This Saturday I will be returning to one of, if not my favorite local comics shows: The Marin Comics Fest! Via their website:
The Marin Comics Fest is proud welcome cartoonist and comics creator Alex Schumacher to Blue Moon Comics in San Rafael on Saturday, September 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. Based in [the Bay Area of California], Alex produces the weekly misadventures of that wise-cracking, socially attuned simian Mr. Butterchips for SLG Publishing, which published a collection of the strip last year. He also produced the weekly webcomic Decades of (in)Experience for Antix Press from October 2015 – January 2021. Alex’s other books include the satirical social and political collection ‘Defiling the Literati’ and the all-ages works ‘Benjamin and the Fish’ and ‘The World’s Crummiest Umbrella.’ Admission is free.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, or restaurant, or any social gathering on a large scale, we’ve been hit with the announcements regarding the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19 which only served to reignite my deep-seated paranoia and anxiety. While my family and I have returned to some normal activities (e.g., regular grocery shopping, dining out, etc.), the latest infection surges have me rethinking said outings in the immediate future. That said, it has been enjoyable to once again see family and friends and I do have a couple of in-person appearances planned as well as some new work on the way.
Before the belly-bursting nationalistic brouhaha of this weekend’s holiday commences, I wanted to drop a sizable summary of the most recent creative goings-on.
Francis Lombard also invited me onto his utterly unique podcast PORTRAIT OF AN EDITOR. Francis and I reminisced over our five-year run on the slice-of-life webcomic DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE in this episode posted on June 4th. We also talk about my mentor Morrie Turner, but, more importantly, we talk about the relaunch of the MR. BUTTERCHIPS series. Listen to our full exchange here.
On Wednesday, May 26th, pal and comics journalist E. A. Henson of Biff Bam Pop! posted our chat regarding the relaunch of the webcomic and a smattering of other creative-related shenanigans for his inaugural HEROES AND VILLAINS podcast. Listen to our full exchange here.
As I recently updated my prehistoric digital device, I have once again commenced to create and post additional content to my YouTube channel. Most recently, I uploaded a time-lapse video capturing the illustration of a commission (as seen below).
I next plan to record the “answer” portion of a Q&A. So if you harbor any burning inquiries on which you’d like to see me elaborate, feel free to send them way through my contact page or by emailing me at email@example.com.
MONKEYS FIGHTING ROBOTS: THE MAGAZINE
This ongoing magazine is a combination of comics and articles about comics from an experienced team of writers and artists. After discussing “superheroes” and “the future of comics” in previous installments, Matthew Sardo and company have returned to tackle all things “cartoonist.” In the current issue, only available to kickstarter backers for the time being, yours truly composed an essay on what it means to be a cartoonist entitled, THE DURABILITY IN BEING A CARTOONIST. Please find an excerpt below and I will be sure to inform you all if/when the issue is available to the public:
“I was not a very good painter, and I was not as good a writer as I should’ve been. These two ineptitudes put together made one [aptitude].” – Will Eisner
Aptitude, or talent, are two words which are hurled about frequently in the world of visual arts. An unquantifiable factor which endows the individual practitioner with some seemingly recognizable skillset necessary for success in a brutally competitive field. However, technical ability alone does not a cartoonist make. The world of comics is a veritable minefield of subjectivity and disappointment.
In 1987, I was oblivious to the fact that I was mere months away from the first of many setbacks I was to endure on my journey. My adoration of cartoonists existed at the purest of levels as I pored over the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comic Strips gifted to me by my maternal grandparents who always encouraged my evident need for expression. The coffee table book masterclass transported me to different worlds fabricated by titans of the industry like Roy Crane, Frank King, Chester Gould, Walt Kelly, Rudolph Dirks, George Herriman, and so many more. Typically irreverent and blunt, the humor of these characters that were rendered in exquisitely flowing linework spoke to me in a manner which no medium had before… or has since.
This new anthology was designed as a platform to give extra attention to independent creators, especially minorities and marginalized groups. As I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Fabrice over the last few years, he invited me to submit a piece for the upcoming edition. Said submission was accepted fairly quickly, along with some incredibly kind words from Fabrice. I don’t want to divulge too much about my contribution as soon there will be a kickstarter launched to fund the issue in which I will be featured. As soon as the campaign goes live, I’ll be sure to announce it here.
On Saturday July 31st SLG Publishing, home to the MR. BUTTERCHIPS weekly comic, will welcomeyours truly, cartoonist Jaime Crespo, and 215 Ink’s Mike Perkins for a day of spectacular creator-owned comics to celebrate this years “Buy Indie Comics Day”. The relatively new day of observance was conceived to celebrate the thousands of indie, local, and small press creators pushing the graphic novel medium into the next millennium!
The event is free and open to the public. More information can be found on the events page.
More announcements to come in the very near future! For now, I want to take the opportunity to remind everyone that fireworks are not fun for everyone or every species. In fact, they cause far more harm than entertainment. While I do hope everyone enjoys their time celebrating with friends and family, please be responsible and considerate this Fourth of July weekend.
May 4, 2021, (TAOS, NM) — Get set. One seriously maniacal monkey is about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public! On May 5th, weekly installments of Mr. Butterchips by Alex Schumacher (The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung, Defiling the Literati), will launch on SLG Publishing, accompanied by new apparel to help fans show their love for the celebrated curmudgeonly capuchin.
