Summer loving and Comic Con Int’l

Bienvenue and welcome to old friends, new fan(s), and the usual suspects with a proclivity for skulking around my corner of the interwebs! The fading echoes of the illegal fireworks set ablaze by feckless cowards with no consideration for pets or those suffering from PTSD can only signal the tumble into the latter half of the year. I have long since marveled at just how rapidly the days tend to peel from existence as I get on in years, and 2017 is proving to be no exception. The ulcer I have percolating is a clear indication that this year has thus far teemed with unrelenting occurrences and events, both personal and professional. My negligence of this blog is an attestation to the unyielding deadlines and accumulating projects.

I’m certainly not bitching.

A dearth of free time due to creative occupancy is a good quandary in which to be embroiled. It simply leaves little time for interacting with family and fans – including the updating of this site and blog. As the next few weeks will be fucking merciless for a number of reasons (including my trip to this year’s San Diego Comic Con!), I am making a concerted effort today to give you all the inside poop on exactly what’s been going down lately in a somewhat organized fashion.

PODCASTS

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of one magnanimous Christopher Ball, several more podcast entities have graciously invited me on their broadcasts to be interviewed and given an opportunity to pimp my wares.

May 30th – The Poprika Podcast, hosted by Darryl Mansel, released his interview with me on May 30th. We covered works old and new as well as the impetus and inspiration behind my trek into the solitary and treacherous world of graphic novels. Listen to the episode at https://soundcloud.com/poprika-podcast/poprika-interview-alex-schumacher.

June 16th – Marc Storrs, Chris Carnicelli and Rob Morphy are a butcher, a blogger and sewer dredger by trade, but collectively they are the rollicking and beer-soaked podcast known as Earth’s Mightiest Bastards. These fine gents had wisecracks and compliments a plenty during our hour plus conversation and I hope to have the chance to join them for another pithy exchange soon. Listen to their interview with me by visiting http://embpod.com/earths-mightiest-bastards-podcast-277-alex-schumacher-interview/.

June 28th – The Storycraft Podcast‘s Kraig Rasmussen and I connected almost immediately. We share a sardonic, and sometimes biting, sense of humor as well as a cornucopia of perfervid opinions towards our own comic book brethren. Our rapport led to a nearly two hour conversation which Kraig found worthy of releasing as a two-part installment. As Mr. Rasmussen himself astutely contends, this interview was a “hilarious riff fest surrounding and binding a deeply insightful look at maintaining your career and self over the long haul”. Buckle up for turbulence and take in part one at http://thestorycraftpodcast.libsyn.com/alex-schumacher-part-1.

RECENT WORK

While it has been some time since deviating from my regular deadlines on DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE, MR. BUTTERCHIPS, and BREAD CRUMBS FROM THE VOID, I did manage to have a new short graphic narrative entitled DAY OF ATONEMENT included in the Spring/Summer issue of Round Up ‘Zine. My fictional intersection between righteousness and depravity was based on an unpublished flash fiction piece, which I honestly believe worked far better in a comics format. Judge for yourself by downloading the “Flasher” issue of Round Up ‘Zine at https://www.roundupzine.com/magazine.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD BENEFIT

On the evening of Friday June 2nd, the XL Publichouse craft beer taproom hosted a sketch-a-thon benefit with all proceeds donated to the local chapter of Planned Parenthood. I was joined by my good pal Bridgett Spicer between 7 and 10as we imbibed heartily and cranked out enough doodles to raise nearly $500.00. The remainder of the night may have become increasingly nebulous, but the portions I distinctly recall were nothing short of transcendent. Thank you to everyone who attended and purchased an illustration to assist in raising money for this meritorious cause. In case you were unable to attend, here are a few scattered moments/sketches captured for posterity.

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON

For the first time in four years I will be trekking to the untamed wilds of that pop culture convergence in the city of Diego, Comic Con International. The central preoccupation of this tour of duty will be to shop my latest graphic novel with my esteemed agent. Some meetings have been set, some editors may be ambushed, but one way or another we will be ensuring this project finds an audience with the gatekeepers of the industry. Here’s a small tease of the new book.

Titillating, no?

Several inquiring minds have also posed the question as to whether or not I have my own booth this year. The short answer is no. I will, however, be signing and/or appearing at both the Cartoon Art Museum table for their annual Sketch-A-Thon fundraiser and the Arcana Studios booth signing copies of my 2013 graphic novel, The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung. Below is my full list of scheduled appearances:

Friday

Cartoon Art Museum (Sketch-A-Thon), Booth 1930 w/Michael Falk: 3 – 4 pm

Arcana Studios Booth (Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung signing), Booth 2515: 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Saturday
Cartoon Art Museum (Sketch-A-Thon), Booth 1930 w/Betsy Streeter: 4 – 5 pm

Arcana Studios Booth (Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung signing), Booth 2515: 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Hope to see some of you there and to return with some ambiguously positive news! Next up look for announcements regarding The Alternative Press Expo where I will be exhibiting with my friend and writer extraordinaire, Ray Zepeda, Jr of Tragic Hero Comics. Until then, be excellent to each other.

