Greetings, visitors to my site! I haven’t been posting as many updates here as of late since the majority of my updates are now delivered in a monthly newsletter to which you may conveniently subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/hdgbFv
Anyway, here are a few morsels of recent news so your trip here isn’t completely in vain:
First off, the issue of MONKEYS FIGHTING ROBOTS magazine featuring my essay, The Durability in Being a Cartoonist, was successfully kickstarted and all rewards were delivered to the various backers in September. While I am well aware that the pandemic has affected every supply chain, the publishing world being no exception, I was thrilled to find my contributor copy in my mailbox shortly after it was announced that the kickstarter rewards had all been shipped! Again, my thanks goes to Matthew Sardo for inviting me to pen the aforementioned missive regarding the myriad ways being a cartoonist has shaped and informed my life. The issue is not available to purchase as of yet, but I will include the information here if/when anything changes.
As of November 24th, FairSquare Comics‘ MUTINY MAGAZINE # 1 was unleashed upon fanboys and local comic shops everywhere. In fact, the issue was so highly coveted it completely sold out and is no longer available to order from Diamond! Included in this issue is my short comic Memory Box (pictured below), an emotionally-charged reaction to the tragic loss suffered by my wife and I earlier this year. Thank you to the savvy and talented Fabrice Sapolsky for this opportunity to share, process, and heal! Should you be interested in obtaining a copy, you can do so from the FairSquare Comics online store while supplies last.
MR. BUTTERCHIPS continues to chug along over on the SLG Publishing site and, as of last Wednesday, has reached 31 episodes. I wanted to extend a personal thank you to everyone who has been reading the webcomic! There’s much more satirical zaniness headed your way in 2022, so bookmark the dedicated landing page on the SLG site to delight in new installments every Wednesday 🐒
Lastly, though I can’t divulge the specifics, there is some TREMENDOUSLY exciting news on the horizon regarding my latest graphic novel. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter at the link above to be kept appraised of all projects coming down the pipeline in the new year.
Happy holidays to all and I want you all to know just how much I appreciate your continued support!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
On Saturday July 31st SLG Publishing, home to the MR. BUTTERCHIPS weekly comic, will welcomeyours 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.
May 4, 2021, (TAOS, NM) — Get set. One seriously maniacal monkey is about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public! On May 5th, weekly installments of Mr. Butterchips by Alex Schumacher (The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung, Defiling the Literati), will launch on SLG Publishing, accompanied by new apparel to help fans show their love for the celebrated curmudgeonly capuchin.
Mr. Butterchips illustrates the day-to-day antics of a prickly organ grinder’s monkey set in a surreal fictional West Coast town, which is populated by an array of quirky characters. It’s through this satirical hallucinogenic lens that the pitfalls of a “gig economy” are examined, while touching on such timely issues as class disparity and intolerance; amplifying the absurdity of what it means to be alive in a world which seemingly becomes more insane by the second.
“When offered the opportunity by SLG Publishing, I decided to retrofit Mr. Butterchipsfor a new era and a broader audience,” said Alex Schumacher. “While the comic will now be set in the hallucinogenic fictional town of Los Puritanos, readers who enjoyed the salty simian’s tenure at Drunk Monkeys Magazine will be pleased to know his low threshold for stupidity and intolerance remains wholly intact.”
The comic first appeared in the online literary magazine Drunk Monkeys beginning in April of 2016. SLG Publishing released Mr. Butterchips: A Collection of Cantankerous Commentary in 2020, assembling the initial run of the webcomic along with a 22-page standalone acid trip of a story entitled “Psychotropic San Francisco Sojourn.”
For additional information or press queries, please contact Don’t Hide Publicity Director, Melissa Meszaros: email@example.com.
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
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
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.
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.
And remember, you can join these shiny happy people in welcoming MR. BUTTERCHIPS into your home today!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. Here are a couple of the more recent pieces I produced:
Thanks and hope you’re all healthy! 75 days to go…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Should further convincing be required, you can read THIS spoiler-free review from my pal Aaron Iara of Effective Nerd.
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.
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.
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.
The moral here is don’t ever stop knocking on doors, kids. You never know who might finally answer.
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.
In the event you may have missed the news, THE GUITARIST (created by C.W. Cooke and myself), has been selected to be serialized in Antarctic Press‘ revitalized MANGAzine. The first section will appear in MANGAzine #1 debuting in July 2018 at none other than San Diego Comic Con.
Thanks to Ben Dunn for bringing us on board and to everyone who supported us along the way! Here’s the official announcement drawn by yours truly and colored by our own Jeremy Kahn.
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.
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!
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!