Mr. Butterchips illustrates the day-to-day antics of a prickly organ grinder’s monkey set in a surreal fictional West Coast town, which is populated by an array of quirky characters. It’s through this satirical hallucinogenic lens that the pitfalls of a “gig economy” are examined, while touching on such timely issues as class disparity and intolerance; amplifying the absurdity of what it means to be alive in a world which seemingly becomes more insane by the second.
“When offered the opportunity by SLG Publishing, I decided to retrofit Mr. Butterchipsfor a new era and a broader audience,” said Alex Schumacher. “While the comic will now be set in the hallucinogenic fictional town of Los Puritanos, readers who enjoyed the salty simian’s tenure at Drunk Monkeys Magazine will be pleased to know his low threshold for stupidity and intolerance remains wholly intact.”
The comic first appeared in the online literary magazine Drunk Monkeys beginning in April of 2016. SLG Publishing released Mr. Butterchips: A Collection of Cantankerous Commentary in 2020, assembling the initial run of the webcomic along with a 22-page standalone acid trip of a story entitled “Psychotropic San Francisco Sojourn.”
For additional information or press queries, please contact Don’t Hide Publicity Director, Melissa Meszaros: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s correct, folks! I’ve started my own YouTube channel to compile interviews, tutorials, Q & A’s, and all other manner of video content. Visit my channel for regular uploads, and feel free to submit a question you’d like to see me address in an upcoming clip.
Below is one of my first tutorials, INTRO TO INKING TOOLS. I hope you enjoy. Thanks and don’t forget to subscribe!
Good tidings, inhabitants of the digital realm! As we’ve now crested that death-defying plunge into the holidays, I resolved to make at least one more post here on the blog before this hellish year has officially come to a close. Since last updating in August there has been a flurry of activity. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
If you are looking for a little bit of truth wrapped in some dark humor, Alex Schumacher‘s Mr. Butterchips: A Collection of Cantankerous Commentary is the perfect anthology to check out. – Carla Vazquez, A Place to Hang Your Cape
Read the write-up in its entirety on the AP2HYC site.
Schumacher’s brilliance and timeliness of subject matter make this a MUST READ as he makes the reader laugh as much as he makes you think. – Pharoah Miles, Graphic Policy
Soda and Telepath‘s own Anthony Pollock was also gracious enough to host me for an interview regarding the book, my genesis with the character, etc. Our spirited exchange can be found on the S & T site in their interview section.
You still have time to obtain a copy as a holiday gift for the comics lover in your life! Visit my books page for purchasing options.
DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE
Following a transcendent five-year journey, Antix Press and I will be making a monumental announcement regarding the webcomic come December. My gratitude for Francis Lombard and the dedicated audience attracted over the course of our run cannot be overstated. You all are the sole reason I’ve continued pushing this boulder up the hill, so to speak. My efforts as a Gen-X Sisyphus would have been insurmountable were it not for the encouragement and support I’ve received since the onset of the comic in 2015.
Truly, from the bottom of my soul, thank you all.
That said, there are some Decades-related projects in the works. One of said ventures is a limited edition sculpt of everyone’s favorite inebriated immortal, Drunk Death (pictured below)! In partnership with You Are Player One, these gorgeous figurines will be available shortly in time to order the perfect holiday gift. Stay tuned for details…
As the gift-giving season approaches, I’m planning to open 4-5 commission spots for interested parties. Original art makes for a distinctive, one-of-a-kind holiday present! An added bonus is that you’ll be supporting an independent artist, which has become increasingly vital for the survival of our trade.
Slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Use the form on the contact page, or email me at email@example.com for more info. Samples below.
If you’re looking for exclusive content, behind the scenes access, and other goodies unavailable to anyone else, please consider subscribing to my Patreon page. With many projects in the works, there’s sure to be an abundance of material specifically presented for my patrons in 2021!
I’m pleased to announce that I have signed with the phenomenal Allison Hellegers of Stimola Literary Studio! I want to state that my former agent (Pete Ryan, also of Stimola) and I split amicably. He’s an amazing person and there were simply circumstances beyond anyone’s control which led to our parting ways. The groundwork he laid and faith he had in me/my work will ALWAYS be held in high regard.
That said, I’m considerably reinvigorated to be repped by Allison! While there’s nothing I can properly announce at this time, I’m currently prepping several projects to be shopped by Allison in the near future. One of which is my latest graphic novel, but I’ve already divulged too much. You’ll just have to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for further updates.
There is also a comic strip being considered by Universal Press Syndicate for possible syndication. My initial pitch was a sanitized version of Mr. Butterchips, entitled MONKEY SEE… (excerpt below), but Universal respectfully rejected the idea with an invitation to propose other concepts.
Thus, I spent the last few weeks putting the pitch package together and delivered my submission the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the acquisitions editor with whom I’m in contact. Whatever the outcome, 25-year-old Alex would absolutely lose his mind if he knew we had a personal connection at one of THE big syndicates. Life is weird sometimes…
Anyway, Hope everyone is having a great holiday season so far and we’ll see you in 2021!
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
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
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.
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.
And remember, you can join these shiny happy people in welcoming MR. BUTTERCHIPS into your home today!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. Here are a couple of the more recent pieces I produced:
Thanks and hope you’re all healthy! 75 days to go…
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
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.
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.
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!
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!