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Free Comic Book Day update

Hurtling towards summer, and an uncertain future where freedom of speech may no longer be a right, I have finally found a wayward and far too infrequent moment to take a breath and reflect. The repugnant actions of the current incompetent and volatile administration aside, 2017 has been quite the whirlwind of a year thus far. Trials and tribulations, setbacks and gargantuan leaps forward have occurred. With my hazy brain sputtering in neutral at the moment I will attempt to catch you all up on my recent goings-on. Here’s months of activities rolled into one bite-sized post. Open wide!

February saw the inaugural Central Coast Pop Expo descend upon Steinbeck Country with rabid fans, cosplayers, and faux-celebrities in tow. I was asked to participate on the ‘Hometown Heroes’ panel alongside my pals writer Ray Zepeda, Jr and illustrator Ace Continuado. The discussion included tangents on our individual descents to the dark side of comics, the finer points of exposing yourself (networking and exhibiting), and a comparison of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. Below is a picture of Ray and myself regaling those in attendance with our wit. I’m sure their yawns were merely signifiers of enthusiasm.

Another highlight during the second month of the year was having my collaboration with underground writer John Bennett published by Red Fez Entertainment. John is known for his ‘shards’, flash fiction pieces recounting mini episodes of his existence in his nuanced yet bold signature strokes. The piece I was lucky enough to illustrate was entitled The Talent Scout about his encounter with a less-than-reputable member of the sleazy subgenus of humans. Read the story in its entirety here.

Though I have not attended since 2013 while promoting my first graphic novel, the San Diego Comic Con saw it fit to award me with a verified ‘pro’ status in March. Come July I will be winging my way down the left coast to attend the largest pop culture event of its kind with hundreds of thousands of my closest nerd brethren. I am mainly attending with my agent to wheel and deal and as such will not have a table. Fret not, fair followers, for if you are attending the show and would like to see me I will be taking part in the annual sketch-a-thon for the Cartoon Art Museum. Schedules and details to come…

In these troubled fucked-up times my country is currently facing I am compelled to resist and fight back against America’s would-be oppressors in any capacity in which I am able. On March 5th I was honored to be one of three local cartoonists who were asked to take part in a fundraiser for the Monterey chapter of the ACLU. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The premise was simple enough: For donations of at least $30 Bridgett Spicer, Jacob Rafael Estrada, or I would render a personalized illustration. I am pleased to report the event raised over $300. Another sketch fundraiser is being planned for June, if anyone reading is interested. Here are a couple of the sketches I produced.

In late March I was contacted via social media by a gentleman who is apparently a fan of my work and looking to turn others on to the splendor that is my shitty doodles. Chris (yes, the lovely fellow has a name) promptly put me in touch with Adrian King of the Adrian Has Issues podcast and within a week and a half I was a guest on the show. Adrian and I hit it off almost immediately and launched into an hour long discussion which bobbed and weaved between my current work, the obsolescence of answering machines, our prepubescent penchant for using action figures as storytelling devices, and many more inane such topics. To make sense of it all, or very well find yourself even more confused, listen to the full interview here.

Last, and possibly least, my foul-mouthed furball MR. BUTTERCHIPS has turned 1! Yes, it’s been an entire year since the satirical simian began assaulting the pages of Drunk Monkeys magazine on a monthly basis. If you wish to throw a little support behind the marvelous aforementioned publication—not to mention this starving artist—hop on over to the MR. BUTTERCHIPS online store and snag yourself some goods. Here’s to year 2!

Alright, this has been fun but it’s time I quit procrastinating and return to my assiduity. DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE and my current graphic novel sure as shit won’t write and draw themselves. Until next time, my internet cronies.

Shit that happened in the Last Few Months

Welcome to 2017, fellow denizens and reprobates of the internet!

Thanksgiving has come and gone. The holidays have passed along with impressive amounts of flatulence from the gastronomic onslaught of the season. Now as the streets and dumps are littered with the unnecessary carcasses of turkeys and pine trees we here in America brace ourselves for the fascist regime poised to take office in a mere twelve days. In an effort to avoid sending myself or any of you who may have stumbled upon this site into yet another bout of heavy drinking, allow me to focus on some of the creative goings on you may have missed since my last update.

