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.

************************************************************************************

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!

 

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

Latino Comics Expo debriefing

What a whirlwind of a weekend at Latino Comics Expo! I’m far too exhausted to be verbose, so what follows is a succinct account of goings-on over the past few days. We arrived Thursday evening with sleep-deprived senses of humor and boxes of merch to pawn off on the unsuspecting con-goers.

The show itself commenced on Friday, which was arguably the busier day sales-wise. That said, Saturday was absolutely bustling due to the incredible guests and low rider show scheduled to coincide with the comics expo.

A beautifully curated display of artwork by some of the exhibitors and vendors stood as guardians over the convention floor entryway.

Thank you again to Theresa Rojas, Ricardo Padilla, & Javier Hernandez (not pictured) for the invite.

It was great to make some new friends in the comics industry as well as table with my writer pal Ray Zepeda, Jr. (pictured, right) and catch up with such talented friends as Jaime Crespo, Barbra Dillon, Candy Briones, Rafael Navarro, Crystal Gonzalez, Dus T. (pictured, left), Isabel Ann Castro, and Brent Anderson.

Alex Schumacher at Latino Comic Book Expo

The weekend wouldn’t have been complete without meeting 2 of my longtime influences, Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez. Sorry for the blur… I have a shitty phone. The moment was captured though, which is all that matters in my opinion.

Latino Comic Book Expo Alex Schumacher

All in all, well worth the trip. I hocked some books, had some chuckles, and met a few new enthusiasts of my work. Finally, a huge shout-out to the Kranzman family who so generously put me up (and put up with me)! They even introduced me to a delectable new coffee roasting company.

Hope to do it all again in 2020!

Latino Comic Book Expo 2019
Latino Comics Expo, class of 2019!

DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE Year 4 & Latino Comics Expo!

As of 1/18/2019, DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE kicked off year numero 4! I’m amazed by how far this webcomic has progressed and assure you all that Antix Press and I have a lot more in store for our hapless every(person), Luke Carlin. Episode 2 was served up piping hot as of Friday, January 25th and you can catch it now by visiting my publisher’s site here. In the event you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on year 3 which is still online in all its glory at the archive of apathy.

Alex Schumacher Decades of (in)Experience

Alex Schumacher Webcomics

Upcoming Appearance: Latino Comics Expo

I’m also incredibly excited, and immensely honored, to announce I have been invited to exhibit at this year’s Latino Comics Expo in March! A short history: The organizers and I hit it off immediately several years ago while tabling at the Salinas Valley Comic Con and have kept in touch ever since. Spending my formative years in Salinas I have inexhaustible love and respect for Latino culture and art. My boundless gratitude to Theresa Rojas, Javier Hernandez, and Ricardo Padilla for the invite! More info to follow. Hope to see some of you there!

Latino Comic Book Expo

To 2019 and Beyond…

Well, I obviously neglected a few months worth of blogging towards the end of 2018. Going forward I will be using this blog solely for major announcements and appearances. I tend to post far more frequent updates on my Instagram account, so be sure to follow me there.

If you’re looking for updates regarding my work with a side of social and political commentary you can follow me on Twitter as well. Anyway, here’s a rundown of the insanity which transpired between August and December of last year. Buckle up, kiddos, it’s quite the missive coming your way…

Marin Comics Fest

For the Marin Comics Fest kickoff, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon at the new location for the Cartoon Art Museum with my pals Ron Evans (founder of the festival) and Lex Fajardo. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, including my cousins from the North Bay!

Lex Fajardo, Ron Evans, Alex Schumacher
L-R: Lex Fajardo, Ron Evans, me
Alex Schumacher Comics
With my cousins Barbara (L) and Anne (L)!

Alex Schumacher Webcomics

Alex Schumacher Signing

Central Coast Pop Expo

October saw the 2nd annual Central Coast Pop Expo converge on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove. I exhibited alongside comics pals Ray Zepeda, Jr., Matt & Brittany Loisel, and the inimitable Ace Continuado. I was invited to participate as part of the planning committee for 2019’s show, so I’m looking forward to assisting in making 2019’s show bigger and better!

Central Coast Pop ExpoAlex Schumacher Comic Con

Hometown Heroes Comic Panel
‘Hometown Heroes’ panel

Effective Nerd Review of Decades of (in)Experience

On November 29th the Effective Nerd, run by one Aaron Iara, published a glowing review of DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE. Below is one of my favorite excerpts from Aaron. The full write-up can be read here!

Schumacher’s writing is poetic. Every line packs a punch.The dry wit paired with brutal introspection leave Luke with a personality of optimistic hopelessness. I know this is oxymoronic, but cognitive dissonance will do that to a person. The potency of these feelings is a testament to Schumacher’s writing style.

