Mr. Butterchips Buzz and more!

Since its release just over a month ago, MR. BUTTERCHIPS: A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY from SLG Publishing has been making its way around the ‘net! With the help of Don’t Hide PR, the book has received nods from AiPT, Graphic Policy, The Comicon, and others. I have been assured there are several more reviews in the pipeline, but for the time being you can feast your eyes on the write-ups from Effective Nerd, Graphic Novel Resources, and Biff Bam Pop!:

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

Read Aaron’s full review posted on his Effective Nerd site.

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

Stergios’ evaluation can be Mfound on his Graphic Novel Resources site.

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.

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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.

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And remember, you can join these shiny happy people in welcoming MR. BUTTERCHIPS into your home today!

Fan Pic 1Fan Pic 2Fan Pic 3Fan Pic 4

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.

Tease 1

COMMISSIONS

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 alexschumacherart@gmail.com to discuss. Here are a couple of the more recent pieces I produced:

Dr. StrangeKillraven-webThanks and hope you’re all healthy! 75 days to go…

 

 

Summer Lovin’

The summer heat is on and 2020 continues to prove itself as one of the most exasperating years in recent memory. I could go into some long-winded diatribe about politics, intolerance, pandemics, etc., but there has been a number of positive developments for me on which I would much rather focus for the sake of this post.

RINGO AWARDS

This is just a quick THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to nominate me for a Ringo Award. Whether this will lead to a place on the final ballot remains to be seen, but this doesn’t diminish my gratitude for all of your efforts and support!

STIMOLA LIVE TUTORIAL

On June 2nd, 2020 my tutorial ANATOMY OF A COMICS PAGE debuted on the Stimola Live YouTube channel as part of the Stimola Literary Studio‘s initiative to provide content for families while on lockdown. Over the course of the just over 10-minute presentation I run through the basics of what comprises a graphic novel/comics page including layout, directing the eye, panel placement, and more! You can find my tutorial along with a plethora of educational and entertaining videos on the Stimola Live Channel‘s page.

MYTHIC PICNIC TWEET STORY

At Mythic Picnic‘s behest I submitted a 3-panel comic to the “Twitter-ary” Magazine’s competition. I was delighted to find that my contribution, SUPERHUMAN LOSS, ended up taking the $250 second place prize. My tweet story was a reflection on the unexpected 2018 loss of my beloved sister-in-law. Below is an excerpt from the short piece.

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THE COMIC BOOK YETI – DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE RETROSPECTIVE

During March of this year, amidst growing Coronavirus concerns and my impending relocation, I was invited by Matt Ligeti (The Comic Book Yeti) to provide a bit of a retrospective on my webcomic DECADES OF (in)EXPEREINCE. As Antix Press and I published the landmark 200th episode in February of 2020, my article was a celebration of our enduring partnership and the temerity (pertinacity?) involved to even reach such milestone. With nearly 5 years behind us I do hope you’ll give my comic communique, Half a Decade of (in)Experience, a read.

BUTTERCHIPS COLLECTION RELEASED!

In the event you’ve missed the news delivered across social media platforms, I’m pleased to announce that MR. BUTTERCHIPS: A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY is now available from alternative comics luminary SLG Publishing! Thanks to Dan Vado for taking a chance on the sardonic simian.

As I won’t be able to sell the books at trade shows or in-store signings any time soon, any and all shares regarding the book’s release are appreciated! Please feel free to contact me should you be interested in a personalized copy.

BUTTERCHIPS FRONT

Should further convincing be required, you can read THIS spoiler-free review from my pal Aaron Iara of Effective Nerd.

BRY-FY INTERVIEW

Speaking of the MR. BUTTERCHIPS book, promo mode has now commenced. As such, I have started the rounds being interviewed on several indie comics podcasts beginning with Bry-Fy the Comics Guy. The chat was a pleasure and I hope you’ll all enjoy our conversation.

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Next up, a guest spot on the spectacular Imaginary Ramblings. Release date TBD.

Hope this brings everyone up to speed. Much more in the months to come, so gird your loins and brace for impact!

Ringo Awards

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

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Mr. Butterchips #9-panel

Thank you for your consideration!

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.

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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!

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

Bleeding Cool review and more!

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.

For interested parties, I was also recently interviewed on 2 independent podcasts. Thanks to Work Talk Podcast and Everything is Awesome Podcast for having me! Find the interviews here (Work Talk) and here (Everything is Awesome).

For now, I bid you all a fond adieu. These god-damn panels won’t materialize on their. I wish they did, believe me.

P.S. Don’t forget to shower your mothers with praise and love for bringing your sorry asses into the world this weekend!

Be Mine!: A February Update

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.

The table setup for SVCC.
Ray Zepeda, Jr. (right) and myself
Storytelling panelists (L-R): Ricardo Padilla, myself, Ray Zepeda, Jr.

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!

Me and the monkey manning the table.
Signing for a new fan.

OTHER

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!

Pre-Holidaze news and 2017 wrap up

November has arrived, the imbecile-in-chief has not yet propelled the USA into nuclear war, and the 90° drop into the new year has officially been crested. As the holidays consistently find a way to siphon every ounce of time and energy one may have at the end of the year, I resolved to submit one last entry here to chronicle the vortex of events which have commenced recently (or will be initiated soon). As there is a fucking laundry list to wade through I am opting to spare you all of the garrulous—albeit thoroughly entertaining—introductions I typically regurgitate.

