! Gobble!

(Mostly) Kidlit and (some) Comic book news!

Hope everyone is enjoying the best time of year, as I am! Being born in late September, I feel as though I have a natural inclination toward the fall and winter seasons and the period between Halloween and New Year’s is undoubtedly my favorite span during the year. This is one of the reasons I’m so pleased to announce a load of cool things happening in the next couple months.

First, the good people over at Beach Bound Books posted a fantastic review of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella as well as holding a giveaway for their advanced review copy. I can’t thank Stacie enough for the kind words, and if you want a chance to win another copy (because you’ve already bought one, right?) of the book be sure to enter their giveaway contest in the next 10 days!

Coming up in just a couple short weeks is an event for The World’s Crummiest Umbrella hosted by the very cool Old Capitol Books in Monterey. On November 22nd I’ll be reading the book for attendees, as well as signing and sketching for everyone afterward. There will be copies available to purchase, but feel free to bring your copy from home for me to sign as well. It’ll be a fun afternoon for the entire family so I hope to see you there!

Then, on Saturday December 13th I’ll be appearing at the world renowned and uber awesome Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco to read and sign copies of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella! I love this place and the great staff there are some of the best people I know. If you’re in the Bay Area be sure to bring the family out to stop by and say howdy!

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I’ll close this blog post with some really exciting comic book news: The Guitarist, by myself and my most excellent writer pal C.W. Cooke (@CWCookeComix), has been picked up by Underbelly Comics and slated for release in 2015! This has been a long time coming for us, and we finally have the chance to bring this saga to the world. There will be some retooling and redesigning happening so we’re not sure when it will be out, but I will certainly keep all of the faithful visitors here posted on details as they develop.

Thanks for making it to the end of this post and hope it was a nice payoff for ya! See y’all soon and keep creating!

New interview and Bay Area event scheduled!

Howdy folks! A quick update with some fun news is on tap for you all today.

Over at Beach Bound Books (great title, huh?), there’s been an interview posted in which I was asked all about The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, how I got into being an author and illustrator, and more. Check it out by clicking on their logo below:

BBB logoAlso, for my Bay Area peeps, there’s been a new signing/appearance added to my Events page which will be taking place in San Francisco. The always awesome Cartoon Art Museum will be hosting an author event for me on Saturday December 13th. I’m so excited to be back in the city and hope to see you all there!

That’s all for now, kiddies. I have to get back to work on the next books. If you would like to follow the progress of my work, or even have a giggle at my little rants, follow me on twitter

Keep drawing, keep creating, and keep dreaming.

Wishing Well-web