November 2016:

Mr. Butterchips returned to the pages of Drunk Monkeys Magazine on November 11th, 2016 with a commentary on take-home pay. As you may be able to gather from the teaser panel below, our filthy-mouthed friend is none too pleased with the piddly amount earned from his back-breaking days of customer service. The strip can be read in its entirety here.

mr-butterchips-6-teaseDecember 2016:

The “Get In Line” art exhibit ran for the month of December at the 4Word Gallery in Salinas and featured a dizzying array of work from cartoonists including Bridgett Spicer, Betsy Streeter, Ace Continuado, and myself. The opening reception was held on December 3rd, 2016 and after a few glasses of free wine (and shots from the hooch I smuggled in) I grudgingly agreed to pose for some photo ops with my work.

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I was honored to be the featured cartoonist in the December issue of Drunk Monkeys published on 12/1/2016 devoted entirely to first-hand accounts from survivors of sexual abuse, in all its forms. All proceeds from the month, collected through either their Patreon donors or one-time donors, was donated to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. This harrowing and beautiful collection of essays, short stories, poems, and art can be read here.

The Salinas Valley Comic Con converged on the campus of Hartnell college over the weekend of December 16th-18th, boasting 30+ vendors, cosplay, and a variety of panels with guests speakers ranging from Lalo Alcaraz (La Cucaracha), Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum), and yours truly. If you weren’t able to attend the con, yet have a burning desire (or is that the chlamydia acting up?) to experience the Indie Cartoonists panel you can do so here. Video courtesy of Sean F. Roney.

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From left: Bridgett Spicer, some curmudgeon, and Ray Zepeda Jr. during the Indie Cartoonists panel on Sunday 12/18/16

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I ended the year in morbid style with a parable featuring the character Drunk Death conceived as an occasional foil for DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE. If you missed it you can still read the flash fiction piece here.

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January 2017:

DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE returned to Antix Press on Friday January 6th, 2017. The second year year chronicling the weekly shenanigans of real American dirtbag Luke Carlin kicked off with a bang and promises to hold plenty of the wildly irresponsible life choices you’ve come to know and love from the series. Read the inaugural episode here.

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Be sure to catch up on the archives from the first year of DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE as they will be disappearing soon to make way for the new year. A print collection of year one will hopefully be in the works soon and my publisher Antix Press is also in the process of producing some merchandise. Stay tuned for announcements…

My mantra for this year: Bitch less. Rage more. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the states which has legalized its use, a healthy and frequent dose of weed doesn’t hurt either.

Memorial Day catch up

Howdy folks! Here’s what’s been going on at studio Schumacher the past couple weeks…

Last weekend was the great Big WOW! convention in San Jose which just seems to grow exponentially every year. It’s wonderful to see as there has been a definite void in Northern California cons since Wondercon moved to Anaheim a few years ago. I was there on Sunday squatting at booth 410 with my cartoonist pals Betsy Streeter and Bridgett Spicer. It was a lot of fun and I’ll definitely be attending again next year. Thanks to everyone who came by and hope everyone had fun.

As of this weekend I have finalized all interior art as well as the cover for my very first picture book, The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, to be released soon by Wandering in the Words Press. It will be available to purchase through the website as well as on Amazon. Check back here as I will be announcing the exact release date very shortly. There are some other exciting picture book/children’s literature projects in the works so this is only the beginning.

Cover image 2I have also been diligently working with my agent on animated series projects and pitches though there isn’t too much that I can share at this point. We are talking to a few networks you may have heard of though… I’ve already said too much. Just know there is a lot of thrilling things in the works which I hope to be able to share with all of you lovely people very soon. Thank you for all the support and love throughout the years!

On a final note, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day. While we enjoy our beers and BBQ let us take the time to remember what this day is actually about. Thank you to all the service men and women who bravely gave their lives defending our freedom.

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APE info and more…

Hello friends, fans and fellow cartoon enthusiasts!

As noted in the previous post, I will be exhibiting at the Alternative Press Expo this year alongside my friend and wonderful cartoonist Bridgett Spicer! I will be selling copies of “The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung”, “Fame; Tom Daley” and a 16-page preview of the creator-owned “The Guitarist” by the awesome CW Cooke and myself! I will also be taking a few commissions as well as selling some original pages from the above listed books. It’s an awesome show still very much geared toward creators without the corporate influence of Hollywood so come on by and say hi! Click on the image below for the info for our table:

ape2013_exhibmap_imgLately I have been immersed in secret projects involving the animation industry and while I can’t divulge too much information at this point I will say I’ve been keeping quite busy and may have some very exciting news to share in the near future. I may have also been hired on as artist for a comic being relaunched as an online series from a certain publisher I’ve worked with previously. More on that soon as well!

Hope y’all out there in internet land are having an amazing fall so far! See you at APE!!