One of my favorite panels was Arlen Schumer's panel on Ira Schnapp, who created many of the logos for DC. Arlen did a beautiful job with what could have been an esoteric subject bringing it down to earth and connecting it to what we love about the visual aspects of comics. I'll never look at a comic book the same. Thank you Arlen. Great panel!
ComicSpectrum’s Bob Bretall
#3: The Super Type of Ira SchnappGetting schooled on the man who hand designed almost all of DC’s silver age logos by Arlen Schumer. Schnapp also designed the DC house ads and letters on a lot of public buildings in NYC, as well as the Comics Code seal. This was a real eye-opening lecture delivered with Schumer’s signature enthusiasm that revealed a lot of information about an unfortunately little known man who played a key role in the Silver Age of comics. I’m really happy that I attended this panel and would heartily recommend that anyone hear Schumer speak whenever they get a chance. He has a passion for what he talks about and mixes entertainment with learning wrapped in a really eye-pleasing package that keeps the audiences attention from start to finish. Schumer had a whole section on DC’s house ads that was really an eye-opener. I know I’m going to be paying closer attention to these gems the next time I crack open a DC back issue from the 1960s.
Rob Salkowitz on The Super Type of Ira SchnappJust got back from SDCC where I saw, among other interesting things, Arlen Schumer's great lecture on Ira Schnapp and his contribution to the look and ambiance of DC comics in the Silver Age. Folks, this kind of scholarship that connects comic art with wider trends in fine art and culture - best embodied in Arlen's Silver Age of Comic Book Art book - is what will keep the Silver Age we love relevant and VALUABLE to future generations of fans. It's great to appreciate the stories in the context of our own personal lives ("I remember when that book came out!"), or within the narrow scope of comics history, but just about every comic fan under 40 no longer has the interest or attachment to this material that we do, and sooner or later that will be reflected in the market value of the books and art. One good reason for the culture to pay attention is because of the influence that comic artists like Kirby, Infantino and Steranko have had on graphic design, down to the present day. Arlen is one of the very few people informed and passionate enough to make the case, and he's doing it in the face of an art world that is still largely ignorant or indifferent to the talents of these geniuses. The best way to make sure this kind of scholarship gains traction is to make it successful: that is, BUY ARLEN'S BOOK and talk it up to your friends! No one can afford to do this caliber of work for free, and if we don't support work like his, who will? Plus, if you call yourself a fan of Silver Age art, this work belongs on your shelf. This isn't a plug for Arlen: it's a plug for us, the stuff we love, and a rare opportunity to influence the wider conversation.
"Comic book art historian Arlen Schumer’s presentation based on his book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, explores the origins of the American superhero and its personification of American ideals and values, and how these attitudes and portrayals changed during the turbulent 1960s. The works of the 8 artists in the book are highlighted—Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Gene Colan, Jim Steranko and Neal Adams—and the characters they drew, from establishment superheroes like The Flash, The Atom and Green Lantern, to counterculture super-antiheroes like Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and Green Arrow. You'll not only see where Hollywood's love affair with superhero movies comes from—but because Schumer projects comic book panels and pages in a way that graphically communicates the sequential nature of comic book art itself—you'll see comics like you've never seen them before!”
Premiere night for Arlen Schumer’s exhibit on the work of Ira Schnapp certainly lived up to the hype. Draped in a Superman cape adorned with a Superman medallion, and with a Superman tie to complete his ensemble, Mr. Schumer and the wonderful Executive Director of The Type Directors Club, Ms. Carol Wahler, welcomed their guests warmly and most graciously to a night full of pleasant surprises in celebration of his latest exhibit and visual lecture, The Super Type of Ira Schnapp...
REVIEW: Arlen Schumer’s Outstanding IRA SCHNAPP Exhibit
PIX! PIX! PIX! We serialized it here at the site but seeing it in person is another thing entirely.
Had a great night the other night: Arlen Schumer on Thursday launched his summer-long exhibit on the late DC Comicsmaster letterer Ira Schnapp.
To the uninitiated, this would seem like dry material. It’s anything but. As we chronicled over the last five weeks or so, Schnapp was an artist who brought special life to the work of others, whether it be on DC’s Silver Age covers or house ads. And he was responsible for so many of the best-known logos in the company’s history, going all the way back to Action Comics....
24”x 36” –$75 – To order: e-mail address & phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org (billed via PayPal or credit card)
Print is excited to announce this week’s Designer of the Week: comic book historian, writer, illustrator and designer Arlen Schumer. You might recall Print’s longtime contributor Michael Dooley writing about Schumer’s fight for artist-creator credit years ago. Just this week Dooley urged us all to attend Schumer’s upcoming lecture for the Type Director’s Club of New York‘s exhibition centered on lettering artist Ira Schnapp.
Dooley writes, “Arlen Schumer is a force to be reckoned with. He’s peerless in his unique knowledge and perspectives on the art and design of superhero comics. … And his presentations are not to be missed. … Bottom line: Go. See. Hear. Learn. And be very entertained.”
Without further ado, let’s get to know Schumer a little better.
