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!

Advertisements

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!

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!

Labor Day!

Greetings, inhabitants of the bizarre and wondrous dimension we call the internet! I do hope this finds you well and enjoying a lovely Labor Day with family, friends, food, and fun. With the holiday in mind, I concocted a silly little poem (and an even sillier little drawing) to delight all of the kiddies both young and old. Would you like to see it? I knew that you would.

Labor Day-webSpeaking of the kiddos, have you purchased and/or received your copy of my new picture book, The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, yet? I have been pleased as punch by the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the book thus far. Your love and support has meant the world to me, and I will just humbly ask two favors of you:

  1. Spread the joy by telling everyone you know about the book via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whichever other social media tools you happen to utilize. I’d love to get the word out to as many folks as possible and I need YOUR help to do so!
  2. When you do receive your copy of The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, make sure to leave a review on the Amazon page for the book. It will help me out immensely and let other visitors know just how much fun the book is for the whole family!

I also encourage you to take pictures with your copies of the book which I will feature right here on my site, just like these two lucky literary fans:

Thank you all, enjoy the weekend, and there’s much more to come so stop by again soon!

More ‘doodles and more’

Here are some more random lunchtime doodles sketches. Some are funny, some are twisted but hopefully they’re all at least (mildly) entertaining. Let me know how you’re enjoying these silly lunch doodles about lunch! I’m always open to suggestions and requests also. Shoot me a message using the form or the email address provided on the About/Contact page.

Here is a quick piece I whipped together to celebrate the World Cup final. Of course, no one is happier than the soccer ball once it’s all over.

World Cup ball-web

My little pal Noah asked for a Steamboat Willie sketch and I was so taken aback that the character/film still resonates with his generation that I gladly obliged. Here is a great picture which his mom took and sent to me.

If anyone is interested in a personalized, one-of-a-kind commission like the one Noah got please feel free to contact me!

Next week I should have a very exciting announcement regarding my first picture book, The World’s Crummiest Umbrella being published by Wandering in the Words Press! Stay tuned for the awesome news.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Memorial Day catch up

Howdy folks! Here’s what’s been going on at studio Schumacher the past couple weeks…

Last weekend was the great Big WOW! convention in San Jose which just seems to grow exponentially every year. It’s wonderful to see as there has been a definite void in Northern California cons since Wondercon moved to Anaheim a few years ago. I was there on Sunday squatting at booth 410 with my cartoonist pals Betsy Streeter and Bridgett Spicer. It was a lot of fun and I’ll definitely be attending again next year. Thanks to everyone who came by and hope everyone had fun.

As of this weekend I have finalized all interior art as well as the cover for my very first picture book, The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, to be released soon by Wandering in the Words Press. It will be available to purchase through the website as well as on Amazon. Check back here as I will be announcing the exact release date very shortly. There are some other exciting picture book/children’s literature projects in the works so this is only the beginning.

Cover image 2I have also been diligently working with my agent on animated series projects and pitches though there isn’t too much that I can share at this point. We are talking to a few networks you may have heard of though… I’ve already said too much. Just know there is a lot of thrilling things in the works which I hope to be able to share with all of you lovely people very soon. Thank you for all the support and love throughout the years!

On a final note, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day. While we enjoy our beers and BBQ let us take the time to remember what this day is actually about. Thank you to all the service men and women who bravely gave their lives defending our freedom.

Memorial-Day-Slider2