drawing

Summer loving and Comic Con Int’l

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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

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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.

Tricks and Treats (but mostly tricks)

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Howdy kids and welcome back to another woefully delayed update on this site’s blog. To be fair I have been fucking crazed these past few weeks wrapping up some projects, beginning others, drinking due to the upcoming horror show of an election, etc. Anyway, before I disappear into veritable artist hibernation to complete the pitch on my new graphic novel for my agent I wanted to update my 3 loyal readers on current goings-on.

October kicked off with a god-damn explosion courtesy of the fantastic folks over at Drunk Monkeys. This month’s issue was dedicated to the current election cycle, spotlighting the absolute absurdity of this nation’s deteriorated political landscape which has allowed a fucking xenophobic, misogynistic buffoon to have a leg in the race. When asked to produce the cover for the collection of essays and poems I scratched out several concepts before settling on an image which I thought summed up the overall lunacy of the campaigns tactical approaches.

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The full version, as well as excerpts from the issue, can be viewed on Amazon where you can also purchase the stellar magazine! Amongst impressive missives by my writing cohorts Kim Bailey Deal, Gabriel Richard, Charles Joseph, and Editor-in-Chief Matthew Guerruckey you will also find the latest misadventure of that sick little monkey MR. BUTTERCHIPS. Check out the preview below and find out how it concludes only at Drunk Monkeys!

mr-butterchips-5-blog

As of Friday October 21st my weekly DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE wrapped it’s first year of publication with Antix Press! An entire year of wrong turns and sharp lefts provided by our fallible anti-hero Luke Carlin. Antix Press and I will be taking the remainder of the year off, but plan to return on January 6th 2017 full of piss and vinegar. Read the final episode here and stay tuned for news and possibly a special feature in the next few weeks.

ep-52-web2

It was also recently announced that I will be a guest at December’s Salinas Valley Comic Con alongside cartoonists Bridgett Spicer, Betsy Streeter, and the Cartoon Art Museum’s own Andrew Farago. I will be sitting on a panel or two and possibly teaching a workshop on graphic novels… or writing… or how to create whilst drunk. For more details and updates visit the official facebook page here.

svcc

Now my dearest degenerates I will be taking my leave and burying my head in a pile of Word docs and artwork drenched in my own blood and entrails. The coffee is hot, the whiskey is on deck for this evening, and I am off to the races on the graphic novel track. I will make a concerted effort to update again before the holidays send the rest of my year into a 90 degree free-fall, but if I don’t quite accomplish said goal I’ll see you all on the other side of 2016. You’ll recognize me as the belligerent drunk covered in ink.

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Most importantly… Happy Halloween, y’all! Let your fright flag fly.

Spring is in the air… Which explains the nosebleeds

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It’s spring again, folks. That time of year which brings new life, gentle rains, and god-damn miserable allergies. My nose has been a geyser of green and yellow, and my melon has been stuffed with cotton. Lord knows I struggle enough with thinking as is so this is just a cruel trick of Mother Nature. What a bitch. Regardless, I have continued to chug along at a steady clip in my writing and cartooning efforts. I refuse to be bested by an unyielding case of the boogers!

My short story Rock the Cash Bar, originally published by Drunk Monkeys on October 5, 2015 has been included in their recently released ‘best of 2015’ anthology. 106 pages of “the best fiction and poetry featured over the past year in the online literary journal Drunk Monkeys. Featuring fiction from Bud Smith and Gessy Alvarez and poetry from Kevin Ridgeway, Frankie Met, William Lessard. Plus essays on Star Wars, illustrations, the Donald Trump campaign speech generator, and much more!”* Grab yourself a copy here.

Speaking of Drunk Monkeys lit mag, I was recently commissioned by their Editor-in-chief (and all around snazzy dude) Matthew Guerruckey to produce some cartoon illustrations for their Star Wars retrospective. To be released in May, the retrospective will include essays, commentary, and poetry relating to that galaxy far, far away we all know and love. My work featuring intoxicated and stoned simians will adorn the cover and serve as dividers to the various sections relating to the original trilogy, prequels, and sequels. Here’s a taste of the cover, colored by Allan Ferguson.

DM-SW color-tease

In graphic novel news, The Guitarist is gearing up for it’s Kickstarter campaign to be launched by our publisher, Under Belly Comics, in late April/early May.  The pages are coming along and I can’t wait to share all of the psychedelic, drug-fueled, bat-shit craziness that this book has in store for all of you! It’s going to be one kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll ride to be sure.

Decades of (in)Experience will be hitting the six month mark in April! Every Friday for the past six months I have somehow managed to find new ways to fuck with our main man Luke Carlin and hopefully provide you with a chuckle or two along the way. Decades’ online champion Antix Press and I have been hard at work to bring you a collected print edition of the comic/illustrated narrative’s run thus far by trying to find a publisher/distributor for the title. We will be braving some upcoming meetings, including the possibility of a safari to the wilds of San Diego Comic Con, putting our lives in peril all in the name of pleasing our audience with dirty entertainment. Look here for future news and updates and a HUGE god-damn thank you to all who have been reading and/or helping to promote Decades of (in)Experience!

My tough love writing column for Five 2 One Magazine, Bread Crumbs form the Void will be releasing it’s eighth column full of hard-nosed advice this Wednesday March 30th. 2016. There is some other cool shit in the works with Five 2 One Magazine, and it may be that the column shifts to a bi-weekly schedule in the near future. I’m not at liberty to divulge too much info at this juncture, but suffice to say if all goes according to plan you will see some cartoon-based content both on their website and in their print issues in the very near future. Keep your fingers, eyes, tits, balls, and whatever crossed. I could use the good vibes…

While we are on the subject of new cartoons published by Five 2 One Magazine, their resident literary outlaw/Editor-in-chief Nathan Schwartz and I felt it fitting to unleash what we are calling an Easter Fucking Funny on the world this Easter day. So, enjoy the doodle and have a merry bunny-who-shits-eggs day!