Read the full article here: http://www.printmag.com/interviews/designer-of-the-week-arlen-schumer/
Would you believe that the artist who designed in engraved Roman letters the slogan, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...” atop New York City’s main post office at Penn Station is the same man who designed the famous, iconic Superman comic book logo?
Both are the works of Ira Schnapp (1892-1969), a descendant of stonecutters, calligrapher and hand-letterer who defined the “house style” of DC Comics for over 30 years, starting with the Action Comics logo on the cover of Superman’s first appearance in 1938, and continuing with scores of others for the company, including hundreds of house ads promoting their monthly comics that are among some of the greatest examples of hand-lettering in the 20th Century.
Yet, for all of his ubiquitous works, to the comic book audience, as well as comic book historians, and of course the general audience, Schnapp’s name and legacy are unknown and forgotten.
But comic book historian and writer/illustrator/designer Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, Archway Publishing) aims to change that with his lecture and collateral exhibit on Schnapp for the Type Directors Club of New York. The lecture will open the exhibit Thursday night, May 14th at 6:30pm, and run until September 25.
Schnapp's career peak came during the Silver Age of Comics (circa 1956-70), making Schumer’s book (http://www.arlenschumer.com), a showcase for Schnapp’s work. Schumer, a member of The Society of Illustrators, keeps Schnapp's style alive by incorporating Schnapp's unique hand-lettered fonts into his own comic book-styled illustration and design, which you can see here: http://arlenschumer.com/illustration/long-form-comics.html
- The Type Directors Club of NY Schnapp event page: https://www.tdc.org/event/the-super-type-of-ira-schnapp/
- Register for Schnapp online: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-super-type-of-ira-schnapp-tickets-16397918616
- “The Super Type of Ira Schnapp” Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/843399159074813/
- “Oh, Schnapp!” 5-part article by me for 13thdimesnsion.com: http://13thdimension.com/oh-schnapp-part-2-iras-sweet-16-logos/
- Sonic Eclectica on SCHNAPP: http://soniceclectic.com/visual-arts/2015/04/super-type-ira-schnapp/
- PRINT article on SCHNAPP: http://www.printmag.com/featured-design-history/legendary-unknown-lettering-artist-ira-schnapp/
I’ll be presenting my “Art & Comic Book Art” VisuaLecture at the East Coast Comicon in the Meadowlands, NJ (http://www.eastcoastcomicon.com) on Saturday, April 11 at noon! It’s its first time I’m doing it on the east coast since I debuted it at last year’s San Diego Comicon (here it is on YouTube: http://youtu.be/Qaz4g_92L_Y?list=UUwkw6QB6OFKcfxK17macOlQ). Here’s the text description:
"Just as art historians look back 500 years ago on the great Renaissance masters of the human figure like Michelangelo and Raphael, so too will art historians 500 years from now look back on the great masters of the human figure of our time, our great comic book artists like Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane—to name a few. Yet in fine art circles, it is still considered ‘blasphemous' to compare/contrast the two sets of artists. Join comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, Archway Publishing) as he does just that, with his provocative, perceptive presentation, comparing and contrasting the great artists and great artworks from the worlds of fine art and comic books, curating a fascinating journey through art...and comic book art!"
“Art & Comic Book Art” is based on an 11-page verbal/visual essay slated to be in the hardcover British comix anthology A-1 (edited by Dave Elliott) coming out later this year. It’s currently being serialized in 3 weekly installments on the pop culture site 13th Dimension: http://13thdimension.com/art-comic-book-art-by-arlen-schumer/
I’ll also be signing hardcover copies of my book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art (www.arlenschumer.com) at my table both days of the ECCC! Look for me at my table (pic from last December’s Wintercon in Queens, NY)!
My art show that just opened at The Rosewood Arts Centre in Kettering, Ohio (www.rosewood.ketteringoh.org), where I’ll be lecturing (twice) & book signing Silver Age this weekend, both there and at the nearby Gem City Comic Con (2 lectures there) in Dayton (www.gemcitycomiccon.com), March 27-9!
What’s interesting is that one of my lectures is “Art & Comic Book Art,” which discusses the relationship between the 2 art worlds, and here I am lecturing at both an art gallery and a comic convention! Here’s the lecture description:
Just as art historians look back 500 years ago on the great Renaissance masters of the human figure like Michelangelo and Raphael, so too will art historians 500 years from now look back on the great masters of the human figure of our time, our great comic book artists like Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane—to name a few. Yet in fine art circles, it is still considered "blasphemous" to compare/contrast the two sets of artists. Join comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art: www.arlenschumer.com) as he does just that, with his provocative, perceptive presentation, comparing and contrasting the great artists and great artworks from the worlds of fine art and comic books, curating a fascinating journey through art...and comic book art!
“Art & Comic Book Art” is based on an 11-page verbal/visual essay slated to be in the hardcover British comix anthology A-1 (edited by Dave Elliott) coming out later this year; the opening spread’s attached. It’s currently being serialized in 3 weekly installments on the pop culture site 13th Dimension: http://13thdimension.com/art-comic-book-art-by-arlen-schumer/
I debuted the lecture on “Art & Comic Book Art” at last year’s San Diego Comicon watch it on YouTube here.