Arlen Schumer is your perfect guide into the world of comics and pop culture. He is a leading authority on comic book art. He knows the subject inside and out. After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design from RISDI, Mr. Schumer apprenticed with legendary DC Comics artist Neal Adams. Subsequently, Mr. Schumer went on to a career not as a comic book artist but as a comic book-style illustrator. A member of the Society of Illustrators, Mr Schumer took his already impressive career one step further and began to lecture on the artistic merits of the comic book art form. This led to his book, the award-winning “The Silver Age of Comic Book Art.” He regularly provides VisauLectures about comic book art that educate, inspire, and bring up for discussion intriguing and exciting aspects of comic book art.
This Sunday, May 5, will be an opportunity to see Mr. Schumer’s latest VisuaLecture, “Comic Book Art History: The First 24 Years!” If you’re not in the NY metro area, then you can still see this presentation streamed live. Just visit www.arlenschumer.com for details. You can also read the previous post just below this post.
Here is the Comics Grinder podcast interview below. We chat about comics and childhood. We also talk about how comics can be misunderstood and what can be done about it. One thing, no doubt, that is helping to motivate and educate the public about comics is Mr. Schumer and his VisuaLectures. They aren’t just lectures. They are lively engagements with the subject and, most definitely, visual. Keep an eye out for many more to come, including a tribute to Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, and a look at the development of the Black Panther character at Marvel Comics, a creation led by Jack Kirby. You can read the VisuaLecture about Jack Kirby’s Black Panther in a special Avengers issue of Alter Ego, details here. And you can read the VisuaLecture tribute to Joe Kubert in Comic Book Creator, details here.
“COMIC BOOK ART HISTORY: THE FIRST 25 YEARS!” is the latest in Arlen Schumer’s impressive VisuaLecture series on the comics medium. It is a not-to-be-missed presentation. If you happen to be in the area, see it in person at Stepping Stones Museum in Connecticut this Sunday, May 5. Or, you can view it as a live-streaming video. Details are below.
Arlen Schumer is one of the leading historians of comic book art. His presentations are lively, highly informative, and, of course, very visual!
THIS SUNDAY MAY 5th, 2013 @ 3:00pm! In an incredible multimedia gallery space, part of Stepping Stones Museum’s YES2 Youth Program’s 1st Comic Book Mini-Convention! A screen the size of a small IMAX to project on! Comic book images like you’ve never seen ’em before!
I’ll be going though not only “The First 25 Years” of my comic book history works (since my instigating the Fall ’88 PRINT mag special comics issue), but “the first 25 years” of my childhood and young adult years, from being the art director of BATMANIA mag in high school to working for Batman’s greatest artist, Neal Adams, after art school (like getting paid to go to graduate school), and then creating a career illustrating in a comic book style, and parlaying comic book history to audiences around the country!
And hey, adults–it ain’t just for kids! There’ll be plenty of adults/parents, and ALL ages are invited!
Arlen Schumer, a leading expert on American pop culture (check out his Twilight Zone presentations for starters) has created a number of dazzling visual lectures. You can see his 16-page study of the Mort Weisinger era of “Superman” here in “Alter Ego,” #12, August 2012.
It’s hard not to like Stan Lee. At 90, he’s an inspiring figure of energy. But, folks, you ought to know, if you don’t already, there’s Stan Lee but there’s also Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. For anyone versed in comics, they have some idea of how this story goes. Stan Lee collaborated on creating Marvel Comics characters and stories. But, at the end of the day, the payday, it was Stan who got sole credit for writing. Even when you have clear-cut examples of a 50/50 collaboration, Stan Lee got all the credit as writer and creator. Enter Arlen Schumer, who would like to share with you the true history of how things went down. You can read Michael Dooley’s piece on Schumer here. And you’ll want to read carefully and not miss out on these examples of Schumer’s lecture from Comic-Con. Click to expand! Yes, you can easily read them:
In an illustrated lecture, “The Auteur Theory of Comics,” presented at this year’s Comic-Con, Schumer explains the Marvel Method which, as a working method was cool and revolutionary: The artist lays down the art first and then the writer goes back and adds the words! Great. But not so great when it comes to crediting the artist. Schumer expands his argument in favor of Ditko and Kirby by explaining the auteur theory which holds that the artist was in charge of far more than mere illustration of the writer’s words. It’s more like the artist is in charge of all the details in a movie which overlaps into actual storytelling. There are numerous examples, to be sure, where the roles of writer and artist are more fixed but, in the case of Stan Lee working with Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, Schumer maintains it’s more like the early years of collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. There’s a wonderful recap of this lecture at the Jack Kirby Museum site.
So, that is not to put a damper of Stan Lee. Just a look at what history has to show us. You can take it any way you like. You can also enjoy more of Arlen Schumer’s explorations into pop culture at his site.