City of Sin (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!

THE TABLE

Day 1 begins, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we could possibly muster.
The goods.
My table-mate and pal, Chris Arrocena, inking away.
Day 2 commences, albeit with slightly drained enthusiasm.
A Mr. Butterchips/Infinity Gauntlet mashup sketch during a lull.
Day 3 begins after a long night of overindulging in the City of Sin.

THE PEOPLE

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!
I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Fabrice Sapolsky, author/illustrator and senior editor at Humanoids (also former colleague of Decades of (in)Experience editor Francis Lombard).
Cosplay doesn’t typically move me one way or another, but I was inspired to snap a picture of The Big Thorbowski.

PURCHASES

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.
Additionally, I obtained this collection of Chai & Mulligan comic strips from my across-the-row neighbor Francis Baytan. Check him out!

THE CONVENTION

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 here.

That’s all for now, folks!

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!

End of year project updates

Very merry greetings to all! I do hope your holiday season is great so far, and would just like to take the time on this stormy winter day to give everyone an update on projects of mine to look out for in the new year.

My new picture book, and follow up to The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, is in production now. It will be published by Wandering in the Words press and is tentatively slated for a spring 2015 release. Without divulging too much of the story, I wanted to share a peek of the main character from this whimsical little tale. Here is a quick sketch from my collection of character designs and story notes:

GB-sketch-webAs shared in a previous post, Under Belly Comics has picked up The Guitarist, the new graphic novel series from CW Cooke and myself. The story and artwork are currently undergoing some cosmetic overhauls as we put together the rest of our creative team. Check back here often for production art and updated on release information. This is going to be one wild ride, and to whet your whistle, here’s a teaser image brought to you with backgrounds by colorist Melch Valimento.

(Not final artwork)

There are also some exciting developments which have occurred recently in the animation industry. Unfortunately there isn’t much that I can share as of now, but I’ll reveal that there are some series pitches submitted to networks as well as other opportunities which have presented themselves that may serve as entrance into the field. Hopefully there will be more to share in the new year, so for now, send your good vibrations my way and think happy thoughts.

2015 is going to be one exciting year! Happy holidays y’all!

Happy Turkey Day

Holiday greetings to all of the great folks who take the time to come visit my site! I created this piece entitled “Dinner Music” just for all of you (click the image to enlarge). I hope you all have a joyous Thanksgiving full of family, fun and, of course, FOOD! Amidst all the hubbub, don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on what makes you truly thankful.

Dinner Music 2014_BG_web

Before I take off on my trek for turkey, I wanted to share a few photos taken from the event held by Old Capitol Books last weekend for The World’s Crummiest Umbrella. I had a great time talking and reading to a wonderful group of attendees, both young and not so young. A huge thanks to everyone who came out and I’ll post more pictures soon!

The next event will be held at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco on Saturday, December 13th. If you’re in the area, come on by, say howdy, and pick up some early holiday gifts. As they say, the greatest gift is a passion for reading.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone! Gobble! Gobble!

(Mostly) Kidlit and (some) Comic book news!

Hope everyone is enjoying the best time of year, as I am! Being born in late September, I feel as though I have a natural inclination toward the fall and winter seasons and the period between Halloween and New Year’s is undoubtedly my favorite span during the year. This is one of the reasons I’m so pleased to announce a load of cool things happening in the next couple months.

First, the good people over at Beach Bound Books posted a fantastic review of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella as well as holding a giveaway for their advanced review copy. I can’t thank Stacie enough for the kind words, and if you want a chance to win another copy (because you’ve already bought one, right?) of the book be sure to enter their giveaway contest in the next 10 days!

Coming up in just a couple short weeks is an event for The World’s Crummiest Umbrella hosted by the very cool Old Capitol Books in Monterey. On November 22nd I’ll be reading the book for attendees, as well as signing and sketching for everyone afterward. There will be copies available to purchase, but feel free to bring your copy from home for me to sign as well. It’ll be a fun afternoon for the entire family so I hope to see you there!

Then, on Saturday December 13th I’ll be appearing at the world renowned and uber awesome Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco to read and sign copies of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella! I love this place and the great staff there are some of the best people I know. If you’re in the Bay Area be sure to bring the family out to stop by and say howdy!

Cover-web

I’ll close this blog post with some really exciting comic book news: The Guitarist, by myself and my most excellent writer pal C.W. Cooke (@CWCookeComix), has been picked up by Underbelly Comics and slated for release in 2015! This has been a long time coming for us, and we finally have the chance to bring this saga to the world. There will be some retooling and redesigning happening so we’re not sure when it will be out, but I will certainly keep all of the faithful visitors here posted on details as they develop.

Thanks for making it to the end of this post and hope it was a nice payoff for ya! See y’all soon and keep creating!

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

Website redesign and contest

Welcome to the all new (in appearance anyway) alexschumacherart.com! The content is still the same for the most part, but I felt as though it was time to change the vibe a little. Spruce up the joint, if you will. So come on in and have a look around. Heck, take off your shoes if you’d like. I simply ask that if you move anything to kindly put it back. Be sure to visit the World’s Crummiest Umbrella photo gallery and brand spankin’ new Events page for upcoming appearances and signings.

Speaking of upcoming appearances and signings, I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to visit Old Capitol Books on November 22nd for a live reading of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, as well as a meet-and-greet and signing following the reading. More information as well as a link to Old Capitol Books can be found on the Events page. Come on out and say hi! I may even scribble a little doodle in your book if you ask really nicely…

cropped-ocb-banner1

Now, if you think that sounds fun, how does a Contest sound? Does it sound awesome? Well, you’re in luck my friends! Starting this week I will be holding a contest for those who have purchased a copy of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella. Two lucky winners will be receiving original hand-drawn artwork produced for the book, just for being a great fan and supporter! Possibly a piece of art like this:

Contest image

So, how do we enter? That’s an excellent question. Here’s the scoop: Between now and the end of the day on Friday, October 3rd just post a photo of yourself with your copy of the book on Facebook or Twitter (remember to use the #TheWorldsCrummiestUmbrella hashtag) and you’ll be automatically entered to win! You can also send photos to the email listed on the contact page if that’s what you prefer to do. If you plan to purchase your copy in the next two weeks, but may not have it in time to enter the photo contest, you can send me a proof of purchase and I’ll be happy to include you in the contest. Sound fun? Well get to it!

Happy reading and thank you all so much for continuing to help me share, promote, and get the word out about The World’s Crummiest Umbrella!