Summertime Update

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.

MR. BUTTERCHIPS

Two months in to the relaunched series from SLG Publishing, the maniacal monkey has received a decent amount of (much appreciated!) attention from the comics news outlets of the interwebs. Along with write-ups on venerable sites such as AIPT, HYPEcrumbs, and FIRST COMICS NEWS (accompanied by this virtual exchange), as well as interviews conducted by Patrick Hickey Jr. of Review Fix and the enchanting Christa Harader of the always gracious Comic Book Yeti, esteemed industry site The Beat recently shined their “Small Press Spotlight” on our favorite maniacal monkey!

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.

While the comic remains free to read, please consider supporting my efforts by purchasing a copy of MR. BUTTERCHIPS: A COLLECTION OF CANTANKEROUS COMMENTARY and/or a freshly designed tee (pictured below) to display your love for the curmudgeonly capuchin! You can always support my work by subscribing to my Patreon page as well.

YOUTUBE

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 alexschumacherart@gmail.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.

MUTINY MAGAZINE

Another upcoming project pertains to the quarterly periodical Mutiny Magazine, curated by former Humanoids senior editor and Spider-Man Noir co-creator Fabrice Sapolsky. (continued below)

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.

UPCOMING APPEARANCES*

On Saturday July 31st SLG Publishing, home to the MR. BUTTERCHIPS weekly comic, will welcome yours 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.

Until next time!

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