Easter Funnies

This week I am the guest on the killer comics podcast, Comic Exposure! I chat with them all about current and upcoming projects. If you’d like to hear me prattle on about writing and drawing you can find the interview on their website. Adios until next time…

Updates and other nonsense

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The first two months of the year have already flashed by. The battle royal for the presidential nomination continues to be a traveling circus of buffoonery. Another shooting occurred on the East side. My bank account is dwindling and my blood pressure is rising. If I were an optimistic sort I would reckon the year could only vastly improve from here. If I were an optimistic sort I doubt my inconsequential ramblings would be as entertaining for those of you out there taking a break from the free porn or cat videos on Youtube. While I may not occupy the most self-affirming corner of this here internet, I like to believe I offer a little something more than the skewed factoids and memes that go viral. That little something is some god-damn honesty. The world sucks. People suck. You either learn to carve out a meager life worth living or just say fuck it and learn to tie a noose. Hopefully you opt for the meager life. Not because I give a shit, but because I have so few readers as it is and I appreciate you wasting some time on my words.

Speaking of which, a number of new pieces were rescued from the wild recently. Unfortunately they can’t be tamed, but they will sit still long enough for you to feast your eyes upon them.

  • On February 16, Dead Snakes brought two of my poems to the masses. Landmines and A Walk Through Old-Town were chosen to be featured, and I thank this kick ass poetry site for allowing me some shelf space. Both poems touch on the despondency and uncertainty we face as we waltz through this crazy life. Unfortunately there’s no road map to success and some of us find ourselves making wrong turns here and there. These two pieces tell it like it is. Nothing more and nothing less.
  • A short story of mine entitled Steer into the Sunset was published by Cultured Vultures on February 19, bringing a raw piece of my soul and background to those who are interested. Coming from a broken home is never easy. Having an outlet to work through some of the long-term ramifications keeps me from putting my head through the plate glass. I sweat blood for everything that I write, and this short story is no exception.
  • On March 1st The Corvus Review released its Winter issue, and with it my story about trippin’ balls A Response to MushroomsIf there is any advice I can pass on to the younger generation it would be this: hash and acid do NOT mix. Download issue 4W’16 (for free!) and educate yourself on the effects of such a potent combination on page 91. Party on and make sure you ingest one mind-altering chemical at a time. Trust someone who can tell you a thing or two about a bad trip…
  • Bread Crumbs from the Void, my weekly tough love article for Five 2 One Magazine just wrapped up its first month. So far I’ve covered the grueling practice of submitting your work for publication, the reprehensible act of schmoozing and networking, how to survive the wilds of rejection, and evaluating the quality of your own work. To be clear, this is NOT an instructional column. I will never profess the secrets and mysteries of writing can be distilled into a curriculum. You can learn form and function, but I believe the best work throws that shit out the window. There are a ton of topics yet to be covered. See what I’m venting about every Wednesday on the Five 2 One site!

Decades of (in)Experience is already over four months deep! Considering the illustrated serialized flash fiction weekly (for lack of an existing term) began as an experiment with my publisher Antix Press, we could not be more fucking proud of the progress. The feature, as well as its anti-hero Luke, will continually evolve, distort, and defy expectations. There may be some rather exciting things in store for Decades of (in)Experience, including the possibility of a print collection. If I may so humbly request, be sure to tell everyone—scumbag friends, prison pen-pals, grandmother’s depends-changers—about the feature. Without y’all we’re just a couple of curmudgeons telling each other dirty jokes.

Thanks for hanging. Now throw a few back for hump day! I know I’m going to. Later, skaters.

End of October update

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No, your eyes do not deceive you, this is actually a second post inside of a month! There have been a number of developments recently and instead of expecting the countless attention-deficit web-surfers to hang on my every depraved word via social media (the links are to the right if you’ve got the stomach),  I thought I’d give a rundown of what’s come so far in one convenient location.

Don’t say I never gave you anything, ingrates.

  • On Monday, October 5th, Drunk Monkeys published my short story Rock the Cash Bar. It’s the uplifting tale of a groomsman participating in his sister’s wedding whilst fed up with the very notion of love, scoffing and sulking his way through the ordeal. If that sounds like a hoot of a read to you, preview an excerpt here and then hop on over to Drunk Monkeys to take it all in.
  • October 21st saw the release of the new issue of The Round Up Writer’s ‘Zine featuring another short story of mine entitled Loathe and an Elevator. In this yarn, our narrator recalls the end of a particularly tumultuous relationship culminating in the titular emotion and man-made structure. The editor called it “a hilarious piece full of snarky commentary”. Get yourself a taste here, and then run, do not walk god-damn it, run to The Round Up Writer’s ‘Zine and download the current issue.
  • Then, coming this Friday, October 30th, to an internet-capable device near you will be my new weekly feature Decades of (in)Experience! I’ve partnered with online publisher Antix Press to bring you the saga of Luke Carlin, a thirty-something victim of his generation and prisoner of the millennial zeitgeist.  You’ll be able to follow his misadventures every Friday, drinking and ranting along with a fella who, like many of us, lives paycheck-to-paycheck and never received the instruction manual to life.

Antix tease

I’ll catch up with you in a few weeks with a fistful of announcements about upcoming projects and published pieces, including poetry to be included in the November issue of Yellow Chair Review. Until then, I bid you a feigned farewell and wish you a happy (and hopefully inebriated) Halloween! Spirits indeed…

2015 updates!

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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.