Speaking of DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE, year 3 wrapped on December 14th, 2018. Antix Press and I could not have come this far without the unwavering love and support of our readers so a resounding thank you to each and every one of you who takes the time to show up for the comic every Friday! Luke Carlin’s misadventures return next Friday, 01/18/2019.

Comic Con Review

On November 30th, COMICON published my first exposé for their website as a response to the Twitter tirade posted by Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon) early in 2018 in which he asserted that “there are very, very few outstanding talents out there who aren’t already working (in the comics industry).” Thanks to Hannah Means-Shannon for her guidance and allowing me to say my piece. Read the article here!

Along with DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE, the final MR. BUTTERCHIPS of 2018 also debuted in December with the release of Drunk Monkey‘s year-end issue on 12/03/2018. Check out the alt-right obliterating installment here.

Salinas Valley Comic Con

Last, but certainly not least, to cap off an incredibly busy and productive year I exhibited at the 3rd annual Salinas Valley Comic Con. I also has the distinct privilege of speaking on a panel about querying literary agents with new pal and fantasy/steampunk author Angelique S. Anderson. This show only continues to expand and I can hardly wait to see what the attendance may be in 2019! Thanks to everyone who stopped by the table and picked up some books.

Salinas Valley Comic ConAlex Schumacher Salinas Valley Comic ConAlex Schumacher InterviewThing 1 and Thing 2 CosplayDoctor Strange CosplaySalinas Valley Comic Con Panel

Whew! We made it, folks. Thanks for hanging in there. I have so much in store for 2019 so I do hope you’ll continue to follow my creative exploits and help me spread the word about my work like an artistic venereal disease. Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and I’ll see you at a show (or at least an internet-capable device) near you soon!

Marin Comics Fest Kickoff and other such summer updates

I blinked and now we’re nearly through August and past the halfway mark for 2018. I’m dazed, stunned, nauseated, deflated, and surprisingly tenacious amidst a few months of breakneck ups and downs. I’ll spare you the details in an effort for brevity which may have some of you thanking whichever deity you subscribe to for the absence of my typical introductory verbosity. There’s simply too much to get through to muddle the post with a meandering salutation. Buckle the fuck up, because off we go!

One week from today join us for the Marin Comics Fest Kick Off with Lex Fajardo and Alex Schumacher at the Cartoon Art Museum! Alexis Fajardo and I will be signing books and discussing our work from 2 to 4 p.m., in the Bil Keane Family Lobby. Admission for this event is free.

For more information and to see a complete schedule of events with talents such as Paige Braddock, Judd Winick, Brian Fies, and Nomi Kane, visit marincomicsfest.org. The Marin Comics Fest is sponsored by the libraries of Marin County and the Cartoon Art Museum.

Next, I wanted to get some bad news out of the way. Though CW Cooke and I were scheduled to publish our saga THE GUITARIST through Antarctic Press beginning this summer it is no longer to be. We’ll simply chalk it up to creative differences as neither CW or myself saw eye-to-eye with the editor with whom we were set to work. Fret not, fair enthusiasts, for our indomitable—or at the very least pertinacious—spirits drive us to continue our search for a suitable home for this little comic that could. If and when news breaks of us striking a deal, rest assured the announcement will be here posthaste.

Now in it’s third year, DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE continues to stampede across the webcomic landscape in its signature whiplash weekly lurches. If you haven’t had the time to follow each and every installment my publisher Antix Press has corralled all entries produced thus far om the archive of apathy site. Feel free to catch up there at your leisure and be sure to bring a friend along to share the depraved wealth! Should further prodding or proof of virtue be necessary you can read a glowing review of the feature from none other than Bleeding Cool here.

This past May I was also invited to provide the cover illustration for the underground punk rock literary magazine Paper and Ink. The 13th installment, Tales From The Bar Side, is brimming with yarns spun about the denizens of “dive bars, shitty pubs, and back alley boozers.” Publisher and editor-in-chief Martin Appleby believed I was the apposite choice to supply artwork. I can’t begin to fathom why. Nab yourself a copy of the May issue (as well as their entire catalog while you’re at it) by visiting their store at https://www.etsy.co/shop/PaperAndInkZine.

Finally, in October I will be one of the guests during the Central Coast Pop Expo held this year at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The convention will take place over the weekend of October 20th and 21st, celebrating all areas of pop culture including comics, movies, television, gaming, cosplay and more! Despite my association the event promises to be a family friendly affair. I will do my utmost to refrain from hurling feces, verbal or otherwise, though I can make no such promises for my fellow guests Ace Continuado (Dark Horse, Zenoscope) and Ray Zepeda, Jr. (Tragic Hero Comics Publishing).

Secure your tickets now by visiting https://www.ccpopexpo.com/tickets/. See you there!

Alright, kiddies. That about does it for now. I hope to meet some of you out there in the analog world. Others of you, not so much. Hope everyone’s summer has been a blast. Peace!