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!

The Interview and the Tease

Happy Monday, friends! It is utterly mind-boggling that March has arrived, signaling a year of enduring this pandemic. With the inept administration ousted at least there’s some actual progress towards ensuring the populace is inoculated promptly.

On a brighter note, there are a few projects currently in the works! While they are under wraps for the time being, I look forward to the near-ish future when I can inundate you all with incessant announcements. In the meantime there is one particular piece of news I am at liberty to share followed by one piece of news which I can merely tease.

Last Wednesday (February 24th) Eva Webb of the Titular Characters Podcast posted the impossibly fun interview she conducted with this kooky cartoonist covering a vast array of topics regarding my years in the business of storytelling. I do hope you’ll give my episode a listen (below) as we had an absolute blast during the recording!

A new beginning for an old friend will also arrive this year. The official press release and promotional images are forthcoming…

Coming soon is also my 3rd (THIRD!) appearance on the eternally welcoming Adrian King’s podcast Adrian Has Issues. This winding exchange plunged deep into not only the thought process behind creation, but the mentality required to forge ahead in an artistic realm against all odds. A link will be shared as soon as the episode is available!

Quarantidings from lockdown!

Here we are, friends. It’s day 5,872 of the end times. Or is that day 5,871? Or 5,873? It’s so easy to lose track of time these days.

Of course, this is simply an attempt at some levity in such a somber period of history. I’m striving to remain (fairly) confident that in one way or another we will emerge from this unmitigated crisis at some point in the future. I’m also confident the world will be a vastly different social and political landscape when we do. Once the dust settles, the wreckage is cleared, and the dead are mourned we will forge a new way of life. A better way of life. At least, that’s what I hope will be the outcome.

In the midst of the apocalypse, my wife and I relocated for her new job. Which, while a wonderful opportunity, could not have come at a worse time. The move is thankfully behind us at this point and we are all safe and sound in the compound. It truly is amazing to see just how much shit you accumulate when you’ve lived in one place for a span of time which can only be described as an “era”.

Moving

It feels somewhat frivolous to provide updates on my work during this time, but something I have been thinking about lately has prompted me to do so. Since lockdown began, the arts have been a haven for a vast number of people. Whether it’s creating art, embracing art, or being a patron, the arts have kept many (if not all) of us optimistic for the promise of better days ahead. I’ll admit, this cautious optimism is something that I have adhered to begrudgingly. However, there’s something hauntingly beautiful about the visual and performing arts being a last bastion of hope in these troubling and uncertain times.

In an effort to always look on the bright side of life (in a Monty Python way), here are some current comics goings-on:

LET’S CHAT PODCAST

Chris Revill’s social media manager (Christopher Ball) happened to be a mutual friend. When Chris was contacted by Christopher about the possibility of bringing me on the show as a guest, he realized we’ve actually been following one another’s work from afar for some time. Late in the evening of March 22nd, 2020, Chris and I jumped on Skype to record what became a rollicking hour plus conversation which switched gears several times. Listen to the interview in its entirety at the Let’s Chat podcast Stitcher, or your favorite podcast site.

Lets Chat 1

MR. BUTTERCHIPS

Next week all final art, guest pinups, and foreword from a special contributor will be turned in to the publisher for final approval on the long-awaited Mr. Butterchips collection! The book will contain the 44 strips previously published by Drunk Monkeys magazine, along with a brand new 22-page standalone story which won’t be available anywhere else. Watch here for the impending official announcement.

If you haven’t already read April’s installment, meant to be a preamble for the standalone story, you can do so in the April issue of Drunk Monkeys.

Mr. Butterchips #45-web1

DEFILING THE LITERATI

As it is all but assured that the remaining conventions of 2020 will be cancelled, I’d like to direct your attention to my Etsy shop in an effort to recoup some of the expenses of my family’s aforementioned relocation… Particularly now that I’m unemployed to boot. If you’re feeling generous and/or have long since considered buying a copy, Defiling the Literati is still for sale with the quarantine bonus of free shipping! I’ll personalize it for you with a quick sketch as well.

If you require a professional opinion to assist in deciding whether this is the right book for you, check out reviews from Effective Nerd, Comic Book Yeti, Bleeding Cool, Graphic Policy, and Knowledgeable Cabbage.

IMG_20191029_140003_784

STIMOLA LIVE!

Another unfortunate byproduct of my wife’s and my move was the last minute cancellation of my “Anatomy of a Comics Page” live stream which was to be part of Stimola Live, a series of readings, tutorials, and educational content presented by Stimola Literary Studio. I was just informed that the initiative will be extended as self-isolation continues and I will be rescheduling my presentation for a date in the near future. When a slot is secured I will update the Events page accordingly. Be sure to check out the site for all of the fantastic videos already available, including entries from my pals like Scott SanGiacomo. Thanks for your understanding and I’ll have info for you soon!

Stimola Live

***Just for a chuckle, I also recently shared this Easter-themed gag panel from the vaults. This was from 2016 during my stint as resident cartoonist with Five 2 One magazine.

Easter Funnies

There will be forthcoming news for Decades of (in)Experience and (hopefully) progress on the graphic novel front. Hope you are all doing your best to stay healthy and sane.

Our best is all we can do right now.

New interview and Bay Area event scheduled!

Howdy folks! A quick update with some fun news is on tap for you all today.

Over at Beach Bound Books (great title, huh?), there’s been an interview posted in which I was asked all about The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, how I got into being an author and illustrator, and more. Check it out by clicking on their logo below:

BBB logoAlso, for my Bay Area peeps, there’s been a new signing/appearance added to my Events page which will be taking place in San Francisco. The always awesome Cartoon Art Museum will be hosting an author event for me on Saturday December 13th. I’m so excited to be back in the city and hope to see you all there!

That’s all for now, kiddies. I have to get back to work on the next books. If you would like to follow the progress of my work, or even have a giggle at my little rants, follow me on twitter

Keep drawing, keep creating, and keep dreaming.

Wishing Well-web