MARIN COMICS FEST

Back in June I was approached by Cartoon Art Museum board member, and longtime friend, Ron Evans about the possibility of designing promotional artwork for a new comic show he was organizing. The inaugural Marin Comics Fest was held between September 10th and 16th featuring a varied collection of North Bay writers and cartoonists including Judd Winick, Brian Fies, Alexis Fajardo, and Thi Bui. In conjunction with San Rafael library, Ron organized lectures and signings held at locations throughout Marin County. Unfortunately I was unable to attend, however I was able to tacitly burden each event via this uncharacteristically innocent logo:

Alexis Fajardo and Judd Winick holding the signed print gifted to me following the Marin Comics Fest.

DRUNK MONKEYS INSTALLMENT: SEPTEMBER

Though my main gig for Drunk Monkeys Magazine is producing the monthly misadventures of your that salty simian, MR. BUTTERCHIPS, every now and again the editors enjoy veering away from the norms to assemble a themed issue. Such was the case with September when I was asked to produce a piece for an installment revolving around the concept of Vice & Virtue. As I have long considered writing and art to be both a vice and a virtue at assorted stages of my sordid existence, I opted to craft a page reflecting such a disposition. This teaser should impart an idea as to the overall orbit of my contribution, but you can read ‘Carousel of Creation’ in full here.

DEFILING THE LITERATI

In an effort to compile some wares with which to hock during cons, I decided to assemble the bounty of literary magazine work I had produced between 2016 and 2017. I entitled the resulting smörgåsbord of demented offerings Defiling the Literati in reference to the (mostly) intentional contrary approach I have adopted with regards to crafting stories. Rebellion isn’t my objective, per se, I merely seek to convey relatable anecdotes unencumbered by the flowery, execrable, and ultimately fucking dispensable narratives which too commonly accompanies the writing of today. But I digress. For the time being Defiling the Literati is only available at conventions in which I partake (such as the upcoming Salinas Valley Comic Con), but may be available online soon.

APE (THE ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO)

Speaking of conventions, during the weekend of September 23rd and 24th this year I peddled my  wares as an exhibitor at the long-running Alternative Press Expo in San Jose. Overall it was a positive – albeit sobering – experience. It helped that my table-mate was good pal and writer extraordinaire Ray Zepeda, Jr. of Tragic Hero Comics Publishing! What was once a bustling, electric gathering of independent artists had dramatically dwindled since the show moved back to San Jose in 2015. The varied swath of Bay Area creators who typically exhibited in years past were noticeably absent. I still enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with enthusiasts of the medium. A few were even familiar with my work, which always stupefies me. In addition, I was invited by the event coordinator to speak on a couple of panels expatiating on the topics of storytelling fundamentals and the plight of the independent artist. I highly recommend attending APE and supporting one of the few conventions dedicated solely to underground and alternative creators of comics, animation, ‘zines, collectibles, etc.

The dedication inside the copy of ‘Defiling the Literati’ for cartoonist pal, Betsy Streeter
Day 2, ready to roll… Mostly.

BEST OF THE NET NOM

I was humbled, and honestly flummoxed, to learn via an announcement on September 1st that I’d been nominated for a “Best of the Net” award in the non-fiction category. The kind souls of Red Fez literary magazine are the publication which submitted my name for a piece I illustrated. The contribution, entitled Talent Scout, was a collaboration with infamous underground writer John Bennett. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to build a rapport with John as he is currently infirmed. Send good vibes his way! If you wish to read the aforementioned selection, you can do so here (add link). Win, lose, or draw, a huge thanks to Doc Sigerson and the Red Fez team!

INDIGENT PRESS – ENCHILADA FOLLIES

Whilst everyone was paying attention to my comics based slight-of-hand (or completely ignoring me), a new slice of spicy prose stowed away online. Published by my writer pal Charles Joseph’s new literary venture Indigent A La Carte, my short story Enchilada Follies recounts a rather awkward intimate encounter between a husband and wife. Succumbing to one’s atavistic desires whilst whipping up culinary delights which register on the Scoville scale can have dire consequences. There’s jalapeños, humor, and sex! What more can you possibly demand from your fiction? Read the tale of lust and woe here.

INTERVIEWED BY THE GEEKISH CAST

On the morning of Saturday, October 14th I was interviewed by the incomparable Jeremy R. Vilmur of The Geekish Cast podcast. I was introduced to Jeremy and his stellar show via my perennial online promoter and pal, Christopher Ball. When I was asked to round out the panelists for a podcast themed talk at APE, Jeremy came to mind and graciously accepted the invite. I dug the cut of his jib and the feeling must have been mutual as I was soon invited to be a guest on his show. Clocking in at just under the hour mark, our conversation covered a wide range of topics including DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE, MR. BUTTERCHIPS, and defining the idea of what it means to be “indie”. Listen to our pithy banter as I battle a woeful deficiency of caffeine. Thanks again to Jeremy for having me on the show! Check the episode out here.

2 YEARS DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE!

This Friday marks the 100th episode of your favorite web-based illustrated flash fiction series, DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE! It has been quite the ride for the past two years following the trials and tribulations of one Luke Carlin. Francis Lombard (editor of DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE) and I have some fairly epic plans in store for year 3 of this slice-of-life roman à clef. You won’t want to miss the season finale this Friday December 1st, 2017 and you can only find the new episodes on the Antix Press website! If you feel like traipsing down memory lane, the archive of apathy can be found here. Thank you to everyone for the support over the past two years! We’ve only just begun…

Excerpt from the pilot episode, published October 30, 2015

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.